Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bookvar on final .NET 3.5 Framework

Great news: We have released a new version of Bookvar - alpheta 2. (alpheta = post alpha before beta version, in maths' terms alpha < alpheta < beta). Here are the improvements:

Final .NET 3.5 integration

This version is built against the final version of the .NET 3.5 framework, no more betas. If you have already installed Bookvar it's preferred first to uninstall it, then to uninstall .NET 3.5 beta 2. After that just run the new setup file. It will install the new framework first, unless you already have it installed.

Multilingual support

We have added localization infrastructure that will allow Bookvar to have multilingual support. Currently we have two languages - English and Bulgarian. They can be toggled from the options window. If you're interested in localizing Bookvar into your language drop us a line from the contact form.

Media (image, movies, attachments) improvements

There are two main improvements in the media aspect of Bookvar:

  • Inserting Image/File to selected topic. Currently if you want to add an image to a particular topic you should click the image button in the ribbon. For example adding a web (live) image to selected topic was impossible, because a new child topic was created with the image. This is now changed and the default behavior is the image to be added to the topic on which you drop it. This also applies for images/files that you drag from the file system directly on the mind map. If you however want to create a subtopic you should press the Ctrl key before dropping the item .
  • Resizing of images or videos is persisted. In the previous version it was very annoying that the resizing of image (or video) added to a topic was not persisted in the file. This lead to a lot of manual work if you want the added image to be smaller for example. All this is now working as expected and the dimensions are stored in the .bmm file.

Other improvements and bug fixes

There are a lot of little improvements and fixes. Here is a list of some of them:

  • Vista dialog boxes added. The new vista based dialog boxes are added when it is required to browse the files system. What is cool about them is that they have the search box in the top right corner.
  • Presentation Exit button. Till now the only way to exit from presentation mode was to press Backspace. We have so used to this that did not noticed that there are no button for the operation. A couple of user's send us feedback about it and now we have a exit button in presentation mode.
  • Multiple subtopics copy problem. When you try to copy a topic with multiple subtopics an error occurred, that is now fixed. By the way the only way to copy topics now is to start drag an existing topic in the same time if you hold down the Ctrl key the topics will not be moved, but copied.
  • Recent files locked problem. If you try to open two Bookvar instances at same time, sometimes you get an error because the file where store your recent files get's locked. This is fixed now.
  • Some inconsistencies in windows' icons and labels.

That's all for this month's release. Go download Bookvar and have fun with it. And don't remember to send us your feedback.

P.S.: We have over 1300 downloads just for one month in the wild. Thanks to all guys that have installed and tried Bookvar. We have some great feedback from people all over the world. This will keep us motivated to continue to innovate in the mind mapping space. So stay tuned, because great things are about to happen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bookvar shortcuts

There have been a lot of questions about Bookvar shortcuts and documentation. We are planning to setup wiki for documentation. But now I will give you shortcuts we have so far.


General

Ctrl+NCreate new mindmap
Ctrl+OOpen existing mindmap
Ctrl+SSave mindmap
Ctrl+TabSwitch between mindmaps
Alt+NShow notes

Mind Map

Enter Add new topic
Insert Add new subtopic
Delete Delete topic
F3Focus selected topic and move it to the center of the screen

Presentation - works with presenter devices

PageUpMove to previous topic
NextMove to next topic
BacksapceExit from presentation mode

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bookvar available for free download

Today is a big day for us - guys behind Bookvar. We have released our first publicly available for download version of Bookvar. It is available from it's web site - http://bookvar.net. Note that this version is an alpha quality and requires .NET Framework 3.5 Beta 2.

Bookvar site

As you can see the design of this blog has changed (if you are reading this from feed reader please visit the original url :) to match the design of Bookvar's site. Still the site is not full of information, but this will be fixed in the upcoming months. However we have created some eye candy stuff - Silverlight based features viewer on the home page and also a Silverlight based mind map viewer - check the site map page. You can also participate in Bookvar forums. There you can tell us your opinion about Bookvar and what features you want to see in the future. We are eager to hear from you and shape Bookvar as the next generation tool for mind mapping.

1st of November

You maybe thinking that we've picked up 1st of November as release day for some reason and yes you think right :) First of November is a national holiday here in Bulgaria - Day of the leaders of the Bulgarian National Revival. Educational institutions celebrate this holiday and this is why we pick up this day. Because we believe that Bookvar can improve the way we currently do education in school and university. We are currently in the process of integrating Bookvar into Bulgarian education - both in university and school. Stay tuned for more information about this.

What's next

We highly encourage you to download Bookvar right away. Play with it and send us your feedback and issues. Because this release is an alpha it is highly possible bug submission window to show from time to time :) Don't be afraid to send us these defects. We will hunt them down and fix them.

We plan to release a new version of Bookvar at least once per month. In the next couple of months we will focus on stabilizing what we currently have, but also has the plans for a couple of must have features. We are also listing to your feedback and suggestions.

If you have created interesting mind maps please shared them with us.

Happy mind mapping to all.

P.S.: You can also check the Facebook group about Bookvar.