Pitivi Fundraiser Week One Update (And A Great Piece Of News)

Greetings Pitivi supporters!

We hope everyone had a great week! We’ve had a rather hectic one, and hopefully that’s just the beginning. This is the first update for our fundraising campaign, be sure to check our blog weekly for more 😉

Announcement!

We are happy to announce that the GStreamer maintainers decided to show us their faith and support, by allocating 2 500 € to our project from GStreamer funds! This is great news for several reasons:

  • It’s obviously nice to get such an amount of money as it represents seven percent of the total needed to get a 1.0 release or, to put it another way, three weeks of full time development!
  • GStreamer is the central component of our architecture, and it is the one on which we plan to spend most of our time during the push to 1.0. Pitivi really is just the tip of the iceberg, to put things in perspective, it now only is a mere 25,000 lines of Python code, whereas GStreamer and its plugins represent around 1.5 million lines of code.Our work really benefits every other project that uses GStreamer (for example, accurate seeking in ogg files? That was us!), and it is meaningful to see the GStreamer maintainers acknowledge that “officially”, many thanks to them! And then many more for the road. They’re awesome and a big reason why we love working on Pitivi.
  • We really hope this donation will help everyone that cares about Open Source, be they individuals craving for flawless multimedia handling on Linux or companies interested in building products around GStreamer, to see that we are an integral part of the community, and that donating to the campaign is not only about getting a great video editor, but also about improving the core multimedia engine shared by most if not all the Linux distributions!

Acknowledgement!

We would like to thank each and everyone of the 350+ backers that already donated to the campaign and helped us break the 10 000 euros bar during this last week. 11 000 € is a great amount of money, sufficient to cover our expenses for three months of full-time development! With your help, we already made it to a third of our first goal, and with your help we can make it to Pitivi 1.0 and beyond. Anything helps, be it blogging, tweeting and sharing on social networks, or getting the word out to journalists.

DistroWatch also decided to make us the recipient of their monthly donation, and granted us 280 euros, it’s a great honor for us to be listed among the previous recipients of that donation!

Appetizement!

The dictionary doesn’t seem to agree that this word should exist, but it’s here nevertheless. Next week should see an interesting announcement for all the fans of Python, Romania and clean code, make sure to stay tuned on our twitter or to add this blog to your RSS feeds 😉

Using GStreamer to make smooth slow motion!

This is a very good example of what our developers can do! There has been some preliminary work on bringing slow and fast motion to GStreamer and Pitivi, and a plugin has been created to allow for frame interpolation, which means you and I with our regular 24 frames per second cameras will be able to get smooth slowmotion from Pitivi in the future!

All that work has not yet been merged and thoroughly tested, and we need your help to make it happen!

To help you understand the difference between regular and smooth slowmotion, here is a video showing both types side by side, created by Alexandre Prokoudine. The difference is quite stunning!

Slowmo video effect with GStreamer from Alexandre Prokoudine on Vimeo.

Votes: a tool of engagement and development.

During the creation of the campaign, we debated what kind of perks we should offer. The thing is, we are not t-shirt creators, we are software developers and UI designers.

We believe people who give us money do so in order for us to develop a good software, and thus we tried to focus on perks that made real sense. What could we offer to the community that would help us in making the software that they truly want? Our answer to that question: a voice, simple as that.

Though we already have a very active community and listen to feedback from our users, we were missing a way to quantify the priority of feature requests for the people to whom our software matters enough to sponsor our work.

We decided on two types of perks we would offer: invitations to hangouts organized monthly (we’ll tell you more about that in a future post), and the subject of today’s post, our voting system!

We wanted to grant the possibility of voting to anyone who donated, from the lowest amount available, and decided to weigh the vote proportionally to the amount given, with steps at which the curve flattens a bit, to make sure people who can’t donate 300 euros still have a reasonable chance to have their voice heard.

Later I’ll post implementation details for those interested, on my personal blog. Suffice to say that it works, and more exciting that people are already making good use of it!

This brings me to the exciting news we want to share: we made the current vote results public! Obviously, as we’re in the early stages of the campaign, they’re not nearly as significant as they will be later, but we think it’s already interesting data, and you can have a look at them live right now .

Now to our own analysis of the data so far:

The first exciting figure for us is that even though we’re not yet guaranteed to reach a funding point that can put vote results into development (you can help us get there faster), one third of our backers already took the time to go through the form and rate features on the 0 to 10 scale, and we clearly expect that ratio to grow if we reach the 35,000 bar.

We interpret that as a sign that our voting system answers a real demand. This figure is a clear success in our effort to create sustainable community engagement to support responsive and dynamic Pitivi development, alongside the growing number of people who choose to put their faith in us and donate.

Some points in the feature ranking results caught our attention:

  • The clear first place of hardware accelerated decoding and encoding. This is really interesting to the engineers among us, who already salivate at the possible prospect of implementing it!It also goes to show that performance is critical to people using video editing software, and reassures us in our architectural choices: the decision to ally with GStreamer means a lot of the heavy lifting is done as part of a partner project that doesn’t have to be written by Pitivi developers from scratch. Instead, we contribute to GStreamer while also reaping the huge benefits of it — and that means we can focus better on the video editing side of our code (making sure dynamic pipelines work with hardware-accelerated decoders/encoders, adapting and extending our integration test suites to ensure it keeps on being true)
  • The very pragmatic second place of copy paste, a small but oh-so-helpful feature, which goes to show that our backers are sensible, productivity and detail-oriented people.
  • The low ranking of Windows and Mac ports, which is certainly due in part to the fact that awareness about our campaign is pretty much limited to the Free Software community for now.
  • Finally, something we don’t really know how to interpret on the spot, but that is interesting to remark nevertheless is that the three last spots are occupied at the time of writing by external project formatters, such as Final Cut projects.

I’ll repeat that these rankings are absolutely not definitive, as already existing backers can change their votes and new backers should hopefully continue to give their opinion on what matters to them.

The conclusion is: “Don’t like these rankings ? Donate and you can contribute in changing them!”

We’re really interested in your analysis of these early results, and hoping that discussion will occur about them in the comments section or on our IRC channel (#pitivi on freenode)!

Thanks for reading, the Pitivi team

Give some love to Pitivi !

Today we’re thrilled to announce a crowdfunding campaign to support the development of Pitivi!

We have made the choice not to use one of the major crowdfunding platforms such as kickstarter for multiple reasons, and instead partner with the GNOME foundation, which is ideologically aligned with us and will support our financial infrastructure.

We are proud of that partnership, as we share their objective of “creating a free software computing platform for the general public”, and the foundation is excited as well:

“GNOME is proud to host the Pitivi campaign. Pitivi fills a real need for stable and approachable high quality video editing. Its software architecture and UI design share the same sleek and forward-thinking approach that we value in the GNOME project.” — Karen Sandler, executive director of the GNOME Foundation

With that campaign, our aim is to provide everyone with a rock-solid Free Software video editor, based on the awesome technology that is GStreamer. We have spent a lot of time working on the campaign website, and it holds a lot more content than a simple blogpost could.

We know that what we want to do is the right thing, and requesting money for quality and stabilization first is the correct and honest thing to do. We obviously encourage you to donate to the campaign, but we also hope that you will be willing to spread the message, and explain why what we do is important and good.

Free and Open Source video editing is something that can help make the world a better place, as it gives people all around the world one more tool to express themselves creatively, fight oppression, create happiness and spread love.

Hoping you’ll spread the love too, thanks for reading !