Quanta 3.2 BE Released!

Quanta Plus now has a new branch, the BE (Bleeding Edge) branch. Quanta BE was established for several reasons. Because we have updated and added so many features this gives us an opportunity to introduce these to users in advance of releases. Also because some of our ongoing development on portions of Quanta does not always coincide with KDE release schedules this allows those features with new UI strings to be added and made available. Because of the need for so many diverse features some of our more involved users will want to have those features available sooner. This branch should be considered a development branch and not as stable as a release version. There are known bugs and unfinished features. however any time we release a BE package you can be sure that it has been tested by a number of users and developers. It has been found to be usable for daily work and stable. We intentionally avoid any serious changes or updates that can destablise the build for several weeks prior to relaese.

So What's in Quanta BE. Well first of all you can build it with either KDE 3.1x or KDE 3.2 beta or CVS. You will not be able to see the new VPL (WYSIWYG) mode without a CVS or beta kdelibs installed. In fact some of the newest changes really need CVS or the upcoming 3.2 Beta 2. Most everything else is usable under KDE 3.1. There is no way I can provide a complete list. You can see our changelog but even it is missing some of what we've done. Here is a brief list of what is new and improved since Quanta 3.1x.

  • Enhanced parser and DTDs - the parser is faster and new DTDs have been added for XHTML as well as ColdFusion. Various bugs have been fixed for parsing anomilies.
  • DTD import - you can now read in XML based DTDs on the fly giving you auto completion and validation. You only need to do your toolbars and other DTD related nicities.
  • Error reporting - switch to the structure tree on the left and the error tab below and every tagging anomily in your DTD will be listed by line number below. Double click and it will take you to the line to fix it. This only works for markup and it can give false errors for markup generated in PHP, but it will read through PHP unlike other validators.
  • Our DTEPs (Document Type Editing Packages) now include information on allowable child tags. This shortens auto complete lists and incorporates into our error reporting.
  • PHP users will love this... currently our structure tree shows objects and classes as well as any linked files. Linked file parsing is properly scoped and auto complete uses all lined files with scope to generate it's list. More is coming soon.
  • We have a full function table editor now. You can create and edit tables as well as recurse to sub tables all in one dialog. Join or break cells, set up headers and footers or even insert rows or colums!
  • We have an awesome new CSS editor! You have to check it out. It's beautifully done by one of our developers in Italy, Luciano Gulmini. (His brother Emiliano also joined us and is working on crash restoration.)
  • We now have code shortcuts, or shorthand as I like to call it. Register an expression and it's code structure. Then type the expression, like "js", hit Ctrl-J and it expandes. In this example it could become a full Javascript tag.
  • Actions dialog has been fully reworked to be inviting to use and make your work faster and easier along with new context menu items on toolbars.
  • Templates can now have "filter" actions. This means you can write a script to do something and have it trigger on a file creation or text insert. You can optionally have it process and filter the entire template. We use it in TemplateMagic.pl to create a Kommander dialog on the fly from fields defined in the template. When activated by creating a file the dialog comes up with the fields to fill in and when you click OK it processes that information to create and insert your template with data.
  • New plugins have been added and one of our biggest requests is filled by KFileReplace. This allows searches to be defined for multi file, multi line find and replace with wild cards!
  • Our plugins can now optionally be loaded in page tabs and sending data to them has been simplified in the setup.
  • We have a new attribute inspector/editor which shows up in the lower left by default. This allows you to edit your tags as well as navigate to parent tags.
  • There's a new context menu item on the file tree which allows you to save directories there including remote ones. So you can add "ftp://user@mydomain.com/mydirectory/" and just clicking allows you to enter your password and expands the remote tree. (Don't use "ftp://user:passwd@domain" or Quanta will log on to ever one of them when you start it. BTW Jens Herden did beautiful work updating our trees!)
  • We have a new script directory which allows you to save local scripts for use on your project. They also will show information from an XML file when you click on them telling about the file, who wrote it, the license, etc... Currently you have to convert it with XSLT as I still haven't finished the auto coversion code. (I'm growing a new arm next week so there's hope.) ;-) One of our user contributed scripts uses a Kommander dialog and a perl script to emulate Dreamweaver template behavior. The possiblities are limitless and this will be part of our new resource management when we get it on line around Christmas.
  • Project docs - that's right. If you document your project all you have to do is add the files you want to show to your project. The only requirment is that the directory be in your project root and named "doc/". Currently you need to reload the project to refresh this and phpxref docs have an odd problem with handling frame display. This and other things will be worked on including our own parser based doc generation soon.
  • As this is a development version you'll be happy to know that we now have file backup auto save and restore. In the unlikely event that Quanta does crash you now have a flotation device. ;-) I don't recall if the untitled file restore patch is in yet so it's a good idea to give that new file a name right away.
  • I would be remiss not to mention our beautiful docs and our great team including our XML guy Chris Hornbacker (the white tornador) and Fabrice Mous.

