Friday, February 24, 2012

Announcing the Novacut 12.02 components

Try as we might, we couldn't tie up all the loose ends to get our cutting workflow usable. In a live edit we can now adjust slices and reorder them in a sequence, all with real-time collaboration.

But the pieces we didn't finish are adding clips into the edit (from Dmedia), and creating slices of those clips in the first place. James Raymond has done great prototypes of these, but we didn't finish integrating all the pieces and making them work on live edits. Next month?


In our user research for Novacut, a theme that comes up over and over is a fear of making certain types of changes in one's edit, a fear of "breaking things". And this is a serious problem because it means existing software tends to scare editors away from experimentation. So we've put a lot of work into making sure changing your Novacut edit doesn't have unintended side-effects.

We also want you to be able to doodle in the margins, so to speak, to have a place to stage your thoughts without yet causing any change in the edit. The first place we're experimenting with this is in the big box labeled "Doodle Here":

The idea is that when you first create a slice, it doesn't have to go anywhere yet, it can just hang out in the doodle area. Or if you want to remove a slice from the sequence, just drag it back into the doodle area... that way you can remove a slice from the sequence without loosing that slice. I really wished we could have gotten this all finished for the release because I'm so excited for people to try it. Next month!

Thanks to all the artists!

For this month's special thanks, I want to thank the many artists who constantly help steer us is the right direction. Of course this includes all the members of the Vimeo Novacut Artist Diaries, and many others, but there are a few people I want to thank specifically:

We've been really touched by how many busy professionals have been willing to spend time giving us feedback and guidance. With your help, we've been able to take Novacut in some bold directions, yet stay on track... because many kind artists have given us a nudge back onto the road whenever we've veered off.

And for anyone thinking of designing an open-source pro creative app: please start by talking to your pro creative users! There's no sense building a great solution to the wrong problem!

Get the bits

Packages are available in the Novacut Stable Releases PPA for Ubuntu Oneiric and Precise. And you can download the source code from each component's Launchpad project page:

Contribute to 12.03 and beyond!

We always release on the last Thursday of the month. The 12.03 components will be released on Thursday March 29, 2012, and development is already underway. To see what's in store for the next releases, checkout the 12.03 milestones:

That's all, folks!

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

Jason Gerard DeRose

1 comment:

  1. Hey guys, you're implementing a wiki. Doodle, commit, roll back if not fancy enough. As an ex-wiki-admin, I assure you that nothing ever breaks in wikis. Fixing any breakage is a matter of a simple undo (if changes were not committed) or a simple rollback (if changes were committed). But, you know, evolution didn't stop there.

    Revision control systems used to solve it exactly the same way, but that didn't quite work out: code is larger and more tied together than wiki articles, so eventually revision control systems implemented branching: your code can have several different branches of evolution. You can branch it and do nasty things to it without breaking the main branch, and then merge them to the main branch. Well, there's still one way to lose your changes, though: it's undo in your text/image/video/whatever editor.

    Yep, it's 2012 already, and while our revision control systems support multiple concurrent branches and even merging them (crazy math involved), undo in our editors is still linear. Make one change and all your work for the past 2 hours you just undid to try another possibility is gone. We can roll back, but not forward. Undo is *destructive*.

    Well, the solution should be obvious now: it's undo that supports branches of evolution. Think of it: when you do something, and then roll back, that still was an attempt; if you did it, and learned something from it, it's worth keeping and maybe sharing it.
    In addition, not always the thing you just undid turns out to be so bad that you want to throw it away and never look back.

    With multi-branch undo you never lose your work and experience, and you never have to think about making commits at certain points. Moreover, you don't need two separate branching and revision-tracking mechanisms anymore. You just have your history, the history of your thoughts, generated automatically and presented as a tree. Imagining the possibilities of this thing is the hometask :P