>> Published: 17th of May 2016
It is here: PhotoQt v1.4!! After only 295 days of development, an all-new release with many exciting new features and improvements awaits.
Over this past year, I got to dive into the world of High Performance Computing (HPC) as part of my studies on iterative methods. It has been an amazing adventure already, and I learned a lot! At the end of March, I was able to present my research at a conference in Colorado, USA. This was a fantastic opportunity, but it came at the price of having a large amount of work to do going up to the conference. Thus, there were unfortunately some rather long periods of hardly any development going on over the past year.
Nonetheless, there have been numerous changes. The biggest ones are:
- The interface has been updated in almost every part, streamlining the workflow. The quicksettings element has been removed, and the context menu and drop-down main menu have been merged in a full-height bar hidden at the right screen edge. The metadata element is now a full-height bar hidden at the left edge. The thumbnail bar is the only one to stay as it was.
- There is a new built-in 'Open File' dialog for opening an image. It now uses three columns, with some commonly used favourites on the left, the folders in the middle, and the image files on the right. There are of course several adjustments possible, from zooming to hiding parts of the interface. The old way of opening a file has not been removed entirely, it can still be called with a shortcut (none set per default).
- The settings manager has been re-designed. All the descriptive text is now displayed as tooltip for the settings titles in the left column. This condensed the layout in such a way, that there wasn't the need for a distinction between 'Basic' and 'Advanced' settings anymore (no more guessing which one to choose). The fileformat setting has been fixed, so that it now actually works. The shortcuts settings have been re-designed and various bugs fixed.
- This has often been criticised as one of the bigger shortcomings of PhotoQt: The lack of support of RAW images. Well, I'm happy to tell you, that PhotoQt now supports displaying almost all varieties of RAW images. It uses the Libraw library behind the scenes for that.
- Whenever an image is zoomed or rotated, it now doesn't simply 'happen' instantaneously anymore, but it comes with a very simple and fast animation. It's nothing fancy, but it makes the overall appearance of PhotoQt much smoother
- Tooltips have been one of the things that were completely missing in v1.3. QML doesn't ship with out-of-the-box support for tooltips, but I managed to implement this feature using a C++ backend.
- Closing the PhotoQt window has now become much easier. Up until v1.3, whenever the PhotoQt window was closed, PhotoQt first checked if an element inside PhotoQt was open (like the settings or the About element). If that was the case, PhotoQt didn't close alltogether, but only the element inside PhotoQt. This has changed now: Closing the PhotoQt window now closes PhotoQt, end of story.
- The image engine and display has been completely re-written and re-designed. It should be much faster and more reliable now, as I got rid of a lot of nunnecessary detours in the code and many bugs.
These are only the main changes. There have been many more! Have a look at the Changelog for a slightly larger overview.
There is no shortage of plans where to go from here with PhotoQt. A number of features and improvements I'm hoping to look at are listed in the roadmap. Besides that, I will focus a lot on improving the speed of PhotoQt for the next release. It already got a good bit faster since v1.3, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
I hope you like the changes and improvements in this version! I'm happy to hear any feedback you have.
Enjoy PhotoQt :-)
PS: The Ubuntu PPA and the Windows installer will both be updated within the next minutes to hours...