Happy new year to every one. I wish all of you the best year ever and tons of DVDs :)
Last posting this year so what has changed ...
I added a context menu to the GroupView's in the new dialog an have now all features in. The next week or two I will polish and test this new dialog and make sure that it is usefull and functional.
Enjoy the latest nightly and the new year ... Varol :)
The votes are in. The first ever template contest was a flop. Seems like no one wanted to participate.
We have 3 entries and thus three winners and no loosers, a grand total of 6 votes. That is the good news.
The bad is that one entry was voted for multiple times from the same IP address and I was seriously considering to eliminate it from the list. But this would have been unfair to the two votes it has gotten legitimately ( as far as I could tell ).
The winner with three votes ( 50% of all votes ) is Christmas from Richard Field. A nice animated template with a black and white image-slideshow of Christmas images from 1980.|
Congratulations to all winner.
On to a separate subject ...
I spent the past few days at the beach ... well not exactly -at- the beach but in Virginia Beach.
This was a nice and relaxing time, especially since I was cut off the internet for the duration of the trip :)
However I brought my laptop and made some progress on the new dialog. I still see at least one weeks worth of work in this one but slowly and steady we are moving in the right direction.|
I still have to implement some of the basic functionality before I can get into fine tuning the whole system but I already like the ease of organizing video clips ( See the Star-Ratings and the Virtual Folders ).
Let's see what other usefull functions I can pack into this one :)
Only another three days remaining for template submissions. If you have not done so by now you need to hurry.There are prices to be won.
I have worked hard on the new dialog the past week and I am now slowly seing the end. Though there is still a lot of work to be done.
I wrapped up the implementation of the VirtualFolder ( lest bugfixing ) and also the star ratings are implemented. I will spend the remainder of today to polish this feature a bit before I move on to the Group handling with it's Drag'N Drop interface.
The cache is now finished as well and working as it should. For now the cche is restricted to the new Dialog but in due time I will use it to get information about source files which should speed up QDVDAuthor nicely.
This is it. The final few days of the contest. You can still submit templates. But remember that the template has to be copyleft material AND that you have to have at least one drop zone.
Also important if you want to collect your win is to let me know how to reach you. I will have to donate the money otherwise.
Okay so this out of the way What has changed recently on the code front.
I fixed some minor bugs with dvdauthor.xml regarding Buttons to Menus. The target Menu number should now be correct again and the build process should once again work.
I am also proceeding with my latest Dialog and I am happy to see that step by step some of the functionality is working. Now if I can keep up this pace I might even be in debug mode by Christmas :)
It seems that QDVDAuthor will get some coverage in the German version of LinuxUser in January. Fingers crossed.
And that's all for today ... folks ...
I applied a patch from Jean Baptiste of KDEnlive - fame to handle rotation of objects now through a pressed Ctrl key instead of hitting the center of the object which caused some frustration amongst users.
I kind of liked the 'old' way but then I have to listen to my customers ;)
I also fixed some crashing bugs which I intrduced with some of the recent changes. I hope to iron all these extras out by the time V1.0 Final comes along.
I also included a new import filter to add chapter markers form a text file. This feature is accesible from within the MovieDialog. You can use either of three input formats :
|DVDLab style :
When I pull the videos from my camcorder I get between 70 and 150 short videos. Currently I am writing down which ones I want to group together. Next I import them and sort them in the SourceToolbar.
My recent change to allow normal resizing of this DockWindow helps but there is still the manual step of looking at the input files and writing down which I want to eliminate.
So This new dialog will look very similar to the ThumbnailDialog but add all required tools to sort and group videos together.
Ps. Thank you BorgQueen for you know what :)
I added the voting page for the contest and you can now vote for your favourite template.
What are you waiting for ?
We have the second entry in, and I have not been able to put up the voting page this weekend.|
Note: I have to create a new screenshot for this one. The template itself has a MovieBackground and is much much nicer then this preview here.
The later point seems minor but is very anoying when you actually use the tree. It turned out that I had to completely rewrite the underlying logic, which is not all that easy considering this involved changes in about 49 source files.
