Thursday, August 19, 2010

(unnofficial) Bits from ARM porters

Quite a few things have happened recently in the Debian/ARM land

ARM and Canonical have generously provided us with bunch of fast armel machines. Four of these are now as buildd's, bringing the total of armel buildd's to 7. In other words, armel should no longer lag behind other architectures when building unstable packages.

One of machines, abel.debian.org has been setup as a porter box. It is faster (around 3x) than the older porterbox (agricola). All Debian Developers have access to the porterboxes.

The new buildds have allowed us to enable more suites. Thanks to Philipp Kerns work, armel builds now experimental, lenny-volatile, lenny-backports as well as unstable/non-free. Especially if you are using stable Debian, access to backports and volatile should make life happier :)

Finally, the next big thing is Hardfloat ARM port, effort being lead by Konstantinos Margaritis. This doesn't mean that the armel port is going away. Majority of ARM cpus sold are still without FPU, so the softloaf port (armel) will still have a long life ahead. Meanwhile, the armhf port will provide a more optimal platform for people with bleeding edge ARM cores (ARMv7 + vfp). Some people have been unhappy with the new proposed new port, and various alternatives have been proposed. However, armhf is currently the only solution being actively worked on.

Update: thank canonical too

Monday, June 7, 2010

WebGL on N900

With the recent "PR1.2" firmware upgrade of Nokia N900, a new feature was enabled in the browser - WebGL. WebGL is cool and scary. The cool part is that it is a chance to bring lots of games to to Linux users. The screenshot is from Match3D, a 3D tic-tac-toe game.

The best way to get started is with the Learning webgl tutorial. Passing through the lessons, some are clearly featuring buggy graphics. I don't know if the website, N900 browser or the OpenGL ES driver is being buggy. Which brings the scary part of WebGL - not only does one need to deal with buggy browsers, one has to deal with buggy 3D hardware/drivers! WebGL is still very much work in progress, and on N900 the webGL is rather an "easter egg" than a proper feature. For example the 3D graphics from the GPU does an extra roundtrip via CPU before appearing on the screen.

Other WebGL resources are planet WebGL for following blogs about WebGL, the Khronos Demo repository and more demos can be found at CubicVR site. The last CubicVR demos feature another scary new browser feature (not yet supported on N900) - audio processing in JavaScript.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I'm going to debconf10


Jep, I'm coming. I bought flight tickets from Icelandair just weeks before Eyjafjallajökull changed from a little known volcano to something everyone knows (but probably can't spell if asked...). The volcano seems to have settled, but at some point I was really happy the ticket was paid with credit card, and at least I'd get my money back. After debconf we plan to travel around NY and nearby, but the accomodation appears to annoyingly expensive, I guess due august being the high season for travel...

In other news it is also possible that I'll visit aKademy 2010 in Tampere, Finland this year.