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Free textures from CarriageWorks

Firstly, some apologies for the lack of life on this blog. Things are trickling in and you can actually keep an eye on WIPUP for incoming updates on my projects that I won’t write about in thinkMoult.

Just down the road from my faculty building is a site called CarriageWorks – it was an abandoned train station which got remodeled into a contemporary art site. It’s quite a charming place, and it makes perfect sense for the upcoming TEDxSydney to be hosted there. Being an abandoned train station, it also is quite the goldmine in terms of textures which may be used for budding CG artists.

Last Wednesday I snuck around and snapped a bunch of photos of the mouldy, rotting and disintegrating, as well as the lovely mechanical details here and there. I haven’t done any modifications or cleaning up on the photos, but they’re sufficient to be used as references or basic texture works.

Licensed as CC BY-SA.

If you use them please link me to your work as I love to see other’s creations!

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The kde-www war: part 3

Just a quick history lesson. In the introductory post we highlighted several tell-tale symptoms that KDE.org had a very big usability and design problem. In part 1 of the war, we discussed a back-to-basics question what are we trying to communicate, what are we trying to achieve, and outlined goals for our various target audiences. In part 2 of the war, we started to achieve the goals outlined in part 1 via restructuring the pages and site map in order to distinctly separate between the KDE: The Community and KDE: Software. In this part, we’re going to focus on the home page – the central entrance hub for new members, and how we can use design elements to achieve part 1’s goals, and still cover all of the masses of content that KDE has to showcase in a streamlined manner as in part 2, and even reenforce KDE’s identity in the process.

Now that we know what we want to achieve and the structure of KDE.org, we can start thinking about the layout of the home page. The home page is – obviously – the most important page of the website. It acts as a central hub to link together everything that KDE has to showcase, it acts as the first stop for information for KDE newcomers, it acts as a publicity and news broadcast, it is the link between the various KDE sub-communities and communication channels, and most importantly, in today’s web-centric world, it defines KDE’s visual identity. After much debate, it had to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Embodies KDE’s visual style and branding – ie, the Oxygen, Air, Breathe, and Be Free. It should be a design that when you see it, you say “that looks like KDE”
  • It had to make people get KDE. To understand KDE not as a product and a software suite, but as a community. We want them to share with KDE’s passion. KDE has grown further than just a collection of apps and a desktop interface, and thus we can no longer be so shallow as to market it as such. We must follow our rebranding efforts to separate people from product, and emphasize open-source’s greatest strength – the community. We are a community, not a company. We create passion, not products.
  • It had to showcase our latest and greatest event/release/activities. However we need to showcase it in a way that people understand. Saying “Akademy 2011 is here!” alone doesn’t mean anything. Nor does “KDE 4.6 released – experience freedom”. Let’s change that to have meaning.
  • Clear segmentation between Software, Community and Development sections – to succeed where the current design fails. Let’s not make it a maze.
  • Absolute directions towards the goals we outlined – Goal 1: to become a user of KDE. Goal 2: Say hi and tell us what’s up. Goal 3: would you like to scratch your own itch?
  • Allow the user to understand how the site is structured and what exists without overwhelming them.

For this part of the war, I’m not going to write a wall of text. I’m just going to throw out the design right now, and let it speak for itself.


More to come. Let’s make a change.

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Cinematic Perception film entry

Hey folks, I haven’t posted anything since the SLUG meeting for (what should be) obvious reasons. University has started and it takes a little time for me to adjust back into a schedule after almost a year without one. I’m still working out the kinks to juggle university, freelancing, family time, thoughtscore, wipup, sports, music, time well wasted (reading, tv, internet), household work and socialising. It’s a little tricky but I should have it sorted out soon (there’s no such thing as not enough time). Not enough motivation, maybe, but never not enough time.

