Life & much, much more

Back in Malaysia, and other things I have dabbled in.

Blog posting has been slow lately. This is mostly due to real life and connectivity issues, but despite this I have had some time to dabble in the various public projects I juggle. The pace is not rapid enough to be able to keep up a alternate-day post like I used to, but is suitable for a summary post, such as this one.

The ThoughtScore Project

The first project is my ever-incomplete ThoughtScore animated movie. The highlight of this update is that there has been an animation update with a few extra shots added. You can view the ThoughtScore Blender animation here, or click the screenshot below.

You may view more feedback on its BlenderArtists forum thread (page 4).

The project also got awarded its own domain with some content I pulled together quickly in about an hour. See ThoughtScore.org.

I do have a couple more scenes prepped and awaiting animation & rendering, so more updates will be popping up.

live.WIPUP

WIPUP, a way to share works in progresses, has experienced the yearly dip in content due to the holiday season, but live.WIPUP (the bleeding-edge iteration of WIPUP) has received experimental design changes and slight SEO updates.

live.WIPUP -like the projects it was built to showcase- is also a work-in-progress. It’s incomplete, but as always, hopefully a step in the right direction. Text link to check out live.WIPUP – share your works in progress here.

Real Life

Apart from badminton, taking a break from learning Chinese, globetrotting, and client work, this picture says it all.

Well, that’s it for a brief summary of what I’ve been up to. I hope everybody have also had a great Christmas, New Year, upcoming Chinese New Year, and awesome holiday.

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WIPUP 11.11.11 released!

WIPUP.org is an open-source web application built for one reason: to show the world what you’re working on.

If you’re impatient, click here to check out the fresh WIPUP.org.

I’m very happy to announce version 11.11.11 being released today. It’s the first non-alpha/beta release, which means that I’m confident that it does what it’s meant to do, and so it’s ripe for the public to use it.

This release’s splash image is created courtesy of Erik Kylen from Blackmaze.

For those who are interested, you can read the release notes here which describe all the new stuff in this release.

I’m very curious to see where WIPUP goes to from here. Being the first non-testing release, it satisfies all of my personal needs for the system. There really isn’t anything else it needs to do. The only ones I can think of is the ability to mark projects as complete, or to download archives of projects, but both of those aren’t necessities.

It’s really been a joy developing WIPUP. I hope other people enjoy using it just as much as I do.

Enjoy the update, and I’m off for the day :)

Life & much, much more

WIPUP 24.11.10b released!

For the uninitiated, WIPUP is a way to share, critique, and track projects. Or more specifically, works-in-progresses. Us in the open-source community are constantly working on things, and being open-source, we like to share them.

WIPUP was specifically built and tailored towards sharing works-in-progresses – ranging from a twitter-like update, to a fully formatted document complete with images, videos, and pastebin support. With WIPUP’s new FreeDesktop approved OCS (open collaboration services) REST API, it’s one step closer to turning the advanced Linux desktop into a Social Desktop.

Imagine being able to share what you’re working on immediately from KSnapshot, or finding a "Subscribe to this project" or "Track this developer" in Amarok’s About dialog.

It’s completely free to use and (of course) its entire codebase is open-source.

Check out the release notes, and then try it out if you haven’t already!

Life & much, much more

WIPUP 23.09.10b released!

Yep, WIPUP, the lightweight, open-source way to share your works-in-progresses just got a lovely update today. It’s a minor update but minor updates are needed sometimes. Check it out here, and read the release notes.

The charming splash screen above was done by me on The GIMP. If enough people like it (just drop me a comment/mail/whatever) I will probably create a tutorial for some of it.

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WIPUP 27.06.10a released!

It’s super, it’s amazing, and it’s released. It’s WIPUP 27.06.10a. For the uninitiated, WIPUP is a flexible and easy way for people to share, critique, and track works-in-progresses.

To quote some random person, this release truly brings out the “hey, it’s like a working site now“. This release sports super fancy upgrades courtesy of my schedule, which is now free from exams and school. Check out the WIPUP website now, and read the release notes.

Of course it’s also open-source, so not only do we welcome new users, but developers too! This is hopefully the last “alpha” release, so feel free to join.

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WIPUP 14.01.10 released!

It’s party time! After a long break from development in November and a few more commits creeping through in January and late December I’ve decided to update the web version to the latest and greatest – the so-called 14.01.10 version. Yes, it’s the one and only WIPUP.

