Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sigil BookView Changes Preview

The next release of Sigil is shaping up nicely. There is so much going into it that the next release will be 0.6.0. Unfortunately, EPUB 3 will not be one of the features making it into 0.6.0. One major change coming will be a new BookView (BV) editor. Here is an unfished preview of what it might look like.

This is only a concept preview of the new editor. One issue that needs to be resolved is the double tool bar. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to use the one in the BV pane or the global one in the window itself.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks John, this already looks good and will address many of the current limitations of Sigil at a stroke. For what it's worth, I like the look of the double toolbars as shown here; my rationale being that it is only in the BV window that you need the detailed formatting control. It also makes sense from the viewpoint of future development, where you might like to build in more sophisticated formatting to accommodate increased sophistication in the epub format, for example.

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  2. Hello John,

    the screenshot from the version 0.6.0 looks very good. I'm curious about it.

    Best regards
    Martina from Germany

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  3. One more What-you-see-is-not-what-you-will-get-in-code function...
    I think that Sigil is really going the wrong way (I already noticed that with the spell-checking function).
    What is (was ?) nice with Sigil is that it was a tool intended for developers and coders...
    Direct formatting in LibreOffice is a nightmare, only for lazy and ignorant beginners. I’m afraid it will be now the same thing in Sigil… The Book View should be a read-only view, with no editing possibility at all !
    IMHO, a real links editor, for the code view, would be a lot more useful...
    Atlantis is already there, you know, and does its job very well. We do not need another wysiwyg word processor that can save in .epub format.
    I’m really afraid of the way Sigil is evolving. Will it completely lose, in the future, its code view ?

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    1. > One more What-you-see-is-not-what-you-will-get-in-code function...

      Sigil has always billed itself as WYSIWYG editor... It's even always defaulted to opened the book in WYSIWYG mode.

      > What is (was ?) nice with Sigil is that it was a tool intended for developers and coders...

      Enhancing Book View means that you can't switch to Code View?

      > The Book View should be a read-only view, with no editing possibility at all !

      So you want an HTML editor...

      > Atlantis is already there, you know, and does its job very well. We do not need another wysiwyg word processor that can save in .epub format.

      The majority of Sigil users would disagree with you.

      > I’m really afraid of the way Sigil is evolving. Will it completely lose, in the future, its code view ?

      The only thing that has been removed is the ability to do text replacement in BV. You even referenced the addition of spell check which is a Code View only feature.

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  4. First, since this is the first time I'm posting since you have taken over this project, I do want to thank you for continuing the project and keeping Sigil alive. As someone who uses Sigil daily in a professional capacity, I really don't know what I would do without it (and yes, I've donated several times already to show my gratitude).

    But I'm sad to say I have to agree with Nicolas ; so far, Sigil has been the only real epub editor available for professional / motivated amateur use, but I'm a bit worried that the original vision is being lost sight of somewhat.

    I've got nothing against wysiwyg tools for people who want to use them. And I've got nothing against a wysiwyg interface in Sigil ; I just don't use it. I know it's very helpful for people who don't want to or don't know how to work directly in the code. But, tools like Atlantis already exist ; for people who can and do want to work in the code, and for more advanced users, there is ONLY Sigil, and I know I am not the only one who is counting on continuing to use Sigil, for truly hand-crafted epub creation, and I really hope we can count on a continued evolution of Sigil to follow the evolution of the format.

    Of course, some "wysiwyg" functions can be useful even to users who work exclusively in code, such as a drop-down list to apply styles you've created in the css file, for example, but honestly it seems like a much higher priority than wysiwyg editing functions should be implementing epub3 spec. Seeing that the developement priorities seem to be concentrating on fairly basic enhancements to the wysiwyg interface, rather than implementing the new features of the current edition of the spec, is frustrating, since there still is no way to create valid epub3 files directly, although the spec has been published some time ago.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your plans and vision for Sigil in the short-to-medium term ?

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  5. > I'm a bit worried that the original vision is being lost sight of somewhat.

    Interesting how one of the biggest features of the 0.5 series was PCRE for CV. Also, CV has seen enhancements though every 0.5.x release.

    > Seeing that the developement priorities seem to be concentrating on fairly basic enhancements to the wysiwyg interface, rather than implementing the new features of the current edition of the spec

    This is the biggest issue facing a software developer. A lot of work is being done to support EPUB 3 under the hood. There are a lot of changes that are needed before EPUB 3 can become a reality. One major issue facing Sigil is how tied to EPUB 2 it is. For example the current WYSIWYG editor doesn't support HTML5. So EPUB 3 is a no go until the WYSIWYG editor can output HTML5. The new BV editor supports HTML5 output.

    Another issue here is the current BV implementation is the root cause of a number of data loss issues. What you see as fairly basic enhancements are really massive changes to the underlying design to prevent text from randomly disappearing. Data loss and crashes are a higher proirity than a format that isn't useable by mainstream devices.

    > Can you tell us a little bit about your plans and vision for Sigil in the short-to-medium term ?

    I listed them toward the end of http://sigildev.blogspot.com/2012/02/sigil-051-released.html

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    1. Thank you very much for taking the time to reply and giving some explanations about our concerns. I understand the points you're making and it helps to know what's going on behind the scenes. Stability issues and data loss are obviously high priorities, of course. But it's also very reassuring to know that epub3 implementation is in development. I think a lot of us have been using Sigil since the very beginning and therefore feel very implicated in its ongoing development, and those of us who are using it professionally are getting a lot of pressure from clients to move towards epub3, even though of course mainstream devices can't yet display all the new features (although with the retro-compatibility which is planned for in the spec, simple text layout should still display fine).

      Anyway, as I said before, I really appreciate the continued work that's going into this project, thank you.

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  6. I'm a Japanese user of Sigil.
    And I am very looking forward to the next version!


    Thank you.

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  7. I think you are on the right course, John.

    There is no point in hyperventilating about creating epub3 when only one series of devices only partially support it.

    Both code view and book view are very useful. It is much more convenient to remove unnecessary breaks within paragraphs in book view. They stand out more and are easier to remove than in code view.

    Having to deal with C instead of python has complicated everything for you. But Sigil works very well for me, having learned to work around its quirks. My experience is virtually no data loss, but then I am no doubt less demanding than others.

    Having used Sigil from very near the beginning, it has evolved from being barely useable if you wait long enough to where production shops use it on a daily basis, it has come a long way.

    Thanks for all your hard work on it. It shows.

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  8. As an author and new user, I'm very glad to have stumbled upon Sigil. It was my savior from the nightmare that was InDesign 5.5. Between Sigil, Calibre, and a bit post compile tweaking, I output a first epub in a comfortable afternoon. And what a relief that was.

    EPUB3 gets a lot of buzz, but in the end, once it comes and the furvor passes, there's going to be a majority of publications in need of what Sigil already does. I for one what to see that refined even more along side movement toward the new spec.

    And once again, thank you.

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