Happy new year ! Development update

A new job, a girlfriend. Suffice to say that in 2017 my mind was elsewhere 😉 I put Plume on the back-burner, working on it one evening every week. You can see commits done on my github page.

Since the day I decided to write a brand new Plume, I wished to create a QML version of Plume, meaning a Plume usable on a touch-enabled device (tablet, smartphone, tablet-PC). This wish could be more easily accomplished if I stayed with C++. Yet, coupled with PyQt, coding with Python was too enticing.
So I succeeded to write a hybrid Plume : the “core” of Plume in C++, wrapping this part in Python (with SIP) and writing the UI part in Python / PyQt. It was hard, it was a pain to find documentation and examples, but it worked.
This way, I could use the same C++ core to write later Plume for tablets.

In Python, the code was quick to write. The skeleton of the new version of Plume was done in a few weeks. I was quite content of the result. Yet, already, I felt a few setbacks :
– I had to debug errors from Python code AND from C++ / Qt, whereas in the old Plume, I had only the C++ / Qt errors to deal with.
– No compilation, so no code checking like in C++. Inconsistencies were revealed after running Plume or the tests, if they were found and not passed over.

I could live with these, and I did… until I tried to deploy it.
To sum up, my goals were :
– .deb and .rpm for linux systems
– setup.exe (and portable version) for Windows
– maybe a package for OSX

This version of Plume was an hybrid C++ / Python / PyQt software. It’s more complex than your typical “Hello World” example.
Packaging is a job in itself. There are a few ways to create executables from python. I stayed up whole nights trying tools like pyqtdeploy and other PyInstaller until I was sick.

Finally, I’m coming back to full C++ / Qt. I already know how to deploy a Qt software, so it’s a relief.

My foray into Python was interesting, I learned the value of auto-testing and documenting the code.

The “core” being already written, I don’t have to scrap all my work. I only have to (re)write the UI. I’m setting 31th of january as the date for the first preview release.

See you soon !


11 Replies to “Happy new year ! Development update”

  1. That is good news. I was looking for a “better Scrivener as native Linux app”, and Plume looked very much like it could become that.
    Would have been a pity if it became “abandonware”.
    Good luck with the re-coding & take care.
    (And take your time off whenever “real life” calls, we writers are a patient bunch, well, mostly… 😉 )

  2. Hello Cyril,

    I have an issue with Plume. I write my novel with v0.67 and I can’t add a character, object or location to the Mise en scène section or define à POV for a scene.
    Do you know to do this ?

    Except that, your soft is great ! Good job !

  3. A great learning expericence! Also you made an experiment and now you know that the C++ way is the better one for this purpose. I’m looking forward to the progress.

  4. Hello,
    Nice work and great thanks for it. I just left from mac computer for Linux (Kubuntu) and I was searchin a subsitute to Scrivener. Plume creator do the basic job for me in more simple. Which is a good point for me.
    Just one thing that bother me. Why isn’t it possible to change places of items and groups in the mise en scène section. Or, when working on to text at the same time, to have one separate mise en scene section for each book.
    Or may be, I am missing something.
    Except that, complitlely ok for me.

  5. Bonjour,

    Merci pour votre magnifique logiciel, je commence l’écriture de textes que j’aimerais organiser par chapitre avec un classement alphabétique, est-ce possible?

    Meilleures salutations, encore bravo.

    Fabien Laplace

  6. Hi, I like PC, it’s simple and useful for me. Can you tell me why underline doesn’t work? Only bold and italic?
    Please answer to mail, thx 😉

  7. Great Job
    Something is missing, the possibility to put pictures for characters, locations or objects.
    do you think it could be done easily ?


  8. Cyril great Job !!!
    Only three things are missing to make this software perfect :
    the possibility to put hyperlink in the “Gestionnaire de mise en scène”
    the possibility to put pictures for characters, objects and places
    The integration with Antidote (orthographic correction)

    Do you think you can make it easely for almost the two first points ?

    Yours, faithfully

  9. Looks like a great program. I’m thinking of using it for a novel that’s been in my mind for a few years and has started to form into lots of detail in my mind. The issue I have is that I am using Ubuntu with two 4k monitors. I have them set to scale at 200%, so everything is a reasonable size on the screen. Unfortunately, many of the windows (especially the new project setup wizard), don’t scale properly and therefore the combo boxes and line edit fields will not display their contents. As a result, I am unable to properly configure my project at the beginning.

    If you are still working on a new or updated UI, it would help to consider screen scaling. Scaling in Linux is a bit of a weak point in Qt as I have found myself since updating to 4k monitors. I am a C++/Qt programmer as well.

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