Tuesday, March 07, 2006

MacJournal 4.0b1

Here comes the first beta release. MacJournal 4 is feature complete for this release. .mac syncing is still being worked out and won't be ready for the final 4.0. Too much is at stake if something goes wrong and I want 4.0 to be as solid as possible. Syncing will hopefully follow 4.0 by not too long.

Changes in this release:
- You can remove keywords in the sheet again.
- Fixed the search type menu in the Search toolbar item.
- Fixed custom background colors around checkboxes.
- Command-W will now close the current tab if there is more than one tab open.
- Added the modification date above the topic field if you click on it.
- Fixed the "Escape Non-ASCII characters" setting for blog servers and applied it to the topics as well.
- Fixed printing of white text.
- Restored Panther compatibility

Keep in mind that this is still 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
- Browser-like tabs for quickly switching between entries
- 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
- Improved searching

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.