9 Jan 2006 company   » (Master)


It took me a while, but I'm now able to do useful things with it. Or said differently: Byzanz 0.0.1 is ready for everyone brave enough to play with it.

What is Byzanz?

Byzanz is a desktop recorder. Just like Istanbul. But it doesn't record to Ogg Theora, but to GIF.


Here's one you can make with it:

The idea for that demo was taken from Richard's blog. He said he needed quite a while in Gimp for his pictures. I needed around 30 seconds. That link goes to a 1.6MB recording of the session I used to record the above demo.

Why GIF?

GIF is the best format I found for recording desktop sessions. The criteria I wanted were these:

  • You see use it in any browser. Preferrably without plugins.
  • It records a typical interesting desktop losslessly or at least in an acceptable quality and in an ok filesize.
  • It is free.
  • Recording works fast enough.

What's a "typical interesting desktop?"

  • Short tech demos like the one from Richard or similar.
  • Bigger tutorial style demos that are currently typically done in Shockwave/Flash. And I can't see those.
  • "Do this to reproduce the bug"
  • And my original reason was: I wanted to demo my ideas for animated themes like this one:
Why the name?

I couldn't come up with a better one and thought it's a clever pun on someone else and his application. ;)
And it's a name that's not yet taken. At least apt-file search byzanz doesn't return anything.

Update: There's been quite a few people testing it (cool!) and writing me mails about one thing I forgot to mention: Byzanz currently requires a running Composite manager on your X server to work. If you think you're brave enough to try this, see here for a good tutorial on how to make it work. Otherwise wait for me to fix it in a future release.

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