Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gnome bug triaging

We're getting a lot of bug reports flowing in for Gnome games. I try and knock off a few each weekend but progress is still slow. Most are coming from the automated reports from Feisty users.

So here's my top 3 bugs that need to be fixed asap:

  • #409172 - Sudoku crashes when loading. Haven't looked into this at all but we probably get a few reports each day

  • #418427 and #412690 - Both Sudoku and chess can't find their libraries on Feisty - I suspect this is an upgrade issue only but none of the many reports have any information on how to reproduce

  • #428560 - Some dubious Sudoku code that extracts an integer from label text. Doesn't work when the label is translated. (I've been bugging Joel to fix this).

We need your help!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Upgrade complete

I've now completed the Edgy->Feisty upgrade. I went to sleep at 1:30 am and continued this morning. I did an network upgrade and it took and estimated 5-6 hours. And the result is? I think I've gone slightly backwards.

  • The installer failed to complete due to the poor quality of the VMWare packages. They've now been removed.

  • fglrx acceleration still does not work. I've changed to the "radeon" driver which runs but is unreliable. I can get the desktop effects working (wobbly windows got annoying after one minute) but playing video stops working when the window looses focus. I noticed glChess renders both the 2D and 3D at the same time, I'll see if this is a driver or glChess at fault.

  • And most annoyingly the US keyboard layout has stopped working for my second keybord. I can't type '/' or '|' which is very annoying in the shell
  • (the keyboard configuration shows the correct layout though).

For me both the Edgy and Feisty upgrades have been disappointing for me. I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 which I think is fairly common and I hope support gets better if Dell starts distributing Linux!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I've been running Google Analytics on the glChess homepage. Looking at statistics over this period shows the visitors are dominated by the French and Italian:

Are Europeans big chess players or big open-source users or both?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Xeyes in real life

Xeyes in real life. Cool.

glChess spam poetry

Seems glChess is now a sufficiently well know term to be included in spam poetry.

The Commission has concluded that " safeguards schachclub are imposed by federal skakcomputer law and forensic science is webchess glchess practiced go chessboard schachcomputer far less efficient than openings tim krabe rochade ...

I don't know whether to be flattered or annoyed.

p.s. I found this from a feed from Google Blog Search - this is a great way to keep track on what people are saying about your project. Most people don't write to you, they just write about you...

Monday, April 09, 2007

glChess 1.0.5

So here it is:

Yes, it has (simple) timed play support. It needs some cleaning up in the code but due to limited development time I thought it best to "release early".

Notice the navigation buttons are now on the left. I liked the symmetry of them on either side but as a user pointed out when you are in high resolution it takes too much mouse motion to move between them.

The other notable change is the 2D board now rotates and you can choose (from the menu) which side of the board to view.

These changes will be in the Gnome 2.20 release.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Beginners guide to Gnome Python games

In Gnome games we need more help to squash some bugs. I've been bogged down squashing Sudoku bugs which aren't too difficult - just time consuming. It's a great opportunity for you to get involved. I think it's hard to jump into development so here is a step by step entry guide to fixing bugs. Note the following instructions work fine for glChess too.

First install Gnome games. You can install this anywhere but I usually make a subversion directory:

$ mkdir svn
$ cd svn

Check out the development version:

$ svn co gnome-games
$ cd gnome-games

Configure the package:

$ ./ --prefix=/tmp

This will get the software installed in /tmp, you might want to use ~/build or something similar instead.

For the above you will need the appropriate development tools installed. This will be distribution specific so unfortunately you're on your own here... If I remember which ones I installed on Ubuntu I'll state it here. Oh and on Ubuntu Edgy edit and change GNOME_PYTHON_DESKTOP_REQUIRED=2.17.3 to 2.16.0 because it works fine with the old (installable) version.

Install Sudoku:

$ cd gnome-sudoku
$ make install

To run:

$ PYTHONPATH=/tmp/lib/python2.4/site-packages/ /tmp/bin/gnome-sudoku

Now here's the cool part - because Sudoku is written in Python you don't need to recompile to make changes... What I do is edit the files in /tmp/lib/python2.4/site-packages/gnome-sudoku and run again. You can add print statements, make radical changes, whatever you like. And if things get too broken overwrite the install with another make install.

When you've fixed the change you need to make a patch to attach to a bug report. To do this you need to update the files in ~/svn/gnome-games. What I use is Meld:

$ meld ~/svn/gnome-games/gnome-sudoku /tmp/lib/python2.4/site-packages/gnome-sudoku

Once you've got the changes merged into the checked out copy make a patch:

$ cd ~/svn/gnome-games/gnome-sudoku
$ svn diff > your_changes_description.patch

And send that in.

Don't worry about the patch being perfect, the developers who know the codebase better will look it over and modify/suggest changes to you. It may take time to get a response because we're all volunteers but we do appreciate the work - We need more help and you're the right person for the job! The first patch is always the hardest too :)

Feedback very welcome.