XPP 9.1 !

XPP 9.1 has been released. It's crazy how much stuff is packed into this one.

There is, I think, something for everyone, whether you are “classic”, XML or CSS, whether you are interactive or black-box. Details are, of course, in the release notes and documentation. Here are some new things. It's a long list!! 

  • Change bars for graphics in pickups. Look for a new field in the Job Ticket to enable/disable this behavior (so that it won’t interfere with existing workarounds).
  • Coding tables using HTML5 in XPP. As with anything of this nature in XPP – where coding intended for electronic display is repurposed for page-based output – “artistic license” had to be taken. Not all native aspects of HTML5 will be supported; we do our best to have both worlds handshake without colliding. To support this, XPP will deliver a CSS, new Xymacros and a tabular style bundle. HTML tables will continue to use the tabular specs and optionally, CALS-like attributes. You can continue to use CALS markup, and “classic” XPP tabular markup.
  • Tables: Another long-wished-for enhancement: the ability to control the number of top and bottom body rows that must stay together in a block or page.
  • CSS in XPP 9.0 was a big addition, and we keep on rolling with support for the margin-bottom property.
  • Good news for Open Type and True Type font users. Kerning pairs! Goodbye 10,000-pair limit. Hello 6.5 million. This is because Open Type and True Type fonts can contain thousands of characters and, hence, many thousands of permutations of kerning pairs.
  • Generally, the Page Column Override spec sits quietly while CSS, Item Formats or Macros get the spotlight. But it has reason to shine for a while, with new fields that let you create a span that is less than the total number of columns, or create a multi-column override in which the first column can be a different width than the other override columns.

We haven’t overhauled the interface because we’re too busy bossing around CSS and HTML, but sometimes little things can make a big difference:

  • Style developers will appreciate the ability to leave the Item Format open and effectively have it refresh when you invoke “Modify Format” (or “Mod This Rule”). Likewise, even if the IF is already open, the Page Layout or Macros spec will also open when you do Edit/Modify Layout or Edit/Modify Macros. No more of that annoying message (you know what I’m talking about).
  • Using tab and shift-tab will select the value in the next field, and when you start typing, the value in the field will be replaced. No need to delete first, and then type.
  • In specs and form-filler boxes (aka dialog boxes) there are now “clues” to tell you which fields have only predefined values and which fields allow both predefined and user-defined values: A down drop-down arrow indicates predefined values only, and a left-facing drop-down arrow indicates fields that allow a combination.
  • In specs and form-fillers, the cursor will now be a blinking vertical line. And yes, of course you can set the blink rate! This is XPP!
  • Finally, what is function without form? We’ve added a new line in the XYwyg resource file that allows you to colorize fill-in fields in specs. Why, you ask? Why not!
  • In PathFinder, you’ll be able to filter a long list of division names with a new “Filter List” field above the right-side List View pane.

Still more ....

  • Improved messaging for when “macro definitions are probably too long and/or recursive” to help you pinpoint the problem.
  • The ability to parse a document automatically when you save/store. A new Job Ticket field will allow you to enable or disable this behavior.
  • Block merge enhancements will make it easier to have multiple or nested continued lines. You will be able to have up to five block merge profiles running simultaneously.
  • For those who use a little XyChange (or a lot of XyChange!), now you can have a Match string with up to 16384 characters.