Viewing posts for the category FLOSS

microflow 1.0

Posted by: pangelo on April 15, 2014

One of the cool things I got around to doing for my Codebits presentation this year was to finally dust off and publish microflow, my experimental Python implementation of the basic Flow-Based Programming concepts.

This small library was very useful to me during the early stages of my research, when I was first exploring the ideas around Flow-Based Programming, but it never actually worked in the sense that you could build anything but very simple applications with it. So while I was going through the FBP book again while preparing for my Codebits talk I took the chance to finish off the rough edges of the library and update it to use Python 3. I also optimized it for readability, so other could use it as a learning tool or as the basis of other runtimes.

Sure, there are other FBP or FBP-like runtimes written in Python, like Kamaelia or protoflo, which are more robust and better performing, but if you are learning about the basics of Flow-Based Programming, it could be a simple example to start playing with the concepts in a very expressive and readable language.

So, if you have some time have a go at it and let me know what you think. I hope it can be as useful to you as it has been for me.

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After LGM 2013, the future is Free

Posted by: pangelo on April 20, 2013

LGM 2013 was held in Madrid at the brand new Medialab Prado building, a fantastic venue which besides a large auditorium provided lots of work space for the developers present. The program was divided into workshops and work sessions in the morning, conferences during the afternoon and social events in the evening. Many of the participants there were also going to stay for the following week for the Interactivos production workshop.

With so many activities and so many interesting people there, it was not possible to attend every session, but here are my notes on some that caught my attention:

Camille Bissuel presented Mikado, a graph-based image editor which has a structure similar to the one I'm proposing for dataflower. It is based on a C++ dataflow library called Tempi and has a web-based UI. I had a chance to briefly talk to the presenter and there are many good possibilities for future collaboration. Tempi looks like a very mature and well designed library and when the time comes I'd like to contribute to it and support it as a backend in dataflower.

Tom Lechner presented his Laidout tool which he's been developing for some time now to do the layout of his own publications. The tool implements many really interesting ideas, eschewing most of the traditional idea of tools in favor of direct manipulation of objects in the canvas. On another related talk, Tom also presented some thought-provoking ideas on how we could share tools between Free Software graphics applications.

Dave Crossland and Ben Martin talked about the current state of Fontforge and demoed an impressive real-time collaboration feature that they would be working on during the conference and the Interactivos workshop.

Ale Rimoldi, inspired by how UNIX shell pipelines work, presented his thoughts on how we should be able to connect graphics applications to build complex workflows, similar to what we can already do with audio applications via JACK.

Danji Vasiliev presented his Hotglue project, a web framework that allows users to direcly edit their web pages in the browser through direct manipulation. He also presented his plans to create Superglue, a distributed platform web publishing platform based on Hotglue.

You can find all the talk videos in the Medialab-Prado multimedia archive.

As for my talk, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and got really good feedback from the people attending, but I'll let you be the judge of that. Here is the video and the slides of my presentation:

LGM 2013 was an incredible experience for me, as I've had the chance to meet some good friends and some of the people that develop many of the tools I use and love. I also got the chance to take the pulse on what the Free Software community is doing to support creativity, and regarding the future of these tools I can tell you, the future is Free (as in Freedom).

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See you at LGM 2013

Posted by: pangelo on March 1, 2013

what will future creative tools look like?

I just received word that my talk proposal for Libre Graphics Meeting 2013 has been accepted. The selected theme for this year is "Future Tools", so this will be a fantastic time to present my work, get in touch with the Libre Graphics community and discuss the future of Free (as in Freedom) creative programming tools.

Hope to see you in Madrid next April. Meanwhile you can already get involved in the conference and join the ongoing discussion that is being used to generate the posters for the event.

Update: the conference program is up.

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