Full Documentation Available for the Nov 2011 CTP

The first release of help file-style documentation for Gepsio is now available for the Nov 2011 CTP! To grab your copy, go to the Nov 2011 CTP Release page here and download the JeffFerguson.Gepsio.chm file.

If you download the file directly, and save it to a location such as your Desktop, you may get an “Navigation to the webpage was canceled” message when you open it:

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To fix this, close the CHM file.Then find the downloaded CHM file, right click it, and select “Properties” from the context menu. You will see the file’s Properties dialog:

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If you see the message at the bottom that reads “This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer”, click the “Unblock” button. Click the “OK” button to close the Properties dialog, and reopen the CHM file.

Voila!

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This online documentation is generated automatically from comments I embed in the source code. The nice part about that is that, as I update the source code comments and produce new builds, the online documentation will be updated and synchronized with the latest information available in the Gepsio object model.

Gepsio Entered Into XBRL US Challenge

The folks over at XBRL US have launched a contest called the XBRL Challenge, which they have billed as “a contest that invites participants to contribute open source analytical applications for investors that leverage corporate XBRL data“. I have entered Gepsio into the contest. I really don’t think it has a chance to win, since it’s more of an “engine” or “framework” than a full ready-to-use application, but I figured that the exposure might be a good thing.

The judges have asked all of us entrants to answer a couple of questions about our perception of our entries to the contest, and I thought that I would share my answers here:

What deficiency or opportunity did you see – with respect to published financial data analysis – that drove your idea for an application using XBRL?The relatively high barrier to entry. Building an XBRL-aware application today means that XML parsing code must be written, after which the XBRL validation rules must be encoded and tested. The opportunity I see with Gepsio is one in which the parsing and validation logic is packaged in a ready-to-use assembly that can be picked up and used by others to build application and value-added logic, thereby dramatically lowering the barrier to entry for XBRL developers. It also opens the door for PowerShell users to write “XBRL scripts” without ever encoding low-level XML and XBRL details.

What was the moment you enjoyed most during this competition?I have enjoyed seeing Gepsio used and embraced by others. I put Gepsio up on Codeplex to little fanfare, unsure of what might become of it. To see it used by others – to see the project followed by other users on Codeplex; to see Gepsio mentioned in XBRL answers on the Stack Overflow Web site; to get emails from people using it – all of it makes the effort worthwhile. It’s validation that what Gepsio offers fills a need as yet untapped by the current developer tool space, and that is very gratifying.

The winner of the contest is judged by a panel of judges, although a People’s Choice vote is also being held for another week or so. If you feel compelled to vote for Gepsio in this People’s Choice competition, head on over to the XBRL US Challenge page and click on the “Vote for the Best XBRL App” link in the upper right-hand section titled “XBRL Challenge Judges”.

Good luck to all Challenge participats!