Sunday, 30 September 2012

WEBVTT parser and WEBVTT tests

So our work for this semester will be on the WEBVTT parser. Now for those that don't know what it provides a track element to videos in HTML5. This is particularly useful in this is that it could be used to assist the blind in knowing what is going on exactly in the video as this lets us put advanced descriptions unto videos. I watched a video which really gives you an idea of how great this technology is.


Testing the Header

Our job this semester is to work on this parser and hopefully be able to implement it for future use. I honestly have no idea as to how advanced this work will get but I'm quite excited.
We have started working and firstly we are going to create a test suite for the parser as we have a reference point of an online java script parser.

Our group is working on the header of the WEBVTT file and while i thought it would be a very small task as Ive started working on it Ive realized how much can go wrong with our tests. I have already encountered a problem with the parser where it doesn't want to parse a file because of its BOM character. Which means that we will have to get that fixed once we begin working on our own parser. This also means that we will have to make multiple tests for BOM characters and garbage data as well as tests where no BOM character is available, hopefully that will be the only problem but there may be a few more.

All in all an unexpected result of tests.

On a side note still getting used to working in an open source environment and mindset. The methodology and ideas of it are going to take some time to get used to.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Status Update

Ive been gone for a little while and its all due to having two jobs and balancing the time as I switch from one to another. Now that that transition is coming to an end I will start updating this blog more regularly.
Stay Tuned!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Nightly is good to go!

So for our first lab in our open source we had to create a development enviroment to work on Firefox using our own machines and we were asked to do it on our own. Now being someone who has never worked on a project so big it seemed quite big so I looked for some instructions and conviniently enough firefox provides a link for you.

Firefox Installation Instructions

Let the learning curve begin!
So I decided to get started and went on the lab site and got myself going. I had no idea as to how to use git hub or any of the tools so Ive had to do quite a bit of reading on commands and follow instructions but once i thought of it as a simple command prompt it was quite simple. Ive used repository's before but Ive never used github so it was a little bit of learning there next will be learning how to commit I think. Ive also learned quite a bit about building large projects and that is that unexpected things will happen quite often but as long as you look at forums and ask questions someone will come along and explain why you are having an issue.

New tools? not that many.
Other then the github shell there wasn't really much new tools I had to use, I had to install a lot of SDK's and such but it was not being directly used by me. This surprised me a little since I expected to have like 10 different tools to do this. What was different however was the make files I have used make files before but the projects were generally quite small, this thou was different when i saw how much was generated which gives a lot of perspective.

The hard times encountered.
The only problem Ive had with setting up the development environment and i do mean the only problem, was actually downloading the source. For some reason there is apparently a problem with downloading the source from github on a windows and i have found more people that have had the issue. It doesn't help that I decided to start downloading the Firefox source on the 11'th which is when github servers had problems (I blame work) but the connection issues even after it was fixed were quite bad. It would reach 90% at times and the remote host would be terminated and then you have to start over, not a very pleasant experience.

A solution... not a very surprising one.
So i started to look around for answers maybe there was something wrong with my installation of GIT, maybe i was not using the proper command and i found a whole lot of people discussing it and the answer was generally the same. Keep trying to download until it goes through. Yes that was the answer just keep trying and eventually the download will succeed. And it did after a few hours of attempts, unfortunately GIT does not have any pause/resume functionality which means whenever you fail to download everything is deleted and this was the only way to get started.

All in all I did get a compiled version!, took a while to compile on windows thou link below.

Nightly Screenshot

It was quite fun even with all the problems of getting an installation going.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Well that passed quickly...


    So the first week of classes has come and gone and Ive come to know more about the courses I'm taking. The game programming courses should be quite interesting in one of our courses(GAM666) we are learning the lower level actual programming way of creating games while in the other class(GAM667) we are going to take a look at the game from a design and modding perspective so it looks like were going to be working on textures and models which should be quite fun.
   In parallel programming we have started talking about the concept of parallel programming and optimization we learned a little about the idea of using GPU cores in order to improve execution time. We haven't gone too much in depth as to what exactly it is but the concept itself is very interesting it also relates to game development which is my major topic of interest and we all know that video games now days demand quite abit of power.
     Lastly is the open source class, this should be painful but fun. I don't know much about what the class will be like or what we will learn, but just the fact that it will be related to Mozilla is indication it will be extremely interesting and challenging. It is a little daunting but it wouldn't be the first time I walked into a situation with having no idea what I'm doing, I got out fine last time.

Mike Shutov

Thursday, 6 September 2012

New Blog starting!

Hello everyone.

I will be starting this blog from today on. Alot of this information I will be adding as soon as I learn it it as I am a student. The topics I'm mainly going to be talking about will be game programming, game design/customization, open source, and parallel programming. These topics are actually topics which im currently studying in my class and i have developed quite abit of interest in. I hope you find what i share enterteining and useful.

Mike 'Datorman'