Thursday, January 31, 2013

13.01, first release of the new year

What's New

Thanks to Simon Wells, the Dmedia browser got a nice makeover and now displays useful metadata:

Other than that, this was a slow month as far as changes that users will notice. However, huge progress was made in finalizing the version one Dmedia Hashing Protocol, including drafting a formal protocol specification. (See the FileStore 13.01 release notes for more details.)

Before finalizing the protocol, we'd like to have at least one independent implementation. Robert von Burg has started work on a Java implementation, and has already provided very valuable feedback on things that are unclear in the specification. Thanks, Robert!

Now all that sounds very geeky, but there is a good reason why we've put so much work into this part. I felt it was deeply important that Novacut work without the cloud, that it be easy to move assets between different cloud providers, and that ferrying hard drives across the sneaker-net be a first-class way to share the assets needed for collaboration.

Cloud services can be unprecedented traps for customer lock-in, and I don't want artists to check-out of one roach motel only to become permanent residents at another. Unless you can get your data out of the cloud, and you have access to the software needed to use your data without the could, you're boned.

Although it's not being used yet, there is a new software component this month: D-Base32. It's an experimental base-32 encoding designed for document-oriented databases. Unlike standard Base32 encoding, it preserves the sort order (so sorting by the binary IDs gives you the same order as sorting by the D-Base32 encoded IDs). We haven't decided yet whether we're going to switch, and we'd love feedback on this. Please see the D-Base32 Design Rationale if you're interested.

As always, if you want to get involved with Novacut design or development, please stop by the #novacut IRC channel on freenode and introduce yourself.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Greg McQueen for taking the time to interview me for Digital Gleu:

Install Novacut 13.01

Please follow these instructions to install Novacut on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise), Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal), or Ubuntu Raring (the development version). Note that if you've already installed a previous version of Novacut, you'll automatically get Novacut 13.01 the next time the Ubuntu Update Manager runs.

If you're trying Novacut for the first time, you probably want to start by watching this so you understand a bit about Dmedia, and then watch this to get a good tour of Novacut.

Source code

You can download the source code from each component's Launchpad project page: