0.9.53 Available

June 27th, 2006 by Christopher  

Tonight’s release includes several important bug fixes, as well as one big new addition.

The biggest addition to this version is the ability to build cue sequences that are fired based on an absolute timeline. It has been clear for awhile that this was an important feature, but deciding how to implement it turned out to be non-trivial. Should there be a special group cue that fired its cues on an absolute timeline? If so, how should those times be specified? Should the existing wait times serve double duty? But how would they be distinguishable from “normal” waits in the workspace display?

The problems all boiled down to one thing: QLab has been designed explicitly to maintain loose relationships among cues. Cues tend to be very independent and flexible. This is handy for manipulating a workspace, but at first glance appears to be poorly suited to an absolute timeline, where each cue is locked into place relative to other cues. How the heck is a cue supposed to be both independent and flexible while simultaneously rigidly fixed in relation to other cues on a timeline?

With helpful input on ticket #144 I have chosen to implement absolute timelines as follows:

You are now able to specify two wait times for each cue: one after the cue and one BEFORE the cue. In addition, Group Cues now offer the option of starting every cue within the group when they are fired. These two independent features, when combined, allow you to put together a list of loosely related cues (for example, they need not be in any particular order within the Group Cue itself) that nevertheless are fired based on a strict absolute timeline.

The biggest drawback to this approach was that it pushed yet another column into an overly crowded workspace. What to do?

…offer the option of choosing which columns to display, that’s what. In general preferences you can now customize which columns of information you wish to display in your workspaces. So for those of you who don’t need absolute timelines, just turn of the Pre-Wait column and you don’t have to look at it.

Last but not least, I’ve decided to go ahead and throw the switch on the Universal Binary for the free version of QLab. (QLab Pro is not yet available as a Universal Binary because of the MIDI Cues.)

And…even laster but not leaster, I’d like to give a shout out to Mark Hartshorn, who, through a very thorough and detailed bug report, helped me quickly find and fix several bugs in the MIDI Cue. Thanks, Mark.

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