My apologies for not posting lately. I’ve been “crunching” to get things finished and some personal, real-life stuff has been getting in the way. For instance my air-conditioning broke a couple of weeks ago and we visited Melbourne for a few days, my wife has been ill and my son is due to have a major operation and I’m trying to prepare for Uni. Isn’t life fun sometimes?
It’s still going to be another fortnight before we can get a new air-con system installed and it’s currently 32C (90F) at 7.30am where I live with 80% humidity. It’s almost impossible to get anything done (my brain feels like a boil in the bag meal) and we’ve had to ship the kids off to their grandparents. We are having portable air-con units delivered this morning so hopefully they’ll help, I might even be able to sleep at night.
Anyway onto QWv3. In essence, the major stuff is now done and it’s nearly ready for an alpha release. There are still a number of features missing, for instance anything to do with Contacts and Editor Projects and the Warm-up Project Viewer still needs to be done. But the major stuff is finished.
I have reworked Assets. Assets now look something like this:
I’ve gotten rid of the old “select a layout” way of doing things. Instead, users can now add columns to the layout. Each column can have a title (or not) and fields and columns can be dragged-n-dropped to fit the users needs. I’ve removed the dedicated column that held the Links and Documents and instead made those fields that users can have displayed or not, it’ll be their choice.
I’ve added per-field editing so it you want to change the Occupation field just double click on the label (or right click and select edit). You can also hide the field labels and edit all the fields in a column. Finally you can configure each field directly and add new fields easily.
There are still some details to work out but overall I’m happy with the changes, there is a slight loss of flexibility with the removal of the layout that puts the Asset description above the fields but I think this is better and it certainly fits more with how I initially wanted Assets to be.
The Idea Board has been implemented but I haven’t changed the functionality, it stays the same as it always was.
Full Screen Mode
Full Screen Mode is nearly finished. In contrast to the current QW, full screen mode for v3 will make use of the full screen capabilities of JavaFX. This brings a couple of benefits, first the user won’t have to contend with multiple windows when they enter full screen mode and they can enter full screen mode on any monitor/display they want. Previously full screen mode was tied to the primary display.
First Use Wizard
Finally, ironically, I’ve done the first use wizard, which is the wizard that new users see when they first use QW. I’ve made some improvements to it, most notably adding download indicators that appear when downloading UI language and spellcheck files.
Getting to the finish line
Will all that said there is still quite a bit to do to get QWv3 to a point where I can release it to others. Some things are minor and purely visual, some are major and need some serious attention. For instance it’s currently taking around 2-3s for the Idea Board to display and I don’t know why. It’s taking around 4-5s to restore tabs when a project is first viewed (depending upon the number of tabs open), and I don’t know why. Entering full screen mode with a chapter can take multiple seconds and I don’t know why. RichTextFX still seems a little buggy at times and will throw weird errors. The Achievements panel can take multiple seconds to appear and I don’t know why. The background image selector can take multiple seconds to appear and I don’t know why. All these performance issues I still need to solve. I also need to write my own splitpane layout for Assets since the JavaFX SplitPane sucks (yeah I said it), the JavaFX SplitPane does not like having items removed from it and the way it handles initial sizes is just bizarre and stupid. I’ve already had to create my own splitpane layout for the Project Viewer since it was taking multiple seconds to display a sidebar.
Once I’ve worked these issues out (and if I can) then QW will be ready for other people to use. I plan to have alpha versions available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Before that though I need to test out v3 on Mac and Linux to make sure that the mouse event handling is working properly. All 3 platforms trigger mouse events slightly differently (or at least they used to) and I need to make sure that JavaFX is hiding those differences away from my code.
It’s now 8.30am and the temperature is 33C (91F), the humidity is 70% though so I suppose that’s a win?