More VTK Designer Stuff

The feature additions for VTK Designer is now complete. No more new features will
be added. From now on for another 45 days we are going to fix up the remaining bugs,
package it, give it some shape and put it up for distribution by the end of
next month.

The pic below shows VTK Designer showing a DICOM Image rendered after a
simple Contour Filter. Just one of those days when I was fiddling around
with VTK Designer.

Help system has been overhauled. The complete VTK Designer help along with
all of VTK Class Help is now available within the IDE itself in another
tab stacked behind the code browser.

You can now hover the mouse over any property to see help for the property.

All help tips are extracted from the code comments written by VTK
developers.

Help tips in VTK Designer

A survery of 500+ VTK Designer users let us to understand that
most people use VTK Designer to learn / teach VTK. The second
highest usage of VTK Designer is to test/develop VTK components.

VTK Designer 1.0.5 has another tool in its kitty now. The IDE
shows documentation for any class dropped on the canvas.

A tool called UpdateClassDoc is now provided with VTK Designer
1.0.5 that can parse VTK Header files and update the documentation
database used by VTK Designer and WCMaker.

XGL on SuSE 10.1

XGL !!!!!

XGL on Linux is a complete treat to the eyes. What a fantastic piece of work by the Novell developers.
Khudos to them. They are complete pros at making and packaging free software. Just take a look at
a snapshot of my desktop running XGL and also showing a pic of my fav actress.

SuSE Linux 10.1

After years of being a loyal RedHat/Fedora user; I finally shifted to SuSE 10.1. Thanks to LFY
for giving a properly packaged SuSE 10.1 on DVD in their July Edition. SuSE looks refreshingly
new.

As a developer of GUI and 3D Visualization Systems; I think SuSE is a better system for
working on such projects. The neatness with which everything works and appears in SuSE 10.1
keeps me motivated to do better work on my GUIs. Everything from colors, to icons, to themes,
to backgrounds to sounds to even splash screens blend together. It looks packaged; and so
professionally made. I have never used a SuSE system before; but my first time with SuSE
has been really really good so far.

The SuSE experience has been way better than Ubuntu/Kubuntu 6.06. I guess this is because I
look at a GNU/Linux system as more of a developer paradise than a end-user desktop system.
So I simply cannot get myself to accept a GNU/Linux box not having gcc tightly packaged
with it. manish_chaks helped me setup a development environment on Kubuntu
6.06. After 3-4 hours and 250 MB+ of download I still cant to all the stuff I could with
FC3/4. Ubuntu/Kubuntu is great for end-user “humans” as they call them. For “adventerous”
developers and students of Open Source like me, a fuller system like SuSE 10.1/Fedora
is more apt or should I say “yum”my.

VTK Designer in the next VTK Textbook

Feels good to know that after two years of work invested on VTK Designer,
Will Schroeder of Kitware/VTK fame wrote an email requestion permission
to print a full-color image of VTK Designer in the next official VTK Textbook;
and ofcourse a acknowledgement mentioning our company and website name.

This is quite a feeling. I learn VTK from the VTK Textbook from the month
of March 2004; and start working on VTK Designer from May 2004. A little
more than two years later VTK Designer finds a small place in the text
book from which I learned about VTK. Thats quite a good encouragement; and
adds more fuel to me to do more work on VTK Designer.

Either

or

may make it to the final textbook.

Milestone in VTK Designer

VTK Designer has reached a new milestone today. It has crossed the 100,000 line of code
border. Rather I should say that the committed/fairly stable code base has crossed 100,000
lines of code. More accurately 100188 lines of code.

100188 is the LOC reported by wc program. I used a more standard kloc program to measure the
LOC metrics for VTK Designer; and here is what I got.

[prashanth@udupa vtkdesigner]$ kloc -s -g -i “*.h, *.cpp”
processing *.h, *.cpp
parsing recursively /home/prashanth/OSS/vtkdesigner

Cumulative stats
Total Empty Lines = 13162
Total Comments = 9912
Total Embedded Comments = 145
Total Code = 55048
Total Lines = 78122
Total Files = 324

70.4641% of written lines were code
18.2695% of code was commented
83.3376% of written lines were code or comments

I am very happy about the progress we are making with this project. Hopefully the new
and old users of VTK Designer will be happy about the next release. manish_chaks
and I are working rigorously towards making the next VTK Designer more stable, usable
and accessible to a lot of users.

We are going to have a Windows version later this year or early next year; and VTK
Designer will be ported to Qt 4.

DICOM and VTK

VTK Designer would make use of the marriage between VTK and DICOM to provide
some interesting features in the next release. Effort is being put into VTK
Designer 1.0.5 to make it load DICOM images with very little effort. All that
the user would have to do is to point to a DICOM file that needs to be
opened; and VTK Designer will construct the required pipeline to load that
file.

Infact; the next version will support more file types. Whats more you can
edit the automatically constructed pipeline and generate C++ code for that.
Ideally over the coming releases; VTK Designer will be able to do what
MayaVI and other data-visualizers can do; plus more.

We have started conceptualizing an ITK plugin to VTK Designer; so that users
can design ITK pipelines in VTK Designer just as good as VTK. Lots to come
and in very very less time.