Friday, March 13, 2015

using html as document format

A new page to further elaborate the rationales behind the suggestion of using html as the format for documentation is added to this website. Your comment will be most welcome.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

ConstEdit 2.0 is here

ConstEdit v2.0.0000 is released. This version is a thorough overhaul over the previous version. ConstEdit now uses XULRunner of Mozilla Foundation as the html rendering engine (which is the same technology behind Firefox) instead of Internet Explorer. The compatibility with older versions of Windows is improved. Performance and usability are enhanced. The user interface has a new modern look. ConstEdit is refined both internally and externally in this release.

  1. Minimum requirements :
    • Windows 7 service pack 1 or above (unchanged), both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows are ok.
    • Internet Explorer 9 or above, instead of IE11 (Windows 7 sp1 comes with IE9 by default).
    • Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5 (unchanged).
  2. Installation :
    • XULRunner 31.0 is bundled with the installation package.
    • ConstEdit is now a 32-bit application and the default installation folder is changed to
      • "C:\Program Files (x86)\ConstEdit" instead of "C:\Program Files\ConstEdit" in 64-bit Windows
      • "C:\Program Files\ConstEdit" (unchanged) in 32-bit Windows
    • Stylesheets ConstEditCss1 to ConstEditCss4 have all been changed. If you have html documents using these stylesheets, these documents will have new look. The ConstEdit homepage is now redesigned to have the same look as ConstEditCss1 which is set as the default standard html stylesheet.
  3. Improved performance, especially with large html documents.
  4. General editing actions for html documents become more user-friendly.
  5. ConstEdit becomes totally independent of the settings in Internet Options of Windows Control Panel.
  6. ConstEdit Overview is replaced by ConstEdit User Guide.
  7. Due to the numerous changes in the Design Html Stylesheet Dialog, if you have stylesheets that are generated from previous versions of ConstEdit, you are recommended to re-generate them using the new version.
  8. Because of the change in the default installation folder in 64-bit machines, you may need to re-setup the paths for the Standard and Alternative Html Stylesheets.
  9. The Font-Size text style from previous versions of ConstEdit uses absolute font sizes. The new version uses relative font-size. Absolute font-sizes have a higher priority than relative ones. The Font-Size text style in documents from previous versions must be erased before you can set the Font-Size text style on such text with the new version.
  10. New features
    • Spell-checking is now fully functional in all supported versions of Windows.
      • Spell-checking is initially turned off after installation.
      • You can import additional dictionaries for spell-checking.
      • You can set up words that are to be ignored in spell-checking.
      • You can import ignored words from another app settings configuration file.
      • There is no more auto-correct functionality. But you can make use of the Auto-Convert mapping for the purpose of auto-correct.
    • You can import Auto-Convert mapping from another app settings configuration file.
    • Page-Setup is added for the settings used in the printing of html documents.
    • Export-As-Pdf is provided for both html & plain text documents to facilitate document sharing.
    • There is a new button in the Section Toolbar for changing the section type of sections.
    • Find and Replace by whole word now works with plain text documents.
    • Html document editing is now friendly with high-dpi display devices. On such devices, html documents are automatically scaled up according to the system size scaling % so that there is no need to adjust the font-size or zoom % for each individual document.
  11. Changed / Enhanced features
    • Cosmetic changes to License Agreement Dialog and Sections Outline View.
    • Cosmetic changes to the user interface : font symbols are used instead of icon images.
    • Toggle Heading now uses Alt+P as its shortcut key.
    • Title Case now uses Alt+T as its shortcut key.
