Saturday, May 07, 2005

Getting closer to version 1.0 of rur-ple

I just release version 0.8 of my project, rur-ple, on sourceforge. It looks even better than what I dreamed it would when I first started working on it:
Teaching computer programming

I do find it difficult to deal with the version number issue. On the one hand, I feel the software part has all the features I wanted (and more) working when I started this project. In that sense, it is past a version 1.0.

On the other hand, the 'ple' part in rur-ple means Python Learning Environment. I mean for this to be a 'complete' tutorial in learning about programming with Python. The lessons I have written so far only cover the use of about half the Python keywords. So, I can't bring myself to calling it version 1.0. So, I've sort of settled on adding a '0.01' to the version number for each additional keyword/programming concept I manage to introduce. However, somehow, I feel that giving a sub- 1.0 number to the version is sending the message that the software part is somehow buggy or incomplete, when it is (almost) bug-free and certainly feature complete.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I have found a solution on my own as to how to
change the language used in a wxPython-based GUI APP without having to restart the application under Windows. As a friend pointed out, by not using the common I18N starndard (gettext, .po and .mo files), it might deter people from adapting it to languages other than English and French which are currently working. However, I feel uncomfortable with what seems to be an underlying assumption about the "standard" approach.

As I understand, the standard approach is based on looking for some locale information on the user's machine. If the local language is available, then the app uses that language, otherwise it reverts to the default - usually English. But what if the user is a native Spanish speaker who has some knowledge of Italian and French, but essentially none in English. And what if translation are available in Italian, French but not in Spanish. As I understand it, the average user will be presented with an English interface, and will normally have no clue that French and Italian interfaces are available. Or, if she does, she might not know how to switch locale on her computer. (I don't ... as I never needed to myself. Can it be done easily under Windows XP - just a rhetorical question; answer not really needed :-).

The approach I use is to have the available languages in a pull down list (with flags as icons on the side) AND the language names appear in that language, i.e. English, Français, etc. (and not English, French ... or anglais, français).

This strikes me as being more sensible.

Adapting/translating a French expression: It is my own opinion, and I share it completely with myself! C'est mon opinion, et je la partage entièrement avec moi-même.


Anonymous said...

Have You some thinkings also about
Linux version?

André Roberge said...

Well ... it used to work under Linux. However, I understand that the latest version might be broken, depending on which wxPython version one is using.
However, rur-ple comes in a .zip file, with all source code.

I'm planning to do a major upgrade over the next two nights, and use
wxPython 2.6, probably the ansi build, as it seems to be the most portable one.