GIMP 2.6 is out …

GIMP Help Browser using webkit.

GIMP Help Browser using webkit.

… and the Manual will be next.

The current plan is to release the last tarball of the manual suitable for the GIMP 2.4 release a.s.a.p. It should still be installed by most of the desktops until GIMP 2.6 is provided by the distributions.

We’re currently still working heavily to migrate most of the translations from DocBook/XML to po/gettext. The biggest problem for us is the missing 1:1 mapping between reference language to a translation. We’re trying to minimize the site effects when splitting the translations and using xml2po’s reuse option for a content migration. Ulf D. Ehlert wrote a Python script, which will splitt the reference language from the translation “as good as possible”.

As long this script is ready and we’re able to migrate, we’re up to speed to document GIMP 2.6.

GIMP Tips Dialog

The tips-dialog now provides a link to show more information in the user manual.

The tips-dialog now provides a link to show more information in the user manual. Don't bother - the dialog has already been internationalized and has either only English or only German strings.

Liams Idea made it into GIMP: the tips dialog now provides a link to more information in the user manual which covers the topic displayed as a tip.

I liked the idea providing a button which links to the manual and started hacking. My first attempt used a third button in the dialog. Peter Sikking disagreed with a third button. The buttons become to prominent in the dialog and a link should be displayed. Sven helped in providing useful development information. This feature will be available in the next stable release of GIMP (2.6).

GIMP Help Browser Hacking

type-ahead search
It was a long time in the train yesterday and I started to hack on the help browser dialog. I never thought that it can be so much fun. I even got to some point and added type ahead search. Not a big deal for an experienced C programmer, but a feeling of success for myself. I want to finish that feature (needs some work), though a global search feature would be more helpful for the user 🙂 Well, maybe that’s the next thing?

GIMP Manual Future Decisions

GIMP Help Browser using webkit.

GIMP Help Browser using webkit.

Help Browser Improvements
I’m very happy about Svens changes for the next stable version of GIMP (2.6). The help browser uses now webkit to render the manual and can even now load the manual from the net if the user have an internet connection. I think that’ll make the access to our manual more easier for the most of GIMP users.

Manual switches to gettext
The user manual is written using DocBook/XML. The translation is seperated by ‘lang’ attributes. There is no reference language. Therefore the manual is written in various languages, seperated by ‘lang’ attributes.

We’re currently working hard to figure out a possible migration strategy of the current manual to gettext. Our build system need to be customized to manage the translations hold in *.po files. There are currently two possible candidates for this:

Publican provides a lot of the functionality we need to update/manage the translations. So has a very specific purpose. It uses the automake/autotool build system, we’re using as well. It is written by people at Red-Hat and can compile hundreds of manuals in the row. Ulf D. Ehlert and I elaborated a possible migration to publican and we figured a few pros and cons:

Pro:

  • provides all the functionality needed to manage and build documentation using gettext

Contra:

  • complete switch to Publican and be dependant from it
  • feels like we won’t need most of the functionality implemented to compile all (other manuals)

WAF though is a build system written in Python. It’s ment to replace the currently widely automake/autotools toolchain, which is currently widely in use by a lot of open source projects.
Pro:

  • It’s easier to understand and can better handle the complex process of building and installing our manual. I find it sometimes very cumbersome to express what the autotools/automake should do using bash expressions. I find it much easier to do this in Python or any other high level language than bash (don’t misunderstand me: bash is fine for batch processing).

Contra:

  • WAF uses tools to provide configuring/building software. There seems to be no such tool available which provides the functionality to build our manual. We probably need to write our own tool. Not a problem though, but we need to do it and it will cost time.
  • “Not compatible” to our GIMP/GNOME (modules) which use automake/autotools.

I will try to write a build script for our purpose using WAF and I also want to communicate more with the publican people. I think this will sort out our current “problems” choosing a system.

Well, could be, that I overlooked or misunderstood something elaborating those tools. I’m sorry if something is not correct, while I was checking.

Update: Ulf sent me already a patch based on autotools/automake, which uses a bit of the publican infrustructure. Think that points out the direction where we’re heading now 🙂

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