Saturday, November 1, 2014

New Version Available and Future Plans

It has been a while since I have done a post for PlantText, but I am trying to make up for it now. I have been very busy the last week or so working on the small feature changes that people have recommended on the Feedback page, as well as a few other small enhancements I have been thinking about for a while. There were a lot of good ideas and I think I have addressed most of them in the new version that I just pushed out today!

Here are some of the changes made...
  • Added a "TXT" link below the PlantUML diagram so you can convert the PlantUML diagram to ASCII art.
  • You can change the PlantUML Server setting to any URL now, so the diagrams do not need to be created by the default PlantUML server. You can download the PlantUML .war file, install it with a java servlet container like Tomcat 7, and have your own local PlantUML server running from PlantText.
  • Removed the "Dock & Drag" options from the editor page because they were buggy and unnecessary. People did not really use it and they were taking up a lot of space on the page.
  • Added informative pop-up messages in the bottom left corner of the editor page so you would know what the "Save", "Refresh", and other buttons are doing.
  • I added a "Load" button so you can load the PlantUML text that you have saved to the PlantText server using the "Save" button. This is useful if you want to reload the PlantUML and copy over what you were working on. The PlantUML that you last saved is automatically loaded when ever you login, but this keeps you from having to log off and back on again in order to revert back to what you had saved.
  • I made a few cosmetic changes to give the editor page a cleaner look and a bit more usable space. 
Also, I responded to all your posts on the Feedback page. I hope the answers helpful. Thank you for the ideas and the bug reports.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that I am working on adding functionality to help you convert PlantUML class diagrams to code stubs in a number of programming languages. In this case, PlantUML text would be sent to another web service in order to dynamically generate the code stubs. I am building this on top off the work done by Brian Folts at GitHub. He did all the hard work. I am just extending his effort and wrapping it in a web service so we can use it from PlantText. I will contribute most of these changes back to his repository as soon as I learn Git and GitHub.

I'll keep you posted on additional changes and when they will be available!

Cheers,

Arwen