Thursday, August 25, 2011

Announcing the Novacut 11.08 components

I'd first like thank everyone, all 802 of you, who backed us on Kickstarter, and everyone who helped spread the word. And I'd like to thank those who supported us earlier via PayPal: you gave us the benefit of the doubt back when there was less reason to do so. We feel extremely lucky to be able to keep working on Novacut full-time.

Meet our release process

As this is our first release day since Kickstarter, I figure it's a great time to introduce the many newcomers to our release process.

We do monthly, time-based releases. Realistically, a software project can only make a commitment to either what features will be released, or when a release is made. From observing other projects, and from personal experience, I feel a commitment to when is far more productive, so that's what we do with Novacut.

The way to manage time-based releases (without things becoming stressful) is to keep the trunk branches always in a high-quality, releasable state. This helps keep everyone productive as developers aren't slowed down by bugs in the trunk as they work on new features. And new features are only merged to the trunk once they have good test coverage and have reached an acceptable quality level.

For a highly user-focused project like Novacut, time-based releases are great because we never go more than a month without getting a new stable release into our users' hands. This means we can't get too far off track before our users give us a reality check. Actually, as we do automatic daily builds throughout the month, those adventurous enough to use our daily builds PPA wont let us go more than 24 hours without a reality check.

New YY.MM version scheme

Those who having been following things for a while are probably surprised by the 11.08 version number. I mean, wasn't this supposed to be the belated dmedia 0.8 release? Nope, we turned things up to eleven.

Hehe. Okay, a more serious explanation: We're building Novacut as a collection of simple, focused components. For example, novacut builds on dmedia, which builds on filestore. As things are moving so quickly, there will be API changes between the layers fairly often. So for example, a given month's dmedia release will require that same month's filestore release.

Rather than having to remember that dmedia 0.9 requires filestore 0.2, I decided to go with a common YY.MM (year and month) version scheme used across all the components. So next month, dmedia 11.09 will require filestore 11.09, and so on.

What's new in the 11.08 components

For the end user, this release is still boring and rather useless. Sorry, nothing shiny for you to play with just yet! There should be some shinny next month, and substantial shinny in the 11.10 release.

However, for developers 11.08 is a quite exciting release. For one, this is the first release of the novacut component itself, which did its first video renders earlier this month. This also marks the first release of filestore as a stand-alone component, which includes the new Skein-based dmedia hashing protocol.

Packages are available for Ubuntu Natty and Oneiric in the Novacut Stable Releases PPA. And you can download the source tarballs here:

Special thanks

This release wouldn't be possible without the hard work and expertise of the following people:

Contribute to 11.09 and beyond!

Want your name in next month's release notes like all the cool kids above? If you look at the Jump in section on this page, you'll see a link to the Bitesize Bugs for each component. These are bugs that should (in theory) require little coding, but will get you familiar with the Launchpad workflow, running the unit tests, and, importantly, get your name in the release notes.

We always release on the last Thursday of the month. The 11.09 components will be released on Thursday September 29 2011, and development is already underway. To see what's in store for the next releases, checkout the 11.09 milestones:

That's all, folks!

Thanks to everyone who is helping make this dream a reality!

Jason Gerard DeRose


  1. Congrats on an initial code drop! Looking forward to see what you come up with in the future.