After some delay, I am tickled to release the newest version of SimpleMarkPPC. While the basic functionality remains the same, the app is greatly improved and a bit more configurable. Your preferences with font size, font type, and autosave features are now saved and restored. Autosave is indeed optional – if you like it, turn it on and adjust a little slider to control how quickly it kicks in. Or save manually, which might work better if you are conserving battery or prefer to get a preview of your work at your own pace.
I cleaned up a few other little bugs, though I’m sure something is going to crop up. I’d appreciate your feedback in the comments below.
I just finished compiling, zipping, and uploading a new version of SimpleMarkPCC, ratcheting its version number to a whopping 1.0.4.
This is just an interim fix to adjust the sluggish behavior I have experienced when dealing with larger files. I’ve got lots more work to do on the app, and I continue to explore future opportunities to make it a heck of a lot better. For now, this should alleviate some of the issues. If not, I’ll do some more fiddling.
Otherwise, no new features like Preferences or anything. Yet.
This is just a quick post about my current thoughts of the state of SimpleMarkPPC.
The Good: I feel like the app is functional enough, with a few rough edges that can be fixed to give a little more options. For example, I do plan on making a preference file so font/font size/font color options become persistent.
The Bad: Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that performance is still not what I want it to be. I think this is due to a focus bug inherent to the version of RealBasic that I use, which when using the html viewer control, robs focus from the main text field in which you type. It’s also more prevalent with larger text files. They just become slow to work with, and I need to do some investigation. This ultimately may mean that I will undo the automatic html view and make it manual. I don’t want to do this, because this is essentially what you can get with a few other apps out there for Power Macs that do have working markdown support. Maybe I can simply slow down the cycle a little bit and see if it helps.
Worst case scenario? If I can’t find a decent solution, I am going to stop development and look to rebuild the app using the source from Bean, for instance, or even a basic TextEdit clone. I think performance (and look and feel) will be a lot better too, but it will take a little time. Stay tuned!
Hot on the heels of the scintillating version 1.0.2, SimpleMarkPPC continues its glorious march into usability with version 1.0.3.
Here’s what’s new in this useful update:
Added a visual marker in the title bar to indicate when the document has not been saved.
Added a visual reminder of how to escape full screen mode.
Printing is now enabled, although it only prints the raw MarkDown text without formatting.
Because printing is enabled, there is now a way to export to PDF, but again, it only exports the raw text.
I slowed down the autosave feature which still occasionally interferes with typing.
Export to glorious Open Document text format
Removed some old code and stuff.
Limitations on Printing
Right now, printing is a pretty limited thing. I haven’t figured out how to print the html rendered text yet, although I imagine there is a way. Part of the limitation is that the actual MarkDown text gets formatted after running through multimarkdown. Likewise, I can’t render a PDF that way because multimarkdown doesn’t seem to support that option either. I’ll keep exploring options, but just beware, using Real Basic to code apps is an exercise in joy and frustration. Joy, because it’s easy to get started and mock something up, and frustration, because there are lots of stubborn limitations that you have to deal to make things work.
Just a note about versioning: I’m not really following any specific guideline with versioning. Right now, I’m sticking with incrementing the sub numbers, typically reserved for bug fixes. Since I still consider the software in a sort of alpha stage (meaning a bit untested), features may be added randomly at any time.
Welcome to the new SimpleMarkPPC, kind of similar but a lot better than the old SimpleMarkPPC.
From the moment you fire it up, you’ll be greeted with some changes that are sure to get you excited for the world’s only PowerPC-exclusive-Mac-OS MarkDown app. Not just the updated welcome screen above, you’ll notice a full screen mode sure to draw your attention away from boring blog posts. A feature also included is a user desired manual save command, so you can be sure your document saved and updated before you retreat to other tasks. A rudimentary Preferences pane features nothing less than a way to change your font and font size (with a couple of caveats). Unbelievable! Most important, the Leopard-like engine beneath the hood purrs with serious efficiency. I made a few modifications myself.
And if that doesn’t sell you, there is even a Help menu!
Best of all, it’s free, and it lets you enjoy the deliciousness that is MarkDown.