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Hundreds explore ways to Fork the System with free software at LibrePlanet 2016

FSF - Vie, 04/29/2016 - 17:20

Edward Snowden talks with Daniel Kahn Gillmor at LibrePlanet 2016.

At a ceremony on Saturday, March 21st, Free Software Foundation President Richard M. Stallman announced the winners of the FSF's annual Free Software Awards. Two awards were given: the Award for the Advancement of Free Software was presented to Werner Koch for his work on GNU Privacy Guard, the defacto tool for encrypted communication, and the Award for Projects of Social Benefit was presented to the Library Freedom Project, a partnership among librarians, technologists, attorneys, and privacy advocates which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries.

Software Freedom Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler closed out the conference with "Companies, free software, and you," in which she urged free software developers to push their employers to allow them to retain copyleft on their code.

Software Freedom Conservancy Executive Director Karen Sandler closed out LibrePlanet 2016.

A video of the opening keynote conversation between Edward Snowden and Daniel Kahn Gillmor is available now at http://media.libreplanet.org/u/libreplanet/m/libreplanet-2016-the-last-lighthouse/. Videos of all the conference sessions, along with photographs from the conference, will soon be available on https://media.libreplanet.org, the conference's instance of GNU MediaGoblin, a free software media publishing platform that anyone can run.

LibrePlanet 2016 was produced in partnership by the Free Software Foundation and the Student Information Processing Board (SIPB) at MIT.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://my.fsf.org/donate. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

Categorías: Software Libre

GNU releases ethical evaluations of code-hosting services

FSF - Lun, 04/25/2016 - 21:55

The completed evaluations can be viewed on the evaluation page, while the criteria page offers more information on the evaluation process, as well as the criteria themselves.

Repositories are used not only by software developers but also by software users, and they have a large impact on the free software community. The evaluations promote and honor good ethical practices on the part of repositories, and make it easy for users to find services that respect them.

Version 1.0 of the criteria ranks sites on a score from F (unacceptable) to A+ (extra credit). No site has yet received extra credit, but Savannah achieved an A grade. An F grade shows the service has not met even the minimum ethical standards expected for the hosting of a GNU package. GNU's Repo Criteria Discussion list is happy to offer assistance to repository-hosting organizations seeking to improve their service's score.

One service which has passed the criteria is GitLab. "We want to allow everyone to contribute to software. We recognize that many people have a need for free software to do this," said GitLab's CEO Sytse Sijbrandij, adding that "as a former developer myself, I think it is natural that you can contribute to the software you use to collaborate." Many repository sites require the user to run proprietary JavaScript to access their full functionality, but GitLab has addressed this by relicensing its JavaScript as free software.

Savannah, which has also passed these criteria, "host[s] projects for the sake of the ideals of freedom and community that the free software movement stands for," according to its Web site, which also makes clear that "[t]he space given to you on this server is given for the expressed purpose of advancing free software." Savannah is hosted by the FSF but run almost entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers.

Andrew Ferguson, a community member who played a leadership role in the evaluation project, said "More volunteers with coding ability are needed to aid the development of existing repository services to help them meet these criteria. All community members are encouraged to write the administrators of code-hosting services, to build awareness and a motivation to improve their ethical evaluations. GitHub has responded to some requests from the free software community and has recently updated its license chooser to include the GPLv3 license. However more community advocacy is required, as GitHub still fails to meet the criteria."

General discussion regarding the criteria or evaluations can be directed to the libreplanet-discuss mailing list. If you'd like to lend your help evaluating repositories, please join the repo-criteria-discuss list.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

Zak Rogoff
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942 x31
campaigns@fsf.org

Categorías: Software Libre

FSF Job Opportunity: Operations Assistant

FSF - Jue, 04/21/2016 - 17:23

This position works closely with FSF staff and management to ensure all administrative functions of the FSF run smoothly and efficiently, preserving our 4-star Charity Navigator rating and boosting all areas of our work.

The Operations Assistant is responsible for handling phone calls, managing office operations, and being a friendly face for visitors to our office at the center of Boston's Downtown Crossing. Examples of job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • fulfilling orders for FSF merchandise and related bookkeeping,
  • blogging about merchandise-related news,
  • processing incoming donations,
  • coordinating volunteers,
  • updating our contact database,
  • organizing fundraising mailings, membership mailings, and similar communications,
  • assisting with local and special events, including our annual LibrePlanet conference,
  • assisting with website maintenance, and
  • looking after the office space.

This is a great opportunity for a team-oriented self-starter who thrives on multitasking, is calm under pressure, has an eye for detail, and wants to make a difference. The position must be worked from the Boston office, and the position must be able to lift small to medium-size packages (up to 50 pounds) on a regular basis. With our small staff of thirteen, each person makes a clear contribution. We work hard, but offer a humane and fun work environment.

Because our mission is worldwide, language skills and a demonstrated ability to interact with people across cultures and age groups will be highly valued. While the position does not require advanced computer skills, a willingness to learn and work with new software is a must. We use free software like CiviCRM, Plone, Emacs, and LibreOffice, all running on GNU/Linux.

The FSF is a growing organization and provides great potential for advancement; existing staff get the first chance at any new job openings. Previous Operations Assistants have often gone on to hold other positions within the organization.

Benefits and salary

This job is a union position. The salary is fixed at $51,646/year and is non-negotiable. Other benefits include the following:

  • full family health coverage through Blue Cross/Blue Shield's HMO Blue program,
  • subsidized dental plan,
  • four weeks of paid vacation annually,
  • seventeen paid holidays annually,
  • public transit commuting cost reimbursement,
  • 403(b) program through TIAA-CREF, and
  • yearly cost-of-living pay increases (based on government guidelines).