    • Insert Pagebreak now relies on using a ConstEdit-generated CSS Stylesheet to become hidden successfully when the document is printed.
    • The Find & Replace Toolbar is moved to the top.
    • The validation of the link location in Hyperlink Dialog is improved.
    • The bookmark id is now validated correctly in Insert/Change Bookmark : the id must be unique & has no whitespace.
    • The numbering of sections can now be refreshed successfully in all cases. The Refresh button in the Document Toolbar for forcing a refresh is no longer required and the button is removed accordingly.
    • A new algorithm is used for restoring to the last caret position at file opening.
      • The last caret position is saved only when the file is opened for editing.
      • The restored caret position is now totally unaffected by changes in editor window size and document zoom ratio.
      • As a result of using the new algorithm, the last caret positions from previous versions are ignored by and not carried over to this version. 
    • Design Html StyleSheet Dialog
      • Tooltip is now shown for comments, images, and links in the sample html document.
      • The default initial style properties values at start-up is updated to a new look.
      • The Property Name button for each property now correctly resets to the imported value. 
      • "0px" margin and padding values are now provided.
      • New style properties are added for suppressing the printing of background image/color and borders.
      • Column-Count property is no longer supported.
      • The selector text for some elements has been changed to make the css work better in all cases. Because of this, if you are using stylesheets generated from previous versions of ConstEdit, it is recommended that these stylesheets be re-generated using the new version, though most likely the old stylesheets can still work as expected in most cases.
    • Inline Styles Dialog
      • "0px" margin and padding values are now provided.
      • Column-Count property is no longer supported.
    • The default title for new html document is now "Html Document" instead of "ConstEdit Html Document".
    • Table in hmtl documents
      • You can now select multiple table cells by dragging while press-holding the left mouse button, as in working with a spreadsheet.
      • Horizontal and vertical merging/splitting of table cells is supported.
      • "Insert table row heading column" becomes "toggle selected cells to Heading cells".
    • Text Toolbar for html documents
      • Span element is now used for bold and italic text styles. Formerly, "strong" and "em" are used.
      • Font-Size text style now uses the relative values "larger" and "smaller" instead of setting absolute sizes. Font-Size text style from previous versions uses absolute sizes. When working with these documents, you need to erase the old text styles first before setting the new relative font-size.
      • Overline text-style is no longer supported.
      • Underline and Strikethrough text-styles become "toggle" options.
    • Auto-word-selection now works only for Case Conversion of text. This is for simplicity in the editing experience.
      • There is no more auto-word-selection for text styles and context-menu options. You have to make a text selection first before these actions can be taken.
      • Auto-paragraph-selection is still performed for cut/copy/paste and paragraph actions.
    • Changes to the supported media formats :
      • There is no change to the supported image formats.
      • The supported video formats are : mp4 (only H.264 video & AAC/MP3 audio), ogg, webm (the previously supported formats are mp4 and mov). Note that the mp4 format is supported only if a video decoder has been installed in Windows.
      • The supported audio formats are : mp3, ogg, wav (pcm). The previously supported formats are mp3, mp4, m4a. 
  12. Removed features
    • The Overwrite typing mode is no longer supported; the editor is always in Insert mode. The INS key is now used as one of the shortcut keys for Paste().
    • Export As MHT format and Export As Complete Webpage format are no longer supported.
    • The multi-column style property is no longer supported.
  13. Fixed
    • The caret is no longer stuck at the beginning of a section title.
    • Various other small fixes.