As a present to all I have made QDVDAuthor more prone to crashing until the whole code matures over the next couple of days/weeks ... Sorry folks.
So while I have not changed a lot the past few days I have kept myself busy as a bee.
Amazingly, I have received the first entry to our little Template contest.|
While browsing the other day I found qtwin and thought hmmm, lets give it a try. And lo-and-behold after a few short hours I had QDVDAuthor compile and run under windows.|
Please note that this is not running with a cygwin port of XWin but native under windows.
Yep, Q... made my application cross compile under windows.
The only thing I could not stand was that I had to work under windows XP. So I thought lets see if I can x-compile the project through wine. And you guessed it, I had the windows executable only a few hours later, fully compiled under SuSE.
One problem remaining is that the windows executable of QDVDAuthor does not like to run under wine and thus for debugging purposes I will still need to use WindowsXP.
I am now trying to actually do something under windows, which requires some changes at the MediaBackend, the path assignments and the creation process of the DVD.
Also if anyone would like to help me out with this porting effort, drop me a note. It would greatly be appreciated by every one.
Hot off the press and already outdated. But I guess that is what happens in with software. It is constantly worked on.
I made some more improvements to the ButtonDialog and the PlayMultipleDialog to improve the user experience. I also fixed some crash bugs which crept up with all the recent changes.
I could also improve the dvdauthor.xml file creation a bit further. Now you will only see a source video only one time in the DVD.
And finally I put in some logic to avoid re-creating the subtitles if they already exist ( User request ).
It is amazing what you can find when you are using your own application :). So I have a few more items I want to fix before I release V1.0 Final.
|I just released version Beta 1.0.0 RC3 . . .|
I spend most of the past few weeks implementing new features and fixing bugs. The ButtonDialog was one of the main targets, as was the generation of the dvdauthor.xml and the color scheme.
Following is the list of all major changes within the past 6 weeks.
Please read all the details on the contest page.
I added a new feature to the [Play Multiple Files ...] feature. You can now define a menu as the 'final destintion'. I believe this will improve the usability and flexibility of the new feature.|
I did also wrap up all changes in the ButtonDialog tabs for Highlighted / Selected layers. The new controls there allow for much nicer buttons and a much cleaner workflow.
At this point I have everything ready for the next release and will spend the next few days testing and bug fixing.
This is just a quick test of the stuff I have been working on the past few days.
First Color - Second Color - Third Color - Fourth Color
I finished implementing the new [Play Multiple Files ...] feature and it is working quit nicely. Honestly I don't know how I could have ever lived without it. It allows the one feature I most often use on my kids cartoon-DVDs.|
Check out the neat new button in DialogButton.
Next on my list is to fix some issues with the color assignment for masks. There is still some work to be done to have the workflow straightened out.
I am shooting for the RC3 release this weekend and hope I can find the time to play with 'Q' DVD-Author.
And the last noteworthy piece of information is that the code base has now surpassed 100.000 Lines of Code. Who'd thunk about four years ago that this app would grow so big.
I have been a busy bee the past week and had time to start with a real cool new feature which I hope to be able to finish before the next release.
I added the capability to add a [Play All] button to your DVD. But of course I spent a bit more time on the details so you can specify any number of files in any order to play.
I had to also continue working under the hut to smooth out the waves I caused with the color change.
After a long time pushing this one out I finally got around and replaced all QColor / QRgb variables with a new class called Rgba.
Rgba in itself is fairly simple and straight forward but it brings about the power of the alpha channel which comes in quite handy for the Highlighted / Selected masks. This of course was required for the new MaskObject class.
It took me all day to get this conversion in but I am glad I did as a lot of classes (32 total) were affected by this 'simple' change.
I started working on the MaskObject, which is to be used to create semi-transparent layers for ButtonObject ( ImageButtons to be more specific ).
This will automatically be used when dragging a Button over from the LibraryDialog. So you better get the button library installed :)
I fixed the refresh problem when importing from a dvdauthor.xml file or when qdvdauthor is called from Kino.
