Up Coming Bloodfrontier Release

The Bloodfrontier Dev Team is now in the final stages of this production cycle (hopefully) and will be releasing Alpha 3 in the next couple of weeks.

New:

Better Balanced Weapons

HUD design

Map Warground

Dead Bugs ( lots)

Health is represented by Cross Hair colour

and Other Improvement I don’t recall.

Check us out, thing are being fixed on an often  please grab a copy SVN,  don’t grab the Alpha 2 release as it doesn’t even come close to the current state of the game.

KDE 4 as your Windows Shell?!?!

So I have been wondering for a while how usable KDE 4 is as a shell for Windows. The answer is it it not quite there yet some essential pieces and parts are still missing. This should work for all Windows 2000 and above.

1) open regedit (start menu > run, and type in regedit).
2) go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon.
3) add a new string value (Edit > New > String Value) called shell. and set the value to the path of the new shell e.g C:\Program Files\KDE\bin\plasma.exe
4) log out and log back in.

This changes the shell only for the current user which is a good thing.

Quick run Down of what I have found to work and what does not.  For this look I’m using 4.1.80 the beta for 4.2 it may not apply to older or newer versions.

Task Manager Plasmoid – Missing

System Tray Plasmoid – Missing

New Device Notifier – Present but not functioning correctly, fails to show any new devices

Menu ( Kickoff or Classic)  – Both are present, and work great except that you have no way to access your Windows Specific Programs i.e. anything installed to your Start/Programs menu and none of the Leave Functions work( logout, lock, etc).

Quick Access Plasmoid – Missing, this could be used to access the Start Menu until that functionality

Quick Launch Plasmoid – Present and working, no way to add windows applications.

Also Plasma needs to be hidden from the Task Lists and Z-order of containers like the desktop and panels need to be enforced.

I feel like all of this is intentional.

By design, KDE-windows does not provide the full-blown KDE desktop, a preview on the plasma shell replacement will be available in 4.1.2 – Nevertheless this does not rely on kwin/X11 which means that desktop effects are not available – KDE TechBase Wiki

Are we sure that cutting out features is the way to go? I understand that there are some things like Konsole that my not be possible do because they are to deeply rooted in the way*nix works.  Users should be able to pick from everything the KDE system offers and not be limited artificially.

Cokoon a KDE4 SVG style and decoration engine.

Good news. So yesterday or was it the day before. I had a patch accepted to KDE for getting cokoon to compile and link again (thanks kdepepo and pinotree), i.e. port to KDE4.x. The style is functional although it is missing a few things like tabs. I would say it still needs a lot of work. The window decoration on the other hand is non-functional it doesn’t even show up in drop-down for selecting decorations in Appearances, of course I don’t know if it ever did, so since it compiles I’m not where to start yet.

I have been reviewing the theme file spec and they are written like it is a pixel engine, oy.

I haven’t read the code completely to back these assumptions up yet, but it looks like it loads and SVG, rasterizes it , and extracts portions based on coordinates + height/width so aside from loading the SVG instead of PNG or JPG it looks like a pure pixel engine. It’s not a bad way to attack the issue, if you just want it to look nice. In My opinion you lose what makes Vector graphics great though and specifically what is good about SVG. The ability to use object IDs to get the objects you want. Inkscape has used this technique to load its icons for ages. You also lose scalability. Yes, I know is has to be converted to a raster image at some point be it should be as late in the display chain as possible to prevent stretching and pixelation (aka ugly square blocks). Assuming your SVG render can handle filters you use the ability to render those out on the current background as well.

Anyway I’m going to have to give the code some looking and figure out what to do next.
I probably should have done that today but I’m lazy.

Works in KDE 4.1.2, I have no idea if it even works in other versions. Grab the source by running:

svn co svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/playground/artwork/cokoon cokoon

Follow the normal cmake dance.

Fork OpenGL

Given the recent release of OpenGL by SGI of all the code into the Open Source world. I was wondering if was possible. I Think it might be. There is a lot of hate and discontent going around about the OpenGL v3 standard.

OpenGL Forums

OpenGL 3 & DirectX 11: The War Is Over

If you say that OpenGL is a standard, not an implementation and can’t be forked. You are fooling yourself. I’m not saying that it would be easy or that you wouldn’t need a lot of help.  It’s an open standard and the open part is all that counts. There is complaining but I have yet to see a counter or updated proposal based on v3 to bring a clean modern API. Its a lot of talk. Maybe I missed it? We need to see a draft with all the deprecated functions removed and any lost functional replaced. Then based on that a draft which clean everything into a Nice API. Then based on that clean API introduce new functionality. While doing all of this you would have to build support with the industry. Would the ARG and Khronos Group take it seriously, who knows?

Yes, I understand that the Khronos Group is currently in charge of the API design. But a little competition never hurt, right? Maybe all the worry is unfounded, but it is a bad juju to let the idea of DirectX (single platform, ok more if you count the xboxes) being superior to OpenGL (a multi-platform 3D API) seep into the public concious.

In the end it may not matter as it will all be replaced by General purpose GPU/CPU stuff. But allowing DirectX to get a lead by inaction or self-defeating action, is a lot worse then a give it your best shot and failing.

I know nothing about 3D API’s so I guess I’m just talk too.

How To run Pampered Partner Plus on Non-Windows Platforms

I can verify this howto works on Linux and it will most likely work on other non-windows like MacOSX and the BSD family. Some platforms will have to compile the Binaries, sorry.

