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Some bad news...
by xavier on 20/03/2013 at 21:45:33

First, as usual, a short summary of the work accomplished since the previous news:
  • Our elements collection now provides 1642 elements within 251 categories
  • Our translators worked hard (you can follow statistics on ) so we can announce that, beyond the application itself, the elements collection will be fully (or mostly) translated to the following languages: English, French, Czech, Polish, Italian, and probably Arabic too.
  • The "zoom content" action was added to the diagram editor
  • Symbols drawn on singleline conductors now feature a "PEN" option, which enables users to merge neutral and ground symbols.
  • Also, conductors could be rendered with either a solid or dashed line; a third style was added: dashdotted line.
  • A handy "Set current date" button was added to the diagram properties dialog
  • The elements panel was slightly refined: it does not hang the application anymore, it gets refreshed in some specific cases and its context menu now features extra actions to interact with real files behind the displayed tree
  • We also added actions in the context menu of selected items so they can be easily edited.
  • One of the biggest technical change is that we began implementing what we call a "decorator" for the element editor, i.e. the ability to have a shiny rectangle around the selected primitives that lets you move and resize them in a friendly way. Unfortunately, it is still riddled with bugs at the moment and it may even not appear in the next release due to the second part of this news item.

As usual, one may notice that it was a long time since the previous news. This bad habit is mainly due to QElectroTech not being my main occupation at all. And, today, this is going to go a bit further, because I, Xavier, main developer of the QElectroTech project, have decided to definitely stop working on it. I first announced (and explained) it via a mail sent to our internal mailing list, which you can read here: English version, French version.
This is of course no good news for you users since "main developer" was actually meaning "single really involved developer".
In concrete terms, this means that the remaining members of the project (contributors to the elements collection, casual developers, translators) will have to organize in order to take over the whole project. To this end, I can announce right now that the project is officially looking for one to several C++/Qt developers, able to dive in the existing code, grasp its abilities and limits, and keep the adventure going.
Until then, a noticeable slowdown is to be expected, especially regarding the release of the long-waited 0.3 version.
0.3 beta: work in progress
by xavier on 05/08/2012 at 12:38:45

Here is a short summary of the work accomplished since the release of the 0.3 alpha version:
  • Slightly changed the way the SQLite-based elements cache works to avoid problems with distributions packages.
  • Dropping a file(.qet, .elmt, .titleblock, ...) onto a main window now opens that file.
  • Fixed text position bugs that occurred when changing font size or dropping elements onto diagrams. This is the very kind of bugs that makes us release alphas, betas, etc.
  • Fixed a bug related to application configuration data being saved to project files.
  • Fixed a few UI consistency problems.
  • Added a "+" button to add a new diagram to an edited project.
  • Project tabs now have a close button.
  • Reworked the project properties dialog. It now enables users to set project-wide variables/properties, which can of course be used in title block templates. In case you wonder, same-name diagram-wide properties override their project-wide counterparts.
  • Reworked the way file saving works: the save button now saves all diagrams. Attempts to close the project will pop up a dialog showing all modified diagrams instead of asking many questions in a row. The internal working has also been slightly changed, so that QElectroTech will not systematically rewrite an opened file anymore.
  • We also began working on printing issues: page setup parameters are now saved in the application configuration for each used printer.

While the TODO list for the 0.3 beta version keeps shrinking, we do not have any planned date for its release yet. Stay tuned : - )
QElectroTech v0.3 alpha released
by xavier on 13/05/2012 at 00:48:55

Here we are, 26 months after 0.22, releasing the 0.3 version. Oh, just an alpha to start out: we made enough changes to deserve a test period. So, feel free to download this version, and do not hesitate to report any bug you would encounter.

A few links:

QElectroTech needs you
by xavier on 03/05/2012 at 21:19:54

Today, the QElectroTech project would like to sum up its needs in terms of contributors. We are currently looking for:

A translation manager, i.e. someone who would welcome new translators, teach them how to contribute, help them when they encounter difficulties, ensure they are still active, etc. Required skills:
  • Being able to read and write correctly in English; French is appreciated
  • Knowledge of Subversion (at least enough to teach it)
  • Knowledge of subtleties inherent to text files (encoding, carriage returns, BOM, etc.) -- this can be taught in a few hours though.
  • Availability and patience

A native English translator: in order to check every English sentence produced by the project, be it part of translations, news or documents, we need someone whose native language is English and could therefore be authoritative about "the right way to say it". Required skills:
  • Being born in the right place I guess?
  • Electrical knowledge is an asset

Documentation writers: while we try to make the software as intuitive as possible, end users may appreciate relying on a well-written documentation. Our current status regarding this point is: chaotic. Of course, writing documentation is not enough: we are looking for people interested into writing, maintaining and updating documentation. Required skills:
  • Pedagogy
  • Good sense of writing and spelling
  • Self-organization

Formal testers: we currently have no procedure (be it manual or automated) to test all aspects of our application. Since it is a standard GUI application, all known-and-popular techniques used in the web development world do not apply; we do not have any tool or methodology in mind, so volunteers would be free to organize the way they want.

C++/Qt developers: well, this one is pretty simple: if you feel like "Hmm, I could change this or that in this software, I'd just have to hack this part of the code" when trying QElectroTech, then you are certainly a good candidate. Required skills:
  • Subversion (sorry Git-fanboys... you can still use git-svn)
  • C++: don't be afraid, you don't have to be an expert at structures sizes, padding, virtual tables, private inheritance, reinterpret_cast, templates, mainly because...
  • Qt: makes a lot of things easier.

A MacOS packager/tester/maybe-developer: I stopped counting people who applied for this position; nevertheless, we are still looking for an active, available and efficient MacOS packager. Required skills:
  • Living in the Apple world, I guess?
  • Being able to regularly produce an usable and consistent MacOS package
  • Programming skills are an asset

Let's finish with some common requirements: some projects live through their mailing lists, other live through real-life meetings, audio and video conferences, ... the QElectroTech project lives on its IRC channel. Therefore, anyone who wants to seriously contribute to the project is supposed to be present as much as possible on the IRC channel. It is not as difficult as it sounds: it mainly implies reading what happened while you were away.

That's it. You may apply by sending an informal mail to Stay tuned, we should have interesting news in the next weeks : - )
Electricity sucks, let's play guitar instead!
by xavier on 01/04/2012 at 12:24:36

Today is an important day. Today, the QElectroTech team is pleased to announce the whole project will be renamed to QMusicArt and become a music partition editor. Indeed, thanks to many external contributions, we found out that QElectroTech could be used for non-electrotechnic purposes, ranging from hydraulic to network engineering, without forgetting music. The QElectroTech team members unanimously decided to focus on the musical domain because:
  • it's cool
  • musicians always get all the chicks
  • err... it's cool, y'know?
  • have we mentioned the chicks yet?

By the way, we intend to release QMusicArt much more often we did for QElectroTech: we expect at least one stable release per month !

Well, whatever, we let you appreciate the power of QElectroTech in the music kingdom:
Thanks to Pawel for lending us his latest piece of art ;)

Edit: it was, of course, our April's fool : - )

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