GUI Design Studio Released

March 8th, 2011

Every once in a while, adding one seemingly innocuous little feature to an application turns out to throw a spanner in the works and cause all sorts of havoc.

And so it was that the little “bubbled events” feature that allowed Icons to have their own navigation events, while still allowing navigations from Buttons they might be placed on, introduced a series of bugs that has resulted in a steady stream of 4.2 updates.

But now we’ve finally got it sorted and with the new version release today, we’ve dug deep and fixed as many bugs as we could find. Some of these are minor but others might make a significant difference to the software’s operation.

We’ve also taken the opportunity to introduce an update manager so that you can be notified of new versions you are entitled to and install them much more easily.

If you’re using either the Professional or Express edition of GUI Design Studio version 4 then we recommend you download version and install it over your current version.

Here’s what’s changed in this new version…

New Additions:

  1. Automatic updates management added. A new Preferences option determines how often a check for updates is performed on start-up (Never/Daily/Weekly/Monthly). Checks can also be made at any time using the new “Help | Check for Updates” menu command. If there’s an update available then you’ll be given the option of downloading and installing it automatically.
  2. Auto save facility added. No one likes to lose work and we try hard to ensure that our software doesn’t crash but the occasional crash bug does occur, sometimes associated with obscure scenarios that are hard to test for.

    To guard against power outages and crash bugs, modified files are now archived approximately every 2 minutes once the application is idle for a few seconds. The ‘saved’ copies of files on disk are not touched until you issue a “Save” command so the auto-save should have no impact on the way you work and should generally go unnoticed.

    In the event of an unexpected exit, when the project is next opened, you will be prompted to recover modified files from the last auto save. You will hopefully never need to use this feature but it’s been added for peace of mind.

Bugs Fixed:

  1. Using the “Send to Back” command on nested elements could cause a crash under certain circumstances such as when they had been copied and pasted into a new design. This has now been fixed.
  2. Using “Undo” and “Redo” commands on “Add Element” and “Delete Element” operations with certain selection states active (too complex to describe fully) could cause a crash. This has now been fixed.
  3. Issues with navigation from icons within components fixed. This affected the Quick Start Tutorial Part 2, Step 1.1 where the navigation originally could only be made from the underlying Toolbar Button but can now also be made from the Icon placed on top. This bug was introduced in while fixing another related bug. The whole bubbling of events to parent items has now been revised to fix these bugs and should work much better with overlaid icons and any other element forming part of a custom control.
  4. The cause of the CPU activity when idle has finally been tracked down and eliminated.
  5. The “View | Canvas” option no longer gets into an inverted state regarding the red canvas border. The canvas itself was okay but was very feint and has now been made darker (similar to its original colour).
  6. The “Paste from Clipboard” feature of the Table element now accepts Unicode characters for languages that cannot be represented by ANSI characters.
  7. The bounding box of grouped elements no longer includes elements that have been deleted.
  8. Using the keyboard to resize elements (Shift + Arrow Keys) now makes use of the Resize Anchors to move and resize child elements appropriately.
  9. Spinner and Scroll Bar elements are now easier to move in the Professional edition. Now the button areas of Spinners and the paging area of Scroll Bars only operate when running the prototype.
  10. Table elements with variable height, word-wrapped cell text now have better working scroll bars.
  11. When making connections, existing connection lines no longer get in the way to prevent you from hitting your target.
  12. Changing the Visual Style or Colour Scheme in the Preferences or Project Options now provides a real-time preview update in the Elements panel again, as it used to do.
  13. Minor text clipping on Ribbon Bar Icon Button (Small) element when zoomed in now fixed.

As always, many thanks to everyone that has reported these bugs and made suggestions for improvement.

Now that we’re completely happy with the version 4.2 functionality, we can move forward with version 4.3 developments, and we’ve got some exciting new features waiting in the wings.


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