Drawpile 1.0.0 released

July 12, 2015 by callaa

Drawpile 1.0.0 is here!

After about 3 years of development (or 8 if you count the hiatus), Drawpile is finally out of Beta and the first stable release is ready!

The most important changes in this version are:

  • Fixed UI lockup and disconnection when joining a session
  • New "behind" and "color erase" blending modes
  • Gestures now work on touchscreens
  • Automatic port forwarding setup with UPnP
  • Improvements to the selection tool
  • Lots of bugs fixed, including one that could crash the application

Version 1.0 is the beginning of the first stable branch: there will be no more protocol changes until version 2.0. All 1.x version will be fully interoperable.

This release marks the completion of the original roadmap, and then some. In the past two years of development Drawpile gained support for layers, the OpenRaster file format, multiuser undo and session recording, just to name a few features. Even some features originally planned for version 2.0 or later, such as the watercolor brush, the lag-free "retroactively consistent" synchronization method, public session listings and animation export were added.

With 1.0 now out, does this mean Drawpile is now all done and bug free? Far from it. Development of version 2.0 will start next, with lots of interesting new features planned. Since 2.0 will be a fairly major reworking of the application's internals, the 1.X branch will continue to get bug fix releases until 2.0 is finished.

Roadmap for 2.0 and beyond

So, what's planned for the 2.x series?

Redesigned protocol: the new protocol will make it possible to implement a dedicated server that support a variety of client versions and, meaning it will be possible to add new features (e.g. new brushes and tools) without having to update the server as well. The new protocol better separates the responsibilities of the client and server, which will greatly simplify the server code.

New dedicated server: a server written from scratch to take advantage of the new possibilities offered by the redesigned protocol. This will be a separate project designed primarily for long running public servers.

The bundled dedicated server will still be supported, since it is basically just a wrapper around the built-in server with some extra features. Some of those features will probably be moved to the new server, though.

Encrypted sessions: Drawpile can use TLS to protect the connection to the server, but does not offer true end-to-end security. In the new protocol, it will be possible to encrypt the session content itself, so that even the server cannot snoop in!

Tablet PC optimized UI: a separate simplified UI designed to be usable with pen and touch input only. Possibly also for Android tablets. This will be an additional UI to complement the traditional desktop application and will not replace it. (Although the desktop UI will be freshened up a bit too.)

On a more technical note, the new tablet UI will be written in QML, which means the old QGraphicsView based canvas must be ported to Qt Quick. Since maintaining both Qt Quick and QGraphicsView versions would be a chore and a surefire way to introduce annoying inconsistencies, the Qt Quick based canvas will be adopted on the desktop side as well.