Subversion 1.4 windows binaries

For a few weeks I’ve been waiting for cygwin to update their subversion binaries. But for some reason they are not in a hurry. Subversion 1.4 was recently released and this time it includes some changes to both the repository format and the work directory format. If you use 1.4 binaries on your workdirectory, it will automatically be upgraded. Nice, except cygwin still has 1.3 binaries and no longer recognizes the work directory after you’ve used tortoise svn 1.4 on it. Similarly, the repository is upgraded if you use 1.4 version on it. So, upgrading is not recommended unless you can upgrade all subversion related tools to 1.4.

Naturally I found this out after upgrading tortoise svn to 1.4 :-).

Luckily, you don’t need cygwin binaries. So here’s what you can do instead:

  • download the win32 commandline subversion tools from tigris and install it.
  • modify your path to add the bin directory
  • uninstall the obsolete cygwin subversion version

Of course the win32 version doesn’t handle cygwin paths too well. Luckily subversion handles moving of repositories pretty well. In my case my repositories were in /svnrepo which in reality is this path on windows c:\cygwin\svnrepo. Since I use the svn+ssh protocol, the urls for all my workdirectories were svn+ssh://localhost/svnrepo/… These urls of course broke due to the fact that the win32 binaries interpret the path /svnrepo differently than the cygwin version. Solution: mv /svnrepo /cygdrive/c.

This allows me to continue to use the same subversion urls and all my tools now work. Also, in the future I won’t have to wait for cygwin to upgrade their subversion binaries and can get them straight from tigris.

Publications site updated

As promised a few months ago, I added the final versions of both SPLC workshop papers to my publication site. Also I took the opportunity to clean out the external links section and added a few links to all people I’ve co-authored stuff with. I hope to write some more stuff over the next few months and that too will find its way to this site, eventually.

Photography

Like many geeks, I’ve been an enthusiastic digital camera owner for some years now who, so far, is not troubled too much by in-depth knowledge of camera’s, lenses and what not. Basically I fiddle with the controls until it looks ok on the screen. Typically I assume a pose that is not really elegant (camera at arms length, chin on the chest and frowning at the minuscule screen). And then I point, click and hope for the best. Sometimes this produces nice results but producing nice results when you want them under difficult light conditions (too much or too little) is quite a challenge.
I was editing my Paris photos and did some google searches to figure out how to make more effective use of photoshop. It turns out that the new Google search field in Firefox 2 has gotten a lot smarter. I typed “photos” and google already provided a nice autocomplete list with highly relevant options such as “photoshop curves”, which led me straight to this more than excellent site which I have been reading the entire evening: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/. The site provides a nice technical introduction to various important concepts such as depth of field, focal length & aperture, various types of histograms and how to interpret them, the working of the level and curves tools in photoshop, etc. The site is organized around tutorials and provides great examples that make it easy to understand the concepts under discussion. I’m now planning to work my way through all of the site.

X-plane 8.50

A few months ago, I posted something about early betas of x-plane 8.50. Well the final version is here and seems to be working as advertised. A lot of feature work has been done in this release, much of it related to the simulation quality but also some nice improvements in the rendering engine.

I just took the Piper single propeller plane that comes with it for a flight from Marseilles to Paris Orly (after first flying from Nimes to Marseille with a custom Cessna 150). This is a nice flight because I have custom scenery for both ends of the flight. Also it’s a pretty long flight and it provides plenty of opportunity to play with various settings and fiddle with the ‘optimal’ throttle, mixture and prop ratio. The latter is pretty realistic because the simulator takes into account all kinds of variables to calculate speed, fuel consumption, oil pressure & temperature, etc (you name it, its there).
The flight was pretty uneventful except that I kept fiddling with the weather. Real weather was pretty awful (about 1 mile visibility) so that was not much fun in terms of visuals and my capabilities (not quite IFR capable yet :-). Also it was a good opportunity to put the new scenery loading logic to the test. Flying to Paris really is not fair because this happens to be 400 MB of custom version 7 scenery. A fresh startup of x-plane with the plane on Orly or Charles de Gaulles typically takes a few minutes longer just because of this scenery.

I’m happy to report that the in the background loading of scenery seems to be working pretty well. The simulator froze a couple of times for loading the stuff from disk (would be nice if that was done in the background as well). But aside from that no more freezes. All the texture loading (to the videocard) and other calculations seem to be taken care of by the second core on my dual core cpu. I think I experienced at most 20-30 seconds freezing overhead over the whole journey. The Paris scenery seemed to come in batches. First I flew into a really nasty ugly empty version 7 area (pretty ugly compared to the default v8 scenery) but then it got better as I got nearer to paris and more textures, 3d models, etc came in visual range. Orly looks great on approach. There were several warning messages about too much textures etc. This is partially due to my rendering settings and also to the fact that the scenery is pretty old stuff.