October 17th, 2006

New Labyrinth Features

(Drivel just ate the entry I made. Grrr.)

Labyrinth Main Interface
The current main window view in Labyrinth

Example Export
An exported image of the above, from the same state

For the last week or so, I've been hard at work on labyrinth. In addition to squashing bugs and code reorganisations, three big new features have landed (or are about to land) in SVN

Text Selection

Use the mouse or keyboard to select chunks of text and overwrite or delete them. Selection is bright red at the moment, but will change to use theme colours at some point.

"More Info"

Using "Mode->View Extended", a new buffer appears at the bottom of the window. This is useful for expanding on thoughts if needed.

Export to image

Export either the current view (literally, what's in the visible map area) or the entire map (all thoughts surrounded by a 10px border) to a png or jpeg file. This hasn't landed in SVN yet, but will shortly

In addition, there is also a patch being worked on to add a tray icon when labyrinth is running (a-la tomboy. Or at least, what I remember tomboy doing when the applet isn't on the panel).

For a while, I was worried wondering how the export to image would work out. Fortunately, thanks to cairo-lovin', getting the image produced was the easy part. The slightly harder part was getting the export dialog into a useful state (it needed a couple of extra widgets). In the dialog, there is the option to select the image size (width by height). Right now its insensitive as this isn't done yet. Instead, the resulting image will be the required size (either the size of the area on screen or the size required to show all the thoughts). It shouldn't be too hard to implement using cairo transforms and such (anyone?). This would also help with the printing stuff I have planned (cairo-lovin' to the rescue again).

The toolbar in the middle of the window is also the place where all the fun text tools / drawing tools will go (until the Great Interface Reorganisation (tm)). The extended buffer supports loading, saving and using fancy text (bold etc.) thanks to the work of Thomas Hinkle on Gourmet Recipe Manager, from whence it came. Adding fancy formatting to thoughts is going to be more fun.

[plug] As always, there is lots to do in labyrinth yet. All of it fun. If you're interested in labyrinth in any way, or want to ask questions, the labyrinth mailing list / Google group is the place to be. [/plug]

Finally, our first FAQ: How do I delete links between thoughts? Answer: In edit mode, dragging a link from the "child" thought to the "parent" will weaken the link by 1. Do this until the link disappears (default strength is 2). In addition, you can also strengthen links by dragging from parent to child. Stronger links appear thicker (yes, it is on the list to make this more discoverable).
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