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Monday, May 28, 2007

ComicRack v 0.9.50 released

52 weeks, 50 releases... that's what i call agile development :)

This is just a follow up, as i forgot to update some keyboard shortcuts.

Build 0.9.50:
  • BUG: Forgot some keyboard shortcuts in context menus and bars

ComicRack v 0.9.49 released

Finally some workspace management.
So no more fiddling to get ComicRack right for your current operation mode (library browsing, two page reading etc.). But this feature broke the current storing of the GUI settings, so ComicRack will start with the defaults after this install.

I also changed all the global keyboard shortcuts to make them easier, more consistent and to reduce the 3-key monsters.

For the details, as always the LIST OF CHANGES :)

Build 0.9.49:
  • NEW: Workspace management
  • NEW: Export current page image to various formats
  • NEW: Option to autohide Magnifier when mouse is near border (default is on)
  • CHANGE: Sort folders in folder view
  • CHANGE: ZIP provider buffer size to 128KB
  • CHANGE: Lock toolbar now also locks the open files tab
  • CHANGE: Added keyboard shortcuts for the open files
  • CHANGE: Changing the Browser tab will correctly set the focus to the list
  • CHANGE: reassignment of all the general key shortcuts to avoid 3-key combinations
  • CHANGE: Open Previous/Next eComic from list now compensates for reverse sorting order
  • BUG: Blurred drawing of still loading pages broken (introduced in 0.9.48)
  • BUG: Wrong remove dialog in the main library list (introduced in 0.9.48)
  • BUG: When closing Browser, focus was not moved to the Reader
  • BUG: The "Show..." commands in "Browse" could brake the GUI (nobody using them?)
  • BUG: Viewer kept focus even when browser docking was "Fill"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happy Birthday ComicRack

One Year ago I posted the first "official" version of ComicRack.

For this occasion i dived again into the depths of my version control system and pulled out this very 0.9.0 release :). If you like to see what a difference one year can make, download it and unzip it into a folder of your liking. It will not interfere with your current ComicRack release.

Actually the whole ComicRack story started a lot earlier, as you can read here (the download link in this post is dead by now, but you can download the first ComicRack version here).

When you compare the 0.9.0 version with the current one, there are some striking differences: the very clumsy user interface (the browser, the dialogs) or the slow page turning speed as there was yet no precaching implemented.

And don't forget that lots of the changes are the direct result of you, the user of this program. They often started out as ideas posted to the User Forum. So if you have some great ideas for the next year in the life of ComicRack head over and post them.

Again, Happy Birthday ComicRack.

Friday, May 25, 2007

ComicRack v 0.9.48 released

I actually had the feeling that ComicRack did not have major stability problems. Wow, was I wrong... After some new reports on the Forum (hint: if you have problems, post them there), I really tried to crash ComicRack. Let's say I did not have to try very hard :/

ComicRack is a rather sophisticated application with about 25 threads running concurrently. These background threads do stuff like loading and creating thumbnails, precaching pages, updating information to the files, saving the changed library back to disk, converting a batch of comics to a new format and so on. One of the goals was to write ComicRack in a non blocking way, meaning in only very rare cases there should be progress bars.

One of the things I learned is that unrar.dll from rarlabs (which ComicRack uses to open cbr files) is not very stable in multithreading conditions. And if it breaks, all sort of 2nd tier bugs surfaced.

So two days of stress tests and really pushing the limit, testing in single and multi processor conditions, i would say that the stability problems should be solved.

Build 0.9.48:
  • CHANGE: Added "ScriptPath" global variable for Python scripts
  • CHANGE: Reduced Page arrow sizes to 60%
  • CHANGE: Whenever a new eComic opened, the reader gets the focus (enabling up, down etc.)
  • CHANGE: Showing the Browser does not set the input focus to it anymore
  • CHANGE: Moved loading pages/thumbnails indicator into the statusbar
  • BUG: Fixed closing open Stack when exiting ComicRack
  • BUG: Switched RAR to single threading - seems to fix memory curruption problem
  • BUG: Fixed invalid index in reader if image provider failed (0 pages situation)
  • BUG: Fixed index out of range in tab management
  • BUG: Fixed "Image in use" of the tab bar
  • BUG: Removed animating "Gear wheel" to remove other 2nd "Image in use" bug
  • BUG: Fixed skewed thumbnails in the Remove Question Dialog
  • BUG: Comics where not removed from the displayed Smart List when deleted

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

ComicRack v 0.9.47 released

Bugfix release coming.

Build 0.9.47:
  • BUG: Fixed possible missing Cover Background for the Pages Browser (introduced in 0.9.46)
  • BUG: Cover creation in pages view could lead to the "crumbled paper" page
  • BUG: Global color adjustments where only set to the open Tab
  • BUG: Possible deadlock when changing book in viewer
  • BUG: Possible trash of cache item even when still in use (remote reading bug)
  • BUG: Main Window positions where only stored on resize and not on move
  • BUG: Possible deadlock after "Reset Pages" in Comic Book Dialog
  • BUG: Possible wrong page thumbnail size after "Reset Pages" in Comic Book Dialog
  • BUG: Small changes and fixes in Pages Context Menu

Sunday, May 20, 2007

ComicRack v 0.9.46 released

Lots of bug fixes and enhancements coming your way :)

One of the big new features is the ability to keep more then one eComic open. Like Firefox you now can open them to different tabs.

