After five years in the pre-alpha stage, it is time to 'mature' this nice little program. Though I still have a few ideas for the one or the other feature, I think main goal now should be to stabilise and complete what is already there. I already started to implement functions to improve usability, and I am working on a better documentation (slowly). Maybe an alpha ComicMaster will get some more trust from possible users and I will get more feedback? Naaaa.......
... making the installation routines better. I really need feedback. Lately I had contact with some 'would like to be' ComicMaster users, which even with the new cmake build system in 0067 had problems to install ComicMaster. Here is an example of one of the problems. Some of my files did not end with a proper newline character. The C standard seems to demand this newline char, but nowadays it does not seem to be a problem when it is missing. As a result this warning has been removed from gcc 4.3 at all. Great, I hated this superfluous warning. Now I hate the removal as much. Why? I usually compile all my programs with -Werror, i.e. treat all warnings as errors and abort compilation. Helps to the keep the code clean. The result? I don't see the warning at all and cannot easily fix the missing newline. For users who still use the old gcc 4.2 it means 'game over'. This problem is easy to fix, but I have to know about it. So if anyone tries to install ComicMaster and fails for what reason ever... be angry, curse me for being an incompetent programmer, but please don't do it silently. Write me about it. ;-)
The transition from qmake to cmake looked very easy. Unfortunately not easy enough not to make a serious mistake. I got the resources wrong, so 0066 war not able to create its config files.
...but a new installer. One of the many weaknesses of ComicMaster is the somewhat problematic installation. Maybe the switch from qmake to cmake will mitigate this a bit. Generally all one has to do to install ComicMaster now is:
make install <-- as root.
I decided to switch from qmake to cmake. I like cmake's 'out-of-source' builds. More and more IDEs support cmake directly. And after kdevelop 3, which shows its age, there is no IDE, which I like and which supports qmake.
I am fully into the open source paradigm 'release early, release often', however, this can be overdone, too. Currently far reaching changes happen to ComicMaster. Not all are fully visible to a cursory glance, e.g. when I started the project certain features where not available in Qt 4. For the experts: QGraphicsView and related classes. So I had to improvise and to compromise. In version 0066 I the really oldest part of ComicMaster will be totally rewritten and relaced using the better suited QGraphicsView/QGraphicsScene classes. The advantage? By itself not much, but in the long run it will allow to add far better on-image controls, or 'soft-scanlations' to non-english comics.... read more
As clearly can be seen, after all this years ComicMaster is still labelled pre-alpha. The reason is simple: I did not know what features I want or need to have it. Currently I am thinking of one or two minor little features. After I implemented those, I'd call ComicMaster feature complete and move on to alpha stage. This means....bug fixing and probably a total redesign of the current user interface. ... read more
...and more. One nice little feature: Add an arbitrary number of folders to a list and search this list for files, which match a certain pattern. So suppose you know you have somewhere on your hd the file 'Superman.999.cbr', but no idea where, you could use 'find / -name ....', or use my new little function without leaving the reader. Also allows the verify the found archives.
Version 0064 is a pure bugfix release. Actually a bit early. I intended to fix the database plugins first. However, when I discovered that in 0063 the resizing of the fileselectorbox was broken, I decided to rush this release. Nobody uses the database plugins, but a broken fileselectorbox is a real show stopper.
For this release binary packages for AMD64 and i386 will be provided. AMD64 is already uploaded. For i386 give me a few days. Currently no access to such a machine.
I had some complaints that my program is 'uninstallable' even for moderately experienced Linux users. I never got a complaint before. ;-)
But ok, I had a friend creating a .deb file for me. It works on my computer. We both are everything but experienced when it comes to building binary packages. So we cannot guarantee that it will work on others but our machines.
Minor new dependency: From version 0063 on I am using the boost lib.
In ComicMaster 0063 a new feature has been added: More than one comic can be loaded at the same time. This cannot be used to read two comics at the same time, there are no two displays. However, it is possible to switch quickly between to comic slots and therefore compare the quality of two releases.
Main goal of this release was to open the design to handle more than one comic at a time. Above use case is only the beginning. More features involving multi comics load will be implemented soon.
I am well aware that pdf comics are something what is usually frowned upon in most digital comic communities. Nevertheless I have been convinced that there might be situations where a comic in pdf format can come handy, e.g. in environments where no proper comic reader can be installed. Therefore a new feature has been added, which allows to export cbr/cbz archives, which contain jpgs to be exported into the pdf format.
...how comes that the latest pack ComicMaster.0060.tar.bz2 was download more than 2000 times, but not a single person told me, that it does not compile?
My email address is cluttered all over my code and hey, I do not bite. :-)
I soon will create a new pack, however, in the mean time it would be easier to use the git snapshot feature, which is provided by the git web-interface here.
With my new ComicMaster development start I decided to drop subversion support in favour of git. For the average user it should not make any difference, but I just love the ability to push into different repositories. This should allow my to have the code here on SF much more up-to-date.
....I finally decided to continue the development of my ComicMaster. The first few releases will focus on minor stuff, bug fixes. I already added a few minor handling improvements, e.g. for the key customisation code. Also I added a few improvements to my fileselector box, which make it easier to handle folders with x000 files in it.
Just a small hint: Use SVN to stay up-to-date. I am a friend of the open source 'release early, release often' credo. And I have no problems to make a new release even for very small upgrades. However, I personally would not like to download every other day a new archive, unpack and compile it. So why not use the SVN repository?
Just check out the source tree once:
svn co https://comicmaster.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/comicmaster comicmaster... read more