Tuesday, February 14, 2006

MacJournal 4.0a2

Welcome to MacJournal 4! This is the second alpha release. MacJournal 4 is for the most part feature complete. There is a chance that .mac syncing will make an appearance soon. I am working on it right now. Progress is being made, but there is a lot of danger inherent this sort of thing. There is still the possibility of only including it on a provisional standing in 4.0 and fully supporting it in 4.1. The goal is to get MacJournal 4 out in March and we need to get to localization soon. Between now and beta there will be a lot of small tweaks to get things ready to be locked down for the release.

Changes in this release:
- Added the ability to specify a journal in which to create a new entry and fixed a crash there.
- Added a warning when replacing the previous audio recording.
- Added toolbar items for Recording, Insert Table, and Text Color
- Text completion in the Font Name toolbar item is now case insensitive and added a hidden pref for only showing Roman fonts.
- Changed the default filename of the .Mac sheet to be based off the content.
- Upgraded date formatting to behave better with different locales.
- Reworked Drawer preferences.
- Added a PDF export option.
- Added a warning when using Text Cleanup menu items on multiple selections in the drawers.
- Fixed Typepad blogging support and fixed a crash with Friendster blogs.
- Added automatic crash log checking: if the crash log changes in between launches, MacJournal will offer to email the log to me.
- URL discovery is now a little more lenient about things like periods, commas, or a close parenthesis after a URL.
- Restore the pref for disabling automatic list discovery that accidentally got left out of a reorganization.
- Redid the Keywords sheet to show all keywords in the app with checkboxes next to the active ones.
- The Quick Note window should be movable and saved across launches.
- Added Insert->Safari Address menu item.
- Fixed a problem with Text Zoom not saving across launches.

Keep in mind that this is developmental software: there are probably bugs lurking somewhere that could cause crashes and/or data loss. MacJournal 4 has a lot of new data being stored and I can't guarantee the future of that. I may need to change how it is stored and I can't guarantee that everything will work. That being said, it works pretty well for me in normal usage. You should definitely read the Version History to see what is new. Here are the top-tier things:

- New Inspector for manipulating attributes of entries and journals
- All-new blogging architecture
- New per-item attributes
• background color
• label
• sorting
• entry template
• editable
• blog server
- A real implementation of tabs
- Audio recording
- Links, smileys, and words are recognized as you type now (not just when you save), including a live word count field.
- AppleScript support
- Improved Full Screen mode

But that's just the really top stuff; there is a lot of good stuff (not just bug fixes) in the Version History. It will do you well to read it. The Preferences as been reorganized and split up and will continue to change. I added a few new panes and I think there's one too many now. Expect to see lots of change there.

The good news with all the new data types (like labels and background colors) is that the recently released 3.2 supports them insofar as it won't discard them when saving the data. So you can add labels in 4.0, go back to 3.2 for a while, and when you come back to 4.0 the labels will still be there. The exception here is per-journal sorting: this was added after 3.2 was released and will be lost if you save your data with 3.2.

MacJournal no longer supports Jaguar. At this point, it might not support Panther either. Development is being done on Tiger and there might be some lurking bugs on Panther that will be weeded out later.

Reporting Bugs

This is a developmental release so things are still very much in flux. For that reason, reporting bugs isn't as important as normal. There are a lot of areas that are still changing a lot and will continue to change for some time. Some new icons are temporary and will be replaced later. I would appreciate comments about the general direction of the release though.