Sunday, 12 October 2008

D programming on Openmoko

Today I decided to start to write a video game for OpenMoko.

I am a little bit disappointed by all the current available games for openmoko (I like action games). And the port of already existing games that I tried all have poor usability because they are not usable with a touchscreen (A touch screen is much more limited than a mouse, cause you can't move the pointer when you don't click)

So anyway, I wanted to write a very simple game where asteroids are falling from space and you have to destroy them by launching missile from the ground. The control is very simple : touch the screen to fire a missile to the pointed position.

I want the code of the game to be very small and simple, yet fast. I started to write it in vala, but after profiling got a little bit frustrated to see that a lot of time was spent getting and setting gobject properties.

I was about to consider cython + python or C++, and then I found that gdc, the gnu D programming language compiler, was available in the debian distribution for openmoko.

I immediately tried to compile my game guisterax, and it worked fine. Of course no way to play it without the keyboard, but that is great anyway.
D would be a perfect language for embedded applications.

Now the problem is that as far as I know it is not possible to compile D sources using openembedded yet, so I may have to use an other language for my game anyway.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

OpenMoko update

I haven't post for a long time, it is time to give some update about my work at openmoko.

The last few weeks the full freesmartphone team was here in Taipei, so that we could work full time on the openmoko d-bus system interface (the so called framework).

Many changes have been done recently, I will try to update the wiki to let people that are not subscribed to the mailing list be aware of the status of the project.
To recall, the framework provides a d-bus API (the org.freesmartphone API) for applications running on the neo. The API covers usual phone functionalities (GSM, SIM, PIM, etc).

I didn't work at all on my personal project tichy, except yesterday when I stared to write a few applications that I intend to use to learn Chinese :
* A learning game application that implements the Leitner System to optimize the memorization of new words.
* An English to Chinese dictionary.
* A now working audio files player.

I think there is a interesting potential for the neo to be a learning platform.