Patents and bugzilla

Today, the patent decision in Europe has been delayed again (Thank you, Poland)... I'm kinda scared of what is going to become law probably - see yourself what will happen at NoSoftwarePatents. Good luck, guys, let's hope you'll win, and not the patent lobby. Some more happy news: After browsing around the BugZilla homepage, I discovered that the next build (2.20) will have probably support for PostgreSQL. Though MySQL is still free for commercial use as a database backend, I don't trust them any more ... You never know when they'll change their mind again. At the moment, I'm writing a small converter tool for a friend, and mastering my asset pipeline. My graphics card has changed it status to "delivery unsure" today, no idea when I'll get my new rig complete.

Code review and new rig incoming

Today, I started browsing the source code more closely, looking at what class was supposed to do. Good that we've been writing a TDD and loads of comments back in those days ;) I also sorted out a compile error today, seems that some windows include file defined min, max. This lead to a problem with the Math::min, Math::max template functions. Wondering where those defines came from, as the initial check compiled fine. Some happy news: My new rig is nearly complete. Got the CPU and RAM today, only parts missing are the graphics card, the mainboard and - for strange reasons - the DVD drive. Hope to get it till the end of the month, and then, it's time to LAN :) In case anyone wonders what kind of rig I'm waiting for ...

  • Athlon64 3500 - 90nm
  • nForce4 Ultra Mainboard
  • 2 Gb DDR400 RAM - Dual channel
  • 6800 GT PCI-Express - Overclocked, 256 MB RAM
  • 160 Gb S-ATA HDD with NCQ
  • Audigy2 Soundcard - THX, Dolby Digital, DTS, EAX Advanced HD, pretty much everything
  • DVD drive, 450 W PSU :) and a black Miditower

... pretty much the biggest upgrade I ever did, and quite a huge leap from my current 2000+XP/1 Gb RAM/5900XT system. When I get it up & running, I'll post some photos of it here.

Bug tracker found

Finally found one - Roundup. Supports several DB backends (SQLite, PostgreSQL) and just works. I've upgraded my local PostgreSQLto the 8.0 final and managed to get Roundup running in less than one hour. It works, looks good and is probably enough for my purposes.

Bug tracking

Today, I investigated several bug trackers, looking for one that would suit me well. I've looked at:

  • BugZilla! - The open source market leader, used by hundreds of companies. Uses Perl, has many dependencies and supports only MySQL as the database backend. As MySQL is not completely free anymore, and I don't want to risk any problems later, this is a not an option for me.
  • Mantis - Running on PHP, but again, MySQL as the only backend. And it is not optimized, a quick look at the demo shows that it needs to perform around 800 queries just for the front page, too slow for me.
  • phpBugTracker - Also based on PHP, but the installation failed on my machine. Posted in their forum, now only time will tell.
  • Trac - Written in Python, based on SQLite, looked like the ideal solution. But: The page is down, and though I managed to get a build from the ftp, it is still all very buggy, the documentation is outdated (couldn't find the tools described there). Together with the non-working page, I think this is not safe to invest too much time into this.

Not sure what bug-tracking solution I'll take eventually, at the moment, I'm hoping for phpBugTracker.

Content, content, content...

As you all know, an engine is only as good as its content. Take a look at the old Half-Life 1 engine. Though it was very limited, the look of the game is - even today - quite good. The good textures (although they have a very low resolution) and the realistic lightning made HL look better than most games from that time. On the other hand, without good content, even the best engine can look crappy, look at some Unreal Engine based games like Mobile Forces, which had really ugly graphics, though the engine was far more capable. Today, the content users expect is at a level that takes very long to be achieved (just look at the Unreal Engine 3.0). Content creation is becoming the next big bottleneck in 3D graphics. Well, why do I write that? Cause I'll try to create a few (very few), high-quality assets for my engine, so I can showcase them a bit in the prototypes. Might be some time until I update the blog again, content creation takes time, plus I got loads to do.