Resumes and cover letters must be submitted via email to hiring@fsf.org. The email must contain the subject line, "Operations Assistant". Resumes should be attached in text, PDF, or OpenDocument. No Word documents, please. Email submissions that do not follow these instructions will be ignored.

Applications must be received by Friday, May 20, 2016.

The FSF is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or application for employment on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

Categorías: Software Libre

Interpreting, enforcing and changing the GNU GPL, as applied to combining Linux and ZFS

FSF - Lun, 04/11/2016 - 21:03

The FSF's statement explains why the current license of ZFS prevents it from being combined with Linux. To reach that conclusion, the statement covers all the necessary background for understanding license incompatibilities and violations in general.

In January of 2005, the FSF added to its license list an explanation that the Common Development and Distribution License, version 1.0 (CDDL), though a free license, is incompatible with all versions of the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL). While the CDDL is not commonly used, it is the license that Sun Microsystems (and now Oracle) chose for distributing the file system ZFS. ZFS was originally written for Solaris, but recent projects aim to make it work as a module with other operating system kernels, including Linux, which is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL version 2.

"Normally, incompatibility questions like this are raised by people trying to write proprietary modules for copyleft free programs. They want to benefit from the work done by free software developers without providing others the same freedom, and they treat users unethically. That is not the case here, because ZFS is free software. The ideal solution would be for Oracle, who has become a large and tremendously influential distributor of GPL-covered code, to show their leadership by giving explicit permission allowing their ZFS work to be used under the GPL," said FSF's licensing and compliance manager, Joshua Gay.

FSF's executive director John Sullivan added, "The FSF does not develop Linux and does not presume to tell the developers of Linux when to do GPL enforcement. What we do is provide general materials that make clear the intent behind the GNU family of licenses, and the legal basis for that intent, to create shared and reliable best practices surrounding their use. As this statement makes clear, we support and encourage GPL enforcement work in this area and others when it is done in agreement with these best practices, and in accord with the Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement."

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About the GNU Operating System and Linux

Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom. See https://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.html.

In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for the first time to run a PC without non-free software. This combination is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html.

Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
licensing@fsf.org

Categorías: Software Libre

Anti-DRM activists go to W3C meeting to protest Digital Restrictions Management in Web standards

FSF - Mar, 03/22/2016 - 16:55

The protest began outside the W3C office and continued with a march past Google's Cambridge office, to Microsoft's office nearby. The companies are both supporters of Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), the proposal to enshrine DRM in Web standards. The protest included free software users and developers, including Richard Stallman and Chris Webber, the maintainer of the GNU MediaGoblin decentralized publishing platform. A small number of protesters split from the group, their actions were not condoned by the FSF, to enter the W3C meeting but they were ejected by police.

DRM in Web standards would make it cheaper and more politically acceptable to impose restrictions on users, opening the floodgates to a new wave of DRM throughout the Web, with all the vulnerabilities, surveillance and curtailed freedom that DRM entails.

In the week before the protest, Dutch activists held their own demonstration at the Amsterdam W3C office, and a Brazilian Web expert met with staff at the W3C office in São Paulo. Concerned people from around the world posted selfie photos with protest signs against DRM, many in front of other W3C offices. For every person at the protest, there were about five hundred who spoke up online against Encrypted Media Extensions.

"The fight against digital restrictions in Web standards is a new front in the struggle for liberty and expression on the global network. It matters for many of the same reasons as protecting strong encryption and net neutrality, or reigning in online surveillance: increasingly, the Web mediates our politics and our society. We cannot be free without a free Web" said by Zak Rogoff, FSF campaigns manager.

The W3C responded to the pressure with multiple posts on the topic in recent weeks, and participated in a public dialogue about the issue following the protest. The dialogue was hosted by the MIT Media Lab and included Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation, Joi Ito of the Media Lab and Danny O'Brien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). At the public dialogue, W3C staff member Harry Halpin pledged to resign in protest if the standards body recommend Encrypted Media Extensions.

The FSF, EFF and others concerned with Internet and software freedom have been protesting Encrypted Media Extensions since 2013. The Free Software Foundation's opposition to Encrypted Media Extensions has included a petition to Stop the Hollyweb, signed by more than 33,000 people and delivered to the W3C with fanfare, a joint letter signed by 27 organizations, and a boycott against Netflix for its role in developing Encrypted Media Extensions. This work is coordinated through the Foundation's anti-DRM campaign, Defective by Design.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About Defective By Design

Defective by Design is the Free Software Foundation's campaign against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). DRM is the practice of imposing technological restrictions that control what users can do with digital media, creating a good that is defective by design. DRM requires the use of proprietary software and is a major threat to computer user freedom. It often spies on users as well. The campaign, based at defectivebydesign.org, organizes anti-DRM activists for in-person and online actions, and challenges powerful media and technology interests promoting DRM. Supporters can donate to the campaign at https://www.defectivebydesign.org/donate.

Media Contacts

Zak Rogoff
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

Categorías: Software Libre

Library Freedom Project and Werner Koch are 2015 Free Software Awards winners

FSF - Dom, 03/20/2016 - 00:55

The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life. This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity.

This year, it was given to the Library Freedom Project, a partnership among librarians, technologists, attorneys, and privacy advocates which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries. By teaching librarians about surveillance threats, privacy rights and responsibilities, and digital tools to stop surveillance, the project hopes to create a privacy-centric paradigm shift in libraries and the local communities they serve. Notably, the project helps libraries launch Tor exit nodes. Project founders Alison Macrina and chief technology wizard Nima Fatemi accepted the award.

The Award for the Advancement of Free Software is given annually to an individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.