I also fixed a performace related issue for a project that has 412 DVDMenus. Yep, it takes about 5 minutes to load and about the same time only to generate the dvdauthor.xml file :)
I have to admit that I am not patient enough for those kind of projects.
After working some with MovieObjects I came to the conclusion that it is hard to remember to set the same length for MovieObjects and DVDMenu length. So I implemented a new check to help you pinpointing this issue.|
I also found that the MovieDialog had a few minor issues with MovieObjects which I resolved as well as a crashing bug in the MovieDialog.
You can now use the slider controls to adjust the MovieObject length. I also added a new check box to keep the MovieObject the same duration as the DVDMenu.
So good news all around :)
Some more changes and bugfixes in CVS as of tonight.
You can now go to [ Tools -> Setup -> Drag'n Drop -> ] and select [ Create Movie Button ].
Then go to your movie, [ Right Click -> Properties -> Chapters ] create some chapters and use the ThumbnailDialog [ Right click -> Thumbnails ... ] to drag them onto your menu.
This will give you a bunch of nice MovieButtons without much hassle.
Go and have some spooky fun.
I just checked in some changes which optimize the creation of the Jump table in dvduthor.xml.
Previously you could easily surpass the limit of 128 Jumps per pgc while now you will have a harder time doing so.
I fixed a bug related to renaming a SubMenu. All affected buttons are now refreshed to reflect the new Menu Name. Thank you Andzrej for finding this one.
I made some further changes to the dvdauthor.xml generation. I fixed the assignment of a menu to a sub-menu in a titleset. That is if you assign 5 menus to a titleset you can define the sub-menu number per menu.
The other change I made today was the removal of the JUMPPAD Yeah, say good bye to this one and enjoy the additional hardware registers you can now use.
It took me a long time to finally get rid of the jumppad. I had this on my TODO list for years and I am really glad this has been removed.
One week since the last release and I got a lot of little things fixed.
Now that those items are out of the way I can focus on some other changes that might just take a bit more time ...
Stay tuned. :)
|I just released version Beta 1.0.0 RC2 . . .|
This release encompasses 5 months of coding with the main focus being to fix the crashes on DualCore machines and the ability to add multiple audio tracks to a DVDMenu.
So what has been added to this release ...
I found this realy nice slideshow application and would love to create something very similar for Linux ( using Qt 4.x). So who want's to help ?
Can you believe it, it is already October. So what do you know, I am getting ready for the next release.
I have had some time to work on the multiple audio tracks for menus and have only a few items left on the list before I can wrap this one up.
At this point in time I believe it is worth another release because the new MPlayerInterface has proven to be so much more stable then the previous version and the changes to the Audio backend for menus is also a major change in the code base.
If everything goes well I will be able to spit the next release out some time this week. So stay tuned.
I have finally found some time to get working on QDVDAuthor again. I am working on the capability to add multiple audio channels to a DVDMenu. I want to use this later on to play the sound track of a MovieButton when highlighted.
But even in the basic form it would be nice to give a menu multiple audio channels.
And while I am at it I also added a auto-transcode feature, so if you add a mp3 file, QDVDAuthor will automigically mark it for transcoding.
Another benefit are the hidden issues if you add E.g. a mp2 file with 44100Hz sample rate, which is VCD but not DVD compliant.
I fixed also the default bitrate for mp2 to 192kbps instead of 128kbps. I found that some HW DVD players have issues with 128kbps though it is well within the range of the DVD spec of 32kbps - 1536kbps.
I still need to get the mplex command straight and do some other structural changes to fully support this feature however work is progressing.
I checked in a ton of changes all related to the crashing issues on DualCores. Though not as well tested as could be, I believe it'll crash much less, so there is nothing to loose by checking the changes in.
I analysed the running threads and found where the deadlock occured and where it used to crash. Since I do not own a DualCore machine this is all analytical and only time will tell.
Bottom line is that I encourage every one to upgrade to the current version.
BTW, all changes were made to MPlayer related classes. Xine related classes should work the same as before.
I can't believe it has been over a month since my last entry. For various reasons I was unable to find a shred of time playing with QDVDAuthor.
