Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad

Alan Kay presenting Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad, one of most influential programs in the history of graphical user interfaces.
Sutherland developed Sketchpad in 1963. Watch this video; its really interesting.


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Optional Plugins for VTK Designer 2 now available

Optional plugins for VTK Designer 2 are now starting to become available. Like I said in a previous blog entry, we had to stripout several components from the final release of VTK Designer 2 because they were not release ready. While a majority of them are still not release ready; some of them can be made available for public use. We are starting with one plugin for now: the DFL Plugin. Get your copy from here.

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VTK Designer 2 – Data File Loaders

VTK Designer 1.x had a category of modules called “Data File Loaders” or DFL as I used to call it. DFLs could basically load data files of different formats. With DFL you never had to construct pipelines for loading data files; you could just load the file at the click of a button and the pipeline would be constructed for you.

A new component for VTK Designer 2 is now under-construction that will help you do just that. You can just select any file (whose format is supported by the DFL component in VTKD2) and load it. The visualization network required to load and render the data file is constructed for you. Whats more; you can further edit the pipeline to suit your own needs. Check out the video below:

VTK Designer 2 for Mac

There has been quite a few times when I have got emails from VTK Designer users asking me about a Mac version of VTK Designer. Now that we have VTK Designer 2 for Windows and GNU/Linux, it makes sense to try and provide a binary package for the Mac as well.

I borrowed a Mac Mini (which has Tiger) from a friend yesterday and I am giving “VTK Designer 2” for Mac a shot. My friend never saw the Mac as developer box, so he has no developer packages installed for the Mac. I just downloaded Qt for Mac, CMake for Mac. At the moment I am trying to get VTK compiled on Mac. Hopefully I should have a Mac version of VTK Designer 2 by the end of the day.

Windows Live Writer

I was reading some news items about Windows Live, so I decided to see what the whole deal was. This blog entry is just to test whether the Windows Live writer works or not 😉

UI wise, I think all the Live apps look good. Mail, Messenger, Writer, Photos etc. Most of them have the Vistaish look and feel. Having used Vista and back to XP just a couple of months back, I dont see any big difference but for XP users I think the UI would look refreshingly new.

I would prefer Picassa any day to Windows Live Photo Gallery. Maybe because I am used to it, but I still find the whole Picassa interface more easy to use than Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Designing Forms within VTK Designer

In VTK Designer 2, one can design custom forms in QtDesigner and import it into VTK Designer. They can then script the form and customize the UI and functionality.

But what if you dont have QtDesigner? You might say, since Qt is open source you can download a copy of it and use it. But there are some license restrictions on using QtDesigner within another software because the designer is not a part of the run time that Trolltech gives out royalty free. So we are toying with the idea of writing our own designer.

After the initial work, I realized

a) Writing a form designer as good as QtDesigner is challenging and takes a lot of time (although writing a rough prototype took only about 6-8 hours time).
b) Is probably not worth the effort, because form designer is not a core task of “VTK Designer” itself. We must be working more on the other aspects of the software.

So, unless there is a concrete demand on a “Form Designer” plugin; I think there is no need to continue working on the “Form Designer” plugin.

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VTK Designer 2 Source and Binaries for Linux and Windows now available…

We have un-officially released VTK Designer 2. Hopefully tomorrow we should be able to make announcements in the website itself. For the curious, you can

VTK Designer 2 Source: Download the source code from http://www.vcreatelogic.com/oss/vtkdesigner/download/VTKDesigner2-Source.zip. Unzip the package and follow the instructions specified in BuildInstructions.txt to compile VTK Designer for your platform. The source code is same for both Windows and Linux users.

VTK Designer 2 Binaries for Linux: Download the Linux binaries from
http://www.vcreatelogic.com/oss/vtkdesigner/download/VTKDesigner2-Linux-Binary.tar.gz. Untar the package and run the VTKDesigner2 shell script in it. All the Qt and VTK libraries required for VTKDesigner2 is bundled in that package.

VTK Designer 2 Setup for Windows: Download the Windows setup from http://www.vcreatelogic.com/oss/vtkdesigner/download/VTK Designer 2 Setup.exe.

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