I am still doing things, which can be seen trickling slowly into WIPUP, but one of the more interesting ones that warrants a blog post was a short film-making competition I took part in a week ago. First off, I know nothing about filmmaking. 3D animation a little perhaps, but not filmmaking. So I initially went it just to have some fun. However walking away with first prize was definitely not what I had expected. Here was the entry after several hours of filming and splicing the video clips together.

Enjoy!

P.S. Yes, of course, Blender was used as the VSE.

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SLUG Feb monthly meeting

Being completely new to Australia and since Malaysia doesn’t have any sort of open-source community whatsoever I searched around for a linux/blender/open-source group when arriving. I found SLUG, or the Sydney Linux User Group. They hold monthly meetings, and though I was unavailable to join their January meeting, I did manage to join the February meeting on Friday. It was my first meeting of this nature so I must say it was very interesting regardless of the actual content of the meeting.

The meeting was kindly hosted by the folks over at the Google Sydney office, which was an experience in itself. It was certainly the most open and personalised set of offices that I had ever seen. I’ll let a picture speak for itself. (Why yes, that is a tire swing there)

The talk was given by Dr Silvia Pfeiffer about HTML 5’s video and audio capabilities – which are, needless to say, extremely powerful. The talk inspired me to implement HTML 5 video support in WIPUP, and for those that are interested in the talk, she gave at LCA too and is available here.

But what was more interesting was the people. They were your usual ragtag group of geeks.

How unexciting to meet such regular people.

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Syncing Kontact with Android

I recently became the proud new owner of an Android phone, or more specifically the Samsung Galaxy S i9000. Upon purchase it was promptly rooted and had a custom rom flashed onto it. Also recently KDE 4.6 was released and after a night of compiling I was sitting at a sparkling new desktop and customising it.

But this post isn’t about KDE 4.6 and nor is it about roms and galaxys. It’s about Kontact 2, part of KDEPIM 4.6 (which is still considered unstable by upstream) and how to achieve the state of PIM-zen which everybody should achieve once in their lives. The state of PIM-zen, for those too lazy to click, is the state where your PIM data (calendar/todo/contacts/feeds/etc) is accessible through any digital medium, be it your desktop’s PIM applications, a website visited from a remote location, or your mobile phone’s bundled PIM-suite.

Syncing your Calendar and events

I’m not going to talk about syncing email, as that has been covered countless times elsewhere. So let’s start with syncing the calendar, as it is the next most prevalent in use. Google phones unsurprisingly sync well to Google accounts – and given that Google accounts have a web-based frontend too, this kills two birds with one stone in our “access everywhere” requirement of PIM-zen. So our solution is going to be Kontact 2 <–Sync–> Google’s PIM Suite <–Sync–> Android device.

Kontact 2 is completely Akonadi based. In comparison to Kontact 1, where there was a makeshift Akonadi-resource wrapper which you could add to harness Akonadi as a data source, Kontact 2 only uses Akonadi-supported sources for your data. Luckily Akonadi makes it easy to connect to data sources, and so there is a specialised Akonadi-GCal-resource which you can add.

To do this, just right click on the bottom left box in Korganizer which holds the calendar sources, click “Add Calendar”, and select “Akonadi Google Calendar Resource”.

To get the resource, you may need to install the akonadi-googledata package. After clicking OK, all that remains is that you enter in your Google username (your email), and your Google account password. It should then start syncing and working flawlessly. Your Android phone can then sync to your Google account’s calendar.

