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K2 progresses

It is really soon to show things coming up with K2 (it is in an early stage of development) but I would like to share some news, especially on the development process and the workflow I use. Maybe it will provide some insights for you as well.

The Goals

For version 1, the main goal was to provide an easy tool for designers and illustrators to create storybooks. With dozens of applications made, and some even winning some awards, I am really happy to say the aim was achieved.

For K2, the main goals are:

  • Enable designers and illustrators to create amazing stories with activities that may include physic and gaming;
  • Allow designers and developers to create not only storybooks but commercial applications and games;
  • Support authors to improve Kwik’s generated code with external libraries and manual additions (not losing it after every preview);
  • Speed up performance and error handling;

The Development Process

As you can see by the goals, the bar is really high. In the Kwik by the numbers posting I shared how big the plugin is already. For K2 I built a mind map with all potential features I am planning to add, besides the current ones (the list increases everyday, which will keep me busy for future versions too):

Screen shot 2012-03-04 at 2.49.13 PM

I am reviewing/re-writing EVERY module. The reasons for that are:

  • code needs to be cleaned (and get faster);
  • the new architecture I am using for the preview (in K2 it will be called Publish) process allows the addition of several options I couldn’t use in the current version;

Like shooting a movie, I am not working in a linear way (module 1, then module 2, etc) but reviewing everything “on demand”.

What has been done till now?

At this moment I have updated a few modules (moving code from one to another) but also adding new features to some of them. For example:

  • In K2 you will have new Properties window for your project, page and active layer. This will allow you to add or modify things, for example, like the way you want to work with different devices (see the Scale below):

Screen shot 2012-03-04 at 2.08.04 PM

  • You will be able to create groups directly from Photoshop, using the Link Layers option (select the layers you want to group, click the Link Layers to set them and click the new Create Group button):

Screen shot 2012-03-04 at 2.16.45 PM

  • You will be able to work with layers, groups but also with the full page, meaning you have the chance to animate or hide any kind of element:

Screen shot 2012-03-04 at 2.17.03 PM

  • You will be able to add external code as well:

Screen shot 2012-03-04 at 2.16.05 PM

What about a preview of the new interface? Can I test it now?

The new interface (as the new, completed, Publish module) will be the last thing I will spend time. There are many reasons for that (new operational systems coming, Photoshop CS6, Corona updates, etc) and it makes sense to design it only when the full set of features are close to be done. This is the main reason you will not be able to test K2 yet. I will invite some users (only people who have created at least one app with Kwik) for beta testing when it is time.

Remember this is just a glimpse what is coming (I just picked things that are coded at this moment). As testing has not started, some of them may not get alive for the launch so, don’t get too excited yet!

I will update you from time to time. Meanwhile, keep sending your questions via the Forums.

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  • I can’t wait to see K2 finished in it’s glory. I just created a non-book app using Kwik for the Warner Robins Police Department. It’s 95% external URLs (it’s what they wanted), but I was able to build it all in Kwik in about 10 minutes, that’s why I chose to go this route.

    Kwik isn’t just for eBooks and eComics, and K2 sounds like it’s going to be able to generate much better apps than the one I threw together.


  • Nice! The app is great that its done in Kwik, however, how did an app get through review with only outbound links?

    Is it because its for a Police Department?

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