A few days ago I proposed myself (and not only) a nice challenge. To create some small but useful applications in the languages and technologies we know the best, with a single goal.. to provide in maximum 2 days, a full featured product.
This exercise will help me (us) in getting knowing better and efficiently the newest technologies, but also it could constitute a good base ground for a potential business start-up.
So I started first by myself with a simple application: “EN-RO DIC” – an English – Romanian Translation Dictionary, that could work offline but also online with the help of well known available online translators: Google and Bing(Microsoft).
Unfortunately this first experience was cost me more that proposed time, and instead of 2 days I ended with 3 days (50% more with ~7-9 hours/day for research and coding). But all was for a great cause!. It was a nice experience where I learn a lot about how to improve a windows phone application overall performance. I also had the chance to learn new tools and libraries (for example Telerik windows phone controls – because I have won a free license from them within a webinar session, I think), to work with Google and Bing translation API and various other libraries.
Putting all together, I’m very satisfied with performance gain I succeed to obtain (~40k EN to RO words and ~70k RO to EN words), almost instant loading on the first launch or restore from tombstoning, and very fast search of the words into offline dictionary. Here are some screenshots of the final application which you will find later onto Windows Phone Market after approval process with the name “en-ro dic” (I will provide a Zune link later after approval):
Of course, not everything is pixel perfectly, so there will be room for improvement, but for the issues I know about, I can only blame Microsoft :) .
As for the future roadmap, perhaps some TextToSpeach(TTS) feature, favourite words, user proposed words, etc. There are some ideas, we only lack some time to invest. If any of you is feeling courageous to continue this project improvement, please feel free to contact me as for me this project is already doing all I have expected from it.
Feedback is always welcome!