However GCal is very buggy it seems as it isn’t unlikely that you’ll be having problems such as unable to authenticate or unable to grab calendar data. After scouring the web here are a few potential solutions to problems you might have:

  • Add the resource through the Akonadi configuration, not through Korganizer’s Akonadi wizard.
  • Ensure you have suffixed @gmail.com (even if you have an @googlemail.com address) to your username.
  • Make sure you don’t use special characters (non-alphanumeric) in your password.
  • Use the latest version of libgcal (>0.9.3 should be good enough)
  • Remove any older version of libgcal.
  • If you are behind a proxy, set it properly in KDE’s system settings -> Network -> Proxy, if not, ensure it is “Connect to internet directly”. (OpenSuse’s defaults to using env variables)
  • Ensure you have ca-certificates package installed, and the certificate from https://l.google.com/ to the list of accepted certs.
  • Have at least one event in the Google Calendar or it won’t sync (bug).
  • Sign out all other account sessions as detailed here.
  • … and of course, make sure Akonadi is running. (akonadictl start)

If it doesn’t work, you may want to stop akonadiserver, then start it with akonadictl start &> log in order to get a logfile. You can then poke around to see exactly where it failed. #akonadi on freenode may be able to help.

If it still doesn’t work, don’t despair (it didn’t work for me either!), as there is an alternative sync. The alternative uses CalDAV, as opposed to directly using Google’s Data API. To use it, just select “DAV groupware resource” from the wizard from the same screenshot shown above. However when it asks for you to pick the groupware server, click Cancel. This will prompt you to enter the details manually. Now follow the instructions by Google for SunBird for setting up a CalDAV resource, and as shown below in the screenshot, then after pressing OK things should starting syncing fine.

Finally, we should note that there might be some data loss, as Google Calendar doesn’t implement all of the data fields, such as attendees to events. Another thing you might want to note is that exporting your existing KOrganizer calendar into ical/ics and then importing into Google Calendar may not work, as KOrganizer doesn’t follow the ical/ics specs properly. If you are exporting and are manually modifying the ical/ics file such that it works, ensure you define the timezone, otherwise chaos will ensue :D

Syncing your contacts

Android has, just like Calendar, a built-in autosync with your Google account’s contacts. Akonadi also has a Google Contacts resource, which you may use in similar fashion to the Google Calendar resource described above. Unfortunately it doesn’t work with me, and so I’m currently in the process of debugging it with Savago in #akonadi. YMMV, and I don’t know any good alternative to syncing this.

Syncing your todo lists

This is a pain. First off it should be plainly stated that Google’s Android does not have a stock to-do application. Google’s own laughable implementation of a to-do webapp in GMail is – well, I would use the most derogatory adjectives I could think of to describe it, but that would just mislead you into thinking that it is possible to quantify the horribleness of it (which it isn’t) – oh, where was I? Oh yes, Google’s to-do webapp doesn’t allow you to access it via ical or any sane format, is missing a ton of useful meta-tags which some people might want, and so you should probably scratch out trying to sync over Google’s to-do webapp.

The options do you have are limited to what exists on the Android marketplace to read your todo lists. The two major ones are Astrid Tasks and RememberTheMilk, both of which are very good. Let’s cover RTM first.

The biggest downside with RTM is that in order to use the Android application for it (which is very good), you have to be a RTM Pro user, which costs 25$ a year, which is actually worth it if you are really dependent on task lists. Alternatively you could use their mobile barebones webapp which looks ugly but gets the job done. Their main webinterface is probably the only webinterface I actually really enjoy using, but the downside is that you cannot interact with your tasks via KTodo – you get only readonly access via an iCal file (note that you can also use a version where your todo items are converted to events in your iCal file for use through the KOrganizer interface). So the final setup goes somewhat like this RTM Android App <– Push/scheduled syncs –> RTM Website and/or Google Calendar <– Read-only iCal file –> KTodo. It should be noted that RTM supports syncing with your Google Calendar as well, so that’s an added plus if you want to use that interface. Note that there is also a RTM Plasmoid, which just adds icing to the cake.

