At the moment I am revisiting the development of a Plant Base edition for Linux. This was briefly looked at before but this a more concerted effort and a good winter project! Strictly speaking Plant Base already runs on Linux, in that we have the existing Android edition and Android is built around a Linux kernel. However, in this case we are talking about Linux operating system distributions for PC’s and laptops.
The Beta Test release for Plant Base Mac OSX edition is now available for download.
Preliminary testing has gone well. However, please remember that this is essentially a new program for the Mac operating system and there will be further development, bug fixes and so on.
Over recent years there have been more requests for this than anything else! Well, it should be ready for public release quite soon.
The Mac edition of Plant Base is a direct port from the Windows program and coded in the same language – the spectacular PureBasic from Fantaisie Software. A large part of the program is exactly the same as the current Windows release and this has greatly helped in speeding along the development. The Mac operating system is however quite different (and new to me!), so a fair number of changes were needed to switch over and adapt things that are specific to the two environments. The bulk of this work is done, leaving mainly finer details still to be tweaked and of course some extended testing.
Since the first versions, the Plant Base program has offered a function menu of large buttons at the left side of the window. These give quick access to some of the most common functions. They repeat some of the functions from the traditional top menu-bar, so some users don’t use them at all (and don’t display the side panel) while others find them quick and convenient.
However, feedback indicates that people work in different ways and some users would like to arrange the menu buttons in a different order. At a future version there will be a simple, mouse-controlled customisation. However, part of the configuration basis for it has already been done and included from version 2.1.3. So with some manual configuration, it is now possible to change the order.
With Windows Notepad, open the file PlantBase.prefs – this is normally found under your Windows Profile, but if you are not sure then the location is displayed at the bottom or the Plant Base Configuration Options Window.
At the end of the file add a new line:
Below that we add the lines giving the button positions. There’s no need to add them all, only the ones you wish to change. But a minimum of 2 entries are needed, in order to swap 2 button positions. There is no automatic positioning – you must specify all changes.
For example, to change around the Add and Delete buttons, just add these lines:
AddPlant = 4 Delete = 2
Where the number gives the button order from the top.
Now save the PlantBase.prefs file and re-start the Plant Base program.
The sequence of the lines is not important, they just need to be in a group under the [MenuButtons] heading. If you make any error, such as giving two buttons the same number – don’t worry, all lines are ignored and the default order is used. Just correct them and try again.
The lines for all buttons are as follows, with their default position number:
[MenuButtons] FindPlant = 1 AddPlant = 2 Edit = 3 Delete = 4 AddToList = 5 AddPicture = 6 References = 7 PlantList = 8 ManagePictures = 9 SlideShow = 10 Help = 11 Exit = 12 You can Copy&Paste the above lines if you wish.
A new version of Plant Base, 2.1.3, was released today and is available for download.
Like the last couple of versions, this is a program maintenance release. There are a number of bug-fixes and a few small changes to the user-interface, so I would recommend that any user already running Pant Base 2 updates to this version. There are no updates to the plant database itself.
A new version of Plant Base is available for download – 2.1.2.
This is a program maintenance release with only minor changes and no updates to the plant database itself.
As with version 2.1.1, there is no urgency to update, unless directly affected by the issues fixed. There are a couple of bug-fixes to the HTML Reporting function and also a small change to the behavior when deleting an entry from a Plant List. Also the program executable is created using the latest release of the development compiler (PureBasic 5.20), which may give improved stability and efficiency.
A new version of Plant Base is available for download – 2.1.1.
This is bug-fix only release with no feature changes or updates to the database. For users already on 2.1.0 there is no urgency to update, unless directly affected by the issues fixes. The most significant resolves an issue that prevented plant list being imported from text files.
The new Plant Base 2 has finally been released as our current production version. This version is 2.1.0 and it follows on from a long sequence of Beta Test versions produced during the last year.
Though the application is broadly the same as the previous 1.6.1 version and currently has the same plant record content, it is in fact a total re-write using a different programming language and database engine. So it is still a very young program and I’m sure there will be further version releases relatively soon.
Another new Beta Test version of Plant Base 2 is up on the website.
This is mostly a bug-fix release, but the install file also includes the recently issued database release 23. Together with the features added in the last couple of test versions, this brings the Plant Base 2 package up to a level that is very equivalent to the current production version (or better in some parts!).
An update to the plant database content has just been made available on the website – Data Release 23.
This is similar to the update released about a year ago – no change to the version of the live-product program, which remains at 1.6.1. The data for the mobile edition has been updated to match, as has the free web database, Plant Base Online.