Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2.9.3 release in details

wxWidgets 2.9.3 has been officially released today. In spite of our efforts to speed up the release process, it still took us 5 months to do it after 2.9.2. However it's significantly better than a year that both 2.9.1 and 2.9.2 had taken. And we plan to make 2.9.4 sooner than in 5 months too as explained in the updated roadmap.

As a remainder, here is a summary of the most important new features that appeared in wxWidgets since 2.9.2:

  • The star addition of this release is the wxWebView library by Steven Lamerton and Auria, developed during Google Summer of Code 2011. It is by far the biggest and most important new feature. Thanks to it it is finally possible to embed a fully functional native web rendering engine (with JavaScript and CSS support) in wxWidgets applications.

  • wxTimePickerCtrl logically complements wxDatePickerCtrl. Currently it uses a native control under MSW and a generic implementation elsewhere but we have plans to also provide a native implementation for OS X in the next version (and for wxDatePickerCtrl as well).

  • wxTreeListCtrl: this is much less revolutionary but is a convenient and, most importantly, simple to use multi-column hierarchical control.

  • wxRichToolTip and wxBannerWindow are also not exactly earth shattering but provide a simple way to enhance your application UI by presenting more information in a nice and not distracting way to the user.

  • Time functions now can return time with microsecond, rather than millisecond, precision and wxStopWatch is more precise thanks to this.

  • The generation of wxEVT_CHAR_HOOK event was made consistent for all the major platforms and DoAllowNextEvent() was added to make it possible to handle this event in more flexible way.

  • wxMessageDialog gained support for wxHELP button and, consequently, it is now possible to easily show message boxes with up to 4 (instead of 3 before) custom buttons. We are sure that wxWidgets users won't abuse this feature but, just in case, we officially announce that 4 is as high as the number of message box buttons will ever go.

  • You can now try to enter a critical section, without blocking.

  • wxTextCtrl has gained support for auto-completing the directories (unfortunately, as with the files, this is only implemented in wxMSW currently).

  • And it is now also possible to find the pixel coordinates of a text position in wxTextCtrl which is helpful for e.g. showing a context menu or a popup window for the given character or word.

  • Support for wxSplitterWindow persistency was added, meaning that you can now simply call wxPersistentRegisterAndRestore(splitter) to automatically save the splitter position and restore it the next time your program is executed. Additionally, the location and the format of saved persistent options can now be customized by providing a custom wxPersistenceManager and overriding its GetKey() method.

  • Keyboard navigation in generic wxDataViewCtrl has been significantly enhanced to make it really practical to use it for editing and not just browsing data.

There were many more minor additions and plenty of bug fixes as well, of course, see the change log for even more details.

Finally some combined statistics about the changes since the last release:
% git shortlog -sn remotes/tags/WX_2_9_2..
465 Vadim Zeitlin
232 Steven Lamerton
74 Stefan Csomor
71 Vaclav Slavik
47 Dimitri Schoolwerth
47 Robin Dunn
41 Paul Cornett
26 Julian Smart
21 Jouk Jansen
6 Francesco Montorsi
5 Chris Elliott
1 Bryan Petty
1 John Chain
1 Mike Wetherell
for 1038 commits. Notice that my own check ins include committing many patches from other people (which git would have kept track of but svn is unfortunately incapable of this). In particular, I'd like to thank Catalin Raceanu, Kinaou Hervé, David Hart, troelsk, Armel Asselin, wsu, joostn, Navaneeth, Allonii, ivan_14_32, Marcin Wojdyr, John Roberts and others for their contributions to this release (sorry in advance if I forgot anybody in this list, please contact me if you should have been included into it). To keep an idea of the amount of code changed by these commits here is another statistics:
% git diff --shortstat remotes/tags/WX_2_9_2
1202 files changed, 231492 insertions(+), 149751 deletions(-)
So around 80000 lines have been added which seems enormous but more than 60000 of them were actually changes to the (automatically generated) make and project files and message catalogs so "only" approximatively 18000 new lines of code have been added. Remarkably, almost 6000 of them were added to the documentation and another 1500 or so to the unit tests. On the other hand, we actually lost 20000 lines in an upgrade of libpng so the actual amount of the new lines in our own code is close to 15000 which is still pretty impressive.

On a less bright note we also have:
% ./trac-ticket-stats 2011-07-04 today
Ticket statistics for from 2011-07-04 to 2011-12-14:
New 454
Closed 397
Reopened 59
Delta 116
so while almost 400 bugs were fixed since 2.9.2, net effect is unfortunately that today we have 116 more bugs than 5 months ago.
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