The alternative is Astrid Tasks. Whilst interfacewise a little more clunky it still does get things done. It can sync with a “space” on the online saas Producteev, which in turn allows you to manage it from there. It also does a two-way sync with Google’s to-do webapp, but is known to be buggy, YMMV. However from there it doesn’t seem to have a way to sync with KTodo. Luckily, in a twisted sort of way, it does allow you to sync to RTM via a now unofficial sync (due to RTM’s policies of not allowing other companies to make added profit from their system), and using RTM you can then do the same sync as above. However if you use Astrid Tasks even with syncing to RTM, you don’t need to be a RTM Pro user and hence everything is free. Your options are therefore Astrid Tasks Android App <–> Producteev/Google, or Astrid Tasks Android App <–> RTM <– Read-only iCal file –> KTodo.

There is a third alternative – GTDAgenda. This webapp closely follows the original principles of Getting Things Done by David Allen. It’s a really powerful tool and comes with both a mobile site and Android application too. The only downside is that they are rather expensive and their free version is rather stripped down. Even when stripped down it does seem a little overkill for my needs, but it might be different for you.

My personal reccomendation is to just go with RTM.

Syncing your RSS feeds

Syncing your RSS feeds are a little tricky now that Akregator’s Google Reader sync is unmaintained and broken. Also Google doesn’t have a stock feeds application (why, oh why, Google, do you leave out the basics!) – update: actually it turns out they have recently published one. This pretty much limits you to running any Android app which syncs with Google Reader (there are a few out there, I personally use Pulse) – or you could just access Google Reader’s mobile application, which is really attractive for a mobile site I must say.

In the meantime, get somebody hacking on Akregator and fix that sync plugin!

… and reach your state of PIM-zen!

I hope that this guide has been helpful to those wanting to achieve that perfect sync across all their devices. Any tips and tricks I missed out please let me know in the comments.

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Tech tip #8: Browse Amarok’s embedded MySQL database.

Amarok can probably be called one of Linux’s flagship programs. However since the upgrade from Amarok 1 to Amarok 2 there have been quite a number of controversial changes. One of these changes is that Amarok switched from an SQLite database to a MySQL database to store song information, however whether or not this was the right move is not the topic of this post (why yes, it was a good move, thanks for asking).

With this new database, users were given two choices – an external database or an embedded database. The embedded database was created to simplify the setup for users who weren’t comfortable with the idea of manually setting up a MySQL database. But what happens if you have an embedded database and afterwards you do want to mess around with it and look inside? For whatever purpose be it bugfixing, locating a specific bit of information, or bulk song management (nothing beats a good query!), sometimes you’d want to do this.

Amarok stores its embedded database information in $KDEHOME/share/apps/amarok/mysqle/amarok/ – where $KDEHOME is usually ~/.kde. So as long as you have MySQL setup elsewhere, all you have to do is create a blank database, and dump all of these files where MySQL stores its information. This location is MySQL’s datadir, which is set inside the my.cnf configuration file, normally placed in /etc/mysql/my.cnf. In a regular install, your data dir will be in /var/lib/mysql/ – and will contain one directory per database. So just copy over Amarok’s database files into the database’s directory. The final step is to ensure the files are owned by the mysql user, done by chown mysql:mysql.

Now you can browse the database normally through your preferred method (command line, PHPMyAdmin, or other MySQL client)

That’s it! I hope this is useful to somebody.

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Application design polish.

Free software is great. Everybody loves free stuff. However there’s one common flaw experienced by a lot of free software – they look ugly.

The reason behind this isn’t because we have too many programmers (yes, we know you never have enough programmers) and have too little artists – no, the problem is a lot more subtle. The real problem is that there is no clear hierachy within the artists. There is no control. There is no clear structure, focus, and branding. The question so many artists fail to ask ourselves as a contributor to free software is – What do we want to communicate?

To illustrate my point, I would like to use Ubuntu as an example. Regardless of your prejudices for the distribution and/or Canonical, they did do something right – they have a brand. They have a clear, recognisable pallette and style – from colourschemes to typefaces. Why don’t you see it for yourself: go and visit Ubuntu.com. Notice the colours. Notice the icon styles. Notice the typography.

Another example of a project taking the steps in the right direction is KDE and their Oxygen iconset + plasma "Air" attempt. However there is still far to go.

