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Old 09-16-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
Toxaris
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Sad Sigil news?

On the Sigil development blog I read the following story: http://sigildev.blogspot.nl/2013/09/sigil-status.html

I am not quite sure where this will lead, but it does not sound too good.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:04 PM   #2
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I'll be honest: I'm surprised it saw as much development as it did after the hand-off from its creator. That's not intended as an insult to the current management or recent contributors -- quite the contrary, actually. It's hard for a one-man (basically) project to survive a creator-ectomy. Obviously I hope Sigil can buck the long odds and thrive, but it may not be in the cards.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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I really hope Sigil survives. I'm not aware of its roadmapi but I don't think we need a lot of features to be added. Just having a maintenance team to keep it up-to-date would be enough for most people, I believe.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:11 PM   #4
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This is bad. Really, really bad. I have a lot to say about this, but I don't think I can say it in public.

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Old 09-16-2013, 05:59 PM   #5
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John has a full time job in software. I'm just glad he stuck with it as long as he has, which has brought to its current very useable state.

I hope someone will come out of the woodwork with the interest and determination to carry it on.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:10 PM   #6
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John has a full time job in software. I'm just glad he stuck with it as long as he has, which has brought to its current very useable state.

I hope someone will come out of the woodwork with the interest and determination to carry it on.
Y'know, mrmikel:

I tend to think that if anyone was going to come out of the woodwork, they already would have. The entire issue is that Sigil is OS and free; the developers are paid via contributions, solely.

At this point, it would be smarter, in my humble opinion, to make Sigil a paid product, and get it supported that way, instead of "catch as catch can." While Calibre may be supported wonderfully well, that's because it's brainless to use (no offense to Kovid, Calibre's developers/contributors, etc.). Sigil requires someone to use it who understands it. If you get tens of thousands of downloads of Calibre, and some small percentage of those contribute $5, it's a far cry from a a few thousand downloads of Sigil, 98% of whom abandon it as soon as they realize it's not a word-processor, and then some last remaining percentage of that 2% actually making contributions. John of course doesn't want to dedicate all this time, particularly for nothing or near-nothing.

Either that, or maybe we need to crowdsource it, IF we could all agree (and I don't see that happening, either) about what needs doing. The vast majority of the requests--not counting the nuttier ones--that we see are all aimed at making Sigil a word-processor that magically makes ePUBs--basically, Jutoh. Many of the more-serious users, (yes, I'm speaking about my company, specifically) don't want word-processing functions, we want things that will make the creation of quality ePUBS easier, not "click for styles" or what-have you.

I'm pondering a fork for our own use. I had figured that this would happen, but I didn't think it would be quite this soon. I'd hoped that more contributors, of both kinds, would step up and keep it going. DAMN.

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Old 09-16-2013, 09:42 PM   #7
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I can see where it might be harder to make upgrades while balancing every day life. I just hope it doesn't just vanish off the net some day due to it not being updated on a regular basis. It is a very useful program.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:56 PM   #8
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Hi

I don't know if some statistics are needed now but here they are. The contributors graph underline clearly the loneliness John Schember is experimenting specially from the beginning of this year.

http://www.ohloh.net/p/compare?metri...ect_2=calibre#

What else? thank him for the huge work already done and for the current "life support" he still accepts to provide, because Sigil is now a very advanced piece of software (thank him also for the already achieved reliance of Sigil on Qt5, which is still a goal for many other open source projects)

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Old 09-17-2013, 01:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Y'know, mrmikel:

I tend to think that if anyone was going to come out of the woodwork, they already would have. The entire issue is that Sigil is OS and free; the developers are paid via contributions, solely.

At this point, it would be smarter, in my humble opinion, to make Sigil a paid product, and get it supported that way, instead of "catch as catch can." While Calibre may be supported wonderfully well, that's because it's brainless to use (no offense to Kovid, Calibre's developers/contributors, etc.). Sigil requires someone to use it who understands it. If you get tens of thousands of downloads of Calibre, and some small percentage of those contribute $5, it's a far cry from a a few thousand downloads of Sigil, 98% of whom abandon it as soon as they realize it's not a word-processor, and then some last remaining percentage of that 2% actually making contributions. John of course doesn't want to dedicate all this time, particularly for nothing or near-nothing.

