History of LaTeXila

I (SébastienWilmet) started LaTeXila because I wanted to work on a programming project during the summer (I was a student at that time). I didn't know which subject to choose, and I've chosen LaTeX because there was a lack of a good LaTeX editor based on GTK+ (i.e. well integrated to GNOME).

The development started in August 2009, in the C language. In the following months a few versions were released (0.0.1, 0.0.2, 0.1 and 0.2). It had all the major basic features, and worked quite well. On the other hand, the code architecture was a disaster, due to a lack of experience (and also partly due to a lack of good and recent GLib/GTK+ documentation). As a developer I was completely new to the free software world, so I didn't know it was better to start contributing to an existing project instead of starting my own. By working with more experienced developers we learn more quickly. But at least starting my own project permitted me to learn GTK+ and it permitted me to contribute more easily to other free software projects later on.

The git repository of these first versions is no longer available publicly. Since I like statistics: there was 200 commits, with 10K lines of code. The project was hosted entirely on SourceForge.

In June 2010 I started the rewrite of LaTeXila in Vala. Vala seemed easier, with a good tutorial. LaTeXila 2.0 was released in November 2010. It had all the features of the 0.2 version, plus many improvements. The git repository was hosted on GitHub, but the project homepage and downloads were still on SourceForge. The 0.2 -> 2.0 transition reflects the rewrite in Vala. 1.0 was not suitable, because it would have been seen as an achievement of the 0.x series. With the 2.0 version number, the GNOME version numbering has been adopted (even/odd minor version for stable/unstable releases). So the 2.0 version was the achievement of the Vala rewrite, but at the same time a new beginning for the future of LaTeXila.

In February-June 2011, I worked on LaTeXila as part of a project for my studies. In the summer 2011, the project was moved to gnome.org, after reading this series of articles. GitHub was not convenient for handling translations. During that period I've also read the book Code Complete (blog post), which improved a lot my programming skills. That's why there has been a lot of code cleanups during that summer and the next summer.

With time LaTeXila has seen more and more features. During the summer 2012, another notable change is the switch from CMake to Autotools for the build system (blog post). In 2012 I also started to contribute to GtkSourceView, because there was some bugs in the completion system. And with LaTeXila in good shape, I wanted to work on something else. I did a Google Summer of Code in 2013 for GtkSourceView. Since I was more or less the only developer of LaTeXila, there was less activity in LaTeXila. But the work in GtkSourceView is of course beneficial for LaTeXila.

In September 2014, LaTeXila made a jump from the 2.12 version to 3.14, to follow the GNOME versions. It is easier to know with which GNOME version a certain LaTeXila version was developed against. For the 3.16 version (in March 2015), the build tools engine has been completely re-written in C, to have more robust and modern code, with a better code architecture.

In March 2015, a first fundraiser has been launched. More than €1000 has been raised, which permitted me to improve the spell checking and to start the gspell library. (I was no longer a student at that time).

In September 2016, a second fundraiser has been launched in parallel with a gspell fundraiser.

That's the end for now. I hope there will be other important events to relate. And you can be part of this history!

Thanks to all the contributors of LaTeXila: developers, translators, packagers, designers, donors and everybody else!

Apps/GNOME-LaTeX/History (last edited 2018-01-03 11:26:29 by SébastienWilmet)