However the issue does not lie with such large FOSS projects such as the above mentioned. Instead the real problem lies with smaller software and application created by smaller developer groups. The reason is because these small applications rarely have to worry about problems such as branding – instead they have to focus on creating an elegant application. Design elegance can only rely so far on the design of widgets in the UI toolkit used. The rest is really up to the developer. Allow me to give a quick visual example of Blogilo, a blog client which I’m using to type out this post. Take a look:

The untrained eye would not see any problem with the screenshot – however the application design above screams complexity. There is no elegance. There is no simplicity – no "flow" (a clear step by step separation of functions). A blog client is not a complex application like an IDE. It exists for you to add, edit, and delete blog posts. Nothing more. When stripped down to its basics, a blog client is naught more but a rich text editor with a few extra options. Instead we have frames within frames, accordion panels, tabs, and buttons strewn about. Overkill, in my humble opinion.

Design polish is a very hard topic to separate what is ugly and what isn’t. It’s blends over into many neighbouring topics such as usability, a macro-view of marketing (in this case, Blogilo is part of KDE), and functionality. If you are interested, however, I would like to direct you to this very interesting blog by Troy Sobotka, one of the folks behind Ubuntu, who discusses this in much more clarity and detail than I am capable of.

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Tech tip #7: Using PlayOnLinux to run applications already installed by vanilla WINE.

RTS is an acronym for real-time strategy. It’s a game genre. There’s a classic RTS game known as StarCraft. Although only a casual gamer (say, might I recommend Machinarium?) I have played (and somewhat enjoyed) a few more "hardcore" games – like for instance, StarCraft. Although being pretty pathetic at it, I did enjoy it and appreciated the balanced strategy between the various "races" you could control in the game. With StarCraft II already out (hell, it’s about time!) I decided to revisit the original StarCraft: Brood War game to refresh my memory.

I downloaded the game from Battle.net, installed the latest version of WINE (1.3.0), ran the Blizzard downloader flawlessly, ran the installer flawlessly – and true to its Gold ranking on the WINE AppDB, ran the game flawle- no wait. It was laggy. Not particularly laggy. But it wasn’t as fast as it should’ve been, and too many critters on the screen would make it choke. I tried all the lag-fixes suggested on the AppDB submission to no effect. It was a sort of phantom, website-loadingish lag.

However one comment on the AppDB page said that using PlayOnLinux to install WINE 0.9.14 to run StarCraft fixed all lag issues. I decided to give it a shot. Turns out any version below 1.0 is no longer supported (as any sane developer would do) and no longer available in portage. PlayOnLinux was, however – and PlayOnLinux did still allow WINE 0.9.14 to be installed. Unfortunately it wasn’t particularly intuitive to tell PlayOnLinux to run my installed .exe file with WINE 0.9.14, so perhaps this blog post might help others in my situation. Using these steps I was able to install a prehistoric version WINE via PlayOnLinux, and tell it to run the already installed version of StarCraft on my computer:

  1. Install PlayOnLinux, Tools -> Manage wine versions -> install v0.9.14. Should be straightforward.
  2. mkdir /home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/starcraft && env WINEPREFIX=/home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/starcraft wineboot
  3. cp -r /home/username/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/StarCraft /home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/starcraft/drive_c/Program\ Files/ (or mv it, doesn’t make a difference)
  4. touch /home/username/.PlayOnLinux/configurations/installed/StarCraft
  5. Place the following in the StarCraft file:

#!/bin/bash
export WINEPREFIX="/home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/starcraft"
export WINEDEBUG="-all"
cd "/home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/starcraft/drive_c/Program Files/StarCraft"
wine "StarCraft.exe" $@

And that’s it! Run PlayOnLinux and you’ll be able to run the program from there. This guide should be able to work for other scenarios as well so feel free to adapt it.

Oh, and as for the lag? Yep – oddly enough it did get completely fixed. Regression time.

