JPEG Saver 5.7 is another one of those releases that doesn't look like it changes much. Sorry. But I have changed quite a bit.
Most of the changes in this version are related to how JPEG Saver finds the images to display. The most substantial change is a whole new way of finding the images, with the process split into two threads: one to find the list of files and another to add the images to the database. This change should make the process quite a bit faster - it certainly did in my tests.
The second change is to the “Finding images” message, this time updating the status text with what JPEG Saver is actually doing. There are several very short steps in the process that happen before the serious work begins that you probably won't see, but you are fairly likely to see a status of “Checking for updated folders” if you have a reasonable number of images and folders to scan. After that step the status is replaced with “Found” and the number of images that have been discovered in this run.
It's time for a bugfix release - I don't know how many people are being affected by these bugs, but some of them could be really frustrating.
The first bug is the most serious, because it means JPEG Saver could sit there doing nothing until you came along and poked it. That's not good for a screensaver. This was because JPEG Saver could get confused about whether a transition had completed or not and never move onto the next image. So this is fixed now.
Next is the most obvious update in this version, to the “Finding images…” text. Until now it would fade in and out telling you that it was looking for images to display, but if you have a lot of images it could be doing that for quite a while. Now it displays the number of images that it has found in the current run and is updating in its database, which could be all of them or just some that needed rescanning. If you have a lot of images spread over many folders the number might stay at 0 for a while because of the way it checks for new images. I'm planning to do some more work on the image finder in version 5.7, so I will improve this display a bit when I am working on that.
SVGGraph 3.5 does the stuff that I was trying to do when I ended up adding support for shadows. I'm hoping this is a change that people will find quite useful.
The main change is the addition of support for colour filters. What this means is that you can choose a colour and modify it using a filter to get a different shade or hue. This is not easy to explain, so here's an example:
These bars are all using the main colour “red”, but with different colour filters applied. In this case the “hue” filter is used to change the colour quite a lot. The actual array of colours used is shown below.
So it's a new year and a new version of JPEG Saver. It's also Blue Monday today, apparently, but all that means to me is the New Order song that I can't seem to separate from that other New Order song. You know - the one with the weird video. But anyway…
The most significant and obvious update in this version is how the speed of transitions is controlled. In earlier versions the speed slider on the main config dialog had five settings, going from half-speed up to double-speed. Now the slider uses percentages for the speed, and ranges from 25% up to 300%. There is a blue bar on the slider that shows the old range of values, and the slider can be adjusted in 5% increments.
Above the slider is a new checkbox marked “Random” which enables using a random speed for each transition. By that I mean each image change gets its own random speed, not that each named transition gets its own random speed. Setting the speed of each named transition individually is still on the to-do list, but you can't do that yet.
Welcome to the end of year to-do list fix fest, where I've gone through the to-do list for SVGGraph and tried to do as many as possible. This might seem like a bit of a random way to get things done, but it means I crossed off an item that has been there since early 2016 so I would call it a win.
The Coming of Shadows
The first of the new options adds support for displaying drop shadows on the graph:
This is actually my second attempt at getting shadows working. The first time
I tried duplicating the shapes and changing the colours, but it didn't work at
all well. This time I have used an SVG
<filter> element to
copy, desaturate, offset and blur the graph features to make the shadow, which
gives a simple and consistent result for all graph types. The downside is that
SVG filters might not be very well supported by some SVG to PDF libraries, so
they might not show up if you try converting to PDF.