We have just released Graphics Mill 7.1 and I would like to tell a bit more detailed what is new and why we decided to concentrate on it this time.
Better developer experience
When we created Graphics Mill many years ago, distributing the SDK as a large package with MSDN-style documentation, demo projects and binaries which you have to copy to the project manually was a common practice. However today it looks a bit archaic and it is not good enough for such a cutting edge product like Graphics Mill. :-) That’s why decided to rework the developer experience.
First of all, we have prepared a Nuget package and published it there. Now if you want to start using Graphics Mill, you don’t have to download the 70MB monster and install it. Instead, you can request Graphics Mill from a Nuget repository without leaving Visual Studio. Much easier and faster!
Another important improvement was made for Graphics Mill code examples. Earlier you had to take a look into the source code of the demo application. You had to drill through the large project to find how to call a single method. Not every developer is patient enough to do it. Neither we are! That’s why we have analyzed most typical use cases of Graphics Mill, created about fifty of small code examples, joined them into a single well-structured solution and published it to our GitHub repository:
Of course, fifty samples is just a beginning. For example, it turned out that AJAX Vector Objects functionality is not covered with them yet (although we have added some new documentation). We are going to release GM 7.2 in several months and by that time we plan to add new code examples to the repository which demonstrate AJAX Vector Object usage.
New imaging functionality
The improvement is not limited by repackaging the product. We have added some new functionality:
WebP format support. This is a new format offered by Google as a replacement for both PNG and JPEG formats. They claim that it has way better compression ratio and allows to reduce traffic by around 20%. Now you can try it and make sure yourself.
More control on the text drawing. This feature is really important for those who need to render text for printing. Now you can control hinting, leading, toggle additional faux bold/italic font styles.
AJAX Vector Objects improvements. Besides of various fixes and improvements, we have added an important feature - multiple selection support. Now you can build more complicated user interfaces for image editing.
More flexible licensing options
We found out that our traditional per-server model is not always suitable, that’s why we decided to revise our licensing policy. Now the following license options are available:
Old good per-server/developer license (royalty-free for desktop apps) - the same as earlier. We decided to retire three options depending on the number of developers and make things simpler by offering a single per-server option.
Cloud license - those who host their applications on Windows Azure or Amazon EC2 now can buy single Cloud license without having to worry about a number of server. NOTE: This license works unless you are using more than 10 instances at a time.
Enterprise license - if you are using Graphics Mill in your corporate environment, you may be reluctant to purchase per-server licenses as it is not always easy to manage number of licenses. In this case, we can replace the per-server licensing with a fixed annual fee. We can also consider a royalty-free license for web applications using the same model as well.
If any of these options work good for you and you need to get more information on the pricing or you have any questions, I will be happy to answer at firstname.lastname@example.org.