This is a tentative plan for the future of NPS Image Editor and Color Picker. Since this is a hobby project, real life takes priority and I cannot commit to any timelines. Depending on difficulty, some functionality may arrive ahead of or behind the specified version schedule.

Versioning is more or less based on Codebase.Feature.Revision. So an increment of the first number indicates a complete restructure of the codebase, the second number indicates a major feature or functionality change, and the third number indicates a revision or bug fix (without adding a major feature).

Version 3.x (codename "Obsidian")

Version 3.0 (2008-2014)

  • Rewrite of VB6 code using VB.NET
  • Alpha transparency and PNG file format support
  • Zoom
  • Freeform select
  • Standalone color picker
  • Color Resolution Engine
  • Clone tool
  • Bucket fill with more features (8-way contiguous, all, bounded)
  • Text tool with editable preview
  • Smooth airbrush
  • Texture brush
  • Ability to resize the canvas and image
  • Rotation by arbitrary angle
  • Editable swatch palette (drag and drop)
  • Document recovery
  • Automatic update notifications and built-in bug report tool
  • Templates for new images
  • New extension model supporting transparency and obtaining additional information (such as colors) from the editor
  • "Hybrid instancing" which allows multiple windows to interact with each other

Version 3.1 (2014-2016)

  • Major code rewrite/optimization
    • This is the majority of the effort that will go into this release
  • New color spaces including Lab, HCL, XYZ, and possibly others
  • Per-user vs global file paths, to support multiple users on the same machine
  • Ability to load images directly from URLs
  • Scripting/macro support (initial)

Version 3.2 (2017-2019)

  • Basic layers (compositing, per-layer operations, file format)
  • Color picker improvements including Color Mode

Version 3.3

  • More advanced layer functionality including vector layers, editable text layers, and blending options

Future Versions

  • More efficient extension model that uses DLLs instead of separate EXEs
  • Internationalization support to allow translating the program to other languages. Initial planned languages (subject to availability of input from fluent speakers):
    • Russian (native speaker)
    • Spanish
    • German
    • Japanese
  • Ability to edit metadata (such as EXIF data in JPEG images)
  • Automatic updater that updates the current installation seamlessly instead of requiring a "normal" interactive installation
  • Social networking integration, e.g. posting your creation to Facebook with one click
  • Improved scripting
    • "Scriptable UI" which will allow for customization of menus/toolbars
    • Script editor
  • New UI style to better fit Windows 10
  • Text tool effects available in one click
  • Support for editing indexed color images (and associated constraints in the color picker)
  • Improved scripting functionality
  • More languages for internationalization
  • Extension model allowing for user-specified color pickers, dialog pages, and arbitrary menus that hook into core functionality
  • Tabbed/flexible UI
  • Support for pages (e.g. TIFF) and animation (e.g. GIF) as distinct from layers

Far Future

  • Mac and Linux port
  • Mobile (and/or web browser) port