This year, it was presented to Werner Koch, the founder and driving force behind GnuPG. GnuPG is the defacto tool for encrypted communication. Society needs more than ever to advance free encryption technology. Werner Koch was unable to attend, so the award was accepted on his behalf by David Shaw, a GnuPG contributor since 2002.


About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

John Sullivan
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org


Photo of Werner Koch by Willi Nothers , licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


Other photos by Kori Feener, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Categorías: Software Libre

LibrePlanet free software conference coming to MIT in one week, March 19-20

FSF - Vie, 03/11/2016 - 22:35

LibrePlanet 2016 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels, and a promotional video for the event has just been released.

Organized around the theme "Fork the System", the conference's sessions will examine how free software creates the opportunity of a new path for its users, allows developers to fight the restrictions of a system dominated by proprietary software by creating free replacements, and is the foundation of a philosophy of freedom, sharing, and change. Keynote speakers include NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in conversation with the ACLU's Daniel Kahn Gillmor; Open Source Initiative board president Allison Randal; Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman; and Software Freedom Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler.

This year's LibrePlanet conference will feature over 40 sessions, such as Yes, the FCC might ban your operating system, Trans Code: Free software as model & critique of diversity by transgender hackers, and Ending Online Tracking! Privacy Badger and Beyond!, as well as a hands-on workshop showing participants how to use the free software 3-D animation program Blender and a Libreboot install workshop.

"This year's LibrePlanet conference will be our biggest ever, and it's not hard to see why," said Georgia Young, program manager at the Free Software Foundation. "From the conversation with Edward Snowden, to strategy sessions aimed at helping activists use free software in their social change work, to talks encouraging free software advocacy in school and your workplace, the conference offers intriguing ways for anybody to Fork the System."

Due to high demand, advance registration is closed. Attendees may register in person at the event.

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation, and is co-produced by the Student Information Processing Board. What was once a small gathering of FSF members has grown into a larger event for anyone with an interest in the values of software freedom. LibrePlanet is always gratis for associate members of the FSF. To sign up for announcements about LibrePlanet 2016, visit https://www.libreplanet.org/2016.

LibrePlanet 2015 was held at MIT from March 21-22, 2015. Over 350 attendees from all over the world came together for conversations, demonstrations, and keynotes centered around the theme of "Free Software Everywhere." You can watch videos from past conferences at http://media.libreplanet.org.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contact

Georgia Young Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

Categorías: Software Libre

ThinkPenguin VPN mini-router now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

FSF - Vie, 03/11/2016 - 00:06

This is the fourth product and second router from ThinkPenguin to achieve RYF certification. The TPE-R1100, just like the TPE-NWIFIROUTER Wireless-N router that was certified in Sept. 2014, runs LibreCMC, an FSF-endorsed GNU/Linux distribution. The TPE-R1100 can be purchased from ThinkPenguin at https://ThinkPenguin.com/TPE-R1100.

The Free Software Wireless-N Mini Router is not intended to replace one's existing wifi router or modem. Instead, it connects to your existing router and provides a simple and inexpensive way to have multiple devices on your network all tunnel their traffic through a VPN service provider without having to configure each device individually. In the effort to make connecting to a VPN as simple as possible, users are given the option to purchase a VPN service with the router preconfigured to work with that service.

"In light of the ever growing number of attacks on civil liberties, privacy, and encryption, ThinkPenguin is excited to announce this privacy-enhancing product,” said Christopher Waid, president of ThinkPenguin, Inc. “We've developed the Wireless-N Mini Router to make it easier for users to adopt privacy friendly VPN providers no matter what the user's level of technical expertise."

Purchasing a VPN subscription through ThinkPenguin is not required, and ThinkPenguin is creating detailed documentation to help users to configure their device to connect to the VPN service provider of their choice.

"One of the FSF's short term goals is that we can have at last one RYF certified product for each class of computing device that people use in their day-to-day lives. With this VPN-dedicated mini-router, we now have a way of encouraging people to enhance the security and privacy of each of their wireless-enabled RYF certified devices, which is especially useful for embedded devices not designed to run their own free software VPN client," said FSF's licensing & compliance manager, Joshua Gay.

Those purchasing the TPE-R1100 can choose to pay a little more to flash the latest version of LibreCMC, and the proceeds of that purchase will go toward supporting the development of LibreCMC.

To learn more about Respects Your Freedom hardware certification, including details on the certification of the TPE-R1100, visit https://www.fsf.org/ryf. Hardware sellers interested in applying for certification can consult https://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/criteria.

Subscribers to the FSF's Free Software Supporter newsletter will receive announcements about future Respects Your Freedom products.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About ThinkPenguin, Inc

Started by Christopher Waid, founder and CEO, ThinkPenguin, Inc., is a consumer-driven company with a mission to bring free software to the masses. At the core of company is a catalog of computers and accessories with broad support for GNU/Linux. The company provides technical support for end-users and works with the community, distributions, and upstream projects to make GNU/Linux all that it can be.

Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
licensing@fsf.org

Media Inquires
ThinkPenguin, Inc.
+1 (888) 39 THINK (84465) x703
media@thinkpenguin.com

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Categorías: Software Libre

Free Software Foundation submits comment to Copyright Office with over 1200 co-signers calling for end to DMCA anti-circumvention provisions

FSF - Mar, 03/08/2016 - 15:40


This work by Christi Vandermale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The Copyright Office was seeking comments in response to a request from Congress to study the effects of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions and the triennial exemptions process. The DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions create legal penalties for the circumvention of technologies that restrict access to copyrighted works, known as Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). It further criminalizes the sharing of tools needed to avoid DRM. The DMCA also set up a system where activists, academics and researchers may request that certain uses be exempted from the anti-circumvention provisions. Every three years they may submit a request to the Copyright Office that the circumvention of a particular type of work be free from the DMCA's penalties. Even when an exemption is granted, it expires three years later when the next round of the exemptions process begins, requiring repeated effort to maintain narrow exemptions.

