Thursday, April 17, 2008

Summer getting close

The Google Summer of Code is just now entering into the phase where student allocations are finalized. We've recieved some really nice applications and will be able to announce the final selection soon. This is the first year that I'm involved in the program, but Kai is a real veteran who's been involved with it since 2005. His help has been really valuable.

We've now used git for a couple of weeks and so far it's been a total success. It's sooooo much nicer to work with than cvs. It's a little bit more complex, but in day to day operation it's just a couple of simple commands you need to know. Also, while superficial at first, the web gui is really nice and useful. The ability to do local commits that aren't published before you decide to is immensely useful and really changes the way you work with code. You now don't have to worry about each and every commit not breaking stuff; it's quite ok to commit non-working code as long as the stuff you push to the common repository is working. If only Kdevelop had some better built in git support it would be even better.

With Ember I'm now trying to get a polished 0.5.2 release out. Both CEGUI and libwfut recently released new versions which fixes a couple of bugs we get in Ember, so the new release will require those versions. Jayr has been adding more and more really high quality media. A lot of new normal and specular mapped textures which helps to make the world much nicer. We now only have to update the server to take advantage of all the new media. The fact that there's no persistance and entity editing thus very much depend on editing the define_world.py script on the server makes that process a bit cumbersome though. I've added some support in Ember for saving entities in a serialized form to disk. There's however no way to load them into the world yet, so that's something that needs to be added.

Sean has also provided more patches, adding support for letting the user save the login information for servers, thus removing the need to having to type both user name and password every time one needs to log in to the world (which is something that you do a lot when you're developing Ember). He's also added functionality for totally disabling the gui (bound to the F10 key). Useful for taking screenshots and so on.

Myself I've been fiddling a bit with the minimap. I started out using CEGUI for all elements of it, but since it doesn't support rotation of element I had to abandon that path. I'm currently working directly with Ogre overlays, which should provide the needed flexibility. I'm not there yet, so it's something that won't appear in 0.5.2.

I'm hoping to get the 0.5.2 release out this weekend. Currently it's mainly issues with misconfigured media holding it back.
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