I guess it's time to update the screenshots with all these recent changes.

And if you're reading your eComics on a portable device with a small screen, head over to the forum and check out the new "Export to PocketPC" plugin.

Build 0.9.46:
  • NEW: Tab support for Reader (multiple eComics open at the same time)
  • NEW: Support for One Shots. Just enter "-" as the Number
  • NEW: Library Browser remembers last selected list or folder
  • CHANGE: Relayout of the main interface
  • CHANGE: Removed the overlap option for the browser
  • CHANGE: Some performance improvements for the page creation with ghostscript
  • CHANGE: Display of "Unknown Size" instead of "Size: 0 Bytes" if page size is unknown
  • CHANGE: Added Top/Bottom Buttons and auto repeat functionality to Up/Down Buttons to Page Editor
  • CHANGE: New default color theme
  • CHANGE: "Use System Colors" in Preferences to switch back to system themes (blues, green, sliver)
  • CHANGE: Some general redesign of the Preferences Dialog
  • CHANGE: Again redesign of Comic Book Dialog
  • CHANGE: "Opaque" to "Opacity" in Magnifier Setup
  • CHANGE: Removed "Copy" from the main Edit Menu as this is no universal command
  • CHANGE: Better page/image mapping validation on load
  • CHANGE: Secondary windows also minimize the main window
  • CHANGE: Reader now initially defaults to fit width
  • CHANGE: Removed the Comic Info Overlay in the Reader
  • CHANGE: Added Reset Button to color controls in Preferences (removed in 0.9.26)
  • BUG: Fixed restoring current instance from system tray when ComicRack is started again
  • BUG: Navigation Bar was partially hidden by new splitters in some cases
  • BUG: Crash when switching from XP/Vista mode to Classic while running
  • BUG: Fixed ugly icons in keyboard editor on XP
  • BUG: Renamed "View" to "Views" in Page Viewer
  • BUG: Displayed length of entries in the Search Browser was too short
  • BUG: Main/Context Rating Menu for the current comic did not work
  • BUG: Toolbar/Menu commands Rating/Show info only worked with the eComic in the Reader
  • BUG: Forgot to remove "Increase Width" from the Display menu (introduced in 0.9.43)
  • BUG: Comic Book Dialog Enter/Esc did not work for OK/Cancel
  • BUG: Wrong shortcut "Ctrl-I" on page context menu in Page Browser
  • BUG: Page Type Menu in Page Browser was broken when multiple pages where selected
  • BUG: Main Menu command "Refresh" did not work in Page Browser
  • BUG: 100% processor usage bug in background processing (in some special cases)
  • BUG: Could not get pages from remote server in seldom cases (multithreading issue)
  • BUG: Trackbar could crash with zero devision bug
  • BUG: Finally fixed the changing size bug when switching from "Loading Thumbnail..." to real thumbnail
  • BUG: Fixed overlapping text in tile renderer
  • BUG: Wrong handling of reader keybordshortcuts if additional modifier was pressed (shift, ctrl etc.)
  • BUG: Fixed wrong focus problem after application start
  • BUG: Fixed internet links in the help menu to also work with internet explorer
  • BUG: Fixed long stalls when connection to remote server is broken

Sunday, May 06, 2007

ComicRack v 0.9.45 released

This is a rather big release.

It updates the User Interface that almost stayed the same for the last 6 months with new dynamic splitters, which make IMHO hiding and showing of panels and sidebars much easier.

Also for you PDF aficionados, ComicRack now supports using Ghostscript as an alternative PDF engine. So if you are running into problems with the built in (and quite hacked together) PDF parser, head over to the Ghostscript website and download and install the latest version of GPL Ghostscript.

After this you can even read eBooks with your favorite Comic Reader :)

So you may question why Ghostscript is not in the ComicRack setup package? Ghostscript is a GPL program, ComicRack is (still) closed source. So I'm not allowed to link directly to any components of Ghostscript or put it into the setup package.

Build 0.9.45:
  • NEW: Option to put ComicRack into the System Tray when closing with the [X] button
  • NEW: Built optional Ghostscript support into the PDF parser. This should enable ComicRack to read all PDF files out there, if Ghostscript is installed on the system (this means also eBook reading :))
  • CHANGE: Small redesign of Magnifier setup
  • CHANGE: General change of the splitter architecture. Splitters are now always visible. One click expands/collapses the panel.
  • CHANGE: Added tray context menu and changed open to a double click
  • BUG: Fixed non square magnifier on rotated pages
  • BUG: Comic Info Overlays displayed page information instead of comic information (introduces in 0.9.44)
  • BUG: Fixed taskbar status when starting minimized and "Minimize to System Tray" is turned on

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

ComicRack v 0.9.44 released

This build includes some minor improvements and hopefully lets ComicRack finally run on x64 systems.

Build 0.9.44:
  • CHANGE: Merged Color Adjustment/Pages Tab in the Comic Dialog
  • CHANGE: Comic Dialog now reads thumbnails in the background (no more hangs when using over slow network)
  • CHANGE: Remove dialogs only use cached thumbnails (no more hangs when using over slow network)
  • BUG: Fixed wrong ghosting color for textboxes
  • BUG: Fixed missing background thumbnail processing if one thumbnail was used multipe times
  • BUG: Fixed wrong icon in secondary browser windows (was still the old RC icon)
  • BUG: ComicRack should now properly run on x64 systems