Quanta 3 Released!

Quanta 3 is here. What can we say, it's all about the code. Inside you will find a lot of new features and things to really love. At the same time if you are discriminating you will likely notice areas where Quanta is still not quite as polished or complete as we could wish. Probably only a few people as deeply involved as myself really notice much of it. If you don't think it could get much better then you are in for a lot of surprises. Whatever the case, this is a time to celebrate what is new and good here.

Have you used templates? There are still some features we want to add but one new thing is here. Select text and drag it to a code template dialog. (A dialog which is configured for text as opposed to files or links) Don't know what we're talking about? Try right clicking on a template folders and inspecting it's properties. When you drop text from the editor on it you will be prompted for a file name. You have a new template for code snippets just that easy! Do you use PHP? Try typing a variable. As cool as that is start a function and then hit Ctrl-Space. Aha! Another code completion drop down. Now select the structure tab on the left and note that the structure now parses HTML inside of PHP. Pretty cool huh? Now right click and select parse as PHP. Check it out! Every variable and function on the page right there for you to inspect. How many times have you wanted that?

As nice as these features are I feel I should tell you they are by no means complete in our minds. They are just a start with more to come. Did you see the plugins? Try it out. Been looking for CVS integration? Try it. There it is. We will be adding basic functionality in the tree for 3.1 that will also integrate with projects to reduce your effort at using both together. BTW you'll notice when files you are editing change because of external source Quanta now gives you an option dialog to accept, reject or diff using kompare. Currently plugins work well but setting them up still requires knowing what you want to do. By 3.1 this will not only be refined but a host of preconfigured settings will be available. We will also be working on DCOP integration with this. We will be adding kfilereplace and KImageMapEditor and a means to have a plugin return to the console... of course we can already do that with actions. Note that now you can set up a custom script action or tag and put it on a toolbar from that dialog.

Toolbars are another place we've made improvements. You can now create and save them and even make them project specific or mail them. We will be adding drop down boxes to them for 3.1. However right now you can load and unload toolbars, make new ones, customize them and mail them. You are no longer limited to what it came with. In fact they switch with your DTD. DTD switching is a real feat of our design. But right now you might find it does not yet offer a lot of convenience if you just do HTML. However if you do XML, DocBook, XHTML, XSLT or other things this is a step toward the ideal. Mostly these tag languages and others just need refinement. More is coming. In fact you can get auto-completion, tag dialogs and the benefits of the structure tree just by doing a little XML. In some cases we even use perl scripts to generate this. A quick note, if you don't select a known DTD on opening a file you lose all the benefits of the editing features. For general HTML choose HTML 4.01.

Have you noticed our new upload dialog? Now you can select entire directories. There is also a new feature called "Update All" which sets your entire project to the status of just uploaded. This is great if you have a project that you're plugging Quanta into or your project file got munched somehow. Now instead of uploading everything it will assume your project is up to date and only mark your fresh edits for upload. Also you might notice it's no longer modal. This means you can finally edit while it's uploading! Believe it or not there are improvements still planned here too.

What else is new? Well there's more but you'll have to look through yourself. There are some other things to mention though. In a few days we will be announcing Kommander. Kommander is a very cool program that uses a streamlined and modified QT Designer, converted to full KDE, to create dialogs you can run for special functionality. There is an executor that runs these dialogs. What you end up with is the ability to create custom point and click interfaces to classes and functions or any of a million other ideas. Kommander will speak DCOP and shell out to script languages as well as having it's own internal logic. I promise once you try it you will be hooked! Best of all it will be useful to extend not just Quanta but any KDE application. Think of it as application glue. This is a project inspired by Kaptain (by Terek Zsolt), specified by Eric Laffoon and designed and built by Marc Britton. Kommander will make feature requests nearly pointless since you can have what you want in minutes. You'll love it!

Anything else? Well, we've done some updates to our site. Our donation page now has links to more information about the part financial support has played for Quanta as well as what we do with our money. The most fun though is that we have added Quanta merchandise to give you something fun to show off and us the needed funding for our developers to commit the time to make Quanta really rock. Check out our new Quanta mouse pads and Quanta T-Shirts

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Project Leader:
  Eric Laffoon
Lead Developer:
  Andras Mantia

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