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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Four years of Aegisub

Today it's just about four years since Aegisub was first conceived.

It was on the 17th of June 2005 in a private channel on the ChatSociety IRC network. We were discussing the various problems with making advanced typesetting in ASS subtitles and how poor the tools generally were.

The original name was Visual SSA, and it was originally just intended to be a tool to assist in doing typesetting. Yes, the visual typesetting tools we only got implemented somewhat in the more recent versions was the original goal of the program. General-purpose subtitle editing wasn't it.

It wasn't many days into development before video was shown.

At that point, showing video was all it did. As things went, basic loading, editing and saving of subtitles was added soon, and the interface started looking a lot like the current versions, but still not quite.

The important part here is what's above the subtitle editing area: Where the audio box sits today is space for a toolbox. The intention was to add visual typesetting tools there.

Of course, that never happened, and audio took over that place instead. In fact, the goal turned towards making a replacement for the subtitling program Medusa, which was popular then. (A few people are still using it today!) This is where the name of Aegisub comes from: Aegis is the shield of Athena, upon which Medusa's head was put after she was slain by Perseus.

Development went on, features were added, slowly we got more testers and went towards a relatively stable version. On December 27 2005, version "1.00 beta" was released, just a little more than 6 months after the first idea.

Development continued with regular "beta" releases.

We had the notorious version 1.06 with the "movax bug" in the installer: The installation script had a typo in it, which caused it to, instead of adding Aegisub to Windows' Add/Remove Programs list, clear most of the data for the list. After it was discovered, 1.06a was quickly released fixing just that problem, though several people had already been hit by it.

It was first at version 1.07 we went open source. At this point, development still happened on a private SVN server with no public access, and all bug reports and feature requests were taken on the forum. The source for both 1.07, 1.08 and 1.09 was distributed as part of the installer package, there was still no public repository.

However, soon after 1.09, we moved to a new host for source code repository, which allowed us to open up the repository for anonymous read access. It was also around this time we got a real bug tracker. The 1.10 beta was the first version released under fully open development, that happened on August 7 2006.

If you compare the screenshots of 1.00 and 1.10, you'll see not much had changed. There's a large number of changes you first notice when you dive into the menus, of course, but compared to what has changed since then, it's just tiny.

After 1.10, the plan first was to release 1.11, and that should be done before the end of the year. First, things went pretty smooth, but then new huge features started slipping in, they weren't stable, and thus the release slipped. Shortly after the new year passed, we decided the changes were big enough that we'd now call it 2.00 instead.

Now, the rest is almost history, but not quite.

Visual typesetting finally got added, the thing Aegisub (then Visual SSA) was first intended for, and pre-release upon pre-release was put out. In the end we decided there were far too many versions called "2.00 pre-release" to make releasing "2.00 final" feasible without confusing everyone, so we instead decided 2.2.0 would be the first version of Aegisub labelled as "stable", and we would release 2.1.x versions until then.

2.1.6 was released on November 26, 2008, which is soon 7 months ago. The good news: 2.1.7 is almost ready and you can expect it within a few days, and version 2.2.0 should be less than a month away!

The installer for Aegisub 1.00 was 2.82 MB, the installer for Aegisub 2.1.7 on Windows will be close to 24 MB. We've come a long way since that day in June 2005.

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  1. Congrats on four years. Thanks for all your hard work. :D

  2. Congratulations. Thanks you for improving the fansub-o-sphere.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Congratulations on the hard work you did on Aegisub. It's the only subtitle program i use, since it's very easy to use and all the effects you can do with it.

  5. Congratulations on 4th year anniversary. Thank you for all those nice design concepts and hard work put into developing Aegisub. I really like this software.

    May I make 2 suggestions?
    (1)It will be nice to have a "original+translation text" dual view panel, so it will be easier for translators to work on translating subtitles or a check-up comparision afterwards. It will be great to include the function of "loading the original" and "loading translation"

    (2)Sometimes translation is saved as a txt file. Is there easy way to simply import the translation into the existing subtitle file which has timing already? Would it possible to develop a function for copying and pasting the text (dialogue) columne of [A] subtitle file can be copied and pasted to [B] subtitle file while still keeping the timing data of [B]file?
    As some videos are translated into multiple languages, it will be great to have an easy way to import the translation to an existing subtitle file which already has correct timing data.

