Gaia Sky has been using the OpenVR API from SteamVR for the last few years to power its Virtual Reality mode. However, the API is notoriously poorly documented, and it only works with the SteamVR runtime.1 That leaves out most of the existing VR headsets. Luckily, the main vendors and the community at large joined efforts to come up with an API that would be adopted by all and backed by the Khronos Group: OpenXR.
Edit (2023-04-05): Added some suggestions by the author/developer of libvips. Today I discovered libvips, a command line utility and library to manipulate and process images, and I am impressed. I’ve been using ImageMagick and its fork, GraphicsMagick, for as long as I have had to process images from the CLI, and they work well for moderately-sized images. But lately, I have been preparing virtual texture datasets for Gaia Sky and the sizes of my images have increased exponentially.
From time to time I profile Gaia Sky to find CPU hot-spots that are hopefully easy to iron out. To do so, I launch my profiler of choice and look at the CPU times for the top offender methods. Today I went through such a process and was surprised to find a
forEach() method of the Java streams API among the worst offenders. Was the
forEach() slowing things down or was it simply that what’s inside the loop took too long to process? I found conflicting and inconsistent reports in the interwebs, so I set on a quest to provide my own answers.
I have recently implemented a procedural generation system for planetary surfaces into Gaia Sky. In this post, I ponder about different methods and techniques for procedurally generating planets that look just right and explain the process behind it in somewhat detail. This is a rather technical post, so be warned. As a teaser, the following image shows a planet generated using the processes described in this article.
Do you often find yourself using “New feature”, “More” or similar short, useless and generic strings as your git commit messages? I know I did. Until I learned about semantic commit messages, that is. What are they and how can they exponentially improve your commit history and make it actually useful? I’m discussing it in this post.
tsnake, a snake game in the terminal
Lately, I have been kicking the dust off my C++ skills, and decided to start by learning to use a library which I have been eyeing for a while,
ncurses is a C library which lets you create text-based UI programs for the terminal, in the same fashion as the gif above. Basically, you can use the terminal to implement text-based user interfaces. Since I seem to have an obsession with snake games, I figured I’d create a snake game for the terminal.