Pixen: Where am I?

Well, it has been almost a year since I posted about my adoption of Pixen. While I haven’t made the progress I had hoped in that time, there is some to report. My current GitHub repository builds on 10.6 only and only with the 32-bit Intel architecture. I’ve gotten the build down to 3 warnings with all of the options I’ve enabled but the clang static analyzer still finds over a hundred issues with the code. There are also several bugs still present that I’ve been trying to narrow down. And, unfortunately, several major parts of Pixen must be rewritten nearly from scratch to build against the 64-bit APIs. Overall, this has turned out to be a much more complicated project that I’d hoped. Pixen consists of over 25,000 lines of custom code, and that doesn’t count 3rd party libraries, of which there are several. There are an assortment of custom classes used throughout the program, including custom UI elements and even the basic image type is custom. Combine this with very little in the way of documentation or comments and my new job, and I just haven’t had the time (or expertise) to delve as far into the code as necessary. So I apologize to anyone hoping for some Pixen progress.

There is still hope however. Pixen: we can rebuild it, we have the technology. Over the coming weeks, time allowing, I’ll be adding a list of several major issues that need to be addressed for Pixen to move into 2010. These will be posted on my GitHub page, so feel free to comment with any suggestions. I always welcome additional insight into the Pixen code. Even if you don’t implement features or fix bugs, pointing me in the right direction so I can try to do so myself would be great. I’ll be focusing on any bugs that pop up (I already have at least one) and the transition to the 64-bit APIs. One of the biggest changes I’d like to see, even if I don’t do much with the foundation of the program, is a refreshed UI. I am not a designer by any stretch of the imagination, so if anyone is interested in submitting UI ideas or artwork, especially the UI icons, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for reading.

4 thoughts on “Pixen: Where am I?

  1. Wow, good for you!

    Ian, Joe, and I were just talking about how sorry we were that the community Pixen didn’t go anywhere, but we must have missed your fork. To be frank, we’re not surprised: the code is both complex and terrible. It suffered from being a 10.1-era project (so tons of it is just totally unnecessary) and from being our first major project.

    I sort of want to throw it all out and start over, but I know that’s never gonna happen. :) I know Ian had some pretty sexy backend code going for a new tile-based CG model + renderer. I’ll ask him if he’ll post it on Github or something in case anyone decides to do something fancy.

    Keep it going, dude. The Mac still need a decent pixel editor.

  2. Stumbled upon this post by accident and am very excited. Pixel was my favourite app back in the 10.4 days and I just started using it again only to find bugs and stability issues have gotten in the way of using it much.

    Full support on re-writting. This is a fantastic app that fills a great niche. There is nothing else to replace it. I’m no developer but anything I’d be happy to do some testing etc.

  3. I’d donate towards Pixen’s completion/a stable release (or gladly pay for a full retail version). OSX needs a good pixel editor with palette handling, tiling previews, and animation. Are you still planning on mussing with the old girl?

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