Yes, another post on WWDC07 - but what are weekends for except catching up on tech news? I watched the presentations Steve Jobs did on the next version of OSX - 10.5 aka Leopard. Whilst a lot of it seemed to be of the ‘very nice but not stunning’ variety (although even so I have to say it looks nicer than Vista, generally), two things jumped out at me. Firstly was the ‘Core Animation’ Demo.
I happened to catch up with the goings on at WWDC07 just yesterday (yeah, I know, I’m probably way late) and was pretty interested by what I saw. I originally headed over there just because I wanted to watch the presentation by John Carmack, just to see what he’s up to. Once again he was talking about Megatextures, which is Carmack’s word for what everyone else used to call Clipmaps, as presented by Tanner et al of SGI in 1998.
Obviously we collect some stats on the types of browsers and operating systems that access ogre3d.org, and I thought it would be interesting to post them. It’s especially interesting because our visits clearly represent a subset of the wider Internet community, that is people who are mostly likely developers (and sometimes artists) and are open to using open source software. Note that all ‘Internet’ stats are taken from w3schools as a comparison but may not be totally representative.
So, I actually managed to squeeze out a few rare slices of ‘me’ time this week in between other things, and put some of it into my elusive ‘Tool Project’. I’ve basically made little outward progress on this for a while for two reasons - one, a glut of business talks (some of which have turned into real project work, some of which haven’t yet) has meant time has been very, very short, and two, some knotty design issues.
There are things I love and hate about Microsoft. Let’s start on the plus side - they’re generally pretty good at making various technical tasks easier, such as developing code and running servers. If you’re a developer or server admin on Microsoft technologies these days, chances are you don’t have to be as ‘hardcore’ as once was necessary - that doesn’t mean there aren’t hardcore developers & admins in Microsoft environments of course, but generally the bar has been lowered so there’s an increasingly wide range of skill levels in that arena.
I see the MacBook Pro has been upgraded again, and now comes with (minimum configuration): 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 1440 x 900 resolution 2GB memory 120GB hard drive 8x double-layer SuperDrive NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM Now that’s suddenly very interesting, given that previous MacBook graphics chipsets were rather underwhelming for the price.
I don’t have anything particularly interesting to say today, so I figure what the hell, let’s follow traditional blog form and comment on the day’s news 😀I have a build running in the background, and I’m up to date on the forum (shock!) so I have a little time to kill. There’s been a small glut of comment-worthy news today anyway, so what the hell. Google Maps new Street View feature is really quite cool.
Raph Koster posted today about the ‘long tail’ phenomenon as it relates to MMOs, obviously one of his areas of speciality. This is an idea which has been bouncing around for a while, and was coined by Chris Anderson who has a book out about it, but for anyone looking for a quick recap, the idea of the ‘long tail’ relates to plotting a graph of demand / sales / users / pretty much anything when the barrier to entry is low, and observing that as well as the inevitable top 10-20% of products that are wildly successful, there are a huge number of other products that can have measurable success, likely good enough to be completely viable.
I got some very interesting news in my inbox this morning; Linden Lab, makers of Second Life, have aquired Windward Mark Interactive’s WindLight and Nimble technologies, both of which I worked on under contract for WMI on and off over the last few years. For those who missed the original post, here’s what I’m talking about: This is Nimble (volumetric cloud rendering) from last year when I first created the prototype, which uses Ogre obviously, and it incorporates WindLight (which is doing the lighting), which was originally written in 2004.
I’ve been wondering about the ultimate future of consoles lately, following my conclusion that I don’t have a good reason to join the next-gen yet. Yes, consoles are still the pinnacle of mass-market consumer games but in this latest generation, some serious cracks have started to appear in the business model, in my view. It’s all to do with the costs and the direction in which the technology of the ‘living room device’ is going.