Interview with TalentSpark

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Recently I spoke to Ewan Anderson from TalentSpark about how I got into software and where I see things going. We chat about company culture and how to choose who to work with too. I hope it helps to inspire a few more into joining a tech startup!

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Multi-touch on Enlightenment

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At FOSDEM yesterday I was demoing the Enlightenment IDE that I have been working on. My laptop is a touchscreen and I had it in tablet mode for the demo, so far so good. Until a couple of sharp attendees noted that there was no multi-touch. Huh, neither it does.

Enter rasterman – “Did you enable xinput2.2?”, erm no, no I didn’t…

Passing –enable-xinput22 to the efl ./configure fixed it! magic 🙂 The image above shows 2 taps simultaneously in the elementary_test Gesture Layer 2 demo.

Job done. Now to fix a couple of multi-touch gesture bugs I have found :(.

Be part of the future today – get coding!

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There’s little doubt that computers are here to stay, they’re embedded in most aspects of modern life and will continue to be a growing part of our daily interactions. In a world of geek chic, wearables and mytwitterbookplus it’s no longer a beatable offence to be interested in technology or computers.

Add to that the salary that’s associated with a good software job is comparable with a lawyer or finance broker without needing to be one of “those guys” or wear a suit to work. Also remember that IT is a significant growth industry (second to health and they have to get their hands dirty).

So basically, why are you not already thinking of it as a career? You are but it’s too much to learn? Not any more – get yourself a place at CodeClan and you could be in a great new programming job before the end of the year!

EDI update and shiny new icon

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It’s been quite some time so I wanted to provide an update on the EDI project. The aim was to make getting into Linux development as easy as possible, and to help developers learn how to builds apps using the EFL. Clearly that’s a grand plan and along the way there was a lot of challenges to overcome.

The first major hurdle, beyond actually creating a vision, project definition and basic application, was to make an editor that was powerful but easy to use. None of the available components at this time met the challenge (the early pre-releases were built on existing editor components as best we could), so a new editor needed to be built.

Elm_Code is this new component – it’s been in development for around 6 months now (since early planning began at the E Dev Day alongside LinuxCon Europe 2014) and it’s shaping up nicely. We have highlighting support, inline error overlays and great performance (a few leaks aside…) – and it fits into EDI like this:

ss-elm_code-may2015

As it’s all under heavy development there aren’t many releases just now, but it’s moving forward really fast. We’re more tightly coupled to the EFL development at this time so our next exciting release will be alongside their 1.15 release in August.

In the meantime I’d love to leave you with this excellent snippet from an Enlightenment user who recently tried out EDI.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 16.19.51

Lastly for this post I wanted to thank raster for the great new icon he made for the app earlier this week – it looks much better and fits well with the Enlightenment suite of apps. We also created a page on the main web site to give a more refined summary of the project.

Taming the power of Linux development

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The power of the APIs available to a linux developer is immense. To help illustrate I have a quote from wilsonk who is learning the EFL APIs:

Well, I could probably make this thing get me coffee but is it worth the effort 🙂

It’s a good point – where do you even start?

EDI – that’s where. We are building a brand new IDE for linux development that aims to make getting into Linux development as easy as possible. It’s in early stages just now but please check it out and let us know what you think!

Can you crowd fund open source software?

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The open source movement is quite something – people spending their own precious spare time to make the world a better place. Software that is everywhere and quite literally runs the web has it’s source code freely available to be examined, modified and learned from (even duplicated or repackaged!).

In an environment where it’s people’s spare time alone, building a team to cover usability, design and testing becomes a lot harder. It’s typical that a project in the OSS ecosystem starts as an engineer scratching an itch – building what’s interesting to them – so how does that transition to a published application of top quality and polish?

With funding – that seems how. But with typical models of funding that hand controlling rights to the donor then the software can take a different turn. What if the developers and end users were able to agree on a feature set / direction and chip in to make it happen?

Enter crowd funding. A growing phenomenon where young groups or companies can pitch their product or idea to raise money from their future customers, who in return get perks such as early access or stylish accessories. But compare tangible product creation to software where the goal is to release both the finished product as well as the source code it is built with. Will people really part with money for a product that they will be able to obtain for free at some future date?

Let me know what you think in the comments. If there is enough interest then I have an experiment in mind 😉