Isadora v2.0: New Features + Release Timeline

  • Dear Isadora Community,

    Over the last several months, about two dozen users have been working with a beta version of Isadora with several powerful new features. I can happily report that everyone who has had their hands on it is extremely excited. These new features take an important step into the future, providing a feature set that will make Isadora an even more compelling tool for novices and experts alike.

    Now, I was hoping to release this new version on May 31st. But as some of you may have noticed, that date passed without any word from me. I want to tell you about why that happened, and about the revised timeline for releasing Isadora v2.0 to the world.

    On May 30th and 31st, I brought a group of Isadora's top beta testers to Berlin for a face to face meeting. This meeting was a chance for them to get to know each other and share stories of their innovative projects. It also gave me direct feedback about where Isadora stands among its high and low end competitors, and to hear their opinions on where isadora needs to go in the future. We spoke at length about the future, and what I – as the creator and leader of this project – need to do to ensure that Isadora stays vital. They urged me to give users have a dependable picture of where things are going.

    As many of you know, I am an artist – Isadora came into being because I needed it for my personal artistic practice. For 12 years, I have maintained my artistic career while also adding new features and providing official tech support. This worked primarily because those in the Isadora community have been so incredibly eager to help each other via the forum. However, as more and more users have come on board, it has become too much for one person to maintain.

    Furthermore, the artist in me wanted to keep the price of the software as low as possible. I've never raised the price nor charged for an upgrade. But that also is not sustainable. At this crucial point in Isadora's growth, we have identified the need to build an official Isadora support team. As result of this essential expansion, there will be a fee for this next upgrade. I am hopeful that long time users will be understanding of this, due to the low cost that has been maintained over the past decade. For those users who have bought the program within the last 12 months, there will be a reduced upgrade fee.

    We covered many topics during the Berlin Summit, especially with regard to planning for future. I love improvisation, and that's pretty much how I've operated as a developer over Isadora's lifetime. In the past I released new features when they felt "ready" and stable, however your colleagues at the Berlin summit felt strongly that the Isadora Community would benefit from an annual road map of future developments, with information shared about new features coming down the pipeline and a published schedule for when they are expected to arrive.

    As a result of the discussions and additional new feature requests, we all agreed that it was important to put off this release a little bit longer to identify precisely which features should be included with the new release, and to ensure that that they are all fully reliable.

    The new release date for Isadora v2.0 is August 15th. On that same day, we will also publish a "roadmap" for the future, describing which features are going to be added over the next year, along with release dates for those incremental releases. Finally, we'll use this extra time to prepare new marketing materials to publicize these powerful new features and attract new users to the Isadora community.

    Here is a summary of the major new features in Isadora 2.0

    • A powerful, integrated projection mapping system with real time interactive control
    • Support for FreeFrameGL, allowing GPU based effects for both Mac and Windows
    • Javascript Coding
    • HAP Codec support for Mac and Windows
    • Support for Spout on Windows (works like Syphon on the Mac)
    Leading up to that release date, I've taken an important step to keep me focused on coding and fixing bugs. I have hired Jamie Griffiths and Ryan Webber to take on the technical support tasks, and expanded the roles of Michel Weber and Graham Thorne as moderators of the forum. Fielding technical support questions from the users is the most time consuming part of my day, and – if there is a problem – recreating it. These four users will now take an official role as the technical support team, and will help to ensure that I can focus on adding the features we all want and fixing whatever bugs are found. You know these users the by their forum handlers (Michel, Skulpture, PrimalDivine & DusX) so I think you can immediately rest assured that you are in very good hands indeed.
    Let me close by saying thank you. So many of you have stuck by me through the years, and I deeply appreciate it. This new phase of growth and expansion is exhilarating for us all, and will ensure that Isadora will continue to be a vital, powerful tool for artistic expression for many years to come.

    Mark Coniglio

    Talk about the letter here: Isadora 2.0 - Responses and Reactions from the Community