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Beta 7.2 released

Download it here

Changes:
Changed rtf output to be ASCII instead of Unicode/UTF to make them work in other programs
Added automatic version checking against the sourceforge website
Added “check for new versions?” bool to the variables and settings file
Moved the version number into a structure instead of one variable
Moved most effects applied to the output into classes
Moved apply convolution matrix function into the ConvolutionMatrix structure
Moved ascii conversion related files into a new folder
Changed solution to compile without warnings in Visual C# Express
Added “Copy Ramp to Clipboard” to the edit menu
Moved ramp menu items into a sub-menu
Moved font related menu items into a sub-menu
Batch Conversion/Settings:
– Restored missing resource string for Auto button/right click menu
– Changed auto button right-click menu to a menustrip
– Fixed problem with disabled Ok button when the regional settings decimal symbol isn’t “.”
– Added setting backcolor of an invalid textbox to red
– Fixed tab order
– Fixed problems with invalid character sizes being allowed


Server move complete 2

All my sites have moved from the ultra-cheap and slow dreamhost account to a new and not-cheap account on Host Gator. Everything should now be up and running properly, plus faster and more reliable.

There are a few changes done for the next version of the program, but nothing worth pushing out yet since it’s mostly internal work in preparation for a planned new feature.

I’ve also added a quick check of the current version against the latest on the sourceforge website, so you’ll be notified as soon as a new version is available (assuming that you use it regularly). It’s just a shame I hadn’t done it before 0.6.9, which still gets downloaded hundreds of times more then the latest version every single freaking day.


Beta 7.1 released 6

Download it here

Changes:
Removed “Force Greyscale” option when saving images, and set it to always output greyscale
Added “Font…” to the edit menu
Added “+” to the center of the selected area when moving it
Fixed pictures not being released after they have been loaded
Fixed brightness/contrast not being applied to the colours when saving as a colour image
Fixed saving as html/colour text with ansi and other non-standard characters
Small improvement to outputted css


About the current version

First, a note to people still downloading the previous version: STOP IT. That is what happens when you link directly to a file instead of the download page.

Things I forgot to mention:

  • The save as 8-bit colour output is currently using the inbuilt gif compression to reduce it down to <256 colours. It isn’t very good at it, so the output will be much better if I ever get around to writing my own octree quantization code (or find some gpl code to do it).
  • To get the best results, check the invert output button so it has white text on black, then “save as colour text”, and save as 8-bit XHTML. I’ve been meaning to write some tutorials for a long time.
  • If you want to save it as an image, to print or whatever, I would suggest the Save As Image plugin for firefox. Then just load the html into firefox and you rightclick to save the page as a png.

What the 26

Either sourceforge’s stats are messed up, or the program was downloaded 10,068 times yesterday (up from the usual ~150 a day). Since it says that only 2838 people have downloaded the latest exe, I think it’s a bug.

No promises, but I’ve just read an article on colouring richtextbox text that I might be able to adapt for a certain oft-requested feature. I tried something very similar using the same method, and it looks like I gave up just before I found the answer. If it updates with a good speed everything else is easy; we’ll see…


Don’t panic!

I’m manually restoring everything, so things might be a little weird until I’m finished.

Edit: Ok, everything I could recover is back exactly how it was. I think there were a couple of comments that google hadn’t cached and are gone forever, but since one of them was a “do color ascii art!” I’m not that bothered.

I will be making regular backups from now on. 😳


Beta 6.9 released – .NET 2.0 REQUIRED

Download it here

It’ll be at least a few more weeks before I get around to finishing the edit settings form, so here is everything I have so far:

Changes:
Ported code to .Net framework 2.0
Menu and toolbar changed to MenuStrip and multiple ToolStrips (all rearrangable)
Replaced native measure and draw text code with TextRenderer functions
Added “???? ” ansi ramp and valid characters – Select “Plain Text (Unicode)” as the type when saving the text
Changed “Close without saving the output?” to “Save the output before closing?”
Added menu icons
Replaced context menus with context menu strips


Update

The program has been converted to .net 2.0. The menus have all been replaced with draggable menustrips, and I’m using the Silk icons set for most of the items. The exe size has dropped by about 80k.

All but one of the native winapi functions have been replaced with .net functions (for the last I need to either find a way to check the text metrics in .net or an accurate method to detect if the font is fixed width).

About having accurate output for all the fonts, and this is a real kicker, they were always accurate. The richtextbox control doesn’t display them correctly. Even in the older version, if the text is all messed up and you save it as an image it will save correctly. Using ANSI characters, some of the fonts display the characters in the control as a square, but still save the output correctly. We will just have to live with it until I sort out a way to fix the output, or write my own text control.

I want to add one more thing before I release the new version (a form to edit the settings), so unless I get distracted by another project it’ll be out sometime this week.

Boring technical stuff that I couldn’t find the solution for online and had to workout for myself, part 1
You have a toolStripContainer with a MenuStrip and a set of ToolStrips. After spending a couple of minutes neatly lining them all up how you want, you save and compile and everything’s good. Except that every single time you reload the form, or just switch to the code then back to the designer, all the controls are rearranged to fit one per line. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Here is how to set the control positions at runtime:

// First clear the container
toolStripContainer1.TopToolStripPanel.Controls.Clear();

// Then add the strips one by one in _reverse_ order using:
ToolStripContainer1.TopToolStripPanel.Join(ToolStripWhatever);

// Finally add the menustrip:
toolStripContainer1.TopToolStripPanel.Join(menuStrip1);