Older blog entries for Stab (starting at number 12)

3 Oct 2000 (updated 3 Oct 2000 at 11:00 UTC) »
Andrei wrote: Something that's been bothering me for a while is a lack of really good advanced open source 3D modeling/animation program, similar to 3D Studio MAX or Lightwave or even Maya. Surely there is enough brainpower in the development community to match the commercial companies, but I guess it's really a matter of organizing the project and keeping the people motivated.

You should look at OpenFX andrei. It's been under development for years, and was a commercial product, but we are going to release it really really soon now.

Feature list includes a raytracer and scan-line renderer simultaneously (which not even 3DS has I believe), bezier/NURB support, skeletal animation, procedural textures, a variety of conversion utilities, PNG/GIF/JPEG/AVI/FLIC formats, dynamic output plugins, etc. Check out the screenshot gallery I threw together for more ideas. this and this are two of my personal favourite pictures :)

I've had it in a 'private' beta for a while now, but I figure there's no harm in letting the advogato crew have a look at it - we are going to release just as soon as we can get the primary tarball and website ready. This is a Win32 binary ONLY at the moment - if you want source, I'll send you an old snapshot to look at.

Feel free to download it from ftp://ftp.openfx.org/pub/openfx/beta and send me feedback at anil@recoil.org. Incidentally, offers of US mirrors would be greatly appreciated (I run rsyncd).

The catch? It's a Win32 ONLY program at the moment. I'm using the excellent WINE project to compile it natively at the moment, but time pressures on this mean that the dev team eagerly awaits release and other volunteers to help us get the codebase into shape. Luckily, the code only uses pure Win32 calls (no MFC or any of that malarchy) so converting it to ANSI C and GCC will prove no great difficulty using WINE I feel.

In case anyone is interested, I just ran across this referrer analysis I did on my logs of the Mars Polar Lander site on its landing (err, crashing) day.

Kind of interesting, as it shows the relative power of the news-site referrals (they all had it on their front pages at the time, pretty much).

http://recoil.org/~avsm/mpl-ref.png

Didnt get much of a chance to hack this weekend, being busy with other things; but I've almost managed to finish off the DocBook ports for OpenBSD, including Norman Walsh's modular stylesheets.

They'll hopefully be ready for testing on Monday, and should be committed soon after that, so OpenBSD-2.8 will finally sate my DocBook needs! I've actually started using the DocBook-XML stuff now, so I guess I better get on and port that as well.

Marc Espie very kindly replied to some of my clueless emails explaining the innards of the OpenBSD ports system - it is very, very, very cool indeed, and the cleanest of all the BSDs that I've seen - hopefully some of his ideas will be used as the basis of the unified BSD ports system !

Hey hey, what's been happening? Had a great weekend here - weather stopped pouring long enough to have a huge game of rollerhockey on Sunday, but been raining ever since!

On the IMP front, I've been hacking trying to replace the 2.3 navigator view with a collapsible DHTML tree. I'm veering towards the idea of cobbling my own tree view together from Dan Steinman's excellent objects, as none of the available ones seem that good. Can anyone point out a good DHTML tree that works on a wide range of browsers?

On the OpenBSD front, I've just been wandering through the tree taking maintainership for poor orphaned ports, and trying to clean up the list of non-FAKEd ports. It will be good to get them all out in time for 2.8, and be left with a really clean tree!

OpenFX has stalled a bit while we try to get WinCVS working; it is such a pain sometimes! Might just do the initial release without anon-cvs access, and add it later if/when we need it...

Has anyone ever used the CPAN Perl module File::Tail ?

If you have, and gotten it to work, and you drop me a mail, I will owe you for life :)

/me spent most of an evening on it trying to get it to work on Linux/OpenBSD/anything!!

Just spotted this upcoming replacement for CVS, with a pretty impressive roster of developers ... Subversion.

http://subversion.tigris.org/

Check out the feature list! If they can get the clients out for this, it looks like it'll rock.

Ah well, finally moved into the new flat in London. Threw an absolutely awesome housewarming party on Saturday, and then spent all of Sunday playing rollerhockey, so there wasn't a lot of software work done :- ) Took a spill and jarred my recently dislocated wrist again, doh!

Did manage to sneak in some updates to some OpenBSD ports, and edging closer to towards committing JadeTeX, dvipdfm, & DocBook-4.1. Will do that as soon as the TeTeX patches go in to increase its default capacities.

OpenBSD should have the basis for a hardcopy documentation project with those in place, if the people behind the recent thread on misc@ have their way.

Does _anyone_ have any idea why the combination of C++/libtool/shared libraries might be horribly broken on OpenBSD? Sablotron uses this combination which works fine on FreeBSD/Linux, but it dies with a 'Memory Fault' (???) on Open ... need to recompile my kernel with debugging symbols to start figuring it out I guess. The old Jade port had similar problems - the static libraries work fine, but the shared ones just dont get loaded.

Just got my CVS account on cvs.openbsd.org; it came totally out of the blue when they gave me the offer, and took me about 0.0000001s to accept it :-) I've just been hacking away at random ports so far, but I'm gonna figure out how to get organised and do stuff.

Looking forward to working on the OpenBSD ports tree, and hopefully helping out with this unified BSD ports system whenever that comes about.

Finally stuck a preview-beta release of OpenFX up that Stuart Ferguson sent to me. Feel free to check it out and send me feedback ...

ftp://ftp.openfx .org/pub/openfx/beta will give you a start - it's a hefty 40mb Win32 demo! It's not been announced until I finish setting up the new machine for it (brick.recoil.org), so we can handle the volume of downloads and mail that would probably result.

Shouts out to James who said he'll help us mirror it on flirble!

At least my dislocated wrist is better now (rollerblading+taxi's don't agree), so I'm starting off Capoiera (sic?) on Monday! It's gonna be fun :)

Been playing a lot more with DocBook at work, and Jon Parise and I have been recreating the incredible phpdoc repository for the Horde/IMP project. It's a pretty mad combination of M4/XML/SGML/DSSSL that combines together and outputs in pretty much any format you would care to name.

Definitely warming to the idea of SGML as a documentation markup language, although I have yet to find a decent editor for markup under Unix (dont particularly like emacs, and vi doesn't quite cut it). Any suggestions anyone? I've heard that XMetal 2.0 is a good one ...

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