V3.1 is out....and we're already working on new features for V3.2

May 07, 2015

V3.1 is public. Long live V3.2.

Writers get to say stuff like "the ink hasn't even dried and I'm already blah blah" after finishing something and move on to some other major project. What do we software geeks get to say when we're on a streak? How about "the friggin' bits for version 3.1 haven't even been sharded on S3, man, and we're already working on new v3.2 features, what's up?!!" That sounds terrible doesn't it. 

At any rate, v3.1 is on the download page, so go grab it if you haven't already. I want to tell you about a few things we're working on forv3.2, but first a note on "templates" in v3.1...

Templates, just for you

The big new feature in v3.1 is the Templates Panel. I'll explain more in about how to use this panel in a tutorial video sometime in the next week -- "HAR HAR HAR, yeah right McQuillen!" --- no, for real. I've already got two tutorials up. I'm on a roll.

So what are templates? Templates are just a way of storing a configuration of shapes and a background that you like as a "template," and then being able to pull that template into any diagram you're working on, just like a library shape. The idea is you create these things for stuff you use repeatedly in your diagrams.

Furthermore, you can give each shape in the template a setting on how it should act when the template is pulled into a diagram:

  1. free: you can change everything about the object -- position, size, text, even delete it.
  2. placeholder : you can change the text of the object, nothing more.
  3. fixed : can't change a thing.

So give that a spin if you haven't already. I'm curious to know if you find it productive or just a distraction. The latter would make me sad.

Some stuff coming in v3.2 (Tabla)

There's a lot planned for v3.2, code name "Tabla." Aleksey and I were just discussing the latest work he's done on connectors. We're going to enhance SimpleD connectors so they can create complex smooth or straight lines like every other darn diagram program out there.

About time huh? My initial thinking was that 'simple' diagrams should only need simple connectors, since it's so easy to get too crazy -- and melt your viewers eyeballs into their brain -- by making a mass tangle of connectors to god knows where.

But maybe that's not the case. Complex connectors are necessary and can be used wisely. At any rate, they're coming soon:

New complex connectors

And thanks to SimpleD's ability to map texture bitmaps to any path, you can do stuff like this:

New line connectors in v3.2

Pretty cool huh?

So there's that and some other stuff we're working on for v3.2:

  • Rich text editing 
  • Presentation mode
  • Improving SVG imports even more
  • "Complex" shapes
  • and lots more good stuff

Of course, with each new feature we really struggle to try to keep things as simple as possible. Because the last thing I want is for you to be slowed down by needless features and cruft.

By the way, when are you going to send me an email about your SimpleDiagrams experience, filled with your ideas and gripes? I miss you. Email me today.