March 22 2013 Tweet
Although I work mere feet from @mschoening (co-founder of CloudApp) and the rest of my team at Heroku, the majority of our work-related communication happens on Campfire. Our conversations are open to commentary and input from anyone interested in the topic at hand, and it’s easy to search through the backlog for a conversation that happened days before.
We are constantly sharing screen captures of features we’re working on, and CloudApp makes it easy to take a screenshot and paste a link into Flint for the team to take a look at. Until recently, however, there wasn’t a particularly easy method of sharing previews of user interaction on Campfire or GitHub. We’d take a screen recording with Quicktime X, but that doesn’t display instantly in Campfire like an image does, nor is it visible in a GitHub issue without clicking a link.
Gifs are a great alternative for showing off little UI interactions, because they show up in Campfire/Flint and GitHub threads without having to click a link. I can scan a conversation and see how an interaction has evolved over time.
ffmpeg does a fine job of converting a screen recording to a gif for pasting into a thread, but it’s not particularly useful to have to memorize this:
ffmpeg -i recording.mov -pix_fmt rgb24 -r 10 recording.gif
…and one still has to upload the resulting file to CloudApp to get a public link.
I decided that it would be nice to have a tool that knew what I wanted to do with these .mov to .gif conversions and just did the whole thing for me. So I created Gifify. Gifify takes a .mov file, converts it into a .gif, uploads it to CloudApp and copies a link to your clipboard.
Given a Quicktime X screen recording called
movie.mov, I can convert it to to a gif and upload it to CloudApp with a single command:
As long as I have the CloudApp gem installed, I’ll have a link copied to my clipboard that’s ready to be pasted into Campfire, Flint, GitHub, or anywhere else that supports displaying .gifs:
Gifify is being developed publicly on GitHub, so please fork it and submit pull requests and issues! For starters, I’d love to see the dependency on the CloudApp gem removed.