Monday, 23 July 2012

EnCharter: Not Yet A Roadmap

So, the other day saw a flurry of EnCharter related activity.

I put out three flavours of version 0.0.2 (0.0.1 was a mac-only version that just didnae work, thanks to a cross compiling error) which I packaged up using the immensely helpful PyInstaller (Windows and Linux) and Py2App (Mac). Here's what's next.

Currently Broken:

  • Unresolved issue on Mac 10.5.8 makes the whole thing fail
Currently Working But Not Yet Ideal:
  • Maximum width of a pattern that will export correctly to pdf: 22 boxes. This means I should probably allow you access to the full print to pdf controls so you can choose landscape/portrait and scaling.
  • The evaluation text box doesn't fit in all situations, but displays correctly
  • Darned low res jaggy fonts.
Fixed for the next version already:
  • So, Mac users who got the thing to run may have been bemused by the total lack of menus. It turns out that Mac menus are a special case and need an additional setting. I fixed it, they'll be working again in v0.0.3.
  • There's an option to quit in the File menu.

Suggested Features:
  • Colourwork support (I can make it support colourwork, but I think that doing a separate program for that kind of thing would work better. Highlighting particular stitches in particular colours could be a good thing to include, though)
  • Double decreases (These are going in soon)
  • Non-pdf export. Would vector or non-vector graphics be favoured by designers? I would choose vector ones because I assume that the whole thing is going to be compiled into a pdf at some point, but I could be wrong about the way that works.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Thursday, 19 July 2012

EnCharter Alpha

I've got to the point where there's enough to EnCharter that it's worth giving it to people to play with.

Packaging the program as single executable files is an absolute pain, though, so at the moment there's only the mac version available for people to play with. I suppose the individual bits and bobs of python files that I'm making it from can be made available, but I'm not sure I want to put you through that.

So, let me know if you want a go on the mac version.

The windows version is next.

ETA: If you'd like to have a go with the mac alpha, there's a version available here.

Here's the 'need to know' list for the alpha:

  • It may not run at all. It appears to be very difficult to get a program built using PySide to cleanly export as a single executable file. However, I'm very, very interested if you download the program and it fails to run - email the error message to 
  • This is for testing the basic functionality of placing stitches in a grid. At the moment, we're only on stitches that take up one grid square. Complicated Estonian lace and cable stitches are something I hope to handle in the near future, though.
  • The evaluation button should provide accurate results unless you've incorporated blank stitches in your pattern. Blank stitches are another component that means totally reworking the handling of the pattern storage.
  • Things that should work:
    • navigating and placing stitches with the mouse and the keyboard
    • save and load files
    • export to pdf 
    • clear all should clear the grid and restart with a 10 x 10 grid
    • resizing the grid outside the main window should give you scroll bars
    • resizing the main window should proportionally resize the contents
    • the about box should contain a message 
  • Known issues:
    • the print options aren't connected to anything yet 
    • the text on exported pdf charts is very jaggy
  • Future features:
    • Export as written instructions for the chart-phobic
    • Export with an automatic legend showing the meaning of stitch symbols used in a chart.
    • Custom stitches?
    • Moving towards a 'stitch palette' idea where you choose the stitches in the clickable order from a wider selection. It'll make sense later, you'll see.
ETA2: Yes, version 0.0.1 on the mac didn't actually work. But it's fixed now and v0.0.2 is now sitting in the directory as linked above.
There's also a Linux version in the same place now.

Known issue on the mac: The menu bar isn't populated correctly, preventing you from accessing such useful features as 'save' 'load' and 'clear all'.

ETA3: Windows version now available here.! PyInstaller is absolutely cracking for making apps and exe files out of python things. Even I can do it!