Today FUTO released an application called Grayjay for Android-based mobile phones. Louis Rossmann introduced the application in a video (YouTube link). Grayjay as an application is very promising, but there is one point I take issue with: Grayjay is not an Open Source application. In the video Louis explains FUTO's reason behind the custom license, and while I do agree with their reason, I strong disagree with their method. In this post I will explain what Open Source means, how Grayjay does not meet the criteria, why this is an issue, and how it can be solved.
Recently Unity announced changes to their pricing model (archive) which have been very poorly received by their users, to put it gently. They have since backtracked (archive2) somewhat, but at this point it would not matter even if they completely scrapped their plans and went back to how things used to be. The trust has been broken and many game developers are waking up to the fact that Unity is effectively holding their project hostage. Switching from one engine to another is akin to a full rewrite, and depending on the size and progress of the project porting might not be a feasible thing to do.
Free Software is software which respects the user's freedom. The Four Freedoms ensure that users can run the program for any purpose, study the source code, modify the source, share the software and share modifications of the software. However, what if you are not a programmer? Does this mean Free Software only adds value to people who know how to program, and if you are a non-programmer you might as well use proprietary software? Is it all just the same then? No. In this post I will try to illustrate why Free Software matters even to non-programmers.
Sometimes I like to play video games. Sometimes these games have issues, or they can be improved upon. Sometimes these issues are so severe that the game is virtually (or even literally) unplayable. Fortunately some really smart people have done a fantastic job reverse-engineering parts of these games, their file formats, or found workarounds for engine limitations. Unfortunately too often that knowledge never gets written down and just keeps rotting in someone's head.
Git is a decentralized version control system, meaning that there is no one superior repository. Every single copy of a Git repository is just as complete as any other. Of course we can pick one particular repository and declare it to be the one source of truth, the “upstream” repository. Usually this upstream repository is then hosted on some server, and if we are interested in openness and collaboration this server is part of a larger web service, called a “forge”. Out of these forges GitHub is perhaps the most popular one. Unfortunately this means if we are interested in contributions we have to make the GitHub repo our upstream and use its web services and web UI for our workflow. At least that is the common wisdom, but it does not have to be that way.
The term “user-friendly” gets thrown around often, but what does it even mean to be “user-friendly”? Clearly we can say that something is more user-friendly the fewer defects it has. But beyond that? Is a GUI application more user-friendly than a text-based application? Is a lower learning curve more user-friendly than a steep learning curve? Is a product which has many features built-in more user friendly than a barebones product or an extensible product?
I love Free (Libre) and Open Source Software (FLOSS); not only does the software respect your personal freedom, you can also contribute back to make it better. It becomes a communal cooperative effort. But just because you can contribute, that doesn't mean that you necessarily should.
Over the last couple of years I have been noticing two trends among internet videos, especially on YouTube: videos that could easily be three to four minutes long are stretched to over ten minutes in length, and thumbnails where people are making stupid faces. This comes from YouTube's recommendation algorithm favouring thumbnails with people's faces, and videos needing to be at least ten minutes long to be eligible for advertising revenue. At least those used to be the rules back then, they might have changed since, but the videos still follow the same pattern.
Recently I had the misfortune of a data loss, so I had to re-instally my OS again. But even worse: I also had to re-install Unity on GNU/Linux, which has been an exercise in frustration and trial & error. In this post I will outline what I had to do, in the hope that it will be of use to other people.
When I develop Grid Framework I need Unity3D to generate project files for Omnisharp to pick up in order to provide me with tooling like auto-completion, linting and refactoring support. Normally doing so requires me to have VSCode installed, but there is a simple way to trick Unity into generating those files anyway.