Sunday, October 21, 2012

Preparing for 2.9.5

As (unfortunately) not unusual, it looks like 2.9.5 won't be released before the end of October as I planned hoped. But the good news is that we're still relatively close to it, so even though the release is going to be late, at least it won't be late by much. This optimistic assessment is based on the fact that a lot of long-standing important tasks are finally getting closer to the completion:

First, we will finally (after 3 years) soon apply the XRC reorganization patch by Steven Lamerton that will allow us to have XRC handlers for the classes not in the "core" or "adv" libraries, e.g. wxRichTextCtrl, wxRibbonControl or various AUI classes. This was unfortunately impossible so far because of annoying inter-library dependencies issues, but will be fixed by this patch in a classic computer science manner -- that is, by introducing another level of indirection. The changes here are relatively straightforward but there are still quite a few of them, so it would be great to get more testing for them, even before 2.9.5 release, so if you're interested, please get the patch from the Trac or, soon, from the svn or its git mirror and let us know about your experience.

Second, an almost as long-lived branch containing several important changes to wxAUI by Malcolm MacLeod is also planned for a merge. The main user-visible effect of these changes is that it will now be possible to drag notebook pages not only between different wxAuiNotebooks but also form notebooks dynamically by simply piling up pages on top of each other. There are other notebook-related improvements, such as support for horizontal (i.e. on the left or right) tabs by Jens Lody. But here there are also a lot of changes and, to make matters more interesting, they're hardly straightforward so testing this patch would be very welcome as well.

The final relatively big feature planned for 2.9.5 is wxMaskedEdit by Manuel Martin and, again, unsurprisingly, feedback about it would be very welcome.

In addition to the not-yet-quite-merged patches above, several other long-postponed changes have been already done in the svn:

  • Scintilla, used by wxStyledTextCtrl, was upgraded to almost the latest version. This brings a number of new features but also, possibly, some bugs which it would be great to find before the release.
  • Much better support for symbolic links in wxFileName (see DontFollowLink() and the new flags argument of Exists()) and wxFileSystemWatcher (work done by David Hart).
  • New wxSimplebook class.
  • Support for embedding PNG into the program sources, XPM-like.
  • wxPython CallAfter() equivalent for C++.

Please test your programs with the latest svn and, better yet, try using the new features in them and let us know about any regressions or things that could be improved in the new stuff.

Thanks in advance for helping us to make wxWidgets 3.0 better!