In response, the FSF published a comment and called on people in the United States to co-sign that comment through its Defective By Design campaign to end the use of DRM. Over 1200 people in the United States heeded the call and co-signed the comment. In addition, the FSF asked users in the international community to advocate with their local governments about the dangers of DRM.

The FSF's comment detailed the damaging effects of DRM on all users, and called for the repeal of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions and to bring an end to the exemptions process. The comment explained how DRM is about the restriction of computer-users, not enforcing rights. DRM does not respect the rights of users, and gives the DRM implementer a degree of power not envisioned even under copyright law. It permits companies and governments to spy on users, prevent them from controlling their own computing, and abrogates users' rights to even legally permitted copying and modification of copyrighted materials. It interferes with the work of academics and librarians, preventing them from studying and archiving works. It prevents security researchers from discovering vulnerabilities and fraud, as was the case when Volkswagen used software to defeat emission control tests.

Given all the damage DRM causes, a law that enforces DRM and creates legal penalties for trying to avoid its harms is untenable. No system of exemptions can fix a fundamentally broken law.

"DRM is used to restrict and spy on users. Any use of DRM harms users, so no system of exemptions, no matter how perfectly run, can ever solve the problems the DMCA causes," said FSF's executive director, John Sullivan.

In addition to the comments, the FSF provided the Copyright Office with a letter calling for a mechanism to submit comments electronically without the use of proprietary software. Currently, comments submitted digitally to federal agencies that participate in the eRulemaking Program require submission via the Regulations.gov interface. This interface requires the use of JavaScript that is not freely licensed, meaning that it is proprietary software.

When software is proprietary, that means that some company or individual claims ownership of it, and through that ownership claim, imposes restrictions on users as to how they can or can't use the software. When the government requires citizens run such software, it is requiring that they accept the specific and arbitrary terms imposed by that company. The FSF's letter stresses that citizens should not be required to engage with any particular private company in order to participate in public proceedings, or use any governmental Web sites or network service.

Unlike other government agencies, the Copyright Office refused to accept comments even via the post. The Copyright Office is effectively denying all citizens the ability to communicate with their government. As such, the FSF was forced to hand-deliver the comment and signatures.

"This situation is completely unjust and the Copyright Office's behavior is simply reprehensible. No one should be forced to use proprietary software simply to communicate with their government. Hand-delivering documents to an office in Washington D.C. is not possible for the vast majority of people in this country. The Copyright Office and all government agencies must provide a way to submit comments that does not require proprietary software," said FSF's licensing and compliance manager, Joshua Gay.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

About Defective By Design

Defective by Design is the Free Software Foundation's campaign against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). DRM is the practice of imposing technological restrictions that control what users can do with digital media, creating a good that is defective by design. DRM requires the use of proprietary software and is a major threat to computer user freedom. It often spies on users as well. The campaign, based at defectivebydesign.org, organizes anti-DRM activists for in-person and online actions, and challenges powerful media and technology interests promoting DRM. Supporters can donate to the campaign at https://www.defectivebydesign.org/donate.

Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Licensing and Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
licensing@fsf.org

Categorías: Software Libre

Edward Snowden will kick off LibrePlanet 2016 in Cambridge, Massachusetts

FSF - Mié, 01/27/2016 - 21:50

The annual free software conference will kick off at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts on the morning of Saturday, March 19th with "The last lighthouse: Free software in dark times", in which Snowden (who will appear via a free software live video stream) and Daniel Kahn Gillmor will discuss free software, surveillance, power, and control of the future.


Daniel Kahn Gillmor
This work by Daniel Kahn Gillmor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Edward Snowden
Screenshot of Citizen Four by Praxis Films. by Laura Poitras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

"We're thrilled and honored to be hosting this conversation. Edward Snowden has ignited desperately needed discussion around the world about the meaning of privacy, the power of governments and large corporations, and the impact of secretive technology on our freedom. I can't think of a more powerful way to launch this year's conference, and I can't wait to see what great things the LibrePlanet community of activists and developers will do with the energy," said FSF's executive director John Sullivan.

Edward Snowden is a former intelligence officer who served the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), NSA, and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for nearly a decade as a subject matter expert on technology and cybersecurity. In 2013, he revealed the NSA was unconstitutionally seizing the private records of billions of individuals who had not been suspected of any wrongdoing, resulting in the largest debate about reforms to US surveillance policy since 1978. Today, he works on methods of enforcing human rights through the application and development of new technologies. He joined the board of Freedom of the Press Foundation in February 2014.

Daniel Kahn Gillmor is a technologist with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, and a free software developer. He's a Free Software Foundation Associate member, a member of Debian, a contributor to a wide range of free software projects, and a participant in protocol development standards organizations like the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), with an eye toward preserving and improving civil liberties and civil rights through our shared infrastructure.

For the third year in a row, LibrePlanet will be held at MIT's Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 19th and 20th, 2016. Co-presented by the Free Software Foundation and MIT's Student Information Processing Board (SIPB), the rest of the LibrePlanet program will be announced soon.

Registration for LibrePlanet is now open. Admission to the conference is gratis for FSF members and students.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software — particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants — and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
georgia@fsf.org

Categorías: Software Libre

2.8 project developer kickoff meeting notes

Blender - Dom, 11/01/2015 - 16:56

At the 2015 blender conference the attending developers sat down to discus things we as a group wanted the 2.8 project to be a software engineering perspective.  The things discussed below are intended to become effective with the 2.8 project and any changes in supported hardware will be kept as minimal as possible.

