The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

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Ori Redler
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The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by Ori Redler » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:37 pm

Good news.

Yes, we have been slacking off. The pace of development of Mellel - that is, the number of new releases - have dropped significantly over the last three years.

Yes, we are changing that right now.

In the past we have been super-conservative when it comes to new releases, and avoided even announcing a new feature when it was only planned - reporting about it only when a feature was done and running smoothly. We will try to change that in the future and give you a clearer picture of what is going to happen in the future with Mellel.

A road map, if you like.

The state of affairs now: Mellel, currently, is about 3/4 of to the place where it was designed to be: a sturdy, flexible word-processor with decent page layout capabilities and all the features you would expect in a professional long document writing tool.

Until now, we tried to make each release with a handful of new and important features, and that took us a very long time - longer with each release - to make. From now on, as most of the major time consuming features are behind us, things will change. Following is a road map of sorts, detailing what we have in mind for the immediate future, hopefully releasing at a pace of 3-4 times a year, with one or more of those in:

* Track changes and comments: this feature is already running (in an Alpha). It was written to play nicely with track-changes features with other word processors (we also intend to add, though I'm not sure if it will be with this release) the ability to export and import track changes, so you will not have to lose formatting and other niceties and continue to work on changes within Mellel).

Other features planned, in no particular order of doing (i.e., the last may be first, etc.):
* Sort: would be what you get elsewhere, but with some additions that will make it much
* An "embedded Mellel": you will be able to send Mellel files to others, and they will be able to read them even if they don't have Mellel.
* Indexing: will be a real killer feature.
* Revamped interface.
* iPad version (that would initially be similar to the reader).
* Mellel reader: a reader and, perhaps later on, also with the ability to add track changes and comments. Again, this is to allow you to collaborate without being forced to switch to other products at the end stage.
* Major improvements to tables, image handling, text boxes, and so on. There are several areas where Mellel do need an overhaul - we'll address them. Tables are perhaps the first item on our plate here.
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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by este.el.paz » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:02 pm

* Mellel reader: a reader and, perhaps later on, also with the ability to add track changes and comments. Again, this is to allow you to collaborate without being forced to switch to other products at the end stage.
Ori:

The ability to play with others is an area that Mr Mel can stand some more therapy, mental massaging, etc. So focusing for those issues is/will be a great step forward . . . the track changes idea would be a great help and being able to use Mellel to work on documents sent from others in a professional setting (aka from Word) would benefit Mellel users very much. Same for a "Mellel Reader" or whatever is needed so that others could open a Mellel document without having it, etc. I look forward to those developments . . . good hunting.

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by Ori Redler » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:40 pm

este.el.paz wrote:
* Mellel reader: a reader and, perhaps later on, also with the ability to add track changes and comments. Again, this is to allow you to collaborate without being forced to switch to other products at the end stage.
Ori:

The ability to play with others is an area that Mr Mel can stand some more therapy, mental massaging, etc. So focusing for those issues is/will be a great step forward . . . the track changes idea would be a great help and being able to use Mellel to work on documents sent from others in a professional setting (aka from Word) would benefit Mellel users very much. Same for a "Mellel Reader" or whatever is needed so that others could open a Mellel document without having it, etc. I look forward to those developments . . . good hunting.

e.e.p.
Yes, indeed. Our target is not to convince everyone that Mellel-is-the-way-to-go but to make it as easy as possible for Mellel users go get along with people who use other products. Our thought is that if you work on a document and need to get it through track changes, what you would like to have is to continue working on it in Mellel, at your comfort, without having to think about how others work - they can work with MS Word, for all you care, and you'll still be able to import the changes and continue to work on them with your existing Mellel document.
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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by este.el.paz » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:58 pm

Ori:

That is a most excellent plan . . . vision . . . for the next phase in the life of mr Mel . . . . Getting back and forth from one format to another would be super helpful and the track changes feature is one of the nice features of the word clones . . . so a superior word-processor should have it . . . . Of course each of us has our list of needs, but . . . as they say in rehab, "one day at a time." : - ))

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by daiyi » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:18 pm

Excellent news, Ori! I made the switch to Mr. Mel in the middle of my dissertation and never looked back; the only real drawback was not being able to track changes and having to export files to be compatible with M$ W*ord.

