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This page is about general principles that govern our project. To learn about our global mission and how we plan to achieve it, read the frontpage of the Pitivi website. You can also take a look at the tour page to find out about cool features.

The people of Pitivi have been part of the GStreamer developer community for many years and make sure any issues are solved as quickly as possible in the lower levels in order to avoid any bloated feature at the application level. This is what we call an "upstream first" approach: we fix things everywhere in the software stack (see: Architecture) that we depend on, instead of accumulating hacks "downstream" (in our app).

Pitivi's Architecture is meant to be uncompromising:

  • No limits on audio/video formats (input/output sizes, resolutions, framerates, codecs and container formats, etc.)
  • No limits on the number of tracks/layers used
  • No limits on the number of combined effects
  • Intuitiveness for newbies and flexibility for power users (see below)
  • Clean separation of the backend and UI. The backend is GES and it can be reused by anyone wanting to create an application on top of it.
  • etc.

In the long term, we not only aim for Pitivi to be an intuitive video editor for everyone, but also a powerful tool for professionals and prosumers. We are not a Windows Movie Maker clone.

"Professional? Isn't this supposed to be easy to use?"

Yes, and yes.

With Pitivi's growing popularity and simple user interface, there seems to have been a misunderstanding in its mission: many people think our main goal is to make an application for "video editing newbies", or to make a "clone" of Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. This is not entirely accurate. We have the following goals:

  • Make a powerful, flexible video editor that can appeal to prosumers and professionals
  • Design it extremely well. Make its workflow elegant and intuitive. If we succeed, this means we also reach the goal of "making it easy for everyone to use it" possible.

The confusion also stems from the common misconception that a powerful application is mutually incompatible with simplicity and efficiency. This is partly because there are so many applications with poorly designed user interfaces, and partly because the proprietary software world has conditioned us into thinking that users must be divided in two groups: "advanced" and "beginners". There is no reason a video editor can't allow complex procedures (and make them as easy as possible!) while being intuitive to learn and efficient to use for basic operations, even for amateurs. The reason why there has been such a distinction in the proprietary software world is artificial market segmentation (further reading: 1 2 3).

Executive summary:

  • We will make not make a crippled application. In the long run, it will be powerful and flexible. Do not think that "because it doesn't have lots of features right now" means that it was "designed" that way. It's just that we need someone to implement those features properly.
  • By designing everything carefully, we strive to keep it simple for amateurs as well.

Yeah, so what's your plan?

You should probably take a look at our Roadmap page for a rough plan of the "big picture" features we want to tackle soon. Roadmaps are just rough estimates and objectives, and since Pitivi is purely a community-driven project, contributing is the best way to move what matters to you forward!