C++ 11 / C99

Blender is written in C, C++ and Python mainly. currently we use C++98, C89 and Python 3.4.

There is consensus to allow C++11 and C99 for the features that make sense and are supported by our current hosting compilers (Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 is the lowest common denominator here ).  This should let us write better code thanks to some stupid limitations being lifted but it will also need us to bump the platform requirements and in particular support for Mac OS X versions lower then 10.8 and Linux versions that ship with a glibc older then 2.14 would be dropped.

OpenGL

Currently blender uses OpenGL in a way that remains compatible with versions 1.4 of the standard. Over the last 20 years graphics hardware has evolved greatly and some of the concepts in accessing this hardware have also changes. In 2009 the OpenGL 3.2 standard was released that for the first time deprecated the old way of doing things. Today a lot of platforms even do not allow this old way of accessing the hardware and some disallow use of newer features when legacy calls are used (MacOS X is an example of this).

The developers universally agree that this will happen and is unavoidable. We also felt that this move away from immediate mode towards VBOs and GLSL will need to happen, regardless of the new viewport design. Antony Riakiotakis started this conversions, but there is a significant amount of work left, and it is unclear at this point how this is to be approached best.

This move will have some downsides, such as loss of hardware acceleration on early Intel i9xx cards. Any post-2008 Nvidia or AMD hardware should remain unaffected.

Scons

The Blender developers currently maintain 2 buildsystems (cmake and scons). Most of us use CMake, more than we use SCons, and collectively we feel that dropping one would free up a big enough amount of resources that the benefit would far outweigh the costs. There are buildsystem-specific bugs, it adds to difficulty of becoming a contributor, and the builds on both systems are currently inconsistent.

The remaining work lies mainly in supporting the linux release builds with cmake, and verifying the MacOS X release build against the scons version. Brecht and Martijn have volunteered to get this done.

Replacing or dropping code

There are various opinions on what parts of Blender are broken, hard to maintain, or lack a future. Mentioned were the sequencer, game engine, openimage-io, constraints, particle system, and OpenCollada. The only one we could reach some kind of consensus on is OpenCollada: the library and integration make up for 1/3 of the binary size of Blender, and we currently only have Gaia to maintain it (who was not present at the meeting). We decided to seriously consider dropping it for 2.8.

The particle system and constraints may need a complete overhaul.

The sequencer and game engine are in serious danger of removal, if we cannot come up with a good solution during the 2.8 project.

OpenNL was also discussed and it seems most of the usages could also be covered by the Eigen library.

 

Finally, it is good to remember that this discussion is about what could be good for Blender and the Blender developers from a software engineering perspective, and what could make it easier for us to deliver a better Blender. We make Blender for artists first, and in that sense this list cannot and should not be interpreted as a complete representation of the 2.8 project.

 

 

Categorías: Diseño 3D

Debugging Python code with PyCharm

Blender - Mar, 10/27/2015 - 23:04

During the Ask a Developer session at the Blender Conference last weekend, there was a request for easy debugging of Python code. Fortunately, with PyCharm or Eclipse/PyDev, this is quite easy. Personally I use PyCharm, but the process should be pretty similar for Eclipse/PyDev. Besides Blender and your IDE, you need more two ingredients:

  1. The egg file from your IDE. For PyCharm, this file is called “pycharm-debug-py3k.egg” and you can find it in PyCharm’s “debug-eggs” directory. Make sure you get the one for Python 3. There is no need to do anything with the file, just note down its path. On my machine, it is “/home/sybren/pycharm/debug-eggs/pycharm-debug-py3k.egg”, but yours may be in “C:\Program Files\…”
  2. My addon remote_debugger.py from GitHub.

Update 1-Nov-2015: You need the Professional version of PyCharm for this to work. Fortunately, if you can show that you actively participate in an Open Source project, you can get a Pro license for free.

Step 1: Install and configure the addon

Once you’ve downloaded remote_debugger.py, install it in Blender. Open the User Preferences window, and hit the “Install from file…” button at the bottom.

Configuring the addon

In the addon preferences, point Blender to your “pycharm-debug-py3k.egg” file. On my Linux machine it’s at /home/sybren/pycharm/debug-eggs/pycharm-debug-py3k.egg. Since you’re a developer, I’ll assume that you know where you installed your IDE.

Step 2: Create the debug server configuration

PyCharm debugger configuration

In PyCharm, create a new Python Remote Debugger configuration: Run → Edit Configurations… → + → Python Remote Debug.

Make sure Local Host Name is set to “localhost” and Port to “1090”. You can use another port number if you want, but be sure to update the addon source code to reflect this.

Step 3: Start the debug server

Starting the debug server in PyCharm

Start the debug server from the Run/Debug dropdown. Don’t forget to click the little bug to actually start it.

Step 4: Connect Blender

Connecting the debugger from Blender

In Blender, hit space in the 3D viewport and search for “debugger”. Choose “Connect to remote Python debugger”. Once you do this, you will see that Blender freezes up. This is expected behaviour. Switch to PyCharm, and you’ll see that it has paused the execution of the addon just under the “pydevd.settrace(…)” call. Press the green “play” button (or press F9) to un-freeze Blender.

Step 5: Debug!

Now that everything is connected, you can debug your code like you’re used to. Set breakpoints, step through code, inspect variables, etc.

Some final words

The order in which things are set up are quite important. You only need to do steps 1-2 once, which is nice. Be sure to do steps 3 and 4 in that order, as it makes things a bit more predictable and works well.

