Software is never finished; goodbye Cardio Grapher

December 1, 2012

It’s nearly a year since I released Cardio Grapher on 15 December 2011 (Out of Beta on 22 July 2012). At the time that I started developing it (Sat Oct 29 22:37:08 2011 +0100 according to Git) there were a number of reasons to do so:

  1. I had just bought a Zephyr HxM and turbo trainer for indoor winter cycling and I could find no Android applications on the Market*:
    1. With comparable quality graphs and Zephyr HxM connectivity (they’d frequently drop the connection or fail to connect altogether) – the data capture development effort in sports applications focuses on GPS statistics etc.
    2. That showed the battery level.
  2. I wanted an Android project to develop in my spare time.
  3. I had recently spotted the Snowdon graphing library appear on Google Code after I’d suggested to the author that he open source it, and Cardio Grapher seemed like the ideal project to use it in.

Fast forward to today and:

  1. I have less spare time than I used to.
  2. The reliability of Google My Tracks’ HxM connectivity seems to have improved, though it still does not show the HxM’s battery level. SportsTracker does, and Endomondo does (but it only shows a graphical indication – no text percentage).
  3. Endomondo and SportsTracker also seem to have reliable HxM connectivity.
  4. I’m now spending a lot of my time developing an Android application.

All things considered there seems to be no value in continuing Cardio Grapher development. Before reaching this conclusion I actually put another half a day or so of development in to it, bringing the UI in line with the new platform guidelines, fixing a few design flaws, and even getting as far as implementing one new feature (double tap the graphs to go fullscreen). But then I remembered; software is never finished**, and I would be kidding myself if I let myself think I could “just” implement the tickets I had targeted for 3.0 and let that be it.

Which leads me to this announcement:

I will be shortly be taking Cardio Grapher off Google Play. I may not even keep the source code, but I’ll certainly keep it around until either:

  1. It bugs me into finding time and creating patches that apply some of its features to Google My Tracks (e.g. showing the HxM’s battery level).
  2. It is no longer useful because I’ve taken so long that others have already done so.

At the time of writing this, the statistics I see on Google Play are; 548 active installs, 3,965 total installs, average rating 4.0/5.0 (from 12 reviews).

All in all, a worthwhile project. And the silver lining with writing this? Unlike software, blog posts are finished!

*(I think it was still called that at the time).

**I had hoped I’d find plenty of articles justifying this truism – alas, I did not, and LMGTFY will have to suffice.