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More in Tux Machines

Mozilla: VoxelJS, AiC and Mozilla B-Team

  • Mozilla VR Blog: VoxelJS: Chunking Magic
    A couple of weeks ago I relaunched VoxelJS with modern ThreeJS and modules support. Today I'm going to talk a little bit about how VoxelJS works internally, specifically how voxels are represented and drawn. This is the key magic part of a voxel engine and I owe a tremendous debt to Max Ogden, James Halliday and Mikola Lysenko Voxels are represented by numbers in a large three dimensional array. Each number says what type of block goes in that block slot, with 0 representing empty. The challenge is how to represent a potentially infinite set of voxels without slowing the computer to a crawl. The only way to do this is to load just a portion of the world at a time.
  • AiC: Collaborative summary documents
    One of my goals was that we could, at least for a moment, disconnect people from their particular position and turn their attention towards the goal of achieving a shared and complete summary. I didn’t feel that we were very succesful in this goal. For one thing, most participants simply left comments on parts they disagreed with; they didn’t themselves suggest alternate wording. That meant that I personally had to take their complaint and try to find some “middle ground” that accommodated the concern but preserved the original point. This was stressful for me and a lot of work. More importantly, it meant that most people continued to interact with the document as advocates for their point-of-view, rather than trying to step back and advocate for the completeness of the summary. In other words: when you see a sentence you disagree with, it is easy to say that you disagree with it. It is much harder to rephrase it in a way that you do agree with – but which still preserves (what you believe to be) the original intent. Doing so requires you to think about what the other person likely meant, and how you can preserve that. However, one possible reason that people may have been reluctant to offer suggestions is that, often, it was hard to make “small edits” that addressed people’s concerns. Especially early on, I found that, in order to address some comment, I would have to make larger restructurings. For example, taking a small sentence and expanding it to a bullet point of its own. Finally, some people who were active on the thread didn’t participate in the doc. Or, if they did, they did so by leaving comments on the original GitHub thread. This is not surprising: I was asking people to do something new and unfamiliar. Also, this whole process played out relatively quickly, and I suspect some people just didn’t even see the document before it was done. If I were to do this again, I would want to start it earlier in the process. I would also want to consider synchronous meetings, where we could go try to process edits as a group (but I think it would take some thought to figure out how to run such a meeting). In terms of functioning asynchronously, I would probably change to use a Google Doc instead of a Dropbox Paper. Google Docs have a better workflow for suggesting edits, I believe, as well, as a richer permissions model. Finally, I would try to draw a harder line in trying to get people to “own” the document and suggest edits of their own. I think the challenge of trying to neutrally represent someone else’s point of view is pretty powerful.
  • Mozilla B-Team: happy bmo push day!
    Bugfixes + enabling the new security feature for API keys.

Programming Leftovers

Devices: Radiant Software, ASRock and Microsoft

  • Radiant 1.1 Lattice FPGA Design Tools Release Accelerates Design Reuse
    In addition to supporting Windows, Radiant Software 1.1 adds support for the popular Ubuntu LTS 16.4 distribution of Linux. Radiant Software 1.1 is now available for download from Lattices website and currently can be used with a free license.
  • ASRock spins Whiskey Lake-U in thin Mini-ITX, 3.5-inch, and NUC formats
    ASRock announced four products based on Intel’s 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-U: a thin Mini-ITX “IMB-1216” board, a 3.5-inch “SBC-350,” and a NUC 4×4 form-factor “iBox-8365U” mini-PC and NUC-8365U mainboard. ASRock Industrial has been busy lately tapping the latest embedded-oriented x86 chips in products such as the Intel 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-U based iBox-8265U mini-PC, as well as the iBox-R1000 industrial PC and NUC-R1000 mainboard built around the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000. Now it has announced four more Whiskey Lake-U products aimed at the embedded market.
  • Making Sense of Microsoft’s Acquisition of Express Logic [Ed: Windows is worthless, so Microsoft is buying the competition. Microsoft also bought Danger, Sidekick etc. and it never ended well. Anything Microsoft touches turns to dust. When it bought Skype it was (back then) near-monopoly, but not anymore. Microsoft sometimes announces financial losses.]
    Even the Linux Foundation, home of the Linux kernel, hosts a project called Zephyr, which is an RTOS designed for use-cases, beyond the reach of Linux.

Events: Richard Stallman in Zurich (Switzerland), OpenStack Summit, Linux Fest Northwest

  • Richard Stallman - "Free Software and Your Freedom" (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • SUSE CaaS Platform at Open Infrastructure Summit
    If you’re attending Open Infrastructure Summit this year and have in previous years as well, you might be noticing something a bit different; this year it’s not called OpenStack Summit. While we expect much of the talk will still be about OpenStack, we thought it might be a good idea to include other related technologies as well, like SUSE CaaS Platform, SUSE Cloud Application Platform – the two offerings that combine to form SUSE’s Application Delivery solution – and SUSE Enterprise Storage
  • Gearing Up for Linux Fest Northwest 2019!
    This next weekend (April 26-28th, 2019) I will be in Bellingham at Bellingham Technical College for Linux Fest Northwest to help at the Ubuntu table! I will be demonstrating Ubuntu Studio and my au…
  • Ubuntu Studio at Linux Fest Northwest 2019
    Council Chair Erich Eickmeyer will be in Bellingham, WA, USA this weekend for Linux Fest Northwest 2019, and will be bringing his audio setup to demonstrate Ubuntu Studio at the Ubuntu table. Check out the post on his personal blog!