For those on this side of the Atlantic and therefore not in bed, many of the OSDN sites were down all morning including Slashdot, Freshmeat and most importantly for me, Sourceforge. Sourceforge occasionally has some downtime, something that some people moan about, but since they provide a ton of bandwidth and facilities for free (except for the optional yearly subscription that I happily pay) I say we can’t complain. However this time, absolutely everything was offline, CVS and Subversion servers, their own cached site, everything.
I’ve been a little busy for the usual diatribe these last couple of days (a fact for which no doubt the Intertubes will be grateful) so for the moment my spleen will have to simply tolerate the increased pressure in anticipation of future venting . In the meantime, here’s an interesting site I found recently: TED. It’s made up of a ton of videos of presentations from quite interesting people on a variety of subjects including creativity, technology and politics.
I migrated the OGRE CVS repository over to Subversion this weekend, something I’ve resisted in the past due to some problems I’d had when using cvs2svn with our rather old and branch-littered repository. In all honesty, some of the problems were probably self-inflicted since I’d experimented with branch aliases a few years ago which cvs2svn previously didn’t like very much, but luckily the latest version has coped acceptably. For some bizarre reason when imported into Sourceforge the conversion decided to ressurrect a ton of folders & files that had been deleted long ago in CVS, which hadn’t happened when I tested this whole process locally, but all the other files did seem to be correct so some swift purging of the cheeky Lazaruses resolved it.
I’m just quaffing on one of these at the moment and it occurred to me that in an international context it might be blogworthy, since maybe it’s not that widely available around the world. Irn-Bru is a Scottish carbonated drink that’s been going for about a hundred years now, and it’s, well, odd. It’s bright orange, but it doesn’t taste remotely orangey. It’s as refreshing as a citrusy drink, but it tastes nothing like fruit, or quite like much else on this planet.
As much as I love using OS X, one of the double-edged swords is that the graphics driver updates are controlled by Apple. On the one hand, that’s a bonus because you have a better idea of what you’re dealing with out in the wild, and people get prompted to update their drivers (as part of the regular OS X auto-update). On the other hand, it’s a pain in the ass because the drivers tend to lag behind those from the GPU manufacturers and therefore have bugs the mainstream ones don’t.
I’ve been a fan of cross-platform development for a while now, I like competition and have a dislike for single-supplier dependence - my general rule is that if you put your eggs in one basket, and then give that basket to a monolithic corporation-being with the power to crush planets with a single cybernetically enhanced pectoral clench, odds are that you’re not your own boss any more. However, as a developer who must inherently exchange the scribing of cryptic text for food & shelter, I haven’t always been able to follow that preference.
It might not be quite as glamourous or important as a certain ongoing bout of democratic pugilism, but nevertheless even small dots in the ocean have the occasion to decide who their leaders should be, and today is that day for us - I’ll heading to our local polling station later on in fact to help elect our next government. A last tiny bastion of feudalism may still exist a few short miles away, some of the candidates may be less than impressive, and the non-partisan system may often result in what seems like 45 people pulling in 45 different directions, but hey, it could be worse.
Bah, it never rains, but it pours. I was poised last night for the Google Summer of Code 2008 accepted students announcement (we knew already for OGRE of course, since we picked them), since I had a bunch of things to do once that happened, such as welcoming the students to the project. Unfortunately, the announcement was quite late and I had a bunch of friends coming around so I wasn’t that great a host to begin with, as I’m there hitting F5 on the Summer of Code page waiting to fire everything off (in the end I just had to give up and wait until after they’d gone to finish up).
Most people who have used a source code management (SCM) system in any serious way will have found the need to create multiple branches of their repository at some point. Some people avoid using branches because they don’t understand them, don’t feel they need them, or because they’re a little afraid of the complexity they might bring - however, branch management is something that all serious developers should be comfortable with. I was reviewing my Subversion branch procedures recently (more on why another time) and since I’ve talked to other developers before who find this sort of stuff daunting, I felt I could probably share some insight on the subject, and tools that I’ve found useful.
See, this is kind of the thing that makes me happy (ish) to get up in the morning - a group of 4 students at the National University of Singapore have developed an interesting experimental game using Ogre and other tools, called ‘Rainbow Road’. What makes it interesting is that it’s a Wiimote-controlled shoot-em up which generates enemies based on a music track that you’re listening to. Their development video is pretty interesting, it shows the various stages they went through to get there.