General


Site update + more (2015!)

Hi, long time no see.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who have donated recently. The hosting is secured for another couple of years, and to celebrate I have updated it with a lovely new theme.

I have just added a Dutch translation file, which now means that we support an impressive 19(ish) languages. Check out the download page for a full list. As always, if you want to create one for another language, check out the guide in the faq.


Future of the Ascgen 10

It has been a while now, but since Christmas I’ve been back working on the code.

The entire code base has been cleaned (with the help of these + CodeRush and Refactor!), the whole design is being improved, and lots of little bugs have been fixed. It’s already massively different and far more readable then before. I’m keeping the change log up to date with the code in the SVN CVS: http://ascgendotnet.jmsoftware.co.uk/changelog

The next release will be Ascgen dotNet version 2.0.0 (or to make things easier, Ascgen 2.0). I don’t know when it will be ready, it just depends on whether I want to release something functionally almost identical to the current version, or if I go forward with some new features.

The main new thing I want to add is a new method of conversion which will be available in addition to the current ones. It’s for fixed width fonts only, and gives a much better output for line art style images.

Also, I don’t know if I’ll keep up with this, but: http://twitter.com/ascgen


Bulgarian Translation + News 9

Thanks to Sah War we now have a translation file for Bulgarian (Apologies about taking so long to upload it).

Translation files

Direct Link

There are some spacing issues which I will resolve in the next version.

If things work out there may be something special released before Christmas. It’s not a new version (~mid January), it’s a separate but related little program which I’ve been planning for a few days. The prototype isn’t finished, so if it’s a horrible failure then we will say no more about it.


Colour ASCII Art tips, Localization Example and more 6

Colour ASCII Art
Since I’ve been playing around with the colour image output a lot in the last few months, I thought I’d share a few tips.

1) The way the output is displayed using characters gives the effect that the colours look lighter then they should. Adjust the image brightness and contrast to make the input darker and have the colours stand out more, or with inverted (i.e. white text on black) output make it lighter. Hopefully I’ll come up with a way to compensate for this automatically.

2) I think that having the colour output with the text inverted looks much better then with the normal white background.

3) Try removing the space and punctuation from the valid characters for the ramp (”Edit/Ramps/Valid Characters…”).

I might try to do a tutorial for colour output.

Localization
Here’s an example translation file to localize the program into American English. Save it to the same directory as the exe file and call it translation.xml.
http://www.jmsoftware.co.uk/files/translation.xml

The full list is here: http://ascgen2.cvs.sourceforge.net/*checkout*/ascgen2/ascgen2/translation.xml
History: http://ascgen2.cvs.sourceforge.net/ascgen2/ascgen2/translation.xml?view=log

Other
Some people complained, so if you don’t want the program checking for a new version each time it starts up (which just tries to grab a tiny xml file from the sourceforge page) you can now turn it off without leaving the program. Go to ‘Edit/Edit Settings…’ and uncheck the ‘New Version Check’ box, then press ‘Ok’ and go to ‘Edit/Save Settings as Default’.

I considered having it turned off as default since I added the manual version check (’Help/Check for a New Version’), but who would turn it on?

Also, please consider donating if you enjoy this program, or at least help spread the word about it. Having the external links removed from Wikipedia ASCII Art pages really hurt the traffic to this site (and the money per ad click has gone down the toilet).


Next version: Globalization + Save and Print Colour Images 2

Just as a heads-up, the next version of the program will include the ability to translate it into whatever language you want (or change words to make them sound rude).

Originally I planned to use the inbuilt globalization stuff, but it’s unbelievable how complex it makes everything. Instead I’ve come up with my own easy system that piggybacks on the existing resource class and loads the strings from an external xml file.

The current full list of translation strings is here:
http://ascgen2.cvs.sourceforge.net/*checkout*/ascgen2/ascgen2/translation.xml

You can use any or all of these by translating the strings inside the tags.

It will also finally come with saving to colour image files, and printing in colour. Which was much harder then the translation stuff.

I’m not sure whether to have the version number as 0.8.3 or 0.9.0. Maybe 0.8.5?

Plus, I’ve changed http://www.jmsoftware.co.uk/ into a blog so I can start posting more off topic stuff without cluttering this one up, and I hope to start posting regularly soon. It also hosts a few random little programs.


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.