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  • Plane9 v2.0 Status

    published on 7/9/2013 8:34 PM

    The plan was to get v2.0 out the door before the year end. That didn't turn out as I planed. Mainly because of that I waited for Qt 5.0 and a lack of time. Qt 5.0 has now been released and I have been able to properly start the work on the new configuration window and lets just say that Qt 5.0 is amazing. I have worked with traditional windows, MFC, WinForms, WPF, Silverlight and Html before and when it comes to creating a dynamic user interface Qt blows them all out of the water in terms of flexibility, amount of code you need to write and speed. The model system however is a bit difficult to work with but they seem to be on track to ease that burden.

    However I have also come to the realization that rebuilding the editor in Qt will be too much work for v2.0 so the editor wont be included in the v2.0 release. It will be re added in a release following v2.0 so I have time to properly rewrite it. Also since there are some major changes to the scenes I rather stabilize them properly before anyone else starts making scenes that then might be hopelessly broken when the release after v2.0 comes. Because of this I have also now removed the upload functionally on the site for the time being.

    I really like open formats and the Plane9 scene format is no exception. It's just plain old XML. However it's also very limited since it's just xml and adding anything else to the format is difficult at best. So after much deliberation on what the best course of action is regarding the scene format I settle on a new one. It's to compress the scene in a zip container so it still uses a open format but can much more easily be expanded. The main issue I had was that I need to include screenshots and thumbnails into the scene format itself so when someone uploads a scene the screenshot is already in place. Currently this is a manual task and the reason why it takes a while for me to approve new scenes. Using this system the scenes can be auto approved! Furthermore the images can be used by the configuration window for great effect as can be seen in the current state of the configuration window.

    Preview of configuration windows

    It also open up the possibility to include external resources with a scene file. Say if a specific texture is required.

    Another change to the scene format is that it will now also contain tags. These will be used both in the configuration window and by the website to form a uniform set of tags and help you quickly find the ones you want since there is quite a lot of scene to choose from now.