'Q' DVD-Author in the news :
|I found this very positive article about DVDAuthoring today on Linux.com. It is definitively worth a read as it gives a clear overiew of the range of available programs.|
So what is to be expected in the near future ? Once I can find the time to get my hands dirty on QDVDAuthor again, I'll try to fix these crashing bugs which bug so many dual core owner.
I have implemented QMPlayerInfo at least 4 different times and come to believe now that the root cause must be some where else in the system. So refocusing on the dispatcher part will hopefully bring a solution.
And finally I want to thank every one who contributed to the project, through donatios or otherwise.
After some further testing and changing things about I came to the conclusion that I will have to do without Qt's QProcess and QThread objects and will have to write my own Execute class based on some Linux clasics such as popen(3) etc.
This issue has now taken me the better of two weeks and I am ready to move ahead with a true solution rather then the current trial and error approach. At least this way I'll know what's going on behind the scenes as I am writing the scenes ...
Also I want to say thank you to Joan F. who sent me the translation files for Catalan. So go ahead and enjoy QDVD-Author in all its current glory in Catalan.
I did some testing yesterday and found that adding an EventLoop to MPlayerInfo will screw up things at other places in QDVDAuthor. So I am now biting the bullet and reorganizing all MediaInof related classes to be initialized after entering the event loops of the corresponding Dialogs.
... and after all the fun I have/had with MPlayerInfo I will have to get back and test that XineInfo is still working as expected.
The past few days I was spending on MPlayerInfo and MPlayerWidget to try to fix the crashes on dual-core machines. Then yesterday I figured out what was going on.
The Chicken - Egg problem :
I am using QProcess to call MPlayer to get information and screenshots from a video source. The beauty about this class is that you simply connect the readStdout signal with an appropriate slot and then block until you get the callback.
This works just great. However after some minor changes to MPlayerInfo I found that the MovieDialog takes forever to pop up. So I debugged and found that I first create the dialog, initialize it and then call exec() just as one would think.
The problem is that the dialog has it's own EventLoop, so using connect(...) will actually connect to the dialogs EventLoop ( also as expected ).
Now something funny happens when initializing MPlayerInfo. QProcess will fork a process and then call execvp(...) collect the output and put it into the queue to signal readStdout. Problem is that at initialization the EventLoop is not yet running, so no signal can be emited.
MPlayerInfo thus waits for the stdout until it'll timeout ( 2sec ) [twice for the MovieDialog], then continues and eventually enter the EventLoop, at which time the signals are emited.
So at this point the whole system is already on shaky ground. I could fix it by repositioning all MediaInfo calls after entering an EventLoop but this would break the object architecture plus I would need to remember this quirk. Also XineInfo works just fine like that as it has it's own, built in EventLoop.
So I am planing in modifying MPlayerInfo to get its own EventLoop to handle the signals propperly. Please note that I can not simply spin off another QThread as this would then be a non blocking action.
Yeah yeah, I know I should have implemented these functions non blocking from the get go, which would have prevented this head-ache. Well live and learn ...
Newsflash : June turned out to be one of the worst months in my life as I had to return to Germany to attend my Dad's funeral. He succumbed a sudden Heart Attack and will be missed greatly by all of those who knew him.
Needless to say that I did not feel inspired to spend my time in front of the keyboard the past few weeks...
However I am starting to feel that itch again to iron out those pesky crash bugs on Dual Core CPUs and get the interface for the One Click DVD up and running ( the basic design is done ).
So any one who wants to help me debug QDVDAuthor on a Dual Core machine should speak up now or hold your peace forever.
I also found that the latest changes to the MPlayerInfo introduced some additional bugs which need my attention.
Oh where can I find the time and muse to fax all of this ...
I just now saw that my article to Linux.com has been published. Here is the direct link.
Not to much has changed the past few days as I am busy with other things. I am currently fixing some minor issues with [File save as ...] and [Open Recent ...].
If you ask what the heck could keep me that busy check out this link.
|Also I want to send a |
BIGthank you to the last donor. :)
|I just released version Beta 1.0.0 RC1 . . .|
Three years and five months in the making. Finally I am ready to put out the first release candidate of QDVDAuthor.
