SynergyNet, the multi-touch framework built to support applications intended for classroom use, has had an update. As part of the recent move to the new repository, the code for SynergyNet 3.1 has been made available. While it may not appear that different to SynergyNet 3, the new version offers an improved experience for developers.
SynergyNet 3 presented a number of problems to would-be developers. The first of these was its requirement for maven. While maven is not necessarily a bad thing it can make the initial set up of a development environment more complicated.
The main drawback with the use of maven is the reliance on a resource repository. SynergyNet 3 has always relied on an instance of artifactory hosted on a private server. This server has a history of being unreliable. A possible solution of this would be to start a new resource repository for SynergyNet 3 to utilise elsewhere and copy the libraries needed over. However, this ideally would need a new server to avoid the same issues arising again. This was decided against due to the cost compared to the alternative action of developing SynergyNet to no longer rely on it.
Another problem presented by SynergyNet 3 was its lack of documentation. Though there was a wiki explaining how to development with the framework (as there is now for SynergyNet 3.1) there was no documentation for what any of the code did. The third party libraries used in SynergyNet 3 were also light on documentation.
An effort has been made in SynergyNet 3.1 to ensure that documentation is made available whenever possible. SynergyNet 3.1 has full javadoc for its own source. In addition to this, most third party libraries used by the framework have their javadocs attached (their online javadoc pages are used so their documentation will not appear when developing offline).
In addition to being commented the code has also been tidied up to follow typical java practices. The code has full compliance with Java versions 6, 7 and 8. SynergyNet 3.1 can be found here:
The predecessor to this release; SynergyNet 3 is still available on the SynergyNet github repository but may become unusable in the near future. All future developments will be carried out on SynergyNet 3.1