Hello, world: this is the inaugural post of the Yorba blog! I actually have quite a few topics queued up to blog about so you can expect more posts in the weeks to come ( and I know that my fellow Yorba engineers are looking forward to writing soon too.)
I’ll start out by writing about our latest release: after several months of hard work we released Shotwell 0.3.0 yesterday! Without a doubt this is the most interesting release of Shotwell so far. We’ve spent lots of time improving Shotwell’s scalability and performance so that it’s now very reasonable to use Shotwell with a collection of thousands of photos. We’ve also added a one-click autoenhance feature which I’ve found significantly improves most photos we’ve thrown at it. I really like that Shotwell’s autoenhance is non-destructive: it simply sets several adjustment sliders using built-in heuristics, but you can tweak the sliders afterward to your heart’s content. There are zillions of other new features as well; check the Shotwell documentation for details.
In my mind this release marks the moment when Shotwell is reasonably usable for working with actual photo collections, and I’m starting to use Shotwell exclusively for my own photo library.
We made a couple of realizations only after releasing 0.3.0. First, we found that Shotwell will build without any changes on Ubuntu but not on Fedora (and possibly not on other major Linux distributions as well). This was our mistake: it’s our goal to be distribution-neutral. We also realized that with the recently released GNOME 2.28 Shotwell displays no toolbar button labels by default. To fix these problems we’re planning to release a new version 0.3.1 in the next couple of weeks. (By the way, there have actually been a number of user interface changes in GNOME 2.28; I might blog more soon about those.)
Meanwhile, the team is chugging along and working on features for Shotwell 0.4, which we’re planning to release this December. In 0.4 you’ll be able to upload photos to Flickr and Facebook, to move photos between events, to display extended information about photos and much more. See our ticket list to learn more – the tickets marked high are currently slated for the 0.4 release, though of course that’s subject to change as the release approaches.
Oh, and Shotwell 0.4 will also build on Windows and the release will include a Windows installer. Yes, you heard it here: we’d actually like to make all the Yorba applications work cross-platform and this is a first step toward that. Rest assured, however, that all our applications will remain absolutely first-class citizens on Linux platforms; that’s Yorba’s primary goal. But we’ve actually found through recent experiments that GTK is surprisingly portable, and like other GTK-based applications such as Gimp and gedit we’d like to run on Linux first and foremost but on Windows and Mac OS as well. (I’ll plan to blog more soon about the strengths and weaknesses of cross-platform GTK in our experience).
We’d love feedback on the 0.3.0 release, and we’re always looking for help: if you’d like to get involved and contribute code, documentation or bug fixes to Shotwell or our other projects then don’t hesitate to get in touch!