List of things you need:
A copy of the Installed Pampered Partner Plus (P3) Directory( yes it has to be copied because WINE will not run the setup program because it doesn’t detect the OS correctly)

Java (JRE/JDK) installed I have the OpenJDK installed

Download Eclipse RCP Runtime Binary 3.4 You have to pick the version for your OS/processor type ie Linux (x86/GTK 2) is what I have.
*NOTE* The Runtime Binary is just the shell of an application, running it will do nothing. We will have to move our files from P3 into this directory.

Download Java(TM) Cryptography Extension (JCE) Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction Policy Files

Install JCE Unlimited Strength Jurisdiction Policy Files

Java is installed in this location on my system is /usr/lib/jvm/ your’s may vary, copy and install the files to each one local_policy.jar & US_export_policy.jar
You should have to only install them to the JRE/JDK your are using. The are three different Java installations on my machine. You will have to be a superuser to install the files i.e. root or whatever is for you OS

You can run java -version from a Command Line to find out which you are using.

Output should look similar to this.

java version “1.6.0”
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0-b09)
OpenJDK Client VM (build 1.6.0-b09, mixed mode, sharing)

These are the three I have:
/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/lib/security
/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun/jre/lib/security
/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun-1.6.0.06/jre/lib/security

I installed it in all three locations because I want all my Java applications to have access to the JCE.

Ok that takes care of the the system stuff that need to be done. Now on the the actual P3 application.

Extract the Eclipse RCP Runtime Binary, this contains an eclipse folder and is the base of the conversion to your platform.

At this point I recommend two file browsers or one with two panes one open to the new eclipse directory and the other opened to the copied P3 directory.

We are going to copy stuff in waves from the P3 directory. We need to see and copy dot files most file browsers on *nix systems hidden these by default so you will need to turn view hidden files on.

From the base P3 directory to the base eclipse directory copy the following files and one directory

PamperedPartnerPlus.ini
startup.jar
updater.jar
.eclipseproduct
diagnostics/
<– this one is the directory

Copy all Files from P3 directory to its counterpart in the eclipse directory

P3/configuration/

P3/features/

OPTIONAL Only if you need the user data from before, you will need it to test functionality unless you setup a fresh account.

P3/workspace/

Next we have to piece togather the plugin directory this is  pretty easy.

Copy the all folders from P3/plugins to eclipse/plugins

then copy to eclipse/plugins

these files

com.tpc.ipartner.application.init_2.0.0.jar
com.tpc.ipartner.application_2.0.0.jar
com.tpc.ipartner.calendar_2.0.0.jar
com.tpc.ipartner.help_2.0.0.jar
com.tpc.ipartner.income.expense_2.0.0.jar
com.tpc.ipartner.noncommission_2.0.0.jar
com.tpc.ipartner.product_2.0.0.jar
com.tpc.ipartner.reports.jasper_2.0.0.jar
com.tpc.ipartner.service_2.0.0.jar
com.tpc.ipartner.show_2.0.0.jar
com.tpc.ipartner.task_2.0.0.jar
javax.xml_2.0.0.jar
org.apache.commons_2.0.0.jar
org.eclipse.help.appserver_3.1.100.v20060602.jar
org.eclipse.help.base_3.2.0.v20060601.jar
org.eclipse.help.ui_3.2.0.v20070504.jar
org.eclipse.help_3.2.0.v20060602.jar
org.eclipse.jface.examples.databinding_2.0.0.jar
org.eclipse.ui.forms_3.2.0.v20060602.jar
org.eclipse.ui.intro_3.2.0.v20060601.jar
org.hsqldb.core_2.0.0.jar

and delete this one because I believe the p3 help has some custom classes in it.

org.eclipse.help_3.3.100.v20080610.jar

Lastly you have to rename the eclipse executable file to PamperedParnterPlus.

I should run without crashing, but if it does then look under eclipse/configuration/ and the be a log file that’s all numbers for the name errors can be found here and also eclipse/workspace/.metadata/.log

Please remember P3 isn’t something I made. I do not work for Pampered Chef. If need help I’m more then willing to. There are still bug to be worked out and testing that needs to done, but as far as I can tell it works ok.

Calling all Pampered Chef consultants . . . Pampered Partner Plus for Linux

I have been toying around with getting the Pampered Partner Plus Client working in Linux. Not using WINE but with the native Eclipse Platform. First off I would like to thank The Pampered Chef Development Team and Pampered Chef for picking a excellent development platform, one the is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Here is a screen shot.

Pampered Partner Plus running on a Native Eclipse RCP Linux

Pampered Partner Plus running on a Native Eclipse RCP Linux

There are still some bugs I have not worked out yet, but I would welcome anyone who wants to do testing, know how to assemble it yourself, and anyone willing to help me hunt down the remaining bugs. I really need to find a way to test features which might mess up my wifes account.

If there is any interest I will post a howto and/or an archive of what I have working and Yes the EULA specifically allows me to modify and redistribute the program. 🙂

© The Pampered Chef, Ltd., 2007

This software is provided ‘as-is’, without any express or implied warranty. In no event will the authors be held liable for any damages arising from the use of this software.

Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose, including commercial applications, and to alter it and redistribute it freely, subject to the following restrictions:

1. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented; you must not claim that you wrote the original software.
If you use this software in a product, an acknowledgment in the product documentation would be appreciated but is not required.
2. Altered versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not be misrepresented as being the original software.
3. This notice may not be removed or altered from any distribution.
====================================================

Eclipse Public License
<http://www.eclipse.org/legal/epl-v10.html&gt;

Apache License
Version 2.0, January 2004
<http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.html&gt;

IBM Common Public License
<http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/library/os-cpl.html&gt;

Hypersonic SQL Group & HSQL Development Group
<http://www.hsqldb.org/web/hsqlLicense.html&gt;

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