Hello again guys!
As I've been announcing in the previous journal (here), my work on Apophysis currently focuses on removing features which do not have a wide range of uses or users anymore. Many people gave me their feedback and from what I could hear, random batches are the most missed thing.
While I understand that, I still think that sacrifices must be made. And if you are indeed one of those who use random batches (or smooth palettes or whatsoever), you can still do that in older versions of Apophysis. May it be a different branch (such as Apophysis 2.09 or 2.08_3D) or an older version of Apophysis 7X. I have you reminded that all the older versions of Apophysis 7X can be found here!
Now let's talk a bit about the progress. The cleanup allowed me to get rid of many things, which were intented to be "bridges" or "temporary solutions". This is always a good thing. But you can also notice it in the startup speed. Alone the fact that no variation menu has to be filled anymore (you know, that lousy popup thing in the main menu) and no random batch has to be generated anymore led to the benefit that Apophysis 7X now starts in less than one second on my (not exactly powerful) laptop with 120 plugins. So I got rid of the splash screen (that loading window which shows when Apophysis is starting) as well because you aren't even able to see it anymore.
While I was at it, I was trying to add something which you guys wanted for a long time: multithreaded previews. Before, the main preview (the big one) was not making use of multithreading. It was always only using one CPU code despite you set it to use 2, 4, 6 or even 8 in the settings. The multithreading setting only affected the production rendering. I changed that for the new version. However, it does have quite some bumps still which I have to clean up in the ongoing process. Since I am not sure if find all of the issues in the upcoming version, I made it a setting. You explicitly have to turn multithreaded previews on in the settings. When you do that, a warning is shown, describing the new feature as experimental. I plan to add features this way in the future. The first version they exist in, they are experimental and by default, turned off.
Also another thing I added is multilinking. In the editor window, you have a shortcut to link transformations together via Xaos. Before, you could link one transformation to another transformation. Now you can link one transformation to multiple transformations. Not that you couldn't do that before but you had to dig in the Xaos tab. The button and the popup-dialog will help you with this from now on.
But I think the biggest improvement, still, with the upcoming version is the new sleekness. I'm excited about it because it sharpens the focus and the use-case of Apophysis since it is still a heavily used software, despite its age. I hope you can share my excitement about that and don't have the mourning about the removed features overshadow everything.