Announce: Release of Entangle v0.3.0 – An app for tethered camera control & capture

Posted: November 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Entangle, Fedora, Photography | 2 Comments »

Over a year has gone by since I released Entangle 0.2.0, so I am very pleased to be able to announce that I have now just released Entangle 0.3.0, available from the usual download place which also contains the concise list of changes.

There have in fact been a great many changes in this release, but many of them will not be immediately obvious from looking at the updated screenshots.

First of all, has been a big effort to port to the latest best practice desktop application libraries

  • Port Gtk2 to GTK3. To enable use of many of the new desktop features, in particular, libpeas, Entangle now targets Gtk3 instead of Gtk2
  • Port LibGlade to GtkBuilder. With the use of Gtk3 there is no longer any point in using the external Glade library for UI building. Instead Entangle now uses the GtkBuilder infrastructure that is part of regular Gtk
  • Port GConf to GSettings. With the use of Gtk3, a newer Glib2 is required, which in turn brings in the GSettings APis. With these present, there is no longer any point in using the external GConf library
  • Port Unique/StartupNotifications to GApplication. Again, since a newer Glib2 is required, it is possible to take advantage of the GApplication APIs, to avoid using the external Unique/StartupNotifcation libraries.

Next up was a major internal rewrite of the way the UI handles camera operations. In previous releases, most operations were handed off to a camera scheduler thread. The design of this was overly complicated and not friendly to future extension. Having recently gained experience with the way asynchronous operations are done by the GIO library, I decided that this would be an effective approach for Entangle. So all the internal thread scheduling code was ripped out, and the GIO style asynchronous APIs were added in its place. Doing this work was a major blocking item in why it has taken so long to release 0.3.0.  Now it is all complete, I am very pleased with the way it has turned out. The code for dealing with the camera is so much simpler & more flexible at the same time.

With that out of the way, there are the general user visible feature improvements

  • Config refresh. For Nikon cameras, Entangle automatically updates the UI whenever any camera configuration setting changes
  • Continuous monitoring. Instead of having to explicitly start/stop monitoring, Entangle now monitors the camera for new images at all times, and auto-downloads them as they are captured
  • Continuous preview mode. Previously preview would be stopped after an image was captured. Now it is possible to capture many images in sequence, while remaining in preview mode
  • Folder preserved. Previously when connecting to a camera, the session folder would be reset to a default location based on camera model name. Now Entangle simply always remembers the user’s last folder
  • Avoid delete after download. The default behaviour is to delete files from the camera after downloading. This can now be disabled, to allow images to remain on the memory card.
  • Config UI improvements. The UI for displaying camera settings has been improved & simplified. The “Other PTP properties” panel has been removed to improve UI performance. The ‘Camera Status’ panel now just uses labels, instead of readonly text fields for a more compact display.
  • Image metadata summary. When moving the mouse over the Entangle window, a summary of the image metadata (extracted with GExiv2) will be displayed, showing the aperture, focal length, shutter speed, ISO and resolution.

With such large changes in the basic infrastructure, there are bound to be new wierd bugs introduced, but overall this release should be a good foundation for ongoing incremental development of Entangle.