Almost ready with some updates

The next version of HL7 Comm is shaping up nicely. The big (huge, if you will) improvement will be a configuration interface that makes sense. It’s actually been quite hard to code, but I think it’ll be worth it when it’s all working. There are some new clients included, specifically the oft-requested file out that produces a single file per record. This next cut will include some of these improvements, but I’m focusing mostly on the improved interface and the Java 1.4 (or newer) compatibility. Version 0.7 only worked with Java 5 (and now 6), but many folks are stuck on 1.4 or even older.

The first ever software review is almost done as well. I took a look at uCertify’s SCJP 5.0 PrepKit and found a lot to like there. That should be posted in the next day or two, assuming my favorite tech editor and wife gets a chance to look at it.

Lastly, I do want to outline the next set of updates that’s planned for all the HL7 utilities. Right now major updates to the Light HL7 Library are postponed. From what I can tell a lot more people are interested in better functioning versions of HL7 Comm and HL7 Browser than are using the LHL for writing their own code. This may change when I start to add beanshell support to the Comm, but I’m trying to do the most I can for the people using the software quickly. The plan is as follows:

HL7 Comm 0.8: Early Feb. Includes entirely new configuration interface, many bugfixes, a few new clients.

HL7 Comm 0.9: Q1-Q2. Any needed fixes from the 0.8 release. Beanshell support for writing simple message translations interactively (or automatically in a GUI or headless fashion). The interactive HL7 Server manual ack/nack client. These are actually Integrate Client Library updates with minimal updates required for HL7 Comm, so this is a great chance to stabilize the core Comm code.

HL7 Comm 1.0: This year. I think a lot of people see a sub 1.0 version number and freak out. 1.0 should be primarily a bug-fix release, but I also harbor fantasies of including an FTP client. That would be easy to do without breaking things.

After that I think I badly need to address an aging HL7 Browser. Version two would include improved memory and file management and use the now robust integrate client library for network instead of the buggy stuff that’s there now.