AuthorTopic: GrafX2 status?  (Read 2232 times)

Offline Psiweapon

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GrafX2 status?

on: March 28, 2016, 09:30:43 pm
Development status doesn't worry me that much, but maintenance status does.

The old Google code page has finally 404'd and the Pulkomandy.tk site is either incomplete or abstruse...

If there's anybody around more or less in the know I'd like to hear whatever they want to say.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 10:45:43 pm by Psiweapon »
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Offline yrizoud

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Re: GrafX2 status?

Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 12:09:43 pm
Pulkomandy is hosting on his own own material, so please excuse the lower budget than Google :) He uses an extendable "coding project" system, so we don't choose the appearance of everything, but it fits our current needs, and it spares us a lot of web coding.
The activity page is here : http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/log
The bug tracker, to report problems, is here : http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/query
The "downloads" storage is here : http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/downloads
There is a wiki system (http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/wiki/TitleIndex), but we haven't used it much, so far.

The grafx2 mailing list ("google group") still works, and Peach has also reserved the domain name "grafx2.org" for us for several years now, but we have never been able to build a proper "home site" to point there.

The big development in progress is the port to SDL2. It fits better with modern desktop/laptop machines, as the interface becomes 24bit (instead of sharing the image's 256 colors) and the image can be edited zoomed independantly from the size of the user interface. It involved a gigantic number of changes, so that when it is complete, only the SDL2 version will be in active development.

edit: You're right about it being confusing for the artist-user. We would need something that looks more like a portal / home.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 12:15:52 pm by yrizoud »

Offline Psiweapon

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Re: GrafX2 status?

Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 02:18:23 pm
Pulkomandy is hosting on his own own material, so please excuse the lower budget than Google :) He uses an extendable "coding project" system, so we don't choose the appearance of everything, but it fits our current needs, and it spares us a lot of web coding.
The activity page is here : http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/log
The bug tracker, to report problems, is here : http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/query
The "downloads" storage is here : http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/downloads
There is a wiki system (http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/wiki/TitleIndex), but we haven't used it much, so far.

The grafx2 mailing list ("google group") still works, and Peach has also reserved the domain name "grafx2.org" for us for several years now, but we have never been able to build a proper "home site" to point there.

The big development in progress is the port to SDL2. It fits better with modern desktop/laptop machines, as the interface becomes 24bit (instead of sharing the image's 256 colors) and the image can be edited zoomed independantly from the size of the user interface. It involved a gigantic number of changes, so that when it is complete, only the SDL2 version will be in active development.

edit: You're right about it being confusing for the artist-user. We would need something that looks more like a portal / home.

Wow!! Really glad to hear a report directly from you!!!  :D

I've been with GrafX2 for nearly half my life already, it's actually a huge part of my life.

I'm tackling a video tutorial effort, I already made an "first contact" introductory tutorial and I'm working on a second one.
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Offline yrizoud

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Re: GrafX2 status?

Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 04:05:51 pm
Wow!! Really glad to hear a report directly from you!!!  :D
Well, the butler was busy :lol:
I've been with GrafX2 for nearly half my life already, it's actually a huge part of my life.
It's always great to hear! I started maintaining the program because I knew a lot of graphicians were used to drawing "like in Deluxe Paint" (Grab a brush in the image itself; Use the spare page to store temporary parts), and Grafx2 was basically the only PC program which allowed it - but as a MS-DOS fullscreen only, so it would work less and less well on newer versions of Windows.
I'm tackling a video tutorial effort, I already made an "first contact" introductory tutorial and I'm working on a second one.
And I thank you for it. The only real documentation I ever did was the "getting started" guide
http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/export/2141/branches/sdl2/doc/quickstart.rtf
I'm quite happy with the plan but I never completed it and it lacks a lot of illustrations (especially animated GIFs). People don't read documentation in general, so at least images have a chance of catching people's attention.

Offline Psiweapon

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Re: GrafX2 status?

Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 06:36:23 pm
It's always great to hear! I started maintaining the program because I knew a lot of graphicians were used to drawing "like in Deluxe Paint" (Grab a brush in the image itself; Use the spare page to store temporary parts), and Grafx2 was basically the only PC program which allowed it - but as a MS-DOS fullscreen only, so it would work less and less well on newer versions of Windows.

The cosmic irony here is that I have never touched an Amiga, and got GrafX2 for the first time *exactly* because it was a drawing program that ran under MS-DOS (in the early 00's I got stuck for quite some time with a computer that didn't feel like displaying colormodes with more depth than 256...)

I'm tackling a video tutorial effort, I already made an "first contact" introductory tutorial and I'm working on a second one.
And I thank you for it. The only real documentation I ever did was the "getting started" guide
http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2/export/2141/branches/sdl2/doc/quickstart.rtf
I'm quite happy with the plan but I never completed it and it lacks a lot of illustrations (especially animated GIFs). People don't read documentation in general, so at least images have a chance of catching people's attention.

Thanks for linking me to that document :)

The first tutorial I made looks like shit but it was to be expected, I'm looking into how to make them not look like they come from a coal-powered VHS.
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Offline yrizoud

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Re: GrafX2 status?

Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 11:08:01 pm
I got the impression that you should probably never try explain the entire UI of any program in one go.

For something as visual as a painting program, explanations should go :
- "You want to <do stuff>"
- Pick a color here
- Pick a brush there
- Select this effect
- ==> Look at the result
- "You're still there ? It's also possible to <do slightly different stuff>"
- add one thing
- ==> Look at the result
- "Oh this red is too dark. Let's make it lighter"
- Open palette screen, go straight to the RGB sliders (don't say a thing about ANY other buttons)
...
etc.
If such demo looks spontaneous, it's interesting to watch. But it requires good preparation to avoid unnecessary lengths and backtracking :)

Offline Psiweapon

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Re: GrafX2 status?

Reply #6 on: March 31, 2016, 06:31:19 am
I got the impression that you should probably never try explain the entire UI of any program in one go.

For something as visual as a painting program, explanations should go :
- "You want to <do stuff>"
- Pick a color here
- Pick a brush there
- Select this effect
- ==> Look at the result
- "You're still there ? It's also possible to <do slightly different stuff>"
- add one thing
- ==> Look at the result
- "Oh this red is too dark. Let's make it lighter"
- Open palette screen, go straight to the RGB sliders (don't say a thing about ANY other buttons)
...
etc.
If such demo looks spontaneous, it's interesting to watch. But it requires good preparation to avoid unnecessary lengths and backtracking :)

Unfortunately I can't easily understand stuff demonstrated like that, so I can't present them like that  :'(

I need things listed and explained first :yell:

I've figured out how to record that stuff much better,  and I'm going to record that one again with better graphical examples and no (arbitrary) time limits or horrible frame drops.

About the general approach, I'm pretty much comitted, but at least now I can produce juicier exhibits and add some bells and whistles.

In any case thanks for the feedback   :),  I'll keep it in mind and try to get closer to that with examples and whenever I decide to go deeper into a particular feature.
I ARE DUNECAT! I CONTROLS THE SPICE, I CONTROLS THE UNIVERS!