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May 18, 2007

Yet another test post!

This is yet another attempt to test out posting to publish with MT and QTM. If you want to know about QTM, see here

October 29, 2006

More Qt 4.2 progress

It's been a long while since I last made an update release of QTM. What happened was that I was working on fixing a crash bug which turned out to be a much simpler matter than I had originally thought (that I was continually deleting the HTTP object when there was no need to). Then I got side-tracked, as the Qt 4.2 release candidate came out, with its new system tray icon class being a particularly attractive feature. Instead of doing the logical thing and releasing a version of QTM with the crash bug fixed, I decided to explore the STI feature.

I have now implemented a functional system tray icon. The STI works on any system which actually has a system tray, namely KDE, GNOME, IceWM, Windows and the Mac. There are, however, irritating glitches on all platforms. On KDE and, to a lesser extent, GNOME, right-clicking on the icon does not guarantee bringing up the QTM menu; it may bring up the environment's system tray menu instead. You may have to left-click a couple of times before you get QTM's own menu. On the Mac, when starting the app and only displaying the icon, as opposed to a new entry as well, it leaves you with an empty menu bar rather than simply handing back control to whatever you were running before; on the Mac and Windows, closing down from the STI does not always work as it should.

What I will probably do is release a version 0.3.10 as a stable release with the STI isolated. One Qt 4.2 feature which will be in 0.3.10 is a better font selection dialog, integrated into the main preferences window, which uses the new Qt font selector. The program will be structured so that the old preferences dialog will load instead on Qt 4.1.

And here are some screenshots, starting with the new, improved preferences window (so far only implemented for Qt 4.2):

qtm-sti-menu1.png

September 8, 2006

QTM ... with Qt 4.2

Trolltech has just put out the first release candidate of Qt 4.2, and naturally as a Qt 4 developer I was eager to get my hands on it, for among other reasons to see what it would look like with the new Cleanlooks theme, derived from GNOME's Clearlooks and, like Qt's new support for GLib, intended to make Qt apps blend in on the GNOME desktop. Anyway, here's a snapshot:

QTM screenshot with the Cleanlooks theme></img></p>

<p>There are a number of bugs in the theme (remember, it's not an official release) - among them that it sometimes (but not always) displays toolbar items wrong when they are of different heights - instead of being in a straight line along the middle, they are straight along the top.  There is another issue, which isn't necessarily a bug, which is that on monitors like mine with a slight tinge - in my case, a Dell 1905FP with a noticeable pinkish tinge - the menu bar looks a completely different colour to the toolbar: a bluish grey and a light pink, respectively.  Admittedly this is a monitor fault, but it's common in lower-end TFT monitors.  Perhaps theme designers might consider this when they choose their colour schemes?</p>

                              
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September 3, 2006

QTM changes build system

QTM has now jumped on the CMake bandwagon, and a new version of the source bundle has been uploaded to SourceForge and KDE Apps which includes a CMake project file as well as the old QMake one. I don't intend to get rid of the QMake version yet; for one thing, it's still useful in preparing the Mac application bundle which doesn't require installing; it just needs dragging to the Applications folder, which is not the case on any other OS. This was built with the help of Jacek at Qt Centre, who wrote this guide at the Qt Centre Wiki to building Qt 4 programs with CMake. Note that the CMake project file example at qtnode does not work; I tried it myself and it didn't make it past the configure stage.

To build and install, you need to type "cmake ." from the directory where the source files are (note the dot, denoting the current directory). Then you type "make" and then, as root or with sudo, "make install" (without the quotes in each case). Note that Makefiles built with CMake give a concise, pretty and colourful output as standard, quite unlike the (to most users) incomprehensible list of commands the old Makefiles made.

You need CMake version 2.4.3 or 2.4.1; version 2.4.2 is not reliable. It can be obtained from this page on the CMake homepage, or (and preferably) as a binary from a repository specific to your OS. Note that Ubuntu Dapper has a 2.2 version which is not suitable for this purpose.

February 8, 2006

Save implemented

Yesterday and today, I finally got the "save" functionality implemented, having adapted it from the old CVS code (catkin-0.3 on the CVS browser). Now, the only thing left to do is implement the open functionality, which shouldn't take that long, and when that's done, 0.3 release time is here!

January 13, 2006

First XML-RPC function implemented

I've finally managed to get the first XML-RPC function in QTM working: populating the list of blogs from which the user is to select which blog to post his entry to. This was actually a learning exercise for me, as I had never written any code before which involved parsing XML via either SAX or DOM (this used the SAX classes in the Qt XML module). Anyway, now that this has been done, populating the category list and actually implementing basic posting functionality - and getting a release out - shouldn't be too difficult.

July 5, 2004

Recent developments

As you will probably tell not much has happened on the Catkin blog front since last Wednesday. This certainly can't be said for the application however - new features are being added hour by hour. I put out another sub-point release today (0.1.5) and more features are in the CVS. Qt's text editor API is brilliant - you can add so many simple features to an editor with just a couple of lines of code. It is now possible to add bold and italic tags to an entry (as with the editor which was on the Blogger website the last time I used it), HTML links (and add the http:// on to the front of an address just at the click of a button), image tags, and paragraphs. There is also a facility to paste a link from the clipboard into an entry.

What's still to do before the 0.2 release is to include a text-field in the toolbar, to allow the user to access sub-blogs without constantly using the Preferences dialog box. Also, I'd like to include multiple blog profiles, so that you can store details about more than one blog and switch between them. That may or may not be for 0.2 - I don't think so.

June 26, 2004

Doh!

Just managed to get the Prefs dialog working ... funny how what look like intractable problems can come from just missing out one simple thing? In this case, it was just the lack of a simple #include line in order to set and access the contents of a text box in a dialog ...

First post on Catkin development blog

This is the first time in the weeks that I'm supposed to have been working on this application that I've sat down and done any sustained work on it. Up until now I've been mostly tinkering with Qt Designer, designing things like the preferences dialog box, sorting out the signals and slots etc. This seems to have been mostly sorted out now. I have a habit of taking my laptop up to the old reading room at the British Museum to combine a day up town with the project. This is looking increasingly infeasible as the laptop is taking its weight (literally) on my back, especially with my trusty Qt book (Blanchette & Summerfield, C++ GUI Programming with Qt3, released by Prentice Hall earlier this year).

Things I did today:

  • Writing of FTP & local directory settings to QSettings
  • Worked on extracting data from the Prefs dialog (hey, it's supposed to say this is a novice developer's blog ...)
  • Fixed a few layout problems with the dialog in Qt designer

Things still to do:

  • Extracting the data from the prefs dialog
  • Selecting the editor font (this is going to be left until last, because it's a prettification thing and doesn't affect usability)
  • The whole FTP thing (the initial version will be a compose & submit program, not a management app).