Monday, May 21, 2007

Nouveau + Linux Graphics

One thing the Nouveau project is doing well is to make open-source graphics more accessible. There are links to a bunch of articles which while still young give insights into what does what. Looking at the nouveau source code shows it really isn't overly complicated - that hard work has already been done by Mesa. A DRI 3D driver basically requires a kernel module to do the IO and an X driver that can convert OpenGL to native card protocol. The difficulty is this protocol is not (publically) documented. But looking through the code and googling shows that a lot of the information is out there. It needs to be compiled into a "Missing Manual".

If I had the time I would love to work on a project like this. Once past a critical point the value to the open-source world would be immense.

As Dave Airlie and Ben Skeggs said at; "Graphics drivers are not that hard..."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Gnome Games Icons

Gnome games now has new Tango icons in all resolutions:

These were made some time ago by (mostly) Daniel Derozier but only some of them were in use in 2.18. I found out about these icons from the Tango mailing list and found there was some complications getting these icons used (see bug 354507).

What seemed to happen was an all too common situation in open-source where everyone wanted the change but it wasn't used due to confusion/politics/endless discussion. It seems very common with distributed development (with people you have never met) that feedback can come across as criticism. Without formal management it's very easy for issues like this to be missed and fall through the cracks.

One thing that I think helps is to divide the change into smaller parts. For instance if a bug is opened with a change that is generally good then commit that change and aim to open more bugs to fix details with the change. If all the details must be fixed before committing then the change is in danger of never reaching completion or ending up in a design by committee situation.

(note that this post is feedback and not criticism!)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Too many parodies...

I've just watched too many Get a Mac parodies... This one was quite good though:

I use Macs a lot a work for point-of-sale and applications and have been generally impressed with them. They can be tricky locking down but I imagine the other OSs are similarly difficult.

Monday, May 07, 2007


It got to 3pm today and I decided I just couldn't be bothered battling Java all afternoon when I'd really prefer to be working on glChess. So I just went home and did that (I love being a contractor!).

So glChess is getting closer to having GGZ support...

Oh, and it really is wonderful to work on a well designed protocol like GGZ. ICS is OK if you're a human but a nightmare for a computer!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Poisonous People

I finally got around to watching my first Google Tech Talk, How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People (And You Can Too). It's a really good watch as it both shows how to spot and avoid trouble makers but also how to give good feedback as a project member (hopefully so you're not poisonous too!).

One point of particular interest was their recommendation not to put your name in files - by doing this you are implicitly claiming "ownership" of the code which will discourage potential developers. From looking at other peoples code I think I agree with this idea and plan to remove my name from code in the future.