Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sigil 0.7.4 Released

This is a small maintenance release of Sigil. Books with an invalid doctype should open as they did in version prior to 0.7.3. Also, this release has a build for OS X using Qt 5.2.0 Beta 1. This release should support Mavericks though it has not been tested on Mavericks.

Sigil Issue Tracking Disabled Completely

I've disabled the issue tracker on both Google Code and GitHub. The issue tracker has become people posting the same few items which are not issues over and over again. I spend more time closing invalid issues than doing anything else with Sigil. If you're having a problem with Sigil of some sort try searching Google. FYI, if you're using OS X chances are either the version you're using isn't supported or isn't supported at this time due to components Sigil depends on being broken on that version.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sigil Status

Sigil is not dead but it's development has slowed considerably to the point it's not being developed very much at this point. The best way I can describe it is Sigil is on life support.

When I took over Sigil from Strahinja I was not planning on taking an active development role. As part of my taking over Sigil my involvement was planned as project management. I was going to manage the web presence, review patches, provide guidance, made releases and at most minor bug fixes. However, that's not what ended up happening. Instead I ended up taking a very active development role. This was never my intention and not something I can continue. I do not plan on ending my affiliation with Sigil; I'm going to go back to what my involvement was supposed to be. Project management.

Since I've been management Sigil there have been about four major contributors (code). These people have been a huge help and a huge benefit and I've very thankful for their help. Ultimately even with all their help I'd estimate half of all code since I took over has been written by me. Due to this and myself not writing code like I was development will slow considerably.

Also, the contributors were never permanent members of the project. This is by their choice. They saw ways Sigil could be improved (mostly something they wanted it to do for their benefit) and helped to make it happen. As they've completed what they were interested in they've left and moved onto other things. Thus Sigil has zero outside contributors as of now. This combined with my decision to focus on project management means there is no one actively developing Sigil at this time.

To help with gaining contributors I've decided to move the project to GitHub. The new source repo is available at https://github.com/user-none/Sigil. This is something I'd been thinking about for some time now. A few reasons behind the change:

  • Google Code has poor support for working with and merging forks. So much so that most contributors ended up emailing patches instead of wanting to deal with Google Code.

  • Google Code's issue tracker is terrible. The search feature is useless. The way it displays issues is terrible and hard to understand. The majority of issues posted at least 99% are not real issues but duplicates of issues that are deemed not issues. The most common issue opened is Sigil does not run on OS X 10.6 which for technical reasons is not possible. Sigil not running on an OS version that is not supported, not intended to run on and an OS version that is EOL by the OS vendor is not a bug.

    Personally, I believe the issue tracker should be used for code discussion and contribution. That's not happening. So moving to GitHub means it's more likely that that will happen because people will need a GitHub account to open an issue and typically only developers will have a GitHub account. I'm not saying I don't want people reporting issues but when reporting issues means me closing 99% of them as either dup of not supported or not supported makes the issue tracker less than worthless.

  • Google Code has decided to disable downloads. Existing projects were given an extension but as of next year Google Code can't be used to host binary builds of Sigil. This makes Google Code less useful.

  • Calibre moved to GitHub and while Kovid has told me it hasn't increased the number of major contributors it has increased the number of one off contributions. I'm hoping that if calibre moving to GitHub has increased code contributions the same will happen with Sigil.

That's pretty much where Sigil is a this point. I can't say where it will go in the future but my hope is more people will contribute with the move to GitHub and Sigil will continue to grow.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sigil 0.7.3 Released

I’m somewhat pleased to announce the immediate availability of Sigil 0.7.3. This release is primary a bug fix release. Please see the changelog for a full listing.

Currently there is no OS X package for 0.7.3 available. Even though this release fixes numerous bugs on OS X a package cannot be built at this time. The macdeployqt tool I use for OS X packaging is broken in Qt 5.1.0. I was not able to get the workaround to resolve the issue fully. Hopefully, this will be fixed in the next Qt release.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sigil 0.7.2 Released

I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Sigil 0.7.2. This release is primary a bug fix release but does come with a few new features. Please see the changelog for a full listing.

Find & Replace now has a Marked Text option. Basically, you can select a section of text, mark the text and find and replace will only operate in the marked section. If you start typing the marked area will be cleared.

Preview now zooms separately from other views. Previously Preview's zoom level was linked to Book View's zoom level.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sigil 0.7.1 Released

I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Sigil 0.7.1. This release streamlines some of the new features introduced in 0.7.0. It also, as always, includes a handful of bug fixes. Please see the changelog for a full listing.

One really useful new feature is the ability to right click on an image url in Code View and view the image in a separarte window. The image in this window is resizable so it will always fit within the window.

The clean source settings were streamlined. This is part of a set of changes to deal with saving and opening non-well formed content. With 0.7.0 Sigil would allow you to save non-well formed HTML files even though they are invalid. However, this introduced an issue where if auto cleaning was enabled on open Sigil would "fix" the non-well formed content. This would often lead to issues. So now Sigil warns when saving non-well formed content so it's not done accidentally. Finally, when opening if non-well formed content is encountered Sigil will prompt to ignore cleaning those files.

Spell check and find and replace were both enhanced. User feedback in their behavior and fixes were made for issues reported by users.

