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The Future of Toucan – Part 4

Steve Lamerton's picture
Submitted by Steve Lamerton on December 15, 2009 - 10:31am

The Help File

The help file is also undergoing, once again, major changes for version 3. Rather than integrating it into Toucan itself I have decided to split it out, into a separate pdf document.

As usual there are a number of issues here, mainly that many people like to look at a programs user manual before downloading it, something that is currently impossible. Also currently following instructions in the manual requires you to flick back and forwards between tabs which can be very frustrating. The manual is now being written using Lyx, a neat LaTeX front-end, meaning the document will be neatly typeset and more time can be spent on the actual content, which in some areas is curently lacking.


Versioning is also changing with Toucan 3. There will now be a proper numbering system, x.y where x is a major release that can break compatibility with settings files and y is a minor release that doesn't. Hopefully this will make much more sense in the long run that the current jumbled mess of numbers.

Unit Tests

To try and reduce the number of repeated errors in Toucan and to aid its porting to other operating systems it now has a properly functioning unit testing system. Currently the number of tests is limited, but over time it should grow and hopefully improve the stability of Toucan in the long run.

The End!

This is the end of the current series on the future of Toucan. The first development test of Toucan 3 should be out in a number of hours, this blog will obviously live on though, expect a couple most posts in the next two weeks or so.


I like the fact that you're creating a separate help file. I don't think it necessarily needs to be a separate download since Gimp is really the only other portable app that is set up that way.

I think you should create the help file as a chm file though. It would be easier to search and you wouldn't need a pdf reader to open it. I think it would be more accessible to more people.

Simeon's picture

But everyone from here will most likely have Sumatra so it doesnt really matter I think.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

Steve Lamerton's picture

be both included and available separately for people who want to check it out first.

As for the format chm has basically been dropped from Windows, and is somewhat annoying to read on other platforms, all of which have PDF readers built in. HTML export should also be an option and I am looking at it at the moment.