Either that, or maybe we need to crowdsource it, IF we could all agree (and I don't see that happening, either) about what needs doing. The vast majority of the requests--not counting the nuttier ones--that we see are all aimed at making Sigil a word-processor that magically makes ePUBs--basically, Jutoh. Many of the more-serious users, (yes, I'm speaking about my company, specifically) don't want word-processing functions, we want things that will make the creation of quality ePUBS easier, not "click for styles" or what-have you.

I'm pondering a fork for our own use. I had figured that this would happen, but I didn't think it would be quite this soon. I'd hoped that more contributors, of both kinds, would step up and keep it going. DAMN.

Hitch
Why a fork? Unless you want to make development people will not approve of?

Even in the worse case scenario, Sigil won't suddenly become unusable. And code is still there for people to change.

And I agree with the Jutoh / Sigil comparison. It's nice to have both.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:03 AM   #10
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How many active users are there, I wonder? As you said Hitch, a number of people try it and don't like it because it is not, nor should it be, a word processor. In the trying process they do seem to consume a lot of support time.
How many $/each would it take to make it paying given the active users?

But I get the impression from the blog, that the problem is that John doesn't want to make this full time (if that is possible in the first place.) That seems to be the main sticking point. Being written in C, from what I can tell, makes it more work than calibre, which is written in python. This may have limited the number of helpers.

Making it paid will keep out of some of the truly lazy but in some people's minds, it will ENTITLE them to support in their "I don't want to learn HTML/CSS/Regex" whine. This is not a simple problem.

DAMN is right.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:18 AM   #11
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Other than adding headers, titles, page-breaks and chapters, etc, I don't see the point in Sigil. I'm not being provocative, I just really can't see what else it does. Everything else can be done prior to formatting to epub, and adding chapters, etc, *should* be a fairly trivial process. Anyway, I assume I'm wrong about this. So what else does it do?
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:50 AM   #12
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I see Sigil as more of a cleanup or (re)finishing tool.
Time and again, I see Calibre conversion questions from people trying to find a 'magic' whatever setting/Xpath term to get the import/conversion right.

It is usually a trivial (and less time consuming) job if they would just use Sigil post-conversion to make the final adjustments.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:00 AM   #13
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Other than adding headers, titles, page-breaks and chapters, etc, I don't see the point in Sigil. I'm not being provocative, I just really can't see what else it does. Everything else can be done prior to formatting to epub, and adding chapters, etc, *should* be a fairly trivial process. Anyway, I assume I'm wrong about this. So what else does it do?
Sigil is not about the headers, chapters, etc at all. In fact, it enables you to do things you cannot do prior to formatting the ePUB. It gives you full control on how the ePUB should and will look like by opening up the document. This with still a fairly simple interface.
Of course you can code an ePUB by hand, but that will take much more time. There is no other product out there with the same capabilities nor control. There are a lot of features not found in other tools and the RegEx functionality is very useful.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:00 AM   #14
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Splitting, joining, reporting, regex "groups" that can be run sequentially. Clearly if you don't need anything like that, it still won't convince you, but it offers -- under one roof -- that which otherwise may require multiple apps to achieve. Not to mention that many platforms' included zip utilities are simply incapable of properly creating a valid epub container. Flightcrew provides error checking for when your eyes just can't find the error.

You're right that it doesn't do anything I couldn't do myself with other apps/tools... but it sure does a hell of a lot of things I don't want to have to do by hand (or run through seven different editors to achieve).
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:34 AM   #15
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Rizla, you are right about one thing. If all you ever do are simple things from scratch you do not not need Sigil. You might as well use AWP which does a fine job in that kind of application and AWP allows you to do things not so easily done in Sigil.

HOWEVER, if you have to clean up messy pdf conversions, make sure that particular formatting works in multiple devices or anything out of the ordinary, then Sigil is your software. Its aim has always been for higher level use, not a replacement for word processors. This niche although discussed at length here has not been understood by many people.

Unfortunately, this invaluable function is not needed by everyone any more than a surgeon's scalpel is needed by the average household. As I would rather have surgery done with a surgeon's scalpel rather than a meat cleaver, I'd rather work on epubs with Sigil than fight to make a word processor/text editor do what Sigil does easily IF you understand some HTML and CSS.
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