Thursday, September 29, 2011

Announcing the Novacut 11.09 components

Another month, another release. This release still isn't interesting to the end user, but it's an exciting release for anyone interested in Novacut UI development.

Enabling UI innovation

We decided to build Novacut around CouchDB because it basically gives us real-time collaboration for free. But as long as we're using CouchDB, WebKit becomes a really attractive option for building the UI as we have a local web server to talk to.

There is another reason to use web technology... many people know it. I'd say these days there are probably more world class UI designers building with web tech than everything else combined (if anyone has actual facts to prove or disprove this, would love to know).

But the benefit of building with web tech is lost if the development process is too awkward or unfamiliar. Web developers expect to be able to change a file and hit Reload, so a big goal this month was to make our UI development that easy.

As you can see in this video, I think we've pulled it off: change a file, hit Reload. Plus, we really hope other apps start using this sort of architecture, so we split the key bits into a standalone library called UserWebKit.

Getting dmedia production ready

Most of the month was spent doing massive work on the road to rubber stamping dmedia as "production ready", which means two things:

  1. We're extremely confident that dmedia will never cause data loss
  2. We're prepared to maintain indefinite backward compatibility with the initial dmedia database format

Recommending dmedia for day-to-day use is both very exciting and rather terrifying. Protecting your data is a big responsibility, and this has obviously weighed on my subconscious. A few weeks ago I actually had a bad dream that Philip Bloom was trying out dmedia and it lost some of his files!

But the point is, we take protecting your data very seriously... and we wont call dmedia "production ready" without good reason.

Get the bits

Packages are available in the Novacut Stable Releases PPA for the soon to be released Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric" . And you can download the source code from each component's Launchpad project page. Whoa, six components and counting:

Special thanks

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

Contribute to 11.10 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 11.10 components will be released on Thursday October 27 2011, and development is already underway. To see what's in store for the next releases, checkout the 11.10 milestones:

That's all, folks!

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

Jason Gerard DeRose