One of the benefits of having the support of an organization like Anaconda is that we now have the time to perform little housekeeping tasks like publishing community updates. As a result, this is the first (of hopefully many) monthly updates letting you know what progress has been made in the BeeWare suite.
What we've done
- We've cleared the backlog of pull requests and issue triage. At this point, the only PRs that are open are ones that require updates or changes from the submitters. A lot of stale or duplicated issues have also been closed or consolidated.
- Webviews on Windows now use the EdgeChromium renderer, rather than the IE11 renderer. This massively improves the HTML compatibility of web views on Windows.
- Toga windows now use a "single source of truth" approach, using the API calls of the underlying GUI platform to determine the title, position and size of a window. This, in turn, allowed for the implementation of APIs that allow you to set the title, position and size of windows on desktop platforms.
- on_exit handlers on an App can now be asynchronous co-routines
- Toga dialogs that return a result (such as YesNoDialog) now use an asynchronous API. This is a backwards incompatible change that was required to support dialogs on Android; it also allows us to remove a nasty hack that was needed on iOS. However, we've been able to implement this in such a way that any existing usage that is incompatible with the new required usage will be flagged with a helpful error.
- The GTK web view has been improved, correcting some odd caching behaviour.
- Following the announcement of PyScript at PyCon US 2022, we've been able to resurrect the Web backend for Toga. This is still in the very early stages - but it's sufficiently advanced that we can run the first 2 tutorials, in both a "server side rendering" and "single page app" format.
- We've improved Briefcase's code signing integration on macOS. This should prevent some errors we've seen when signing apps that contain third-party binary modules
- We've significantly improved validation and error handling when an app name contains non-Latin characters , punctuation, or reserved words.
- We've added CI checks to ensure that Briefcase is always able to generate a valid signed app bundles
- We've improved the output generated by verbose debug output to improve full environment details . This should make it easier to identify why a command is failing due to unexpected user environments, and to assist in manually reproducing Briefcase's behaviour outside Briefcase.
- We now ensure that macOS apps are *always* signed. This is needed because all apps required at least ad-hoc signing to execute on M1 hardware.
Many of these PRs either began as, or are entirely the work of community members. There are also dozens of smaller PRs, bug fixes, and bug reports that are just as important, but are too numerous to list in a post like this. A huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to BeeWare during April.
In May, we'll be focussing on:
- Updating the support packages for macOS and iOS apps. Apple's transition to M1 hardware means there are new simulator architectures that require support; this, in turn, requires that we adopt Xcode's new XCFramework for the packaging libraries, which requires some fairly major changes to the way the support packages are built.
- Updating the support packages on Android to support Python 3.10.
- Notarization on M1. This is becoming an increasingly required part of macOS app publishing, as Apple cranks up the security requirements.
We're also expecting to start the hiring process in the coming month. We'll provide more details when we can point a full job description. If you think you'd like to make BeeWare your day job (or you know someone who might), now would be a good time to start polishing your resume.
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