Date Archives

November 2014

Booked 2.5.9 release and some details about 2.6

Booked 2.5.9 was released earlier this week. I’ll wait while you go grab it. If you subscribe to our hosting service, you’re already updated.

As far as minor releases go, this was a biggie. Some frequently requested features finally made it in, like showing custom attributes on reports, more options for what to show in the reservation label, reservation approval request emails and much more.

It took a while to get this release out the door. Partly because there were a lot of features added, but also because I’ve been spending a lot of time on custom development. The good news is that most of the custom work will be making it’s way into the main code base.

Which leads me to the state of Booked version 2.6. This version has been in the works for a while now and it will be a significant update. It will also very likely be the last major release before Booked 3.0.

So what will be in 2.6, you ask?

A lot.

The biggest feature is a new UI which will be mobile friendly. Booked “works” right now on mobile, but it doesn’t work great. Mobile will be a first class design concern in 2.6.

Custom attributes will also be getting some love in 2.6 with support for admin-only attributes, the ability to prompt for reservation-level attributes only when specific resources are booked, and setting reservation colors based on custom attribute values.

Some other features that are in 2.6 include the ability to tie accessories to resources, ability for guests to participate in reservations, the ability for guests to book.

The plan also includes support for some alternate views of a schedule, such as for a monitor or a small tablet outside a conference room. Checking in and out of reservations and automatically releasing reservations are on tap. I’m also planning to support both Facebook and Google sign in.

As for a release date, I’m not yet sure. With my current pace I’d expect to have a beta out in the spring of 2015. If I get some development help the timeline may shrink considerably.

The full list of feature requests can be found here and I’ll be keeping this up to date as 2.6 progresses. Please keep the feature requests coming! That’s how Booked became great and how it will continue to be great.

Update November 26th

You’ve got to love open source software! A defect was found in 2.5.9 that prevented emails from being sent on *nix machines. I released 2.5.10 last night.

Software Development is Expensive

This is a bit of a rant, so I apologize ahead of time.

Software development is a crazy blend of art, science and luck. I’ve compared it to painting in the past and I still think that’s one of the better comparisons out there. It is difficult to build a software application that solves a problem, addresses technical challenges, and is intuitive and simple to use.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that software development is expensive. And the higher the skill level of the developer, the more well-known the developer, or the more specialized the skill set, the more expensive it will be. Art follows a similar cost pattern. A Picasso is going to cost more than something by a local art student. Fair or not, that’s the world we live in.

Booked is free and open source and will continue to be. I choose to release it free of charge because I enjoy giving back to a community that has given me so much. I also do a fair amount of custom software development for Booked. This development is not free, but I make every attempt to charge a reasonable fee for my expertise and time.

In some ways open source has spoiled us. It can give the perception that software development is easy and cheap. Most software developers – open source or not – are highly skilled experts in their field.

If you have a custom table built by and expert carpenter it will cost more than the particle board table that you pull off the shelf at the local Ikea. If you reach out a developer for custom software development be prepared for it to be costly. After all, you’re getting a solution expertly crafted to solve your problem. I know I’ll pay a premium for that.