As you can see quite a lot is going on with Quanta. In fact we have a few new developers making waves. I've mentioned some and that means I've left out more who have done really useful patches and are on the way to great things. One person I have to mention is Nicolas Deschildre who has done an incredible job on a very difficult project bringing visual design to Quanta. Nicolas and Andras both produced an amaing amount of fixes in a short time getting this ready. Of course the one person I can't image trying to do Quanta without is Andras Mantia. Andras continues to be incredible at keeping Quanta rolling, helping new developers and keeping our bug count at the bottom of KDE apps. He is without a doubt my right hand.

While I'm thanking people I have to give a special thanks for all those people in 2003 who have helped us keep Quanta cooking and off life support. While 2004 is looking like the great year that 2003 should have been for our business, 2003 started out with small problems that had a recursive effect that took us most of the year to fully turn around. While sponsoring Andras should have been easy for our start up business it turned out that it would have been impossible for several months this year. Even now I'm just working on getting Andras caught up. We had a Brazillian banker make a commitment to free software with a $200 a month commitment, a programmer here in the US who is actually working on Quanta and sponsoring $100 a month and several other smaller sponsors. We've also had lots of other contributors donating from $5 to $100, some several times. This has made a huge difference. Now that it looks as if I can finally start digging out of a year or sacrifice and debt there are three things I'd like to do for Andras for his patient and dedicated work. I can probably manage all three myself, but it would be much easier with help and I'd like to invite the community to participate. Since Andras has been getting paid at a living expense level I'd like to give him a nice Christmas bonus this year so he can do something fun with his wife. I'd like to give him a raise next year so he can live a little better. Last of all I'd like to bring him to the US to fisi with me early next year for two weeks. Yes, it would be a lot of fun for us as we have never met face to face and he has not been to the US. The big reason though is that there isn't a more efficient method for us to brainstorm and plan funture developments for Quanta. I figure visa, air fare and other expenses ought to be under $1000 in the off season. It's too compelling to ignore.

If you would like to help us reach our goals you can contribute via PayPal at our web site. I plan to add EvoCash and e-gold shortly. We also appreciate people giving us feedback to squash bugs. We have a user mailing list which I hope you'll want to get on if you're running Quanta BE. Of course we always love to get new developers and resource contributors too.

Quanta BE is available for download at our sourceforge site. New versions will appear as we have features ready to go and everything looks clean enough to package. We will continue to focus on producing a clean 3.2 release but the BE releases will enable more frequent release of new features. Look for a lot of new fun things to start showing up in them!

Eric Laffoon
Q Support:
Q Send Bug
Q Mailing List
Q Feature Request
Q Download Now !
Q CVS Repository
Q Documentation
Best browsed in Konqueror

Project Leader:
  Eric Laffoon
Lead Developer:
  Andras Mantia

LQ Award:

Tops on Tucows:
5 penguins

Screen Shots:


Developer Info:
If you would like to
get involved

Donate to Quanta:

You can make a difference!

Valid HTML 4.01!

Valid CSS!

Copyright © 2000 - 2004 Eric L. Laffoon
Quanta Plus is registered under the GPL version 2.0
Contents of this site under various licenses. Check before using
Web Design - Eric Laffoon
mini logo