Sourceforge Project of the Month May 2012

It is a big pleasure for me to announce that Luminance HDR won the award as May 2012 Sourceforge Project of the Month. It is  an honour for us to win this award, that has been given to absolutely brilliant projects for the last 10 years. And it is also a good occasion to talk a bit more in detail on what is going on in Luminance HDR.

I would like to start by saying my appreciation for the work made by Daniel and Franco: they are both seriously skilled developers and they compensate my lack of time by carrying on the development. It is all thanks to their work that we have a new beta version to play with after such a short time from the release of the 2.2.1: if you are curious to test the latest progress, we will appreciate any kind of feedback.

However, a lot of work needs to be done to bring Luminance HDR were I would love it to be. When I took it from the hands of the former founder, nearly two years ago, Luminance HDR was facing a really bad moment, and it was really close to be abandon [1][2]. Not much development was going on, so  it was given to me, a person that had no clue of the internal structure of the project. But I didn’t have a build for Mac OS X and I need a copy of Luminance HDR for my pictures. So I started compiling everything on Mac. And it worked. Sort of.

Without telling you the all story (I don’t want to bug you!), since that day, I’ve started working more and more on Luminance HDR. I’ve fixed several heavy memory leaks, merged the Main Window with the Tonemapping Window and started using tabs instead of MDI containers, just to name a few. At the same time, I’ve moved the building system to CMake and the source control repository to Git (and now that I’m forced to use SVN for other projects, I cannot tell you how much I love Git!). It’s probably thanks to my first efforts that Franco and Daniel started to work again on the project, pushing myself to do even better.

But the greatest thing that happens to Luminance HDR in these two years is you. Yes, you! I’ve started a Facebook group and in a few weeks we were 100. Now, almost 300. And you are all active users, sharing pictures, suggestions, tricks and proposing ideas. Without your support and feedback, we couldn’t understand whether our work was appreciated or not (something really important when you work for free!).

And now? I think this award is not the finish  line, but more the start. While the current code is being maintained and improved, many thing are happening to prepare the next generation. It’s a complex work, that involves rewriting a large part of the underlying processing engine, but it is a challenging task that will completely change our baby. I would love to have near real-time processing, and more improved and advanced post-processing features, in order to speed up the entire workflow. The GUI needs to be polished and improved as well. And much more. So, stay tuned…

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