QDVDAuthor is at a pivotal point in its development cycle and a few forces are pulling on the continued development of the program.
The first and foremost of these forces is the used widget set. Using Qt 3.x as the base while the current Qt version is 4.2.3 renders the used technology outdated. Also it would be a waste not to use the available rendering features of Qt 4.x and stay with 3.x.
Another force pulling in the opposite direction is the fact that QDVDuthor, while not perfect is usable and eases the creation of DVDs under linux. It would be a waste to abandon this project completely, just as it would be a waste to continue the current pace of development.
So I decided to bring out version 1.0 and try to keep up with patches while I focus my energy on a new project that will supercede `Q` DVD-Author.
QtDVD, the cross platform DVD authoring suite. It will take time and energy to get to the point of functionality of the current `Q` DVD-Author but in the end it will be well worth the effort to start over from scratch.
So what has been added to this release ...
I checked in some changes today which fixed a bug regarding creation of multiple directories at once (E.g. if you put your temp dir not under /tmp but /tmp/qdvdauthor/project).
I am slowly but steady preparing to release 'Q' DVD-Author version 1.0 RC 1. I hope that by the end of tomorrow I have all my ducks in a row.
To get there I will need to make sure that the new packages will include all available templates as well as all button objects. Also a few minor issues need to be resolved and I want to wrap up the MenuSlide part.
First off I have to advance my thanks again to Antonio F., this time for his translation into Italian. Without people like him this project would only be halve as good.
I am currently busy with all sorts of other things and have not found a lot of time to work on the code. I have however worked on an article for QDVDAuthor which I hope to wrap up by this weekend.
So for all of you unpatiently waiting for the next release, sorry you have to hold out a bit longer. But let me ensure you that once I get my hands on the code again it won't be long :)
Tons of news this time around ...
I gave my presentation at the NOVA-Lug meeting today and it was a nice experience. No one fell asleep and not one foul egg hit me while I was on stage. For that I will be gratefull.
I want to thank Antonio F. for his translation into Esperanto. I like this language and it is a great addition to Q-DVDAuthor.
I installed OpenSuse 10.2 last weekend and tweaked it so that I have Beryl up and running.
I have to admit I don't know how I could have endured a computer without it. :) A big thanx to the busy people who developed XGL, AIXGL, Beryl and xorg. You got to love free software ...
I have made some drastic changes on the GUI front of the main window as you can see from the screenshot. I hope this is more to every ones liking.|
Also I eliminated a couple of bugs which have cropped up in QDVDAuthor while preparing for the presentation. And last but not least I got the new MenuSlide dialog to a point where I actually get a working slideshow. Now all I have to do is to tweak it such that is looks just stunning.
So next on my list is to finish up the MenuSlide plugin and then relaese version 1.0, RC1. Yep you got that right, we had to get to this point eventually :o)
Shell access to SourceForge has finally be restored. The nightly was updated and I put the button library on SourceForge for download.
You have to extract it under /usr/share/qdvdauthor/buttons/
I heard a lot of people complain about the instability of QDVDAuthor and indeed it crashes once in a while even on my box. I have problems pinning the issue down as a lot of the time the crash occurs in a xine thread.
So I made some research and learned that xine has fixed a lot of crash bugs recently. So I went ahead and made the current version of xine ( v 1.1.4 ) the required version and updated to the lates KXineWidget from the Kaffeine - project.
I hope that this will reduce the crash happiness of QDVDAuthor a bit.
I added a library of buttons / frames, which I found on the site for Gui For DVDAuthor (windows).|
I also added a new dialog which handles the new library accordingly. You can simply drag'n drop the objects over onto the DVDMenu an then use it just like any other ImageObject.
SourceForge shell access disabled. So you won't see this until the 21'st ... Hmmm
What do you get when you mix a RAD (Rapid Application Development) effort with a bug fixing campaign ? A SAD effort (Slow Application Development).
