I’ve recently released the Ticker Editor – a shareware application that can be used to create pretty much any kind of ticker. Visit WS Tickers to learn more.
While building this application I came accross some of the problems many programmers are likely to encounter when doing a “serious” project.
- Creating help files
If your application is more than a simple two-button utility you’ll need to create some documentation for it – a manual, maybe some tutorials and context-sensitive help system. For Ticker Editor I chose to create a “classic” .hlp file, mainly because I quickly found an excellent editor – Shalom Help Maker (site down, mirror here). It’s free, relatively easy to use, and has all the features I needed. On the other hand, some sources say that .hlp files will no longer work in Windows Vista…
Help files are also often created in the CHM format but (in my experience) .chm files load slower, plus most of CHM editors I found were either commercial or shareware.
- Creating an installer
When it comes to creating a setup program, my favorite is Inno Setup. Freeware, lots of features and easy to use.
- Writing a license agreement
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a tutorial for writing the EULA for your application and not everyone has the opportunity to consult a professional. What I did was look at various licenses from other software and try to construct mine in a similar fashion (it’s still lame, I know :P). The GripeWiki EULA library is an online collection of license agreements; you can use it to gain inspiration.
- Selling your application
My choice is Plimus, though you might want to check out other possibilities like Share*it, RegNow and other e-commerce processing services.
Producing good-looking menu icons and other interface elements can be quite challenging for many programmers. However, there are many royalty-free no-cost icon collections available on the Web – just do a Google search.
If your application is more graphics-oriented and you feel you need to include some kind of “clipart collection” or templates, you can find a huge number of relevant links in this blog post :
Where to Find Free Images and Visuals for My Blog.