Here are some additional links that may help with the remote debugging. You can always try to contact me (Sybren) on IRC in #blenderpython if you have questions.

Categorías: Diseño 3D

Current Asset Project Status & Plans

Blender - Jue, 09/10/2015 - 17:48

This article tries to summarize the more complete design doc and presents current state of the “Asset Project” in Blender.

Core Concepts

The main idea of current work is to keep Blender’s library system and build asset management over it, using “Asset Engines”, which will be python add-ons communicating with Blender through an “AE API”, in a similar way to our “Render Engine API” used e.g. by Cycles, POVRay, and other external renderers.

To simplify, those asset engines are here to provide to Blender lists of available items (they also include filtering & sorting), and ensure relevant .blend files are available for Blender at append/link time (or when opening a file). More advanced/complex pre- and post-processing may be executed through optional callbacks.

This allows us to not define “what is an asset” in Blender – Blender only knows about datablocks. Assets are defined by the engines themselves. The only addition to current Blender’s data model is a way to keep track of assets, variants and revisions (through UUIDs).

Work Landed in Master

A first rather big task has been to enhance filebrowser code and make it ready (i.e. generic enough) for assets listing. Final stages have been merged in master for Blender 2.76 – main immediate benefits include the ability to list content of several directories and/or .blend files at once, the ability to append/link several datablocks at once, a much quicker generation of thumbnails (when enabled), and a globally reduced memory footprint (especially when listing directories whit huge number of entries and enabling thumbnails).

Previews were also added to some more datablocks (objects, groups, scenes), and behavior of materials/textures previews generation was fixed.

Work Done in Branches and TODO’s Fixing Missing-libs Issue

Currently, if you open a .blend file linking some data from a missing library, that linked data is totally lost (unless you do not save the main file). Work has been done to rather add placeholders datablocks when the real one cannot be linked from a library for some reason. This allows to keep editing the main .blend, and either fix the library path in the Outliner or make missing lib files available again at expected location, save and reload main .blend file, and get expected linked data again.

In addition, to remove the needed ‘save & reload file’ step, work is in progress to allow hot-replacing of a data block by another in Blender, this should allow to just fix broken lib path and automatically reload missing data.

Asset Engine Experiment – Amber

Amber is the experimental asset engine developed in parallel with the AE API. It also aims at being a simple, file-system based engine distributed as an add-on with Blender, once asset engine work is ready to be released!

It is based on file system storage with a JSON file to define assets & meta-data (like tags, descriptions, …).

Amber at work!

Currently the basic browsing/importing part is up and running – in the picture above you can see three file browsers and a text block:

  • The first browser (a “normal” one) shows the content of the test-case Amber repository (you’ll note the `__amber_db.json` file which defines an Amber repository).
  • The second browser (an “Amber” one) shows that same directory as reported by our asset engine.
  • The third browser (an “Amber” one too) shows the “filtering by tags” of Amber in action (the “character” tag is inclusive-selected).
  • The text block shows an excerpt of the `__amber_db.json` content, with the definition of one asset and the definition of tags.

You can find that test-repo in that archive.

There are quite a few topics to be implemented yet to consider this work to be (even barely) usable, mostly:

  • Add the “reload” ability (which also depends on the “missing-libs” work actually), such that Blender can query asset engines for updates (on file load or from user request).
  • Currently you have to generate that JSON file by hand, which isn’t terribly fun. This will be addressed once the loading/reloading part is reasonably finished, though.
Conclusion (For Now)

Foundations of the future asset handling are mostly defined (if not coded) now, though we still have much work ahead before having anything really usable in production. Once again, this is a very condensed summarizing, please see the design task (and all sub-tasks and branches linked from there) for more in-depth and technical doc and discussions. And please do build and test the branches if you want to play with what’s already done – the earlier the testing and feedback, the better the final release!

Categorías: Diseño 3D

The Custom Manipulator Project (Widget Project)

Blender - Jue, 09/03/2015 - 15:23

It seems like it’s still unclear what the widget project actually is and what it means, so it’s really time to make things a bit more clear. Especially, to justify why this project is important for the Blender user interface.

 
Sidenote: Since I’m currently also working on normal widgets like buttons, scrollbars, panels etc, I actually prefer to call the widget project ‘custom manipulator project’. Just to avoid confusion.

– Julian

 

 (Mockup)

 

Blender suffers from an old disease – the Button Panelitis… which is a contagious plague all the bigger 3d software suites suffer from. Attempts to menufy, tabify, iconify, and shortcuttify this, have only helped to keep the disease within (nearly) acceptable limits.

We have to rethink adding buttons and panels radically and bring back the UI to the working space – the regions in a UI where you actually do your work.  This however, is an ambitious and challenging goal.

 

Here, the widgets come into play! Widgets allow to tweak a property or value with instant visual feedback. This of course, is similar to how ‘normal’ widgets like buttons or scrollbars work. The difference is, that they are accessible right from the working space of the editors (3D View, Image Editor, Movie Clip Editor, etc). It is simply more intuitive than having to tweak a value using a slider button that is in a totally different place, especially when the tweaked value has a direct visual representation in the working space (for instance, the dimensions of a box).

Being able to interact with properties, or in fact with your content, directly, without needing to search for a button through a big chunk of other buttons and panels, is like UI heaven. This is how users should be able to talk to the software and the content they create in it. Without any unnecessary interfaces in-between. Directly.

 

Blender already has a couple of widgets, like the transform manipulator, Bézier curve handles, tracking marker handles, etc. But we want to take this a step further: We want to have a generic system which allows developers to easily create new and user friendly widgets. And, we want the same to be accessible for Add-on developers and scripters.

It’s also known that Pixar’s Presto and DreamWorks’ Apollo in-house animation tools make heavy use of widgets.