This is about what I went through the past couple of days. I started the plugin to create a MenuSlideshow and was well on my way when I got more people complaining about orange buttons.
Unfortunately I could not reproduce the issue on any of my VMWare installs, nor on my Laptop or on my Server.
At one point in this sad bug tale I was contacted by Kate D., Aka <Borg^Queen> to her friends on the #arklinux list, who also got the 'Orange button-bug'.
She was so kind to grant me remote access to a test box but we could not reproduce the bug. For the next 5 nights ( FIVE ) we were unsucessfull until we finally found out that the bug is related to the screen color depth.
QDVDAuthor would not generate any mask on a 16bit color depth desktop.
Once we identified the issue it took me only a few hours to eliminate the issue and QDVDAuthor should now work again for any color depth.
I invested a bit time to improve QPlayer, which until now was only a simple video player.|
For QPlayer to be usefull within a DVD-Authoring framework the menu functions were missing. So now you can use the buttons to work within your DVDMenu.
Note: These controls work only if you select a xine based backend. MPlayer does at this time not support menu navigation ...
|I also started to implement a new feature which will help me create a nice animated menu. More of this soon as the whole thing is taking shape. Lets just say it ain't gonna be your ordinary template ...|
I also signed up to give a presentation on 'Q' DVD-Author at the monthly meeting of NOVA Lug. If you are in the area come on by.
|I just released version Beta 0.1.5 . . .|
Here are the major changes that went in.
You can check out the CHANGELOG file to see all the details.
I did it again. I went the extra mile.|
I enhanced the Thumbnail dialog a bit to make it truely usable. You can now drag a whole collection of thumbnails and create a chapter menu with a few mouse clicks as demonstrated in this flash animation.
I will now force myself to do the 'boring' work for the next release.
To that regard I could fix some file access issues in 'Q' DVD-Author thanx to John B. who granted me remote access to his box.
I hope that eventually this will be resolved in either xorg, xine or both. For now this has to do.
Stay tuned ...
I want to start this entry off by saying thanks for the last donation I received.|
I added another a new dialog to help with thumbnails. This dialog will create a thumbnail for each chapter marker of your video.
You can then simply drag the image over to the menu to create the button.
I also fixed some bugs, restructured some internal logic and got started with the audio transcoding part.
I was trying to solve some issues with the mask generation and was stuck the past three days trying to get Mandriva, and gentoo up to a point where I can compile and run QDVDAuthor in VMPlayer.
I was so frustrated that I thought I check out OpenSolaris in its LiveCD incarnation called BeleniX.|
I am currently compiling QDVDAuthor (in memory) on my Laptop under OpenSolaris. It took me about 5 minutes to get the whole process started.
I am impressed and I am not easily impressed on the computer side of things. All GNU tools are there, Qt is installed including all required development tools. Network was auto configured. XFce is fast and KDE is also available.
I recommend this to every one to give it a try. No installation required. Cool ...
It seems there are only a few issues with running QDVDAuthor under Solaris.
Of course all of those issues can be easily solved :)
Happy Birthday to Me ...
After I finally got QEmu working I deemed it unusable with my current setup and wandered off to use VMPlayer and a precreated Kubuntu image.|
After about one day setting up and getting all required packages / sources, I could finally trace those bugs which I did never see on my x86_64 SuSE Linux 10.1 system.
I found a nice image on The Internet Ray Tracing Competition which I just had to use to create this new template.
The creator of the image Sean Day has graciously allowed me to do so.
I also received a new template from Luffy for which I am very greatfull.|
I hope this year we will get the number of templates available for QDVDAuthor to exceed 100. I guess time will tell. We have 12 months and 78 templates to go.
2006 has been a productive year and I accomplished at least some of my goals for the year. I have yet to get the undo/redo functionality working 100%.
Besides this I have focused on usability and functionality last year and also fixed some crash bugs along the way. I believe more people will start using 'Q' DVD-Author once we get more templates in.|
To that end I would like to thank Dr. Christian B. for his nice Raumpatroulie Orion template. This is the second template done by someone else but me.
BTW, I realy liked the show when I saw it in the 70's :)
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