Friday, September 28, 2007

About Clutter

I've been playing around with Clutter lately and find it intresting project. So shortly it's a library to create fast, visually rich and animated graphical user interfaces. It uses OpenGL or OpenGL ES for rendering, but hides their complex API.

It uses GObject as base of it's classes and people who has been coding with GTK or glib are very home with Clutter. Additional libraries provides features like GStreamer playback support, Cairo rendering and embedding into GTK.

Building an simple application seems to be easy following the documentation. There seems to be lot of features, and basic operations works nicely. I made a test app utilizing clutter-gtk for GTK embedding, an it run smoothly on my desktop. However when I tried same application using OpenGL ES backend I faced problems. Clutter was missing XEMBED support for ES backed. I found this support in normal OpenGL version and find out making support for ES was quite easy job. I made a patch and posted it into Clutter's Bugzilla. Now I got a response and they seems to be excited about this patch.

It seems that Clutter is a nice project and the project team members are doign a good work. The library could be used more widely to make some nice, smooth UI's. However I'm not a graphic so didn't manage to create too smooth UI, but maybe somebody else success more better than me.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A word about Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded

The most popular Linux distribution (according on desktop, Ubuntu, is aiming on the embedded market. They aim their embedded distribution mainly on devices which are called "Internet tablets" or "mobile Internet devices".

Currently the target is on Intel platform called MID (Mobile Internet Device) and available devices such as Samsung Q1 Ultra, HTC Shift and Elektrobit EB MIMD. The distro will aim on Intel based system leaving for example ARM based devices like Nokia N800 out of the scope.

About the project itself. It tries to use existing software as it's base, but is not afraid to implement it's own applications when suitable one not available. It's intresting that the project took Hildon as it's UI framework. Hildon is originally developed by Nokia for it's maemo platform. However, Hildon is open source and such thing is possible to do and kind of open source spirit, and in the line with the policy to use existing components if availble.

They're targeting to release first version with Ubuntu 7.10, meaning very soon from now. As I see these Intel based devices are yet to come to the markets and we'll not see this in use in this year but in a year or two those devices with Ubuntu's embedded version might be a everyday. Only the time will show...