You can download the new version from the download page as usual.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy New Year

Have a very happy year of the sheep.

The new version of ConstEdit will be launched very soon. Please stay tuned.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

what's coming in version next

It's been some time since the last update to ConstEdit v1. The forthcoming version will be numbered as version 2. In version 2, we concentrate on the performance with large documents and the compatibility with Windows 7. Here is a preview of what's coming in this new version :

  • The underlying rendering engine of the editor will be changed to XULRunner which is the same technology that drives Firefox, instead of Internet Explorer. As a result, you can expect obvious improvements on performance with large documents and much better compatibility with Windows 7. All functionality will be equally available in various Windows versions from Windows 7 upwards. This change of the rendering engine also provides the design framework with much more flexibility to future enhancements.
  • A new set of icon graphics will be used; but do not expect a brand new look here.
  • The pdf format will be supported in the Export option. This facilitates document sharing by using the most popular format.
  • You will be able to select multiple table cells by dragging while holding the left mouse button, much like working with a spreadsheet application.
  • Numerous bug-fixing and minor improvements.

With the present progress, it is expected that the new version be ready in about three months' time. For the time being, please have a test drive with the current version of the editor.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Work In Progress

A major upgrade of ConstEdit is in the pipeline. You can expect the new version to have full compatibility with Windows 7 and a performance boost. It will also have an export-to-pdf function. Please stay tuned.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Major Upgrade

I am currently working on the feasibility of a major upgrade of ConstEdit, which can greatly improve the compatibility of the app with Windows 7, as well as the overall performance. Amendments to the current version are now freezed, except for urgent fixes. Please be patient with us and stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

ConstEdit v1.11.2000 Is Available

ConstEdit v1.11.2000 is now available. This version concentrates on increased usability while making the app more suitable for use in a business environment by providing support for relative links. You may download it from the Download Page as usual. Here is the changelog :
  • It has been verified that there is no impact of Windows 8.1 Update to ConstEdit.
  • ConstEdit is now signed with a Verisign Certificate. You should not see any Windows SmartScreen warning anymore.
  • You can now mid-button click (besides double-click) on the unused space of the main menu bar to create a new file tab or mid-button-click (besides double-click) on a file tab to close it.
  • A "Check For Updates" item is added to the Settings Menu.
    • The new item allows you to perform an on-request checking for updates. An internet connection is required.
    • If you enable the "Automatic" checkbox on the item, a checking for updates will be done automatically at each application startup. This option is enabled by default. 
  • The Document Properties dialog function on the Document Toolbar is enhanced.
    • The Html Title is now shown and can be changed in the Dialog. The "Title" button is removed from the Document Toolbar.
    • The dialog now shows the html Base Element in the document, if any.
  • The Open Recent Files actions have been enhanced.
    • You can specify to open any of the recent-files as read-only selectively.
    • ConstEdit now stores the last viewing/editing positions of documents. The next time the document is opened, it is brought back to the same position so that you can start working immediately from where you stopped. The last position is stored only for files in the recent-files list. The restored position may not be correct if the application window has been resized. Note that this functionality is applicable only to standards mode html documents as well as plain text files.
  • Relative links are now supported for both read and write actions.
    • Using relative links is a better option in a company environment where documents are shared by users on different machines. In this case relative links remain the same to all users, as long as the relative structure of the file system remains the same across these machines. Absolute links to the same resources however can be different in different machines. Using relative links increases the portability of documents.
    • A "Use Relative Links" item is added to the File Menu, which is enabled by default. When this option is enabled, all links to local resources in the document are converted to relative during save. When it is disabled, no conversion will be done (note that in this case any relative links pre-existing in the document will not be converted back to absolute during save).
    • A "Use Relative Links" item is added to  the Actions Menu of the Design Html StyleSheet Dialog, which is enabled by default. When this option is enabled, all links to local resources in the stylesheet are converted to relative during save. When it is disabled, all links to local resources will be saved as absolute in the saved stylesheet. 
    • Links to the internet are not converted in all cases.
    • ConstEdit no longer supports opening html documents with Base elements to edit.
      • This is because Base element causes confusion in the interpretation of relative links.
      • When an html file containing a Base element is opened for editing, a dialog will be prompted for the user to make a decision : EITHER to remove the Base element automatically from the file and then reopen to edit OR to reopen the file as read-only.
  • There are minor changes in wordings in some tooltips and menu-items.
  • There are minor cosmetic changes to the user interface.
  • These bugs are fixed.
    • Some links are rejected in the Hyperlink dialog even though they are valid.
    • Go To Bookmark function in the Find And Replace Toolbar now shows all bookmarks as well as all element id's within the document, instead of just showing bookmarks.
    • Line-breaks are now removed from the text produced from the Copy Html function, which are causing unnecessary line-breaks when the html code is pasted to some blog authoring tools.