For the unaware, WIPUP is a website that allows you to log updates and unfinished progress on any project in a very flexible manner – a version control for the average joe for the massive collection of hits and misses from your random musings. It’s a way to answer the age-old question of “what’s up, doc?” and finally realise how much time you’ve been wasting instead of creating that awesome Lego city. But so what? Let the site itself be self-explanatory. (if it isn’t, it’s a bug!)

I don’t want to fall into the dogfooding trap again, so I’m just going to leave any potential developers with an opportunity. For the rest, including comments, the real update, click here to check out the WIPUP 14.01.10 release announcement. For those who want a sneak preview of the new timeline project view, you can check out my WIPUP profile as an example.

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Dogfooding WIPUP

I’ve mentioned dogfooding a few times already: it is the process where the developer uses their own creations, thus duplicating the role as a consumer as well as a producer. It’s good practice – because if you don’t trust your own ideas, the chances are that it’s a bad idea in the first place. Even if you don’t use it simply because you are building it for a different personality profile, this implies that you are not truly in the customers’ shoes – how can you design something for somebody you know nothing about? More importantly, what motivates you behind your work, the quality of the work or the success it brings?

My ideals tell me that it should lie with the quality of the work. Ironic it should be that a while back I posted on the topic of WIPUP and webdesign usability – especially when WIPUP is a little online system that was literally built for my own use. A little closer inspection into that article shows that though it does give an example of bad webdesign usability, the point is that I had made an update and had something to show for it.

Yes, and that is the whole point of WIPUP.

If you didn’t get the hint by now, it means that that article should’ve never existed in the first place, but instead appeared on WIPUP. Luckily I realised this and submitted it – and here we have the total sum of my dogfooding, which isn’t much:

13 items – a shameful quantity at any rate if you look at how long I’ve had the opportunity to use WIPUP, unfinished as it is.

Anyway, it now exists and we’ve identified a few more shortcomings of the WIPUP update addition system:

  • There is no rich formatting for the detailed description of the update. I propose the addition of BBCode as well as a rich text formatting toolbar.
  • There is no way to extend the small textbox for writing a very long detailed description, making it inconvenient for the user.
  • There is no way to attach more than one file nor to make an anchored reference to an attachment.
  • There is no clear indication of which fields are required and which are optional except for a vague statement in the introductory paragraph.
  • Beforementioned introductory paragraph needs some rewording or rethinking, it’s utterly useless, and only adds to confuse the user.

See folks – dogfooding works! (in theory, let’s see how long it is until I actually update it). Meanwhile, why don’t you check out that update yourself.

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Server Moved and Screenshots

Right. I didn’t give a post yesterday because my host was moving servers from America to Australia. So to all the people who were experiencing connectivity issues yesterday that was what the problem was. Things are getting ship shape and soon the site should be accessible to everybody worldwide without any issues. It already works fine for me, but the DNS must propagate around. Not to mention now my site is loading almost instantaneously – it’s truly amazing how speedy the site is for me. I’m loving it :)

Aside from that, I’ve been trying to debug why KWin with compositing enabled causing all these crashes and makes X go unresponsive (such that I have to force shutdown). So what I’ve learned is how to use the SysRq key (which is a lifesaver) and also how to abstain from the newer NVIDIA drivers. A word of warning for KDE users, do not upgrade to 180.29 or 180.35 nvidia-drivers, it is full of bugs and requires expert pest control services. Thankfully with the SysRq key I won’t cause my filesystem to bork (as people watching me on Twitter found out today at 4:30AM) and with the added hope of being able to just restart X (alt-sysrq-k) things now seem more livable.

On unrelated news, I decided to see if I could copy Vista’s look. I didn’t really make much of an effort (hence why my panel is untouched and I didn’t make a “reflection” image as well as my icon theme not changed) but here’s what I came up with after a while:

2009-02-28-233054_1280x800_scrot

I currently run a rather Mac-ish setup, as can be seen here. The theme is Bespin. Tada:

2009-03-01-111405_1280x800_scrot

Oh, and just because this is Linux, everything is possible:

2009-03-01-111431_1280x800_scrot

I hope giving you pictures might make up for the fact I missed a post :) I’ll post something with a bit more essence next time.  (Click on those to see full size and true awesomness detail)