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Happy birthday, 0.22
by xavier on 13/03/2012 at 21:43:58
This is quite a shameful birthday. Two years ago we were releasing the 0.22 version of QElectroTech. Of course, this means two years without the urgent need to release a 0.23 version to fix a major problem in our current stable version. But this means a two-years gap without a release. This has also meant relatively long periods with no news. Still, the project is alive: new commits appear in our 0.3 branch (alas unmonitored by some tools like Ohloh), builds for Windows and Debian are regularly produced, new threads pop in the forum, new translators apply to translate the application...

The next stable version (0.3) has been delayed several times, due to incompleteness compared to the always-moving roadmap, and lack of time on my own. The recent improvements were not judged sufficient to tag the 0.3 version right now: the title block template system still needs a bit of polishing, texts-related improvements have to be fully tested again, printing has to be checked against regressions and recently reported problems, etc. However, no major feature shall be added to the current 0.3 branch in order to get a release-compatible version of QElectroTech as soon as possible. Stay tuned ; - )
Drolumadaires are one-hump blowtorches.
by xavier on 24/02/2012 at 07:26:45

Once again, our talent helped us pulverize all of our previous records with a total of 137 days without any news nor any signs of life... apart from the forum, bugtracker and Subversion repository, since we have actually been quite productive : - )
Let's begin with some figures:
  • 157 commits;
  • the elements collection now contains 1258 elements within 202 categories
  • The "diff" between the C++ sources at the time of the last news and the sources now is 18032 lines-long.

Yes, 18000 lines! Ok, there is the Unified Diff context. And the copyright-change-that-occurs-on-each-new-year too. But it mainly includes the long-waited WYSIWYG title block template editor:


... along with the following features:
  • access to editors through the systray menu
  • new system and user wide collections dedicated to title block templates
  • ability to open/save a template from/to a regular file
  • ability to apply a template by drag'n drop
  • automatic integration into the parent project when dropping a template onto a diagram
  • ability to clean unused templates within a project
  • etc.

Basically, title block templates are managed exactly like elements : - ) There is still some work to be done, but it is already pretty usable.

The "elements panel" (which we could rename to "everything you may access panel") was also refactored to make the creation of tree-based widgets easier. The main consequences for end users are:
  • a sensible speedup of the element editor's Open/Save dialogs (which were not using the SQLite cache mentioned in the previous news);
  • after having filtered the panel, the tree returns to its initial state instead of keeping almost every item expanded.

Last but not least, a new contributor named Mohamed Souabni began translating the application in arabic, bringing the need to check and fix existing layouts to ensure the application remains consistent in a Right-to-Left fashion:


By the way: the topic will hardly make sense for anyone on Earth.
Faster, you damned panel!
by xavier on 09/10/2011 at 18:57:18

Once again, we managed to be mute during two months. But we have not been inactive since the latest news:
  • Our elements collection now contains 1123 elements within 179 categories.
  • A few improvements and bugfixes in the elements panel or when opening files.
  • Pressing F2 now allows to quickly change the colour of a conductor.
  • The elements panel now displays the folio index right before its title.
  • We implemented a SQLite-based cache to speed up the elements panel loading.
  • We also stopped loading the whole collection in memory, therefore speeding up the start time and sparing a lot of memory, especially when the SQLite cache is filled.

The elements repository is concerned too:
  • a bug in the generation of ZIP archives has been fixed
  • from now on, the elements collection as it can be found in our 0.3 branche will be synced to the "collection_officielle" directory every hour.

See you!
New Debian repository (oh, also a summary of our hibernation)
by xavier on 14/08/2011 at 14:21:28

It's been a long time since our latest news, so here is a loose summary of what you missed:
  • The Debian repository for those of you who want the latest builds is now
  • QElectroTech is now available in Italian, thanks to Alessandro Conti.
  • Czech and Polish translations are actively maintained by Pavel and Pawel.
  • Laurent's work now gives us a collection of 1014 electrical elements within 171 categories.
  • All improvements made in the trunk have been merged into our 0.3 branch; all work done on QElectroTech now takes place in this branch.
  • A progress bar has been added to show the elements panel (re)loading progress. On long-term, a cache shall be implemented to get rid of those annoying wait times.
  • Title block templates now can be internationalized -- note this required changes in the previously-defined format, thus leading to very first, old templates not being well handled anymore.
  • Work on the title block template editor has begun but is progressing slowly due to professionnal constraints. Note no code has been commited yet since what you can see below is more of an experimental playground in terms of code and ergonomy.
(sorry, French screenshot, ...)

As usual, we'd like to remember our project is still looking for C++/Qt developers having free time and wishing to contribute to QElectroTech : )
Improvements on title block customization
by xavier on 09/01/2011 at 16:37:35

Work on customized title blocks continues with the introduction today of customized name/value pairs that may be used by title block templates. Demonstration:

1 - We start with a custom title block template, having a field whose label is "Status" and value is "%status":

2 - We edit the diagram properties and use that new tab to associate the "status" variable name with a value specific to the current diagram (here, "draft"):
Note that you can store here various name/value pairs, even if they are not used by the current title block template. They are just data related to this diagram -- you may display them in the future using another title block template.

3 - Finally, we apply these settings and our title block is immediately updated:

Next steps imply creating a user-friendly template editor. The current one is still aimed at very advanced users (you have to edit XML code directly), although an "Integrate a logo" button has been added for convenience.

See you soon !

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