Finally, a change was introduced to deal with EPUBs where the filename within the container is not UTF-8 encoded. The EPUB spec says that the filename must be UTF-8 encoded but some tools (and zipping by hand) do not always use UTF-8. Instead they use the standard ZIP encoding (IBM code page 437). This isn't a problem with ASCII characters but becomes an issue when non-ASCII characters are used in the filename. Specially the filename is decoded incorrectly so it doesn't match what's listed in the OPF. Now Sigil will check if the general purpose bit 11 is set which specifies that the filename is UTF-8 encoded. Sigil will only decode the filename using UTF-8 if this bit is set and otherwise decode using cp437.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sigil 0.7.0 Released

I'm pleased to announce the immediate availability of Sigil 0.7.0. The underlying theme for this release is finishing features. If you look back though previous releases you will see features such as spell check and preview that were added and in subsequent releases further enhanced. The goal all along was to intorduce these features, get feedback then enchance them. We wanted to get the features out there in a useable form and slowly evolve them around people's needs. We also didn't want to hold useful features simply because they didn't do everything we wanted. In this release many of these incremental features are now finished. Please see the changelog for a full listing. This release comprises a number of new features and plenty of bug fixes. Some of the biggest changes are:


Features


Live Preview


When split view was first removed this is what was intended. It's taken small steps though a few different releases but this is what was always intended. The new live preview is a dockable view that can be removed from Sigi's main window for placement on a second monitor. As you edit your changes will automatically be displayed in the preview area. This way you can see how your changes will look without having to toggle or click around. In addition the preview will continue to show the content from the last HTML tab you had open when you switch to CSS, for example. This way you can see the changes auxiliary files will have on your actual content.


Spellcheck


A lot of changes here which round out the functionality. You'll notice the spellcheck button is no longer next word, but opens a dialog. All of your misspelled words are shown (and even all correctly spelled words, with a tooltip in the header showing the count of unique words). You can now click a word to show that word in your HTML file (doubleclick for the next occurrence), and choose to Ignore it, add it to a dictionary, or change every occurrence of the word to something you type or one of the suggestions. And you can enable multiple dictionaries at once - so you can have a standard list of names, places, alongside one for the specific book.


Edit TOC


This has been a long time coming but it's finally here. If you have an existing TOC in a book and want to make a simple change without having to setup headers everywhere, you can now just edit the TOC.


Clips


This has become a very powerful tool and it is now more accessible. The Clips features have been modified to make them a bit more accessible. So you can enable a Clips Bar toolbar showing you your first 20 clips (and they can have keyboard shortcuts too). In addition to defining Clips for html code, you can also make a button for a special character you use often (e.g. create a curly apostrophe button and ctrl-apostrophe to use it). A Clips window is like the clip editor but you just need a single click to select an entry. Basically you can define your own buttons now (well, for simple items). Oh, and there's an Autofill in Clips that will scan your CSS files and create entries for them, perhaps to save some typing or just for amusement.


Reports


New reports have been added! The All Files report is included to cover Audio and Video files but is useful to see what is in Misc, how large your font files are, etc. The Links report will tell you every anchor link used in the book and whether or not it points to a valid destination. And if you use anchors for footnotes/endnotes it will tell you if your reverse links match. And a small Characters Used in the Book report to see if anything odd made it into the files, and possibly to help with font subsetting (although its probably not ideal for that although it was the original reason for it).


Saving and non-well-formed content


In previous version of Sigil you could not save your work if it was not well formed. Meaning it was not validly constructed XML. This limitation has been removed. The well formed dialog that would popup has also been removed. A new well formed column has been added to the Reports for HTML files. The preferred method for determining the validity of the EPUB is to use FlightCrew. Combined with Reports these two should be used to determine the quality of the structure.


Audio/Video


You can play audio and video files in Sigil, and all the related functions for inserting images, deleting unused images, editing externally have been updated to handle Audio and Video files as well.


Qt 5


Sigil is now using Qt 5. This brings an update to the underlying HTML rendering engine. This means embedded font's should now display correctly. It also provides support for Audio and Video preview. Due to the change to Qt 5 a number of core, internal pieces were rewritten to take advantage of Qt 5. Qt 5 is still a big rough around the edges (this is especially prevalent on OS X) but the new features far out weight any issues.


One change due to Qt 5 is Qt is now much harder to compile from scratch. It takes a long time to build Qt on Windows and the Qt Project only provides pre-built binaries for 32 bit Windows. As such this release does not have a 64 bit Windows build. This shouldn't be an issue because even 64 bit Windows can run 32 bit Windows applications. Also, (as far as my testing has shown) there is no decernable performance difference between running a 32 bit vs a 64 bit build of Sigil. Sigil doesn't do anything that would really take advantage of being a 64 bit application.


Misc


You can search with wrap on or off now, embedded fonts display correctly and random highlighting issues are gone (finally), the Index and HTML TOC now use separate stylesheets for their formatting, and you can bookmark your location to return to later.


EPUB 3 (Not Yet)


Sigil is still an EPUB 2 editor. While some EPUB 3 features (Audio and Video) have been incorporated Sigil is not an EPUB 3 editor. It's best to think of this release as EPUB 2+ where the plus is the ability (not requirement) to use some EPUB 3 features.


This leads to the inevitable question of when will Sigil support EPUB 3. Eventually. There are a number of issues and questions that need to be sorted out. That said, EPUB 3 is a focus and with this release incorporating Audio and Video EPUB 3 is not being ignored.