Wednesday, March 9, 2016

QComicBook website is back (kind of)

I've finally managed to sort out the DNS and github-pages stuff and set qcomicbook.org domain so that it's redirected to the QComicBook GitHub project page... That's the first step (and yes, GH pages are quite nice and easy to use) of bringing qcomicbook website back to the living. Now, I still need to think about how to "convert" the old Ruby-on-Rails web site to "static" web pages on GitHub, this will require some re-designing, re-writing and simplification - a good chance to finally learn some of the jQuery and bootstrap stuff maybe?

Monday, November 30, 2015

QComicBook website is going down

QComicBook website is going to be down as I decided not to renew my existing web hosting, due to costs (the donations I received would cover only a fraction of hosting cost). QComicBook will still be available via GitHub repository. I'll also work on migrating qcomicbook website to GitHub webpages (with limitations, as they are not hosting Rails webapps), which will hopefully mean it's going to be available via http://www.qcomicbook.org again soon.

And no, QComicBook is NOT dead. It may look like it is since it hasn't been updated for a very long time, but I promise, I'm not giving up on it! Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

My first contribution to Stellarium approved!


My first contribution to the great, open-source astronomy application Stellarium just got approved today! I was playing with its Oculars extension a bit and found out it was lacking support for Barlow lenses, so after some hacking I  proposed it via this branch. You can now find it in   trunk, but unfortunately my change came too late for inclusion in new Stellarium 0.12.0, so the only way to test it is to compile latest trunk code, or wait for  next official release.

My barlow lenses enhancement allows for adding barlow definitions in the Oculars dialog. Just like in the real world, the multiplicity of barlow lens affects focal length of the telescope, and thus increases magnification and decreases field of view. You can of course achieve this by defining additional telescopes with respective focal lengths, but this enhancement makes it easy to play with different telescope - ocular - barlow combinations without much hassle and duplicating telescope definitions. Enjoy.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

The power of built-in debugging and introspection

I've recently started reading the excellent "Code Complete" by Steve McConnell and - as is often the case when you encounter a good book - got inspired by some of its ideas. I was particularly enlightened by the idea of implementing advanced built-in debugging/introspection capabilities, only available if application was compiled with DEBUG flag.
I found this idea very interesting for QComicBook - it would be very cool to be able to check internal state of some more sophisticated widgets when debugging issues. QComicBook has fairly detailed tracing (if you compile it with -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug flag), but it's not very useful in debugging subtle issues (such as with drawing) as it simply produces too much text output to analyse.
So, I started hacking it today. For starters I picked the most troublesome widget in QComicBook - ContinuousPageView, responsible for continuous view mode. This widget still has some minor issues that show up under specific circumstances, and they are very hard to debug. I implemented a simple Debug window, available via Debug > Continuous View menu option; it displays frames for all pages, showing their sizes, position on the QGraphicsScene and internal state. And it didn't take long as I spotted first potential problem: when rotation is applied, some sizes manifested by QGraphicsItem interface (blue boxes) don't match numbers used internally to handle continuous view logic; this seems to affect pages that use estimated sizes only (i.e. not loaded yet).
I'm not sure yet if this can cause real problems, but certainly it looks suspicious. It also definitely shows the potential of built-in debugging tools and I'm going to add some more to QComicBook in the future. Frame View mode, job subsystem, memory usage are just a few top candidates for live introspection. Having them at hand, it will hopefully be much easier to prepare a rock solid QComicBook 1.0.0 :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

QComicBook UI cleanup, quest for icons

As a part of the preparations for QComicBook 1.0.0 (yeah, it should eventually come - it's been 7 years already!) I've started working on UI cleanup. The goal is to make it simple and ditch some useless actions (is anyone using Page top/Page bottom or '5 pages forward'??); target #1 is to clean up the toolbar. Another goal is to make QComicBook UI look like the rest of the desktop, i.e. use system theme icons.
Much to my delight I discovered that Qt supports standard desktop icons (be it GNOME, KDE, XFCE...) from version 4.6! This works well and I was able to quickly test it by replacing some icons with themed icons using Qt Designer. Unsurprisingly there are some icons that just don't exist in standard themes. For most menu actions it's OK to just get rid of them, but toolbar actions must have icons... That means 'Two pages mode', 'Manga mode' and 'Fit to width', 'Fit to height' and alike as a minimum (see first screenshot). Unfortunately existing QComicBook icons stand out too much from pretty much any desktop theme and I need to find or create replacements for them. Suggestions, ideas or contributions anyone?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

QComicBook 0.9.0 is available

This release have seen a lot of delays, but it's finally available. It brings two notable internal changes:
  • switch to Qt GraphicsView framework, leading to more lightweight and flexible page handling implementation. This opens up more possibilities for future tweaks and enhancements.
  • more robust image transformation code resulting in dramatic improvement in responsiveness and performance whenever you scale main window, rotate a page etc; this kind of operations are now performed in a separate thread. If you ever considered QComicBook to be a bit sluggish, give it another chance again and try version 0.9.0!
As usual, latest QComicBook releases can be found on it's home site.

Monday, May 7, 2012

UDS in Oakland, CA has started

Ubuntu Developer Summit has just started today at the City Center Marriott in Oakland, CA. OMG! Ubuntu guys seems to be covering the most important aspects of it live.