    I think subtitle workshop has functions like these two, but I like to Aegisub more, so really hope to have these 2 features that will greatly make the work of subtitle translation easier and faster.

    - pado -
    - pado -

  6. What you're looking for is called "Paste Lines Over", and has a complete set of checkboxes as to what you want to paste exactly [text, styles, etc].
    Check under "Edit" on the menu bar. ;)

  7. hello, I have problem with aegosub, when I open one sub, the word "invalid lotked fileé apear, can you help me ?
    my mail is

  8. This isn't the place to make feature requests or bug reports.

    As for the "invalid hotkeys file" thing, we have fixed that for 2.1.7.

    Having both an original and translated version displayed at the same time isn't possible to add in a sensible way, considering how the program code is organised right now.

    And yes, use Paste Over to combine two different files.

  9. Congrates!!!

    Aegisub is the best software for subbing IMO.

    Thank you guys for all your hard works!

  10. Omedeto for 4 years of development

    If it weren't for you guys I don't know how fansub would look like today.

    Be sure that you have reached and exceeded your goal.

    Aegisub is the Best program ever been made (btw it's nice to hear the origin of the name) :D

  11. Congratulations...

    Aegis is the best... Wait, Is there another subbing software? :D

    Thaks for you real hard work

  12. Aegisub wa saikou desu!

    Omedetou on 4 years :3

  13. I don't know where post it so...
    We can't download the versions of Aegisub released on Linux.
    The link on the wiki page leads to a 404 error...
    If anybody can repare the links.
    Thank you.

  14. Yeah I wrote "within a few days" about 2.1.7.

    I also tagged the post "hollowpromises". Of course things had to get in the way... we can't get 2.1.7 out before fixing a big load of bugs, which depends on replacing all the text encoding routines in Aegisub with the iconv library, and we can't do that without making it work on not just Windows but also Linux, BSD etc.
    And it just so happens that the GNU libC includes a poor implementation of iconv, which we can't really use, and we have to work around that.
    That's what's holding things up.
    We can't get a Windows version out the door because there's troubles with Linux builds. Sigh.

  15. when did linux/etc get support, just wondering

  16. There is a problem with the repository ubuntu 9.04

  17. Thank you for your work, i reall appreciate it!
    Just one question: when Aegisub 2.1.7 will be released, you'll release a MacOS binary too? If it won't be, the current instructions for building it (dependencies, etc..) are still valid?
    Thank you again!

  18. linux repositories have a problem !!

  19. Yes we have trouble with our server going down at times. Yes it prevents the SVN repository (among other things) being accessed. Yes we know about it, you don't have to tell us.

    (Also, it's not specific to Linux, Ubuntu or any other OS, it hits everyone equally, I can't access it from Windows either. And it's the same source code being used to build both Windows, Linux and Mac versions of Aegisub.)

  20. God i can't wait until 2.1.7 gets released, i'm checking the site every day!

  21. Thank you very much! I kinda can't believe that it changed that much in so little time, from that Visual SSA 0.10 with the elfen lied brazilian portuguese subs opened to the current version. My fansubbing group uses only aegisub because no other program can beat it! Congratulations from a fellow brazilian!

  22. Congratulations Aegisub Team! Your application is the best of the best. I'm using the Linux version, and the application is not complete, but is functional, I hope the libass library will be completed soon. I can't wait for the 2.1.7 version.

    By the way, since "The Blog of Light~" dissapeared, I released a few deb packages for Ubuntu Jaunty (i386 and amd64) that I made. I like to share with all of you, if it's possible...

    Greetings from Mexico.

    PS: Sorry for my english ^_^

  23. Congrats on 4 years of developing this amazing program!

  24. I think u r one of few Genius people in this Domain
    give us the best becaus u r the best!!


  25. I would like to say a BIGGGG THANKYOU to all of you involved in this project. You really made a difference!

    Keep up the excellent work.
    Happy birthday!!! Now you are 4!



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