Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Enhancing tablet support

For some time I have been wanting to help with tablet support in Inkscape. Things have finally come together enough for me to get started. We've had at least one RFE on this for a while (bug #171265) The first step of this is in, and now has a preference setting to enable switching the Inkscape tool as different devices are used on the tablet (pen tip, eraser, mouse, etc.) The implementation will probably need a bit of testing and refinement, but it should be ready for users to check out. The coding is not that difficult; most of the real effort is with figuring out the behavior that needs to happen. At the moment the tool switched to is always the same for the same tool, but very shortly it will remember the last tool used. In the long run I'll probably be replacing our use of GdkInputDialog to provide easier configuration. However, the main thing missing is how different tablet setups are configured. Multiple pens, multiple tablets, non-Wacom tablets, etc. That's where feedback from end-users and testers really comes in handy.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Color Palette tweaks for Inkscape 0.46

Here's a little tweak I got in at the last minute for the next version of Inkscape. Bulia had been annoyed by a few aspects of the palette there at the bottom of the UI. After talking some things over with him this past week I realized that the first bit of his issues could be addressed by adding an option to change the color swatches from square to some user-specified shape instead. The popup menu that allows choosing size, etc. now has a submenu to go thinner or wider. Also he brought up some information on how the sizes ("tiny", "small", etc.) were being calculated, so I was able to fix a bug with that. (Prior to this things would behave as desired on my systems, but not for others if their current theme had different behavior). And then the final bit was to tune the code a bit so that when the palette fits on the UI all at once the space for the scrollbar would no longer be used. The end result is what you see here. You can now use a palette with over 400 colors and have it all visible at once. Of course, that does get a little hard to click on, so you can bring things up a little larger. This window is currently the narrowest that 0.46 goes on my system, and the palette is the Inkscape default one, which has around 431 swaches. It's interesting how just combining a few minor tweaks can result in nice bumps in options and usability.

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Hello World

After avoiding it for many years, I finally gave in and set up a blog. I'll mainly be focusing on issues related to Open Source software, and especially Inkscape (the main project I contribute to). More soon...

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