Epic OpenShot 2.0 Update! (Part 3 of 3)
Welcome to third and final update of the Epic OpenShot 2.0 Update! I've already received some great feedback on the previous two updates, so thank you for that. This update will not be as technical as the previous, so hopefully everyone who was a little lost will enjoy this one more.
As everyone reading this knows, OpenShot 2.0 is an open-source application. Kickstarter has been a challenging balancing act. Certain backer levels on Kickstarter are promised early access to various things, such as alpha, beta, and final releases. But how can an application be built and shared freely, while also restricting parts of it to a small group of people? It is a challenge, and here is my plan to solve it.
The alpha, beta, and final installers (i.e. easy ways of installing and configuring the binary application files), will be released first to the backers on Kickstarter (as promised). After all, without their support OpenShot 2.0 might never have happened.
However, the source code to OpenShot 2.0 should be released to the broader open-source developer community prior to me building the installers. I need the community to get involved with testing, bug fixes, translations, documentation, and even packaging. This will result in a much happier community, and a much better product for the backers on Kickstarter.
So, my current plan is to first release the source code to the OpenShot Library, and then soon after that, the PyQt source code to OpenShot 2.0. For the average person, compiling OpenShot 2.0 themselves would not be advised, and they should wait for the alpha, beta, and final releases (with installers). I hope that all makes sense, and if not, please feel free to share your questions or comments with me.
Web-Based Video File Testing
One of the most important (and challenging) tasks for a video editor is to offer broad support for your favorite video formats. This is currently accomplished by utilizing the FFmpeg and/or libAV projects. So, while I don't have direct control over these formats/codecs, it is my job to integrate them as best as possible.
Later this month (or possibily early February), I will be launching a web page which will let you share sample video and audio files with me (as long as they are less than 50 Mb). These sample files will feed into an automated testing suite that I have developed, and will be inspected, decoded, thumbnailed, audio waveforms generated, and transcoded. The results will be posted on the website... although I will probably not share the actual video file or thumbnails (due to copyright issues, inappropriate content, etc...). My ultimate goal is to develop a huge cross-section of video files with different formats and codecs, which can be used now and in the future to regression test updates to libopenshot. In other words, this will help compile a list of compatible video and audio files, as well as identify issues with certain file types. It is also another great way for people to contribute to OpenShot.
What is a profile you ask? Well simply put, a profile is a collection of video settings, such as height, width, frame rate, display ratio, pixel ratio, etc... OpenShot has a large list of "profiles", but I am very interested in the most common profiles used by normal users. So, I will also soon be releasing a simple web-based form, which will allow users to submit their favorite and most common profiles they use when editing videos. I will also display this information on the website (in total), for others to view. This data, along with the previous data-set of supported video and audio files, will help me ensure I support the most popular formats and profiles, and thus, I satisfy the largest group of users.
Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE 12x)
On February 21 to 23, I will be representing OpenShot at SCALE 12x, one of the largest community run events focused on Linux and free software in the United States. Although this might take a few days away from programming, it is an important event for OpenShot and a chance for me to meet many users face-to-face, listen to feedback, and meet with other OpenShot developers. I will be demonstrating OpenShot 2.0 LIVE at the show, and hopefully by this time, many of you will also be playing with an alpha release at home. =) I'm also considering having a LIVE stream of the event, but I'm not sure I'll have enough bandwidth for that yet. So, if you are near Los Angeles, CA towards the end of February, please stop by and hang out with us a bit.
Thanks for your Support
One again, thank you EVERYONE for your support! OpenShot 2.0 is moving along as quickly as I can build it. I will be posting a new update at the beginning of each month, and will be releasing an alpha as soon as everything is stable. On a final note... I'm still fighting a C++ heap corruption issue on Windows, and if any expert C++/MinGW developer wants to jump in an offer me a hand and be a hero, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!