Looking forward to the next version!

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by raymond » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:47 am

I am sorry not to mention this Mr M. whom I have never been able to meet with.

Ori,
I hope the solutions you would offer in Mellel will work in Hebrew and eventually, Arabic as well. If it so, it will make unnecessary the efforts done in the Israeli Mac community to guess whether the Office 2011 would understand Hebrew.

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by DanZac » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:26 pm

First off, thanks very much for sharing the roadmap. It's great to know where Mellel is heading.

I recognize you did not give an exhaustive list of improvements, but I was wondering if the Sente integration issue will be addressed. There are currently things BE +mellel can do that Sente can't.

Second, the Mellel reader- is this a web solution? Cross platform? I like the idea either way!

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by Ori Redler » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:48 am

DanZac wrote:First off, thanks very much for sharing the roadmap. It's great to know where Mellel is heading.

I recognize you did not give an exhaustive list of improvements, but I was wondering if the Sente integration issue will be addressed. There are currently things BE +mellel can do that Sente can't.

Second, the Mellel reader- is this a web solution? Cross platform? I like the idea either way!
Well, it will be cross platform in the sense of running on the iPad (or iPhone).
Regarding the integration with Sente - there is no problem at our end and I hope this will come soon...
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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by Cattus Thraex » Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:50 pm

Good news... I would humbly remind you some old, unsolved issues (sorry if wrong, I think I am right in what am going to wirte):
- combining diacritical marks (CDM) with ANY font supporting this, not only OO fonts (which, incidentally, often do not include a rich repertoire of such chars, but they are well reprezented in fonts like Gentium, GentiumAlt and others).
This is a loooooong due feature (5 years? less?)
- automatically switching language speller when switching keyboard layout; a very useful feature for multilingual texts, e.g. if I use Romanian keylayout (including my custom one), it is logical to assume that the speller is also for Romanian; if I switch the language to Czech, speller should switch to Czech too. This is possible in Nisus, for example, if not using keyboard shortcuts, but the mouse. Perhaps more should be done here.

There may be a lot of other features, but these ones seem essential to me.

Keeping an eye on it

P.S. And, of course, last but not least, the ability to have bilingual text, with one text on the left page and its translation on the right page (or vice-versa) or any such independent text on the right and left page. An extremely useful feature, perhaps more useful than some in Ori’s list.
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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by ealvarez » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:33 pm

Hope it's just a small feature and it's the reason it was not listed : line numbering. I just ask for this! :D For scientific publications, it's essential. I need to switch to Word for that.

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by Roger » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:33 pm

Cattus Thraex wrote: - automatically switching language speller when switching keyboard layout; a very useful feature for multilingual texts, e.g. if I use Romanian keylayout (including my custom one), it is logical to assume that the speller is also for Romanian; if I switch the language to Czech, speller should switch to Czech too. This is possible in Nisus, for example, if not using keyboard shortcuts, but the mouse. Perhaps more should be done here.
This is my number one feature request! A necessary convenience for a multi-lingual word processor. And it needs to be smart enough to to mark that section with that language, so that when you run the grammar/spell checker on the whole document, it checks each word/section with the designated language.
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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by signinstranger » Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:33 pm

Another long-standing request: Please add auto-titles to the replace styles dialog. One can easily have more than 100 sections in a Ph.D. Are we supposed to add the missing auto-titles by hand?

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by jannuss » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:24 pm

ealvarez wrote:Hope it's just a small feature and it's the reason it was not listed : line numbering.
Another small feature which I hope is simple to implement . . . water marks.

I had need for them today: both a document wide watermark ("draft") and a single image placed under some text, not next to it.

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by loquat149 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:00 pm

ealvarez wrote:Hope it's just a small feature and it's the reason it was not listed : line numbering. I just ask for this! :D For scientific publications, it's essential. I need to switch to Word for that.
+1

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by Cattus Thraex » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:37 pm

loquat149 wrote:
ealvarez wrote:Hope it's just a small feature and it's the reason it was not listed : line numbering. I just ask for this! :D For scientific publications, it's essential. I need to switch to Word for that.
+1
The wish-list may get indeed long, I would concentrate on the most needed ones, those, which may turn Mellel into a software masterpiece I mean.

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