Updates to the Development Process (September 2018)

Updates to the Development Process (September 2018)

In this post I speak of the new features the next version of the app will include, as well as the further plans for the development, because in the next months the process may slow down a little bit.

Updates to the Development Process (September 2018)

Updates to the Development Process (September 2018)

Dear all,

it's been about two weeks since the last release, but in the meantime — although I've got a lot to do to prepare the winter term's seminars for university — I've been able to integrate some other things into Zettlr that were on my ToDo list for way too long. With this post, I wanted to give you a quick update on the development process, because I decided the next release, which will be 0.20.0, should take some more time to iron out some of the bugs that have remained due to the quick development process over the past months.

But there are already a lot of new features integrated that some of you, who might be watching the development branch on GitHub, might already know of, because I keep the Changelog always up to date and add new features to the list as soon as they're in the code.

For all of you who don't want to be following each update as it gets integrated into the app, this post should shed some light upon the current status of the app.

Zettlr now remembers many things

Among several bug fixes, I managed to tell the app to remember your choices after restarts. For instance, Zettlr will in the next version remember the selected directory and the opened file and restore them so you don't have to navigate back to where you were at when you closed the app (for instance, after loading in another dictionary). The same applies to the status of the window — if you tend to resize the window because you don't want it to use up all space on your desktop, you don't have to resize it everytime now, because Zettlr remembers the size of the window on restarts.

Updates to the design

I've adapted the design of the app to be even more modern than before. Some of you who were following the app's development throughout the year already know the vast leaps in design that were made, but I've decided it needs another adaption, because the app still doesn't look as modern as most contemporary apps.

This is also the part that will be delaying the next release for some time: I have to re-design the modals completely, because they still breathe the spirit of the previous months. As far as I remember I haven't updated the dialogs in design for more than half a year. I want to integrate this new design into the next version, so I hope you'll give me some more time to do so.

Configuration options

Next is the preferences window. I already mentioned at another place that my aim was to enable you to make use of all LaTeX-options concerning PDF export, which means that I will be integrating some more export options to the PDF preferences in the next version.

Besides this, I also already integrated a way to customise the Zettelkasten functionality. Zettlr now doesn't need you to write IDs using the weird @ID: prefix that was necessary in the past. Also, you can now even customise the ID generator so that it doesn't spit out the current date, if you don't want to use this as your IDs. So whenever you generate a new ID, it will use the pattern you decided to use. This way I hope to make the app more fit for different kinds of workflows.

Next steps

What won't be integrated in the current version are many of the issues open at GitHub, such as the MathJax preview, or the ability to set writing targets, or the support for TextBundle. This is mostly because I want to make the app even more reliable before adding too many new features. All issues on GitHub will definitely be integrated, but for the next version I wanted to focus on basics that needed to be integrated at all costs (especially concerning the Zettelkasten functionality, because this is one of the major hindrances for Zettlr to be a good competitor on the Open Source market).

In the version that follows on this extremely stable one there will be a lot of these issues currently open on GitHub so that the issue list can be reduced once again, so please do not hesitate to suggest new functionality!

… but what about the Quicklooks?

One thing you might've noticed is that I have neglected the Quicklook windows for a long time now. This is mainly because I don't use them that often, and for these uses they are still enough. But of course it is not nice that the default CodeMirror find-dialog appears if you want to find something in your files. Also it begins to annoy me that Quicklook windows are only possible inside the main window. Especially if you have multi-monitor setups it simply doesn't make sense that you cannot free the Quicklook windows from their constraints. This is also something that's on my agenda and will be done in the future. But I think that some of the issues on GitHub definitely have priority.

So far on the updates to the app. I hope that you still enjoy using the app and forgive me that the next release will have some more delay, because I want to switch from hammering new features into the app at fast speed towards a reliable and stable approach!

So far, have a nice begin of autumn, and make sure to follow me on Twitter if you want to stay really up to date, because I tend to drop some tweets after some hours of coding.

Stay tuned!