Simmons Consulting, the Website of Toby Simmons

Zempt — not dead yet


Update (2006-09-19): I have released a new version of Zempt. Read about it in my latest Zempt post.

One of the problems with open source (at least with small open source projects) is that it can take a long time to get updates and patches. Support is provided by just a few people, any web sites devoted to it are hosted and paid for out of love for the project. The people who run the project usually have families and real, paying jobs that preoccupy the bulk of their time. I believe this describes Zempt perfectly.

This post is simply to let you know that Zempt is not completely dead. I have fixed a few more bugs and also made some enhancements. I don’t have access to the list of bugs and/or feature requests that had been posted in the forums over the last year or so since that server is no longer around. Plus, the domain’s status is currently up in the air. Adam Kalsey, one of the creators of the program, asked me a month ago (before the domain expired) if I wanted to take it on since he didn’t want to maintain it any more (the board had been hacked probably over a year ago and no one dealt with it.) At the time I was buried deep in real work and told him I had to pass. Now that I’ve had some time to think about it (and also gotten caught up with other projects) I changed my mind. But it turns out that now that the domain has expired, the registrant wants $80 to get it out of hock. Bummer.

I will probably just let it go until it becomes free again and hope I can get it back at a reasonable cost, but it’s just as likely that some domain spammer is going to grab it.

I still cannot devote much time to Zempt, but I think it is the best offline blogging tool out there for the Windows platform.

If I do manage to regain control of the domain, I’m not sure what I will be able to provide in the way of a support network (forums, bug tracking, etc.) but I don’t want it to just disappear. I guess I still have too much invested to let it die.

So, just to let you see what is on the horizon:

  • Previously, if you edited a post (or specified a date/time instead of using current date/time in a new post), it would change the date/time. At least in WordPress (which I use.) This might break other platforms, but I don’t have one of the other platforms to test with.
  • You can now resize the Main Entry and Extended Entry windows. This only makes sense to me, because the Main Entry window should be smaller than the Extended Entry.
  • The sizes of these entry windows is remembered between Zempt sessions. Plus, it is customizable for each blog.
  • You can no longer hide the Main Entry window. It never made sense to me to do this anyway.
  • If you turn off the Category drop-down, it really goes away. Under the old version, if you tabbed through the interface, you would see the select box show up when it got focus, even when it was hidden. This was because of the version of wxWindows (2.4.2). Zempt is now built using the current build of wxWindows (2.6.3).

I am trying to make it so that Zempt will remember the status and position of the toolbars between sessions. This is actually quite difficult, because of the tool used to design the floating toolbars. I might try to convert it to a newer (and still maintained) toolbar widget, but this will take some time as well.

So, take heart you Zemptphiles.

Comments (4) »

  1. Adam Kalsey says:

    The database for the forum is still intact. I archived it. I can send it to you if you want.

  2. Adam Kalsey says:

    Oh, and I’ve been playing recently with getting Zempt’s Mac port going. It’s not likely anything that anyone will want to use, but…

  3. Toby Simmons says:

    Whoa, the Mac version would be way cool. Yes, please send the data to me!

  4. _ck_ says:

    Oh before I forget, please see if you can fix the issue with Zempt editing “pages” instead of “posts” for wordpress.

    Basically I can trick it into pulling down a page by specifying the exact ID # of the page (tedious but works).

    But if you save it, wordpress then turns the page into a regular post.

    I suspect there is a “secret” category for pages or some other flag.
    I will have to poke around in the code, hopefully it’s an easy fix for zempt.

    Looking forward to any updates, please let me know if there is even an “alpha” you’d like us to try…

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