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Current state of the Plane9 screensaverpublished on 4/2/2008 8:42 PMSo what's the current state of the screensaver you might wonder. Well nothing much happened has happen for the last 6 months or so. Yes, thats right. I known it's a long time. But breakpoint came and inspiration came with it. So I started to look though the the code again. Luckily it was as I remembered. I had made the major design changes hat I mentioned like 9 months ago. It's rather critical to leave a project in a good state and not where you ran into a very difficult problem. Since then it's very hard to get into the project again.
Anyway before this change the system was built on attributes that could be animated and nodes that would contain the major objects. Like a mesh would be a node while a math cos value animator would be an animator. This made the design a lot more complex that I though when I first started to work on it. Questions like how do I connect an animator to multiple nodes at the same time while still allowing the effect designer to have a good overview of what animates what nodes. This is what eventually forced the design change. So it was changed to only use nodes and that change is all but complete now.
It wasn't long ago since it reached a functional state. And the power and flexibility of the system is just amazing. Want to get your nice object to rotate? Just add an 'minmax' node to the objects position node and your set. Now your object moves smoothly across the screen. Want to tweak the values? Just hold down the left mouse button on a value in the ports window and see the changes happen in realtime.
Gone are the days when you need to learn some obscure script language and be a coder to create realtime effects like most other systems like these requires.
I haven't shown any images at all of the editor so far so I'll leave you with an early version of how it currently looks. It's not beautifully yet but it is functional.