Shion news

A few days ago, I posted an update describing what the company is up to. I wanted to follow up with a products post that describes what’s going on with some of the internal Audacious Software work. Since that work is almost all Shion-related at this point, this will be a Shion post. 🙂

Shion desktop client: I described to someone earlier this week that the way I develop software is to write a lot of code that implements an excessive amount of functionality and then pare that code back to something manageable and robust. In this spirit, Shion desktop development has been pretty wild and crazy lately, with support being added for new kinds of devices, new avenues for interaction (such as putting that Apple Remote back into use), and new APIs for compatible products. My current work list includes the following:

1. Support for DVR devices such as TiVo. This functionality will allow you to both review what is on your DVR from a Shion interface and control the device as if Shion were the remote control.

2. Support for Caller ID modems (more below).

3. Improve the XMPP dialog interface.

4. Implement the hooks for allowing iPhone control (more below).

I realize that I’m overdue on releasing the Shion framework as promised earlier this summer and I don’t expect that things will be sufficiently stable (from an API perspective) for some time. If this delay is causing anyone problems, please let me know and I’ll help you get a copy of the code.

Shion iPhone client: Work is underway on developing the iPhone interface to Shion. I have a rough GUI up and running and the most recent work has focused on defining and implementing an XMPP sub-protocol for asynchronous communications between the iPhone client and the desktop application. Audacious Software has also invested in a couple of Nokia N-Series devices recently, so once the iPhone client is running and stable, I’ll begin working on porting that interface to other mobile phone platforms. (This will probably begin sometime in 2010.)

Cidney: For those of you new to Audacious Software, a couple of years ago, I developed a Caller ID application for the Mac called Cidney. Cidney listened for incoming calls on a local modem and took actions when specific callers rang the line. Several months ago, I discontinued the development of Cidney due to a lack of time, but in the period since then, I received a number of queries about the software.

After some discussion and much thought, I came to the conclusion that the functionality embodied in Cidney shouldn’t vanish into the ether, so in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be resurrecting that code and incorporating it into Shion with the relevant events and other software hooks. As I get closer to completing the implementation, I’ll be happy to share more details that describe how to begin using Shion to do the tasks that Cidney previously handled.

I apologize if my silence over the past several weeks suggested that Shion development was on life-support. Nothing could be further from the truth – I just didn’t have a lot of time to describe all the interesting work that is ongoing. Hopefully in the next couple of months, my work list will be largely complete and the new code ready for testing and end-user documentation. 🙂