Getting closer to a final release now.
My thanks to everyone who has tried out the beta and made comments, they have been very useful. I’ve actually been surprised at how few error messages I’ve received for the beta.
I intend to release a new version of the beta with fixes and new features soon. On that note…
I’ve now just about finished the Language Strings Editor. This is the built-in tool that people can use to create a translation of the user interface text that QW uses. You can see the window below.
Note: there are still a few things I need to iron out but it’s 98% working.
Night Mode – a cascade of new features
Night mode is probably the most requested feature I’ve had in recent years. I tend to get a “my eyes are burning at night” message from at least one person a week. This is understandable, the high contrast would be a problem in a darkened room, although I can heartily recommend f.lux (regardless of whether you use QW) which will reduce the color “temperature” of your computer screen at night. It essentially removes a lot of the blue light coming from your display and makes it more red, it stops a lot of the glare and the type of light that can keep you awake at night.
Anyway, while Night Mode is done there are still some integration issues that need to be addressed. Firstly, the chapter editor is not Night Mode aware, it uses its own color scheme and takes no notice of the stylesheet (that governs how the rest of QW looks). This allows you to have combinations of text and background colors that suit you that don’t bleed into the rest of the interface.
Currently, there are two sets of these chapter editor colors, one set for normal windowed mode and another set for full screen mode.
With the introduction of Night Mode I need to now add in two new sets, normal/night mode and full screen/night mode. I also need to make the text properties sidebar Night Mode aware, I’ve added some explanatory text to the sidebar to let the user know what’s going on. However, I haven’t added this awareness yet, because…
Turning Night Mode on and off manually via the Config menu is annoying and painful, while it’s only two clicks, you do have to move the mouse down the menu to find the Night Mode menu item. Navigating menus is always time consuming and annoying so I wanted to add a new control on the header to switch Night Mode on and off in a single click.
However… the header controls space is getting a little crowded, there are already 5 buttons up there by default and putting a Night Mode button on there would bloat it even more. Worse still, the button may not be used by many users, some people may not ever use QW at night. In full screen mode the problem is even worse, with 8 controls (including the time) being shown as a default.
So… I’ve added the ability to configure what controls are visible on the header. This is a feature I toyed with months ago but shelved due to time constraints. I’ve now added it back in and fleshed it out.
But… given that the user can now configure the header controls I needed to add more controls that they might want to use. For example, when first using QW you might want to have a help button on the header that takes you to the User Guide, or, if you are obsessed with stats and targets you might want to have buttons that let you view them quickly. And of course you might want to tinker with the order of the controls until you find a set up that fits you.
Thus, I give you…
So, if the mood takes you, you can go crazy.
The point here is to give you choices and to let you tailor the interface to how you want to work. The header can be configured at any time, just right click on any of the controls and select “Configure”.
Anyway, that’s the story of how a new feature has led to a cascade of new features being added, and I haven’t even done the new chapter editor colors for night mode yet!
Finally, I am also adding a setting in the Options panel that will let you enable night mode automatically at certain times of the day. Unlike f.lux however I won’t be trying to determine the user’s local sunset/sunrise times! A flat, time of day will have to do.