 

In Blender, there are many buttons that can be widgyfied (as we like to call it): Spot-lamp spot size, camera depth of field distance, force field strengths, node editor/sequencer backdrop position and size, …

Also, a number of new features becomes possible with a generic widget system, like a more advanced transform manipulator, or face maps (groups of faces) with partially invisible widgets, similar to the ones from the Apollo demo.

Actually, all these are already implemented in the wiggly-widgets branch

 

 The new transform manipulator

 

 The spot size widget (GIF – click to play)

 

 Face map widgets (GIF- click to play)

 

Current state of the project:

The low-end core can be considered as quite stable and almost ready now. Quite a few widgets were already implemented and the basic BPY implementation is done.

The next steps would be to polish existing widgets, create more widgets and slowly move things towards master. It’s really not the time to wrap things up yet, but we’re getting closer.

Focus for the next days and weeks will likely be animation workflow oriented widgets, like face maps or some special bone widgets (stay tuned for more info).

 

A bit on the technical side:

Widgets are clickable and draggable items that appear in the various Blender editors and they are connected to an operator or property. Clicking and dragging on a widget will tweak the value of a property or fire an operator – and tweak one of its properties.

Widgets can be grouped into widgetgroups that are task specific. Blender developers and plugin authors alike, can register widgetgroups to a certain Blender editor, using a system very similar to how panels are registered for the regular interface. Registering a widgetgroup for an editor, will make any editor of that type display the widgets the widgetgroup creates. There are also similarities to how layouts and buttons function within panels. The widgetgroup is responsible for creating and placing widgets, just as a panel includes code that spawns and places the buttons. Widgetgroups also have a polling function that controls when their widgets should be displayed.

For instance, the transform manipulator is a widgetgroup, where individual axes are separate widgets firing a transform operator. Just as every 3D editor has a toolbar, registering a manipulator widgetgroup with the widgets used for object transform, will create those widgets for every 3D editor.

Needless to say, plugins can enable their own widgets this way and tweak their widgetgroups to appear under certain circumstances through the poll function, as well as populate the editors with widgets that control the plugin functionality.

(A more detailed and technical design doc will follow, this is more like a quick overview)

 

So! Hopefully this helped to illustrate what the custom manipulator/widget project is, and why it matters.

It is a really promising approach to reduce UI clutter in button areas and for bringing the user interface back to the viewports. Work with your content, not with your software. It’s about time.

 

 

– Julian and Antony

 

 

Categorías: Diseño 3D

Force Fields and Turbulence

Blender - Mié, 07/22/2015 - 15:09

Turbulence in Blender can cause serious problems, due to the fact that it is not a fluid-like turbulence field: The forces are essentially random, which means they are not divergence-free. A true fluid flow velocity field (derived from the pressure gradient) would instead always be divergence-free, meaning there are no “sinks” and “sources” of matter in the simulation. The effect of this mathematical property is that a turbulence field in Blender can easily “trap” particles or simulated vertices (cloth, hair) in a small area around an attractor point. The simulation can freeze in an awkward state or start to jitter, and un-freezing requires strong counterforces that can destabilize the simulation. With a divergence-free field the vertices can not easily be trapped and the resulting behavior is much more like that of objects following the flow of air or liquid.

A divergence-free field can be constructed from a scalar field using a curl operator. The entire procedure is described in the paper “Curl-Noise for Procedural Fluid Flow” (Bridson, Hourihan, Nordenstam 2007) http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~rbridson/docs/bridson-siggraph2007-curlnoise.pdf

Additional features described in the paper include using 4D noise for time-varying fields and the use of pseudo-advection over multiple octaves.

Categorías: Diseño 3D

Blender 2.8 – the Workflow release

Blender - Lun, 07/20/2015 - 15:41

This is a proposal for work focus on blender.org for the coming year.

I’ve written this because we keep missing bigger development targets – we don’t have enough time for larger projects. Instead too much time goes to releases, bug fixing, reviews, maintenance and support topics. The bug and patch tracker duties are keeping the best of our developers away from their own targets.  As a result we then don’t have time for design docs, for planning, logs and in-depth sessions with the module teams, and have no time for the artists who are involved to make sure we’re well aligned and know what to do. I think everyone has noticed that we’re floating too much, things are not clear. Where are we heading? Who does what, and how do we decide on things?

So – it’s time to act and gather the troops to refocus and get back energy, to maximize involvement from everyone who’s active in blender.org and make sure Blender can survive for many more years.

—– Blender 2.8 – Workflow release —–

Just like for 2.5, the proposal would be to take a bigger leap to a bigger release by not releasing for a year. The 2.76 release then would be the last ‘real’ version we do until 2.80 somewhere in 2016.

Obviously, for the crucial fixes and smaller (stable) features we can do update releases 2.77, 2.78 and 2.79.

Topics to finish for 2.8 could be:

  • UI work: wrap up Python configurability project, make Workflow based configuring possible
    Proof of concept: the stripped “Blender 101″ for high school kids.
  • Viewport project, including a PBR quality engine/editor that could replace BI and GE render.
  • A better designed integration of physics simulation in Blender
  • Invite the GE team to rethink game logic editing, to use viewport and new physics
  • Don’t add the half finished Gooseberry targets but take the time needed to code it well:
    Particle nodes, hair nodes, simulation nodes, modifier nodes…
  • Asset managing and browsing, linking, references, external files in general.
  • Integration in non Blender pipelines.

Practical considerations:

  • Move development to special 2.8 branch(es)
  • Module teams are empowered to cleanup quite radically and get rid of legacy code.
  • The 2.8 series is allowed to be not 100% compatible with 2.7x. (Physics, particles, games).
  • Spend time on organizing ourselves better, agreed designs should lead to more empowerment.

