So, I finally finished the final touches on the new server for ogre3d.org today. I’d hoped to be at this stage mid last week, but an unfortunate base OS reinstall delayed that. Now we’re back in business and ready for the switchover tomorrow morning, I thought I might take a few minutes to go over the setup we’ve got. Physical Hardware: Intel Core 2 Duo 6400 (2.13GHz), 1GB RAM, 80GB SATA Hardware RAID 1
The start of my week hasn’t gone that well at all. Firstly, I went to the dentist for a checkup which went rapidly downhill - unfortunately I had impacted wisdom teeth which were removed several years ago, but they left behind some hidden problems which were missed or deemed not serious enough until I had a routine x-ray on Monday, at which point my dentist says it now needs sorting out.
I always take these rankings with a bit of a pinch of salt, but it was a nice surprise as I went to check out the download stats that we’ve just about sneaked into the top 20 ‘Most Active’ projects list for the last 7 days. I’m not really sure how they measure that, and I know we lost out for a while by moving our website away from Sourceforge’s hosting, but I’m willing to allow myself a little bit of satisfaction anyway, bearing in mind that we’re in some good company in that list, and Sourceforge host over 140,000 projects.
Hey, this is pretty cool. Again it came up on the OGRE forums - CNN were running a report on a ‘Seeing Machine’ designed to help people with impaired vision, and it turns out that at least some of the software they’re running is using OGRE - most obviously the ‘virtual gallery’ although I’ve spotted the tell-tale OGRE debug panel on some other shots too. There’s some more detail on this project, together with videos showing more of OGRE on MIT’s website.
I’m jumping on a plane for a business trip now and so my presence in the Ogre community will be somewhat more muted than usual until the weekend. It’s weird - I’d almost feel like I needed a sitter, if it wasn’t for the army of people doing such a good job already looking after the community 😀I know I’m at risk of repeating myself, but I don’t think it can be said enough - I really appreciate all the time people put in of their own volition on the forums, looking after other Ogre users.
I’ve lamented a few times on this blog about the way the PC gaming industry has appeared to have been in a slow decline in the past decade, and how consoles now dominate our gaming landscape. Now, I love my console games as much as the next guy, but as a developer, such a closed platform is always a disappointment. I grew up in the UK where pretty much every kid who played games did it on a PC - not as we deem it now, but a Personal Computer, not a console.
Well, it’s longer than usual between blog posts, but that’s because I’ve been pretty darn busy. During the day I’ve been taming Houdini most of the week again, via a combination of sweet-talking and blunt trauma. God, it’s a beautiful tool for the user, but lift the hood and you find within a veritable labyrinth of unsignposted corridors, dead ends, fake doors and hidden pit traps. The enormous flexibility and abstraction that works so well for the end-user makes extracting the relevant data and figuring out the internal relationships somewhat challenging to say the least, more so when documentation is almost non-existent, and where it does exist, it’s often inaccurate.
It’s done. About a year since we started planning it, Eihort (Ogre 1.4) has had it’s first public release - Release Candidate 1 in fact. The usual slew of last-minute issues raised their ugly heads but it’s out there. A few OSX updates didn’t make it in and will have to be delayed until RC2 but otherwise we’re there. I’m knackered - it’s been non-stop all weekend to get everything sewn up (heavily populated with disapproving ‘you’re still on that damn computer’ glances from my wife, whom I’ll have to make it up to), so I hope that everyone involved in making this possible will join me in sitting back and having a cold one - we deserved it 😀
Apologies if my replies in the forum and to email are a little more terse / slow / non-existent than usual, but I’m a little swamped right now. Houdini owns my days, and in my evenings I have a new server to configure (I’ve gotten used to SELinux now), plenty of email to deal with, an Eihort RC1 to organise (and there’s still some tweaking to do before that can be done), and a business to run (I need a full-time secretary I think ;)).
No, no, this has nothing to do with Hungarian blokes dangling upside down in straight jackets. Houdini is the name of a rather unusual modelling, animation and rendering tool that I’d heard of in passing before - a friend / former work colleague had used an academic version at university and was always extolling its virtues - but I’d never actually encountered it until this week. It’s not really talked about in real time graphics circles, unlike contemporaries like Max, Maya and XSI, but when you look at its rap sheet, you really wonder why it doesn’t get more attention in our field.