Monday, March 03, 2008

No black here

Sup, y'all. I realized that Free Software is a lot like the wild west used to be. So, partner, I'll be spreading some "west" and a lot of "wild" over this post.
"What?", you say (oh I'll have a conversation with you whether you want it or not). Well, the connection is obvious once you think about it: during the wild west days people used to ride horses, kill each other for no apparent reason and raise cattle, while in Free Software we write software. I rest my case.

I've spent the last week with Aaron. I absolutely love hanging out with him. It's platonic. Or so I think, with all the heavy drinking that I do, it all gets a little blurry. Also, Peyton (Aaron's son) is a wickedly cool kid.

Anyway, I have a lot of Gallium3D things to do which are a priority, but at nights Aaron and I hacked on Plasma and KDE. I think I speak on behalf of Aaron when I say that we became computer programmers for the women. Which might seem a little confusing to, well all of you (especially if you're a woman) until you realize that it came down to being either a computer programmer or a crackhead. Computer programmer job pays, like, way better and if I had to pick second reason why I do what I do it's money.
We got the Dashboard widgets working. It's been something that I wanted to do for the longest time. Obviously not all of them work because some of them use OS X specific apis (like Core Image magic).
I also added interfaces to use Plasma's DataEngine's from JavaScript in web applets. So you would do something like

var engine = window.plasma.loadDataEngine("time");
var data = engine.query("Local");
document.getElementById('time').innerHTML = "Time is " + data.value("Time");

to use Plasma's time data engine to display the current time. One could use Plasma's Solid data engine to get the list of all the devices attached to the computer and display it in the web applet which would be a little more useful than another a time widget but you ain't enterprise ready unless you have 23 clock applets and we're almost there. There's also a small bug somewhere, that apparently doesn't exist in Qt and is, in fact, a figment of my own imagination due to which the background looks black. On Chuck Norris widget (that like a lot of other dashboard widgets just works. You download it, click on it, run it, show it to all your friends, and remove it once they're gone because it's pretty damn useless) it looks like this:

Do you see black? No, you don't! It's simply that Chuck Norris is a black hole that consumes everything around it, including all the color. Deal with it. Chuck Norris has.


Anonymous said...

Peyton?! You must mean P! Aaron is the only in his family to have a name more than one letter!

pedro said...

ahah, this post is so funny :D
(that's all i have to say..)

shamaz said...

"Chuck Norris can cause bugs on plasma... even with kde 1.0"
Indeed, seeing His Power on plasma is kind of hypnotic.
Now the main reason preventing osx user to switch to KDE is now gone !
Thank you for this !

Anonymous said...

rofl. awesome :)

Ariya Hidayat said...

Looking at the picture, actually I was thinking about Steve Wozniak rather than Chuck Norris!

Søren Hauberg said...

There's an icon on your desktop that shows a zipper being unzipped. That icon has the text "ChuckNorris...". Are you trying to unzip Chucks pants?

Anonymous said...

Zack; would you send me an email with a phone number to contact you with?

Gene Mosher

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but i need help for my thesis, i must create an application with c++ to "manipulate" svg...Can you help my with any advice or example? my e-mail is
Thanks and excuse me for my english!!!

Anonymous said...

Affected by your enthusiasm and my own curiosity, I set out to try Plasma and KDE4 (as shipped with Kubuntu 8.04 b2). Here's a Joe User experience.

* Plasma crashed pretty much when fiddling a bit with the settings or adding an interesting widget.
* There were no pretty window animations of any kind. I suppose that my Radeon 8500 does not have enough 3D PAWAAAR to animate windows, but it sure would be nice if the minimum requirements were documented somewhere.
* I miss a whole lot of the features from KDE3. ("miss" in the sad way..)
* The ability to put an analog clock on your desktop and turn it upside-down is pretty nice, I guess :-)

So.. it's probably not for end users yet.

I love reading your blog though :-)

Anonymous said...

(on the topic of Kubuntu 8.04 - slightly OT perhaps - here's more Joe User ramblings:

* Every time KDE (or what not) crashes, there's a nice crash dialog. Which is completely empty. If you don't count the 100s of lines of "no symbols loaded". What the?.. Load the symbols then, lazy fri.... piece of ....!
* WTF is up with disallowing logins using a user with administrative access. I'm administrator on my own PC. Get over it and let me in. Jesus...

Nitin Mahajan said...

I saw the blog Web on canvas and Dashboard widgets. In that you have mentioned that you had to redo some part of WebKit rendering to make the perspective transform possible. Is that code made open somewhere. I also wanted to achieve the same thing, meaning perspective transform of web browser on QtwebKit.


Anonymous said...

Hey Zack, its Rob from NYC, long time no see or hear. Shoot me an e-mail at, Later.

Sector said...

Hey Zack,

I'm sorry to be so off-topic here, but could you please consider making a (smallish) post that explains in concise terms what the relationship is between (most importantly) DRI2 and Gallium3D (and even Mesa3D).

Seeing as though TG is involved in/developing all these technologies, I'd be surprised if you were doing any double work. Yet, when I'm reading about DRI2 for example, I can't help but feel that Gallium3D also fills some of that requirement space.

Also cool would be some prognoses of maturity for these technologies (wild guesses are fine with me! :D)

Even if you don't make such a post, I'm still mighty thankful to you and TG for advancing the state of the art of 3D for everyone at no cost. I'm also very impressed with the LLVM integration in Gallium3D, very cool stuff.

Kind regards, Nicolas