Category Archives: Shotwell

Announcing Shotwell 0.20 and Geary 0.8

We’ve released Geary 0.8 and Shotwell 0.20 today and I’m pretty excited about getting these out the door to our users.  Both releases include important fixes and some great new features.

Geary 0.8

While Geary 0.8 has a slew of new features and improvements, I would say the most visible for our users (compared to 0.6) are the following:

  • Robert Schroll’s redesign of the mail composer.  Not only does it look a lot sharper and more modern than before, it also operates inline in the main window—that is, you type your reply right below the email you’re responding to.  This means replying to a conversation is a more natural operation than opening a separate window or switching to a new view.  You can still pop the composer out into a separate window, just press the Detach button and you’re on your way.
  • Gustavo Rubio’s hard work to get signature support into Geary.  Now Geary will automatically insert a signature of your design into an email, whether new or replying to another.  This is one of the most-requested features for Geary, so it’s good to get this in.
  • I’ve put in some hard work on improving database speed and IMAP connection stability.  There’s still a couple of kinks here and there, but I feel like 0.8 is a big step forward in making Geary the kind of application you can leave on for days at a time without worrying about it slowing down, crashing, or losing its connection to the server.

In other words, if you’re a Geary user, you really should upgrade.

That said, here’s a more formal list of improvements:

  • Major redesign of email composer, now presented inline in main window
  • Composer will automatically add signature to emails
  • Saving drafts to server can be disabled
  • Improved interface, now using GtkHeaderBar and modern widgets
  • Database speed optimizations to reduce lags and improve read times
  • Improved connection handling and reestablishment
  • Show attachments lacking a Content-Disposition
  • Important bug fixes
  • Updated translations

The tarball for Geary 0.8 is available here.  Visit the Geary home page for more information.

Shotwell 0.20

Shotwell 0.20 has a more modest set of improvements, but it’s still growing and developing.  In particular, new photo sharing plugins were added and stability fixes have been included:

  • Support for and Gallery 3 photo services
  • Set background image for lock screen
  • Better detection of corrupt images during import
  • Important stability bug fixes
  • Updated translations

The tarball for Shotwell 0.20 is available here.  Visit the Shotwell home page for more information.

Shotwell, elementary, and Pantheon Photos: What it all means

Last Friday Daniel Foré made an announcement on elementary’s mailing list that has generated a considerable amount of interest:

Shotwell needs a new maintainer. … After some discussion with Jim, we think the best course of action is for elementary to fork Shotwell.

OMG! Ubuntu reported later that day (and with surprising speed) that “Elementary To Take Over Shotwell Development”.  I’ve received emails from people wondering what this means for the future of Shotwell.

To be clear, Yorba remains the maintainer of Shotwell.  elementary has not taken it over.  Yorba recently took the rather large step of moving Shotwell and all its associated work (including our ticket database, wiki pages, architecture guidelines, and more) into the GNOME infrastructure. We didn’t do all that work just to hand the keys over to another group on another platform.  We made the move because, when we did all the calculus, we agreed GNOME was the best location for the future of Shotwell.  Going into the GNOME infrastructure opened (and is still opening) a lot of doors for us.  However, Yorba’s resources are limited, and as of late we’ve not been focused full-time on improving Shotwell.

This put us into a bind, and so I began looking for outside individuals or groups who would be capable and willing of contributing to Shotwell in a more substantial way.  I kept coming back to a group that has shown a great deal of energy and motivation in the past and a willingness to work with us: elementary.  They expressed a lot of interest in improving Shotwell, and so we began a discussion about how that situation might look.  In the end, we reached an understanding:

  • Shotwell will continue to be maintained by Yorba.  We’ll triage bugs, take patches, fix critical bugs, ensure it builds with the latest versions of Vala and supporting libraries, and runs on the major distros.  Yorba will continue to release Shotwell on a six-month schedule.
  • elementary agreed to jump in and improve Shotwell, but stated that all of their development must occur on Launchpad.  They also wanted to rebrand the project to fit under their design umbrella.  This includes integration with Contractor and other technologies they’re building for their OS.
  • It was agreed that they would fork the project to Launchpad and rename it Pantheon Photos to distinguish it from Shotwell.  The pragmatic reason for this is to prevent name collisions with packaging.  This also allows for elementary to customize Shotwell to their own platform and brand it separately.
  • As Shotwell maintainers, we’ll evaluate elementary’s work and look for commits that are useful to Shotwell users.  We’ll cherry-pick that work and merge it into the Shotwell base.
  • elementary agreed not to relicense Shotwell, so its current license (LGPL 2.1) stands.

While elementary has big plans for Pantheon Photos, none of that work is happening in private and we’re free to take improvements as we wish (and likewise they’re free to pull improvements from Shotwell’s code base).

Additionally, this situation already exists, and has existed for years, with Ubuntu: they maintain their own fork of Shotwell to provide integration with Ubuntu Online Accounts.  (I’ve referenced that situation before.)  elementary is doing this on a larger scale, admittedly, but it’s not unique in the world of open-source and shouldn’t be a source of alarm.

(I regret that Daniel wrote “Shotwell needs a new maintainer.”  I was privy to that email before it was posted and should’ve asked he reword it.  That was my fault, not his.)

I can’t emphasize enough that Shotwell is not being discontinued or end-of-lifed, and elementary has not “taken over” Shotwell.  We’ll continue to maintain Shotwell and release versions with our usual distribution targets.  This is why I tweeted that this situation is a win for everyone (a sentiment echoed by Bryan Landuke) — users won’t necessarily have to pick-and-choose which app they want to use, or even which distribution, in order to manage their photos.

Announcing Shotwell 0.15.1

shotwellYorba has released Shotwell 0.15.1, an important update to our Shotwell Photo Manager.  This update includes these fixes:

* Install Tumblr plugin resources (Tumblr plugin failed to work without them)
* Fix crash when video thumbnails are being inspected and created

Yorba strongly recommends all users upgrade to this release.

The tarball for Shotwell 0.15.1 is available at  Ubuntu Quantal and Raring users can update by subscribing to Yorba’s PPA.  We hope that a version for Saucy will be available soon in Ubuntu’s repositories.

Shotwell 0.15 has arrived

We at Yorba are pleased to bring you Shotwell 0.15. This version has several enhancements:

  • Copy and paste color adjustments between photos
  • Highlights detail adjustment
  • YouTube plugin now uses OAuth / OpenID
  • Videos in Missing Files now re-import properly
  • Improvements when thumbnailing videos
  • Numerous bug fixes

The Shotwell 0.15 tarball is available for download. See the installation guide for information on getting Shotwell on your system. Report bugs and feature requests at Yorba’s Redmine server. (You must create an account before adding or modifying tickets there.)

Ubuntu users can also find a version for Raring Ringtail (13.04) and Quantal Quetzal (12.10) on Yorba’s PPA. Adventurous users may also wish to subscribe to Yorba’s Daily PPA.