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Storyboard Suite 5.3: The latest in embedded GUI development

Crank Software update and release Storyboard Suite on a regular cadence. They generally have a major feature release followed by a maintenance/refinement release. This release strategy helps balance the need to deliver new functionality with ensuring they get a chance to refine usability and reduce technical debt as the product evolves.

Storyboard 5.3

Storyboard 5.3 was intended to be a maintenance release. Customer feedback (which is very important to Crank Software) provided a list of small changes that would have a big impact on usability, such as automatically opening up the design report after it has been generated, allowing control alignment to be used outside the editor, and creating a dedicated action to stop timers as well as providing timer selection through a drop-down list.

This release is full of these small, but significant, Storyboard Designer changes for embedded GUI development. They are captured in the release notes, but ideally, you won’t even notice them. Instead, you will just get the sense that using Storyboard 5.3 is an even smoother and easier experience.

Storyboard Suite 5.3: More than a maintenance release

Even though Storyboard 5.3 is a maintenance release, the Storyboard development team couldn’t resist adding in some new functionality. The existing Storyboard Engine performance logging was enhanced with new instrumentation for timers, animations, control cloning, screen transitions, and event communication. Periodic reporting of key metrics such as frame-rate, memory, and CPU usage is now available and can be dynamically controlled while the application is running.

To help digest all this new data, a completely revisited performance log editor was created that provides a number of statistical breakdowns of the data in addition to the hierarchical log file listing.

Storyboard 5.3 Metrics

Looking forward, the team is excited about introducing a graphical timeline-based view of this performance data to help match what you are seeing to what you are designing. It isn’t part of this “maintenance release”, but look for it in a future Storyboard release.

There are two other enhancements that you might want to try right away:

Manage text overflow: For text that exceeds its display area, there is an auto-ellipsis option that can be enabled. To better understand what areas of your project this might best apply to you can run the Design Report and look at the Text Translation content.

Text Overflow

 

Easily locate the center-point: To make the process of selecting the center point for rotated images, such as needles and dials, a rotation center-point tell-tale has been added. It’s small and subtle but Crank Software feel that it’s just the right amount of hint without getting in the way of your visual design.

Rotate

Enhanced platform support for embedded GUI development

Storyboard now supports Raspberry Pi with both an OpenGL based renderer and a software renderer out-of-the-box. Crank Software are working on a demo image for the Raspberry Pi and will be posting that to their site, so watch for that in the near future.

About Crank Software

Crank Software is an innovator in embedded graphical user interface solutions. Crank Software’s Storyboard products enable R&D teams and UI Designers to quickly and collaboratively develop rich animated user interfaces for resource-constrained embedded devices. More details…

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