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Hello 4.5, hello ThoughtScore.

KDE 4.5 is out! (Yes, I am a little late) I was really happy to have contributed just that little bit to this release and hopefully that trend continues. Just wanted to say how much I appreciated this DE and to congratulate and thank everybody for their hard work.

Something else that could be interesting for some is an updated ThoughtScore video I found lying around the other day. You can find the low quality version on WIPUP (I do have a large version but will not host it online). It contains some small changes since the last video and I quite enjoy watching it.

In other news, I got my A Level results today (for those not under the British education system, that’s basically the grades that determine my entrance into university) and I’m exceptionally happy with my results. Any suggestions of stuff to buy to celebrate (recommended food is welcome – and big + useless items that catch my fancy win extra points) are welcome.

Sorry for the lack of blog posts. I am actually doing some stuff which can be seen on WIPUP, and some stuff just aren’t blogworthy enough.

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More do, less talk.

I’ve been a busy little bee these few days – you didn’t think WIPUP’s beta release would slow me down eh? Unfortunately for you folks, I like to strike a balance between doing and talking – sure, more talking and doing doesn’t see any results soon, but more do and less talk is just plain selfish. As such, here’s what’s new in Moult county.

Firstly – the the WIPUP beta aftermath. Could’ve hoped for more users, but I’m happy with how people are picking up on it. So far all feedback has been positive, and we’ve picked up a good few members along the way, some of which have become users. Now that I’ve signed WIPUP up on Google Analytics, we’ve got shorter, sweeter reults:

Because I like looking at the results in percentage increases, I’ll let you make your own conclusions this time.

Meanwhile, a few noticed that this release’s splash was not made by me – rather it was contributed by Nathan from Cetan.ca. This means that if anybody wants to contribute splash artwork, I’d be more than willing to use it – provided that it’s abstract, and that it passes as aesthetically pleasing – and of course credits will be duly given.

The ThoughtScore Project has resumed production – and surprisngly to some – not in any graphical area, but rather in the script. I’ve submitted what I’ve started on it as a WIP available here, and once I implement the “paste revisions” idea for WIPUP suggested here, I’ll allow you to actually write parts of it (well, if you really want to – but no promises on accepting them).

I’ve also been, despite sans internet for 2 days in a wonderful place called Bandung (reaaally beautiful if you go to the right places) I’ve also been busy giving back to the community in KDE. We now have a lovely release counter image (demo’ed below), my submission to their KPresenter template contest, and a little progress on the upcoming release announcement for 4.5. Not to mention I’ve also been in the middle of setting up KDE’s site for development on my localhost to tackle “polish” issues, of which you may see some of my critique here.

KDE Countdown

Of course I’ve still been doing part/fulltime work doing webdevelopment (on my 3rd project now wheyhey), and so if you need any webdevelopering done you know who to poke. Also, being in Indonesia also means I’ve been rockin’ with my relatives.

Come on, a post like this with loads of links definitely means I’ve been busy. Excuse the insightful-informative post tradeoff.

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WIPUP 25.07.10 beta released.

What began as a project motivated by the Open Collaboration Services API has really come a long way since it began as a concept submission to KDE’s openDesktop competition. This project was a unique concept for people to share and record what they were working on. Not about showcasing your latest creation – no, rather it is about showcasing the processes behind it: the different ideas, the development, and things that didn’t quite work out in the end. This project is for people who make stuff. People who constantly have ideas bouncing around, juggle their time between various projects and start more than they finish. This project is called WIPUP. WIPUP is a way to conveniently share, critique and track progress on your projects.

WIPUP attained an important milestone today – its beta release. It’s now available for the public to use. WIPUP is a "web 2.0" technology application, to use the cliche term. However more importantly it’s the infrastructure behind and towards a unique Social Desktop tool. For those unfamiliar with what the Social Desktop embodies, allow me to quote:

[The] core idea of the Social Desktop is to connect to your peers in the community, making sharing and exchanging knowledge easier to integrate into applications and the desktop itself. The concept behind the Social Desktop is to bring the power of online communities and group collaboration to desktop applications and the desktop shell itself.

