Archive for December, 2007

Ecere programming book, Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

I realize it has already been two weeks since the last blog entry. I’ve previously mentioned I would resume the work on the Acovel Media Player as well as improving the IDE’s code editor (Undo is still a blatantly missing feature…). These things are still high in priority, but I started working on a new project which should turn out very valuable. Thus those goodies will not be ready in 2007 as I would have hoped, but they’re still coming sometime soon in the new year.

About the new project, despite the abundance of good samples, I believe the lack of documentation is a major reason for people hesitating to jump on using eC and the Ecere SDK. Filling up the API documentation reference would certainly be helpful, but I think an in depth guide on how to use these various technologies available in the SDK would be even more useful. That is why I decided to start writing a book.

The Ecere Tao of Programming will teach programming from the ground up, making use of all the tools making up the Ecere SDK. I haven’t totally decided yet on the distribution method, but I would like to print and publish hard cover editions. You can take a look at an excerpt from the first chapters as well as an overview of the table of the contents for the book here. The intent is for the book to be a thorough Programmer’s Guide for the SDK, while at the same time it should be able to teach basic programming using C and eC to previously non programmers. It will also cover advanced programming concepts such as 3D graphics, multithreading, networking and much more.

I would like to wish everybody very happy holidays, and a wonderful year 2008. Also, special thanks to every current and future Ecere SDK users for their support :)

Multi-Monitor Support on Windows

Friday, December 7th, 2007

The Ecere SDK now supports multi monitor display setups on Windows.

Download Ecere SDK 0.41.17.11 for Windows

Acovel Media Player for Linux!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Unicode in Acovel

I’m pleased to announce the first preview of the Acovel Media Player for Linux. Acovel is currently limited to playing albums: bring up the Media Library, and click on the import button in upper right corner. Choose a folder containing music albums to import, and enjoy an intelligent algorithm which will analyze both ID3 tags and filenames to fill up its music collection database. Acovel’s search feature is amazingly fast (We tested against iTunes search and the results were very impressive). It makes use of the Ecere Database engine (EDB), an extremely light and simple database solution under development.

Acovel has been on hold for a while as I was attending to Linux & Unicode support in the SDK, but now that I’m back on it you can expect a lot more improvements to come in the next few weeks.

Download Acovel 0.01 for Linux

Download Acovel 0.01 for Windows

Minor X fix for last release

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Some extra calls to XSync which were used for debugging purposes mistakenly got slipped into the last release.

This is mainly a patch release to correct the performance issue.

Download Ecere SDK 0.41.17.11 for Linux

Download Ecere SDK 0.41.17.11 for Mac OS X

Initial Mac OS X Support, X Improvements – SDK 0.41.17.10

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Here is the first attempt at supporting Mac OS X. For now the interface & graphics driver run on X11. Support for a more native solution such as Carbon is planned for the future, but it is not a priority for the moment. This should allow Mac folks to give the Ecere SDK a try, and hopefully attract contributors who would like to improve Mac support.

There are a few glitches with Ecere on X on Mac. To get anywhere you will most likely need the X.org server rather than the old XFree86. X.org comes by default with Leopard, but for those still on Tiger, here is where you can obtain prebuilt binaries for it. Also take a look at this page. You will also need the same dependencies as for Ecere on Linux, such as libjpeg, libpng, freetype, fontconfig, etc., some of which might not be already installed on your system. Some other problems seem to be caused by the interaction with quartz-wm (another window manager might work better). For some reason, new windows always want to be positioned at the top-middle position of the desktop. I had to patch the X driver to get around this problem, but it still causes some annoying repositioning of the windows. Sadly, the overall performance especially with text seems a lot slower for me than on Linux/X.org 7.3. I am not sure what is making XRender so much slower on my Mac. On my system the IDE has a little trouble dialoguing with the installed GDB 6.1 which prevents the integrated debugger to function. It might work on a more recent version of GDB.

Please give me feedback on how Ecere on Mac works out for you in the comments.

A few important improvements were also made to the X driver. Windows can now be closed through the window manager. Repositioning windows from the Window manager doesn’t confuse their positions anymore. 15/16 bit displays are now supported.

I found that the Xrender API documentation is very difficult to find, and quite incomplete. Here is where the latest Xrender protocol is at and here is a copy of Xrender library API documentation. Trying to get 16 bit working, the XRenderFindFormat function was particularly difficult, but I learned that the count parameter which the above documentation isn’t so clear about had to be 0. The color masks should also not be shifted.

Download Ecere SDK 0.41.17.10 for Windows
Download Ecere SDK 0.41.17.10 for Linux
Download Ecere SDK 0.41.17.10 for Mac OS X