Change of plans – here comes Paint.NET v3.5

The features that I want to implement for Paint.NET v4 are easily going to take another 6+ months to finish. However, I really want to get the improvements I’ve already made into the hands of users (that’s you!). I’d also like to get everyone updated to a newer version of .NET (right now Paint.NET v3.36 only requires .NET 2.0). If I wait another “6+” months, then it will be almost time for .NET 4.0 and I don’t want to deal with two big .NET upgrades in the same short period of time — or worse, face the indecision of “release now or in another 6 months after the new .NET is out…”.

After some discussion and debate with some forum members and moderators, I decided that I would go ahead and release the work I’ve done so far on Paint.NET v4 as Paint.NET v3.5. This would entail wrapping up all the current loose ends (fixing “new” bugs), finishing the last few work items, getting translation done, and releasing a few betas.

So here’s what to expect for Paint.NET v3.5:

  • Now uses, and requires, .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (This also means that plugins can use .NET 3.5 SP1 features!)
  • New effect: “Surface Blur”, by Ed Harvey. It’s another good tool for noise reduction.
  • New effect: “Dents”, by Ed Harvey.
  • New effect: “Crystalize”, by Ed Harvey.
  • New file type support: HD Photo (or whatever the latest name for it is)
  • The auto-updater now lets you choose to have an update downloaded in the background and then installed once you exit Paint.NET. (A lot of people are going to like this feature!)
  • Moved “Language” and “Check for Updates” to the new Utilities menu
  • Reduced memory usage, especially when multiple images are open.
  • Improved rendering quality when zoomed in.
  • Greatly improved performance when opening and closing images.
  • Improved the installer UI by removing the “popup” progress windows.
  • “Optimizing performance” section of installer now gives actual progress instead of using the ambiguous “marquee” mode.
  • Installation is much simpler if the .NET Framework isn’t installed yet, or if it needs to be updated.
  • A CPU with SSE support is now required, such as an Intel Pentium III, or AMD Athlon XP, or newer.
  • Many miscellaneous bug fixes, as usual.

This is actually a fairly significant update to Paint.NET, although most of the changes are “under the hood.” Getting this released sooner will help make sure that when Paint.NET v4 does roll around that more of the new technology has been shaken free of bugs. The system requirements will be the same as what I posted last week for Paint.NET v4.