And some core principles to agree on:

  • We reconfirm and where needed update the 2.5 spec docs.
  • Stick to existing Blender data structures and code design for as much as possible.
  • Make Blender ready to survive until 2020, but…
    … start collecting the list of bigger redesign issues we need to for a 3.0 project
  • Bring back the fun in Blender coding!

The code.blender.org article for the roadmap of 2014-2015 is still valid in my opinion. We just need to take a break of 9-12 months now, to make it work for real.

Blender 2.8 Workflow Sprint (not yet scheduled)

In the coming months we can discuss and review the plans and make sure we’re 100% aligned on the 2.8 targets and for other work during the coming years. We should also meet and have good feedback sessions on it. This we can further discuss during the Blender Conference as well.

  • Four days of workshops and design sessions.
  • Travel and hotel covered for by BF (and Dev Fund, or a new fund raiser?)
  • We should try to get someone from every (active, involved) module team on board. Also key user/contributors have to be on board. But it’s also more efficient to keep it compact.
  • Proposal: we do this invitation-only: First we invite the 5 most active contributors of past years. Together they then invite persons more, until we have 12 (?) people.
  • Sprint sessions can be in parallel too – UI, Viewport, Physics, etc. Let’s make it public as good as possible.
  • The Sprint results get presented and reviewed during further on sessions during the Blender Conference.

Seven years ago, back in 2008, we also took a break for more than a year, to get the 2.5 project started up. It was a very exciting period where a lot of new things were possible and could happen, even though we didn’t finish everything… it gave us quite a solid foundation to build on, attracting a lot of new developers and great features.
I realize we have to be realistic now, not everything will be possible. But we also shouldn’t stop dreaming up a good future for Blender. Let’s take a break from our demanding release cycle, rethink it all, but not for too long. Let’s cherish what we agree on and enjoy the freedom of a configurable workflow that will enable you to do what you think is best… for making 3d art, games, film and animation!

-Ton-

Categorías: Diseño 3D

Eurographics Symposium on Rendering

Blender - Lun, 06/29/2015 - 18:09

Last week (23rd – 26th June), Cycles developers Sergey Sharybin, Thomas Dinges and Lukas Stockner visited the EGSR in Darmstadt, a conference where new rendering papers and technologies are presented. It was great to meet other rendering people and get up to speed with latest research in this area.

Former and current Cycles developers at EGSR

Interesting papers that were presented and are potentially useful for Cycles:

  • Portal-Masked Environment Map Sampling by Benedikt Bitterli, Jan Novák and Wojciech Jarosz. This seems rather straightforward to implement on top of our current portals, but penalty is higher memory usage.
  • Practical Rendering of Thin Layered Materials with Extended Microfacet Normal Distributions by Jie Guo, Jinghui Qian and Jingui Pan. This is an interesting concept, something to look into but need to be careful from the actual implementation point of view.
  • Physically Meaningful Rendering using Tristimulus Colours by Johannes Meng, Florian Simon, Johannes Hanika and Carsten Dachsbacher. Even though Cycles is working with RGB colors this paper is still interesting to experiment a bit with. Simple idea could give similar texturing improvement: go from RGB to Spectrum space and tdo clamping/scaling of the spectrum similar to the paper and then go back to RGB (maybe with wider gamut?).
  • Consistent Scene Editing by Progressive Difference Images by Tobias Günther and Thorsten Grosch. This paper describes interesting approach of keeping scene editing real-time by avoid res-ampling full frame when only small areas of the image changed during editing.
  • Apex Point Map for Constant-Time Bounding Plane Approximation by Samuli Laine and Tero Karras. This paper describes exact solution to the problem we were having with camera space cull in the Gooseberry project. It’s quite simple to implement and will reduce number of false-positive visibility checks.
  • MBVH Child Node Sorting for Fast Occlusion Test by Shinji Ogaki and Alexandre Derouet-Jourdan. It describes approach of speeding up shadow rays cast with really small penalty. Something to experiment with at least.
  • Gradient-domain Bidirectional Path Tracing by Marco Manzi, Markus Kettunen, Miika Aittala, Jaakko Lehtinen, Fredo Durand and Matthias Zwicker. This exact paper talks about bidirectional tracing, but similar idea could be implemented for regular path tracer (in fact, it’s actually described in the previous paper). Would help reducing noise even in the cases like motion blur and camera DOF (using de-noising, so it’s not really am magic bullet still).

There are also some presentations which are not related on Cycles but still interesting for Blender:

  • MatCap Decomposition for Dynamic Appearance Manipulationby Carlos Jorge Zubiaga, Adolfo Muñoz, Laurent Belcour, Carles Bosch and Pascal Barla. This paper describes interesting approach to editing matcaps which might be interesting for sculpters. But it’s not really clear if this is something which should belong to Blender or rather other standalone application.
  • Distributed Out-of-Core Stochastic Progressive Photon Mapping by Tobias Günther and Thorsten Grosch. Similar idea could be used for distributed rendering in blender for cases when scene does not fit into the memory. Would need some adjustments to the algorithm so it works with path tracing and majority of implementation will be done in management software.
  • Separable Subsurface Scattering by J. Jimenez, K. Zsolnai, A. Jarabo, C. Freude, T. Auzinger, X-C. Wu, J. von der Pahlen, M. Wimmer and D. Gutierrez. Since the viewport is getting so much interesting real-time effects now, this paper is something to consider looking into.

 

Thanks a lot to Blender Foundation and Solid Angle, for making the trip and visit possible!

– Thomas, Lukas, Sergey –

Categorías: Diseño 3D