WIPUP is (in terms of this final goal) still in its infancy – there is no desktop client (yet), my plans for KDE integration are still on the drawing board, and no currently existing API implementation. But more important is what does exist, which is the tool – the platform behind all of these future possible interfaces which provides added convenience and flexibility towards any workflow. As such, I’m immensely happy to share this beta with all of you and invite you all to check it out and start using it. WIPUP is also open source and free software – so any interested developers (or anybody wanting to contribute) are welcome to join as well!

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Holiday plans.

This coming Sunday (25th) the first WIPUP beta version will get released. I’ve been working hard to ensure that this first beta truly will be feature-complete and bug-free. I was quite delighted this morning when I found a few Brazillian game developers had tried out WIPUP (and a few of its live-only features succesfully) for an RPG they were making – it was all in Portuguese, but it was a great feeling nonetheless. I hope more people can find use for WIPUP and enjoy using it just as much as I have.

One of the reasons I developed WIPUP was to be used as a long-term infrastructure for myself – a way to log and see my progress through time. A phrase I like to use here is insight through hindsight. This of course means that since this is the first so-called stable release of WIPUP, I’m going to take a break from developing it (desktop clients, APIs and the such will have to wait) and resume my personal, more creative projects.

I’ve spent the past week porting over the remains of The ThoughtScore Project’s original thread on BlenderArtists to the WIPUP Project. I shall spend my time over the next week to pick up all those Blender save files that have spread across my hard disk and get ready to resume work on ThoughtScore.

I’m also starting a new composition. After every composing session I shall snapshot the score and perhaps a short clip of me playing what I’ve got so far. You can check out the WIPUP project for it.

Also if you need a webdev job, you can ask the folks at the company I’m now working for, OmniStudios.

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EyeOS has an Oxygen theme!

For the uninitiated, EyeOS is a free, open-source desktop implementation right in the browser. I was recently playing around with my EyeOS installation that I forgot I had installed a while back (v1.x) and like what most people do when they try out a new system, I decided to see what other themes they have.

Turns out they have an Oxygen theme! It’s a little dated but I must say I’m impressed. Very impressed.

Now all I have to do is find a practical personal use of EyeOS! Perhaps it might replace a few of my cobbled series of other cloudish hacks.

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Reviewing the statistics for WIPUP 27.06.10a.

I decided to delay the statistics-review post for WIPUP 27.06.10a because a recent update to the dashboard now shows view statistics on a daily basis instead of a weekly basis – the results were quite surprising:

As you can see WIPUP is clearly one of our most active projects, with quite a decent kudos:subscriptions:updates ratio compared to the others. However when looking at the activity, we notice something rather interesting – the increase in views is not a sustained increase. It’s a spike whenever there is an update. Looking at my personal WIPSpace we can attribute the initial spike up to almost 200 to the 27.06.10a release itself. The very next day, with no updates, views returned to a pathetic zero.

The even larger spike was quite an oddity. On the 1st of June, one of my less relevant posts (about cooking) was aggregated onto Planet Larry, which sort of explains it (despite a 1 day time lag occuring before the spike) – but further investigation shows that my update about buying the C++ Qt book received a uniqely larger amount of views. I conclude that where the Planet Larry aggregation helped spark some interest, another equally important factor to the spike was that planet readers decided to read what else was on the blog, which was a post which linked to the programming book update – which was obviously a lot more relevant. All the same, very interesting stuff.

An obvious reason behind the non-sustained views is that WIPUP is largly an unknown entity on the web. Hopefully with more updates (which will come!) I can change this behavior into a steady stream.

In relevant news, the upcoming beta of WIPUP is making rapid progress and should be quite a sweet release.