Introducing PubCoder 2.0

Introducing PubCoder 2.0
14/10/2015
By Angelo Scicolone posted in News

Today we are excited to announce the availability of the biggest update to PubCoder ever. This release is the result of nearly a year of work and brings new features, enhancements and optimization in every area of the product. PubCoder 2.0 is also our first release for Windows. Here is a summary of the news.

PUBCODER IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR MAC AND WINDOWS

PubCoder is finally available also for Windows users! The two releases include the same major features (excluding iOS App output, which is exclusive to the Mac version) and can share the same project files.

As for the user license, it can be used on any number of Macs or PCs, but only one computer at a time: simply log in with your credentials to use it.

This is particularly useful for building iOS apps: since Windows can't compile for iOS, you can work on an iOS workspace and borrow a Mac just to compile the app.

NEW .PUBCODER FILE FORMAT

PubCoder 2.0 uses a new single-file format that makes it easier to share a project over the Internet (no need to zip the file anymore) and between Mac and Windows versions.

You can still open PubCoder 1.x (.scproj) files: the software will ask for a new location for the converted .pubcoder file. Conversion to the new format may take a while depending on its size and complexity.

The new .pubcoder format also provides an improved assets management, which allows the software to identify a file from different locations: if you try to import a file twice, the previously imported file is used, thus the project file will not grow.

ALL-NEW STAGE

The stage is the heart of PubCoder: it's the area in which you graphically layout your pages. PubCoder 2.0 introduces a completely new stage, rewritten for the ground up using web technologies. The new stage is faster, better at handling text and provides a more What you see is what you get experience, since the stage and the outputs "talk" the same language. And it also adds a lot of new features:

Retina display on Macs with retina screens

• You can now edit actions graphically onstage, without the need to manually enter coordinates in the Inspector

• You can now Rotate objects onstage using anchors

Dynamic Guides: while dragging or resizing objects, they "snap" to other objects and page margins, not only to custom-user-defined guides

No more Page Spread: extra white space outside of the page bounds is now added automatically basing on the contents of the page

Custom CSS classes are now applied onstage

Improved proportional resize (shift-resize). Now is available also for side resizing

• Ability to select the object underneath the currently selected one by clicking the selected object while pressing the command key (ctrl key on Windows)

GREATLY IMPROVED COPY/PASTE

Copy/Pasting retaining actions: Pasting a group of objects that interact with each other now automatically reassigns actions targets to make the new pasted objects interact exactly like the copied group

Copy/pasting between projects: PubCoder eventually copies missing files on the destination project and automatically deals with workspaces differences

Deep Copy/Paste: the previous two items are real even for objects containing other objects, e.g. an object containing a drag&drop action with a "drop on target" action list: target objects are recalculated and assets are carried to new projects even for the deepest action

Copy/Paste Pages: on the same project and on different projects; all the previous points are applied.

Copy/Pasting actions now retains their grouping

BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER

We've spent nearly a year optimizing PubCoder, making the overall authoring application - and the outputs - faster and more stable, especially when working on projects with many pages and/or a lot of text.

The compiler also is greatly optimized: it is now a lot faster and produces smaller outputs, since it is now smart enough to reuse the same image files when possible.

The iOS compiler in PubCoder 2.0 for Mac now also includes a Certificates and Profiles checker: if something is wrong with profiles, developer identities, signatures, certificates and so on, the software warns the user and tries to help him understand what's wrong before submitting the app to the App Store.

The HTML5 output is now out of beta and is optimized for desktop browsers.

IMPROVED WORKSPACES MANAGEMENT

In PubCoder 1.x, everything that was a list did not follow the multi-workspace behavior. Now this is fixed, so you can have, for each workspace:

• Different list of actions for the same object

• Different behaviors/drop targets for Drag&Drop action

• Different and/or localized lists of questions/answers in the Quiz widget

• Different and/or localized lists of images in the Image Gallery widget

• Different and lists of images, colors and sizes in the Coloring Game widget

Also some other elements of the UI were multi-values where not visible were fixed, e.g. Custom CSS and Custom Headers in Project Settings, and others

WIDGETS AND OBJECTS

Action List Object: an object containing a list of actions that can be run by any object on the stage

Improved Quiz: now has new events to customize the experience with your own actions when it is "Completed Perfectly", "Completed with Errors" or "Completed with Missing Answers" but also when the user modifies an answer or switches page

Improved Coloring Game: introduces a new "Filler" tool and the ability to show/hide or set size and icons of controls

UI IMPROVEMENTS

The User Interface was revised, here are only some of the new features:

New Workspace widget: now groups the three workspaces popups, and also displays items hierarchically (e.g. if there is an iOS workspace based on another iOS workspace, the latter is shown as a child of the first). You can also find a Workspace menu in the menu bar allowing to switch workspace from everywhere, without the need to go to the main project window to do it

Renewed Actions panel with auto-resizing events list, more space for actions and new bottom bar to add/remove actions, multi-workspace management and a better way to set execution mode of the actions (always or one-time).

Change Point of Origin: use the upper-right control in the project window to change the point of origin of all coordinates displayed on the interface: some users prefers the the origin of an object to be its center point, others its top-left point. Also it can be useful to change it for various purposes

Proactive Panels: PubCoder tries to understand what you are going to do next and switches project window's panels automagically: creating an object switches to related assets, selecting an object switches to object inspector, if page inspector is selected, and so on

Angelo Scicolone

Angelo is responsible for the development of PubCoder’s authoring application and platform design. He started coding since he was 9, at 17 he sold his first shareware Mac products on the web and on cd-roms worldwide. While graduating in Computer Science, he co-founded Emerasoft, where he developed applications for desktop publishing and publishing systems for Mac and Windows. He also wrote several articles and software reviews for the Italian IT-magazine Applicando. Since 2007 he has been working on custom development projects and desktop/mobile applications (Mac/Win/iOS/Web). One of these projects led to Pubcoder.