Going to GUADEC

both my talk proposals made the cut for GUADEC 20101.

my first submission is a GUADEC tradition since 2008 : the state of the union talk for Clutter. the talk last year at GCDS got great feedback, and the modified version at LCA did too, which means that I’ll have to work really hard to improve it. luckily, with all the good stuff going in Clutter 1.4 it won’t be hard. :-)

the second submission is called So you think you can release and it is about project and release management, especially for libraries approaching the much dreaded “1.0” release. this talk has a funny background; I actually thought it up, and started writing as a wiki page, around 3am in my hotel room at LCA 2010, the day before giving my Clutter talk there. I literally woke up with the slides in my head, and when I started writing them down it felt like transcribing a talk that I had already given.

so, long story short:

obviously, though, I’m not going to GUADEC just because I have to give a talk: all the accepted submissions are so good that it’s definitely a conference worth attending if you’re interested not just in the GNOME project, but also in the Linux-based desktop and mobile environments — plus I get to see, and listen to, and talk to people that I only meet once a year or so, and meet the new faces in the GNOME community2.

  1. for total disclosure, yes: I was in the papers committee, just like I’ve been in 2008 and 2009; no: I did not review my proposals, for obvious reasons; and let me tell you: the competition was fierce — at least 75% of the ~90 submissions were so good that I honestly thought that I wouldn’t have a chance to get a talk in, let alone two []
  2. plus, this is going to be my last GUADEC as a non-member of the Old Farts club :-) []

Apology Song

this much is clear: I suck at the whole blogging thing. I was planning on writing up what awesome new features we were planning to add in Clutter 1.2 and before I knew it I was releasing 1.2.0 — all without actually writing a single blog post. no wonder that people drops by on the #clutter IRC channel and doesn’t know about Layout Managers, or the new Animator class.

anyway, for Clutter 1.4 I’m not going to repeat this mistake, so I’m going to talk about new features as they land in the Git repository.

let’s take this commit from Neil: cogl: Support retained paths. this commit not only adds the ability to keep around a path defined using the Cogl API: it’s a step in the direction of making Clutter fully retained1, even at its lowest levels, so that we can apply some heuristics to optimize the painting of the scene graph. pretty exciting stuff, especially for our friends on embedded platforms or on underpowered GPUs.

on the high-level side, the ebassi/wip/actor-effects branch contains some new API and classes to attach an effect to an actor; by “effect” I mean anything that should affect the way an actor paints itself — similarly to what you might want to do in a handler for the paint signal, but cleaner. for instance, we can create an off-screen buffer and render an actor (and all of its contents) to that, and then apply a fragment shader — like this desaturation effect. this should deprecate the clunky ClutterShader API, and make applying and animating a fragment shader easy peasy.

we’re planning more, much more for the 1.4 release, though — including a new Clutter website2.

  1. we actually are mostly retained; we have a couple of areas where we don’t but those are getting fixed in a backward compatible way wherever they might involve third party code []
  2. if you jump in #clutter I can give you a sneak peek to the wiki ;-) []