Well, for me 2006 certainly didn’t begin with a bang, it was really more of a quiet ‘frrp’. I’m finally recovering from this flu which has hung on well beyond it’s welcome, and starting to get back into doing something productive even though I can feel that I’m still not firing on all cylinders. I’ve mostly been fixing a few issues in pose animation, raised by people who have jumped in on the Dagon CVS copy to play around. Dagon is very stable and mostly complete, but the last stretch is normally the most difficult. This time around, current challenges include the ATI/Linux driver segfaulting when you call glPointParameterfv(GL_POINT_DISTANCE_ATTENUATION, .. ) for some reason, when it’s perfectly valid GL and works perfectly on nVidia/Linux and ATI/Windows. Very frustrating, hopefully some driver solution will arise.
The other unfortunate thing is that nfz’s motherboard finally decided that it’s existence wasn’t worth it, and chose to commit ritual suicide, taking his CPU, RAM and GPU with it in an extremely expensive blaze of glory. This is a major problem for Dagon since nfz was heading up a significant number of material enhancements, including the new material compiler which was just getting to the stage where it would probably become the main parser. There were still other tasks to do too, most assigned to me right now, but if it takes a few weeks to resolve this it will push back the Dagon release further. Ah well, I still encourage impatient people to try Dagon CVS until we get all of this ironed out, it is very stable.
I’ve also been considering my goals for this year. Clearly getting Dagon out is in there, as is finishing Kadath, which I haven’t spoken about much lately but is still ongoing when I get the time. At work, a seriously major project whose live deployment keeps getting delayed because of issues with one of the many pieces of 3rd party software we have to integrate with, should finally get out the door, and I’ll be very glad to see it finally done. What happens after that, I don’t know. One thing I do know is that I can’t continue to give so much of my time away for free this year - I have to try to learn to be tougher. I cut down on my contract work in the latter part of 2005 to concentrate on Kadath, which should be a longer term prospect, and hence didn’t do as well financially. But, due to a combination of bereavement and getting distracted helping other people out, and getting Dagon done, I haven’t got on as well as I’d hoped with that. So I enter 2006 knowing that I’m not as far along as I should have been in my own work, mostly because I’ve diverted too much time for the benefit of others.
My problem is that I genuinely like helping people, and making the kinds of great contacts I make whilst working on OGRE, many of whom pitch in and help out too. I do it all for free because I like doing it, I think that’s obvious since OGRE is 5 years old this year. Besides, my personal approach to life is that you generally get out of it what you put in - putting out good vibes tends to result in some coming back to you. But like anyone else, I’ve got a mortgage and a finite amount of time for personal enjoyment, family etc. I’ve promised myself before that I’ll ration the time I give away more, so I can work on things that will actually benefit my own coffers, but I never seem to manage to stick to it. I’ve really, really got to get tough with myself this year. Honest. 😕
So, not the best of starts perhaps, but at least this way the year has to get better 😀