Thursday, December 27, 2012

Game Blocks offers free, open-source game creation for novices

Sheldon Pacotti, writer of the original Deus Ex games and indie developer in his own right, created Game Blocks, an open-source library for making games, for the students in his video game writing course at the University of Texas. Game Blocks is designed to help novice developers craft their stories, animations and physics effects with a simple, snap-to interface, as demonstrated above.

Game Blocks is able to compile platformers, adventure games, simulation games and arcade shooters for PC and Mac, and makes it easy to organize dialogue and story. Best of all, it's completely free. Anyone interested in messing around with game design or interactive storytelling, download Game Blocks directly from Pacotti's New Life Interactive.

Source: joystiq

SAP achieves Java Enterprise Edition 6 Web Profile Compatibility

SAP AG has achieved Java Enterprise Edition, or EE, 6 Web Profile Compatibility for SAP NetWeaver Cloud, a Java-based platform-as-a-service, as part of the SAP HANA Cloud platform.

SAP NetWeaver Cloud enables customers to extend existing SAP systems with new cloud-based applications - developed or provided by customers, SAP partners or SAP.

Compatibility with Java EE 6 Web Profile will enable SAP customers and partners developing applications on SAP NetWeaver Cloud to measurably speed up their development and delivery time.

Java EE 6 is the first version of the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition, to define a focused Web Profile subset on which vendors can certify. This subset includes the major technologies of the full specification, is used for developing enterprise Web applications and simplifies the Enterprise Java programming model.

"We developed this technology together with the open source community in the Eclipse Virgo project," said Bjoern Goerke, executive vice president, Technology & Innovation Platform Core, SAP.

"This achievement is a result of SAP's ongoing engagement in open source communities and our commitment to open standards. Our strategy is to support and enable new technologies - first in the cloud - and then make them available to our on-premise customers."


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ubuntu Increases Reach with Language Translations

English may be the uncontested lingua franca of most development communities in our (post-?) Pax Americana age. But for developers who prefer working in other languages, the Ubuntu world has taken a big step toward making it easier to contribute without understanding English. That’s a particularly smart move for an open source project such as Ubuntu. Here’s why.

As Ubuntu developer Daniel Holbach discussed recently, translating documentation on Ubuntu development into languages other than English has long been a goal of the project. That vision has finally become reality with the release of the first non-English version of the Ubuntu Packaging Guide documentation, which explains how to make software contributions to Ubuntu.

For now, the only complete translation available is Spanish. But the story is bigger than that, because this sets a precedent for offering development documentation in many other languages via a new system that will make it easier to translate the guide, and keep translations up-to-date as information changes.
Beyond the Spanish version, progress has also been made for translating the Packaging Guide into several other languages. Of these, the version nearest completion, interestingly enough, is Russian. Brazilian Portuguese follows not too far behind.

Translation and Open Source

In many senses, open source software has long been more friendly toward the non-anglophone world than its proprietary alternatives. Because the open source model makes it easy for anyone to translate applications into the language of his or her choice, users are not restricted to the language versions made available by developers themselves. It’s no surprise that Ubuntu supports many more languages than Windows.
And if open source products are appealing to non-English speaking users for this reason, they also theoretically enjoy a leg up with programmers who prefer to work in a different language. Ubuntu developers are thus doing the smart thing by acknowledging that not everyone who stands to make technical contributions to the operating system works primarily in English. Addressing this need helps to strengthen the Ubuntu community while also ensuring that as many programmers as possible are able to volunteer their expertise to advance Ubuntu development. In a channel where voluntary labor is so important, removing linguistic barriers is crucial.

Of course, although I don’t have any statistics, I highly doubt there are legions of skilled developers out there who have previously not considered contributing to Ubuntu purely as a result of language issues. Most educated programmers can likely read and write English well enough to participate if they choose–after all, since most programming languages are filled with English words, it would be pretty difficult to become an excellent developer without learning some English along the way.

Still, the efforts that Holbach and his team have undertaken to assist developers whose first language is not English sends a positive message about Ubuntu’s openness toward participants of all backgrounds. And they just may draw in some valuable contributions from programmers who would otherwise not go to the trouble of wading through English-only documentation.

Source: The Var Guy