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New Workspace update on the horizon

Posted by: Chris Rucinski

December 20, 2016

With Christmas fast approaching, we want to share some exciting news with all of you good boys and girls out there. Workspace 4.0 is slated for release by the end of the calendar year! The Workspace team’s Christmas elves are working around the clock to make it happen in time for Santa. To get you excited about what’s around the corner, here are a few goodies in store for you:

Python 3

Say goodbye to Python 2 and say hello to Python 3! Workspace 4.0 will ship with Python 3.5. If that isn’t exciting enough for you, we’ve added support to link to your Anaconda environment for easy access to your favourite Python packages from within Workspace.

Qt 5.6 long-term support

We’ve upgraded our Qt tool chain from v5.3 to v5.6. Version 5.6 is Qt’s next commitment to a long-term support version which we’re planning to stick with until the next LTS version becomes available. In version 5.6, the WebKit-based tools have been deprecated in favour of Chromium which should see a nice performance boost for our JavaScript-based charts. Full Qt v5.6 release notes.

Visual Studio 2015

We’re happy to announce we’ll be providing Workspace binaries built using Visual Studio 2015. We’ll be dropping support for Visual Studio 2010 and 2013.

Linux Standard Base

We’re a bit sad to report that LSB support for Workspace will be dropped in the upcoming release. While we would like to continue building Workspace against LSB, it has been blocking our team from taking advantage of C++11 language features. Rest assured that we will continue to support Ubuntu as our primary Linux platform. Workspace should continue to work on other distributions such as Mint, Debian, Fedora and openSuse.

Improved logging

Our error logging has had a bit of an upgrade to include links that when activated, focus the canvas window on to the operation in error.

Settings Variables

One of the neat features we’ve added is a new settings page in the Workspace configuration area where you can define “Settings variables”. We’ve provided a couple of system variables such as file paths to CMake, external runtimes and Visual Studio binaries with support for adding your own variables.

workspace-4-0-settingsvariables

Windows users will be excited to know that we’ve expanded the Developer menu in Workspace editor to include links to Visual Studio command line prompt and IDE. These links use the new Workspace Settings Variables which Workspace will automatically prefill for you when the links are first activated. We’ve also updated the CMake launcher to include all the Visual Studio and Workspace environment variables that you need to build your Workspace plugins. No need to muck about with the command line terminal anymore!

Display widgets in Workspace editor

We’ve improved display widgets in Workspace to exhibit read-only behaviour when the underlying data are not available for modification. Workspace will automatically toggle this behaviour when a widget is attached to a connected Input or any Output. Inputs and Outputs in the Operation Editor will have a handy icon to indicate whether it is connected or not. See our blog post about display widgets for more info.

workspace-4-0-displaywidgets

External workflows

Viewing nested workflows that are externally referenced will be a lot more obvious in Workspace 4.0. We’ve also added a handy link to open the external workflow files for quick and easy tweaking.

JSON serialisation

This one’s for all the Workspace application developers out there. You may already have used CSIRO::DataExecution::SerializedTree in one of your Workspace applications to save data to disk in XML format. You’ll be exited to know that we’ve added a new interface for SerializedTree to save and load your data in JSON.

With over 100 bug fixes, Workspace 4.0 is bound to bring in heaps of Christmas cheer! For any inquiries, contact the Workspace team.

Happy Holidays!