Monday, 10 May 2010

InScribeX Web Preview 3 released

I have just released Preview 3 of the InScribeX Web software on This version replaces Preview 2 for Windows and Mac users and works with Silverlight version 3 or 4. Linux users will probably want to stick with Preview 2 which runs with Moonlight 2 for the time being (see note below).

As illustrated, the user interface has been changed to require less screen space. This is very useful on low resolution displays, especially those found on netbooks. I have also chosen this two page view for the dictionaries so English-Egyptian and Egyptian to English can be viewed simultaneously (although it is probable that additional ways of working with the dictionaries will follow at some point).

Some features I had hoped to include in Preview 3 have been deferred in order that the software works with the current pre-release of Moonlight 3 (Moonlight is the equivalent to Silverlight for Linux systems). I hope to update Preview 3 over the summer to track Moonlight development and make a few additions and changes to functionality, the most interesting being  to add some basic UMdC editing features and include some revised dictionary content.

Preview 3 is about 25% smaller than preview 2 so loads faster over the web.

Coming soon ... InScribe Web Preview 4
Preview 4 is being developed in parallel to Preview 3 and I've adopted a development approach to allow components to be shared between the two versions. This sounds rather complicated but makes sense from my development perspective as part of the strategy of making InScribeX cross-platform over a range of computers and other devices. For the majority of Windows and Mac users, all this means is you should use Preview 3 for the time being then switch to Preview 4 when it is available (best guess sometime this summer).

Preview 4 takes advantage of new features in Silverlight 4 to enable printing and rich text editing of Egyptian texts among other enhancements. Watch this space.

InScribe Web on Linux
Moonlight 2 was released in December 2009 as a Linux FireFox plugin (this can be downloaded for popular modern Linux distributions from Moonlight 2 enables InScribe Web Preview 2 operation on Linux systems.

Pre-release 'alpha quality' Moonlight 3 plugins for Firefox and Chrome browsers on Linux can be downloaded from InScribe Web Preview 2 appears to work as with Moonlight 2. InScribe Web Preview 3 mostly appears to run okay on the most recent (April) plugin versions. However one unavoidable problem at the moment is the full dictionaries take an extremely long time to load. I've therefore limited the dictionaries to 100 entries under Linux for the time being until the Moonlight bug is fixed (a good reason to stick with InScribe Web Preview 2). I'm planning to track Moonlight 3 pre-release versions towards release, updating Preview 3 if necessary and feasible.

All being well, Moonlight 3 will be released by Novell by Autumn with full Silverlight 3 compatibility so I can retire InScribe Web Preview 2 leaving Preview 3 a fully cross platform solution for Windows/Mac/Linux.

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