Announcing GNOME Screencast

While developing typography features in Inkscape, we (Felipe Sanches and Dave Crossland) decided to approach the task by gathering input from our user-base, based on user experience studies. We want to record the users trying out the new features we are working on and based on these recordings, figure out which aspects in our software needs further improvement. We tried to use all of the free software screencasting tools we found, but none was good enough for the task. The best one we found is part of GNOME Shell, but still need some improvement.

Up to now we added webcam support to the GNOME Shell Recorder (a core component of GNOME 3) and implemented a DBUS API for it so that it can be configured and triggered by other applications. And we are starting to work on GNOME Screencast, a new tool for GNOME 3.4, similar to GNOME Screenshot, that will allow the user to configure the screencasting parameters and start/stop a recording. More details are available in the GNOME bug tracker in the bugs 660203 (core screencasting functionality) and 661426 (GNOME Screencast tool).

Features for GNOME Screencast planned to be implemented before January 1st include cursor highlighting, so that the mouse pointer visibility in the screencast recording is enhanced by rendering a transparent coloured circle around it. We’ll also optionaly render a graphical representation of cursor and keyboard events such as mouse clicks and key strokes, respectively, which will be useful for the audience to better understand what goes on in the input devices in a given screencast.

This is an example of a screencast recorded with the current development versions of GNOME Screencast and GNOME Shell:

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