Saturday, April 26, 2008

First phase of tool committed

Here it is... The first part of the code for my new "eraser tool" for Inkscape is in trunk now. I've been working on the use cases probably more than the code even. However this is now a starting point for people to look at and start complaining. :-) This first part only adds in the functionality to cut away parts of objects you have selected. It won't do anything if you don't have something selected, and it won't do anything if the first mode is selected (the sub-toolbar has toggles for the two modes). However it does commit all the infrastructure changes including the new icons, new drawing context, verbs, switching, etc. I had been wanting to get that in first to shake down bugs in that support work. Moving forward I'll implement the "touch-delete" mode, and support for working when no selection is made. Probably a few more enhancements will come in as people try it out and give some feedback. I'm most excited about the pending "touch-delete", since it has a feel that strikes me as very "vector" and can differentiate the usage from raster drawing packages.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Freedom from size tyranny

Inkscape now has tweaked toolbar size preferences. Why is this? Well the main thing is that it makes the UI more usable on Ubuntu again. There have been some ongoing issues with size, many of which are due to the use of custom toolbars from before GTK+ had stock ones. A while back I added some options to use 'secondary toolbar' size for the main tools on the left (and the top bar also), but for some users that did not help. Between Inkscape 0.46 being released and me recently getting a laptop with a very small screen (thanks Dice and LugRadio Live), I've been getting more done on that front. After seeing more bug report activity on it, especially from people running on fixed 1024x768 monitors, I tracked down a bit more. The main issue is that while Inkscape is properly respecting the user's GTK+ theme for sizes of icons, the people setting those themes up for Ubuntu, among others, had chosen to set the two toolbar icons sizes to the same. So switching from using the primary size to the secondary size did nothing to help, as it just switched from 24x24 to 24x24. So on the one hand the theme designers are imposing their idea of how things will be pretty, but on the other we were facing imposing our idea on what would make things more functional. Either way seems bad. So after splitting this specific issue to its own bug (#221676), I settled in and added enough preferences so that now the end user can decide what they want to do, and on a per-platform basis. The change reduced the minimum size from the old 652x735 to now be 600x583, just over a 20% reduction in vertical size required. The big gain there is that it should no longer be pushing things for Ubuntu users on lower-res LCD monitors. Additionally now when I flip over from OS X to Linux, I'll be able to keep the smaller icons showing up that make my workflow go faster. Of course that does tend to mess with the crispness of some of the icons... but if people care about that they can just set the sizes back. In the long run we have plans to address that, but for now at least the work-arounds should be sufficient.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

LugRadio Live is on

LugRadio Live USA has opened, and the first day is done. All the prep didn't come of quite as we wanted, but things still worked out well. Inkscape got a nice placement near the front, right next to OpenSuSE (who has really nice Banshee shirts). The event is shaping up to be very good, and had many different people come by the booth. Early on Stuart Langridge stopped and gave hearty thanks to all you who make Inkscape possible. He'd picked it up and whipped up a graphic and banner for the event (blogged under "Coming to America" at the LugRadio Live blog). Overall things are better than I'd expected. Though the attendance might be smaller that some shows, the people attending seem very savvy. Then again, we also have a lot more people basically coming by to say Inkscape rocks. There were a few people teaching or knowing of people teaching it, and looking for more materials. A there were few people from different projects I got to talk to, including Behdad of Cairo. Several people had things we might want to look at adding or enhancing. Hopefully we'll get the details coming from them. For example, Miguel de Icaza came by with a few things he got from recently seeing some artists in action, and it struck me as possibly something to tie in with animation and possibly the script Ed Halley was recently doing. I've been taking notes, and will get some details out to the mailing list this coming week. More later...

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

What's This?

Interesting... so what's this that is showing up in my tools bar on the left, making Inkscape suck up even more vertical space? Interesting... could it be something I'm coding, but haven't quite finished due to prep for LugRadio Live USA? Could be.

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