Announcing Gthnk 0.5

Announcing the release of Gthnk 0.5. Gthnk is a personal journal that supports long-term archival.

This is a really big release that brings Windows compatibility to the project. As we said in an earlier blog post, the 0.5 release is all about focusing on quality.

We’ve improved many online community resources because communication is one of the most important aspects of an open source project. Here are some highlights:

  1. The Install Guide provides a step-by-step introduction to Gthnk on Windows and OS X.
  2. This website, itself!
  3. There is now a blog for providing updates about the project.
  4. A 12-minute Overview Video explains what Gthnk is and how it works.

If you are curious to try Gthnk, see the Install Guide at http://install.gthnk.com to get started.

Overview Video

The Overview Presentation is complete and now a video has been recorded. The video explains Gthnk in about 12 minutes.

Audience

Who are the audience for Gthnk? What kinds of users want Gthnk in their lives? We don’t know but we have a few guesses.

Those who already have journaling habits

Academics, Scientists, Engineers, and Technicians are likely to already have professional habits for keeping journals and logbooks. The journal itself is fungible; this audience just needs a replacement for their existing solution.

Those who want to do more

“Life hackers” have a vision of a more-productive version of themselves. This audience needs to work fast and flexibly; Gthnk gives them search and mobile entry.

Those who think about the future

With the benefit of a little historical hindsight, we can see how badly technology ages. Gthnk uses a simple text format that can be printed on paper for ultra-long backups - as long as the paper lasts.

Those who have technical skills

Another audience for Gthnk are the people who just like the source code. Gthnk strives to be a healthy open source project with many opportunities for participation.

Presenting an Overview of Gthnk

The new Gthnk Overview Presentation is a slide deck that explains how to get started using Gthnk.

The goal for this presentation is to introduce Gthnk to new audiences. In the span of about 15 minutes, somebody should learn what Gthnk is, the kinds of problems it can solve, and how to install it on their own computer. To put it another way, the presentation should give anybody who sees it all the information they need to get started using Gthnk.

This presentation is going to be used at local events to introduce Gthnk to new communities. A screencast is also going to be created from this presentation. If you have feedback on the presentation, please create an issue about it here.

Windows Compatibility

A huge update for Gthnk is coming down the pipe that will soon be released as Gthnk 0.5.

Windows

Gthnk is now available to a much larger audience than before because it will run on almost any operating system. Perhaps the most important feature to be included in 0.5 is Windows compatibility. Part of this improved compatibility is thanks to Python. The Python 3.6 Windows Installer is now the only requirement for installing Gthnk on Windows.

Focus

The upcoming release of Gthnk benefits from a renewed focus that should produce a noticeable improvement in quality. This is one of those releases where we proudly announce that we’ve actually removed features - and it’s a great thing! The features that remain are the core of Gthnk, so they’ve received much-needed attention and some test coverage.

Integration

The system integration features of Gthnk have been completely rewritten from scratch for the 0.5 release. The new system integration stack is now pure Python and it handles both OS X and Windows. Previously, system integration was accomplished with UNIX shell scripts that were unlikely to ever be portable to a Windows system - or even to Linux machines, for that matter. Now system integration is simple enough to document – a major accomplishment!

Internals

In order to achieve better compatibility and stability, Gthnk’s image manipulation is now pure Python thanks to the Pillow library. Gthnk previously used ImageMagick and the Python Wand library to perform image manipulations. Although ImageMagick is a very powerful toolkit, it can be difficult to ensure the proper version is installed for compatibility purposes. These dependencies came to interfere with portability to other operating systems, particularly Windows. Thanks to a meticulous rewrite of these features and others, there are no longer any external dependencies at all.

Conclusion

Release candidates for Gthnk 0.5 are already available from PyPI so you can install it now to get a preview. The website has also been rewritten to improve communication about the project, so check back here soon for more information about the Gthnk 0.5 release.