The Guardian has an article on the desire to bring GPGPU to mobile platforms as a means of gaining efficiency and thus longer battery life. It also discusses the emergence of OpenCL has a candidate for an open-standard compute library under Khronos’s new Compute Working Group.
It is interesting to read in light of the recent information on DirectX 11 which will offer compute shaders. It seems that the current state of affairs in real-time computer graphics may repeat itself with GPGPU: one API on Windows and another for everyone else. Of course, there are a number of other options at this time, namely from NVIDIA, AMD and RAPIDMIND, which could also end up dominating the market.
No matter what happens with respect to the APIs, it’s certainly good news that GPGPU is becoming more ubiquitous and approachable every day.
The Geeks of 3D reports on a slide mentioning the next set of drivers from NVIDIA will be supporting OpenGL 3. This is perhaps the first semi-credible public evidence that OpenGL 3 is going to materialize within approximately 6 months, if we’re to trust the timeline also displayed on that slide.
We’ll get there
So, to be blunt, I screwed up the 0.7d1 release by not reading all the relevant documentation and switching to the new LLVM-GCC 4.2 compiler available in Xcode 3.1. Unfortunately, that compiler will produce applications that will not launch on systems earlier than Leopard (10.5).
I pulled out 0.7d1 from the appcast feed as soon as I found out, but unfortunately, anyone on Tiger who has updated to that release will not be able to use Sparkle to update to 0.7d2, since Riven X won’t launch at all for them. I am terribly sorry for the inconvenience.
Riven X 0.7d2 is available now from the sidebar and the appcast, and should work on Tiger and later.
Download Riven X 0.7d2 (5.29 MB)
C0DE517E has a very nice 3 part introduction to how GPU work, both from a logical point of view and from an implementation, how-it-works-in-the-real-world point of view. It’s a good read for anyone unfamiliar with graphics hardware.
Gustavo Duarte wrote a neat entry on the simple joys of writing software. As a software engineering bachelor, I couldn’t agree more with his sentiments. There is something about designing a system, sometimes with a fair amount of complexity, and seeing it come to life and perform as designed after much blood, sweat and debugging.
But beyond the act of creating software, Gustavo goes further by giving several examples of how software has had and continues to have a huge impact in a large number of other industries and disciplines, from medicine to engineering and business. That, of course, is because software is part of the computer revolution, which I prefer to call the “information sharing and processing” revolution.
Indeed, modern telecommunications (the ability to send large amounts of information most anywhere on the globe at very high speeds) and computers coupled with software (the ability to process received information and send the result of that processing to others) is perhaps the greatest achievement of humankind, if our metric is based on the impact something has had on civilization. It really gives one pause to realize none of that existed only a hundred years ago.
There is perhaps one more thought of interest concerning where software design is heading: ubiquity. Indeed, it’s reasonable to assume humanity will continue to computerize systems over the course of the next several hundred years. It then becomes obvious that knowing how to write software will be as basic of a tool as knowing how to read and write. Much like today, there will be professional software writers, those people who have studied the methods and techniques of software engineering and perform such acts for a living, and there will be the rest of the population with various degrees of proficiency. But everyone will at least be able to write software; that much is a certainty to me.
I felt it was time to change the pixels of /dev/klog, and after browsing my way through the many themes available for WordPress, I have decided on Tarski.
In addition to providing a much nicer look than the previous one, Tarski also supports WordPress widgets, which has enabled me to add the tags cloud on the left. I expect to see what’s available and add a few new things as necessary. In particular, I’d like to provide better searching.
I have also added OpenID support for comments. OpenID is a pretty neat protocol for authentication on the web, and I highly recommend you get yourself one. I chose myOpenID as my provider, and setting everything up took only a few minutes.
In addition, for those of you using iPhones or iPod Touches, I have enabled the WPtouch theme plug-in, which should give you a much nicer experience on those devices.
Finally, not everything is quite done yet. In particular, there are style problems remaining in the project pages and a few others. I will be working on those last few kinks over the week.
So enjoy, and have a pleasant time reading /dev/klog!
I’m releasing Riven X 0.7d1 today with basic support for saving and loading games. This should make testing a little bit easier.
Download Riven X 0.7d1 (5.05 MB)