So no-one needs new developers?

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Why do we have a Development category on UserBase, when we said quite clearly, many times, that UserBase is for users, not for developers?  The answer is quite simple – developers were once users, and some, a few, users will become developers.  We don’t aim to have any how-to-develop information on UserBase, but it seems to me that it is only sensible to have brief information about the tools that are available and where to find information and support for them.  Unfortunately, I don’t use those tools, and I’m finding it very hard to get up-to-date information about the status of some of the tools.

The Development page has several gaps:

  • KBugbuster
  • KFileReplace
  • Kommander
  • KImageMapEditor
  • KLinkStatus
  • KXSLDbg

How can you help?  In a number of ways.  If you use one or more of these you could

  • Write a page about it – ideally in Mediawiki markup, but plain text together with screenshots would be a great help.  We have a new scratchpad area,
  • Use the app’s Talk page to give me links to decent material, both for the use of the app
  • and for any related Techbase pages
  • We have a new scratchpad area called Draft where you can start any outline for such information.

A few minutes of your time could help new developers get started, and who knows?  You may find yourself welcoming one of those into your project.

Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , , ,

Machine Embroidery Management is coming to Linux!

I haven’t updated this topic since September, but I’m very excited about the progress so far.  You may remember that one develope, David Boddie, had done some work, with the result that I could build .png files to visualise my patterns within Dolphin, and that we were hoping that the other developer who had shown interest, Purple-Bobby, would join us.  That’s exactly what happened.  David and Robert Forsyth, a.k.a.Purple-Bobby, attacked the problem from different angles, which proved to be very informative, as they could feed on each other’s ideas.

I originally bemoaned the fact that my patterns, in the format .jef, could not be visualised without running Windows.  Some of you may have seen Linus Torvalds’ blog http://torvalds-family.blogspot.com/2010/01/embroidery-gaah.html on much the same subject.  David gave me .png, and Robert gave me .eps files to be used in the same way.  Neither developer can spare huge amounts of time for this project, but although much progress is incremental, sudden leaps forward happen.  It’s this latest leap forward that excites me.

First – an apology to the KTurtle team.  We have borrowed your icon.  This is, of course, temporary, but it reminded us of a X-Stitch pattern, so was the best available until we make our own.

Previewing in Dolphin

So this is a representation of the pattern held in the .jef file.  It’s not so easy to see in a small image, but the pattern is contained on a white background, which denotes the actual extent of stitching, while the yellow border surrounding it denotes the size of the hoop to be used.  The application already can gather a great deal of information about the pattern.  One of the considerations to follow this is whether some of that information could be included alongside the actual preview.  We have to wait to see the practicalities of that.  Meanwhile, take a look at how much information we can already gather:

[anne@anne-laptop JEFPreview]$
./JEFPreview LydgateDesign/ArtNouveau/ArtNouveauPeonies348868.jef
JEF file: LydgateDesign/ArtNouveau/ArtNouveauPeonies348868.jef
Thread count: 31                                                               
Stitch count: 56297 between 86 and 141 minutes                                 
Hoop: B 140.0mm x 200.0mm                                                      
Pattern: 123.2mm x 164.4mm                                                     
Threads Used:                                                                  
 1: 219 Olive Green 14.997m                                                   
 2: 213 Beige 14.748m                                                         
 3: 257 Cocoa Brown 21.986m                                                   
 4: 219 Olive Green 1.572m                                                    
 5: 214 Brown 9.322m                                                          
 6: 219 Olive Green 1.304m                                                    
 7: 215 Wine Red 3.264m                                                       
 8: 244 Cardinal Red 5.764m                                                   
 25: 215 Wine Red 0.594m
 26: 234 Coral 3.267m
 27: 244 Cardinal Red 0.254m
 28: 239 Sunflower 0.203m
 29: 270 Mustard 0.713m
 30: 234 Coral 1.319m
 31: 244 Cardinal Red 0.503m

So we know the number of thread changes, the number of stitches, and approximate time to stitch out.  This is always an under-estimation, because it can’t allow for how much time it takes to thread your needle another 30 times!  You’ll see that already there is a big spread in the estimation – the machine can work at different speeds, depending on the type of materials in use.  Then we have the hoop size and the actual pattern size – corresponding to the yellow and white rectangles in the preview.  Finally you have the thread identification number, name, and amount required for each colour change.

This is an impressive amount of information.  Most of it, if not all, can be obtained from the supplied Windows software, but not all in one place.  You have to access different modules of the software to find some of the information – most inconvenient.  As JEPreview stands it provides 98% of what I need.  I can then simply copy the .jef onto the CF card (the latest version of the machine has USB),  insert the card into the machine and stitch.  Of course, if I want to edit the file, change colours or move elements around, I am, for the moment still dependent on the Windows software.  Maybe one day that will be possible too.

Written by annew in: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Open Source on my Doorstep

Reading my newest Linux Format I was delighted to hear that there is a project in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, that uses donated/recycled computers.  I live in West Yorkshire, but in the south-west corner, so Sheffield is a mere 40 minutes drive away.  Naturally I followed this up – an opportunity too good to miss.  If you live in the mid- to north of England, take a look at http://www.access-space.org/?c=recycling

I was curious to know more about the activities of Access Space – and amazed and delighted at what I saw there.  The most surprising thing was http://www.open-source-embroidery.org.uk/ !  The Html Patchwork, no less.  Every cell of the patchwork represents the hexadecimal colours, and every contributor gets web space to tell about their work and activities.  The resulting patchwork was displayed in Sweden this summer, but if you live in or near San Francisco you can see it during October to next January, at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art.

Then there’s LOSS – The Linux Open Source Sound project.  Electronica is not my kind of music, but I did sample a few tracks – they appear to all be Creative Commons licensed.  For a smile you really should listen to the Jake Harries -Eh? track.  The CD was recorded in 2006, but I did notice that at least one upload was in 2009, so presumably the project is still active.

Part III – coming shortly – has news about developments related to UserBase in particular and our wikis in general.

Written by annew in: KDE | Tags: , ,

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