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.
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!