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free software, free society

Fresh Totem Plugins

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Sadly I can’t attend this years GUADEC as it overlaps with my examination session. Nevertheless I had some spare time to do some useful, i.e. GNOME related, stuff.

Totem Arte Plugin 3.0.0:

I released a major update of the Arte+7 streaming plugin. Version 3.0.0 was ported to Gtk+ 3.0, Libpeas and GSettings and can now be used with Totem 3.x. I rewrote the parsing and loading of the video feeds to improve the robustness and the quality of the list of available videos. You can get the source tarball from here.

Totem Rotation Plugin:

Some videos that are created with hand held cameras or mobile phones are oriented in strange ways. I developed a plugin for Totem to adjust the orientation. The new orientation is stored as a GIO file attribute and it is restored the next time you watch the video. This completely new plugin is part of Totem 3.1.4.

Written by Simon Wenner

August 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Posted in gnome

Snow Simulation

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As a part of the Physically-based Simulation class Martina, Fabian and I had to implement a small project. We decided to simulate snow fall and accumulation in real time. The wind field is calculated by solving the Navier–Stokes equations on a 3D grid. You can watch a video of our simulation on Youtube or download it from here.

Written by Simon Wenner

February 2, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Posted in ETH, graphics, simulation

Totem Arte Plugin 0.9.1

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The Totem plugin project is still alive. After Arte changed their video streaming platform we had to switch from WMV to RTMP streams. RTMP support is finally available in the latest (version 0.10.20) gstreamer-plugins-bad release. Nicolas Delvaux added many additional features like GNOME proxy support and asynchronous thumbnail downloading.

You can clone the repository or download the latest tarball. Debian and Ubuntu packages are available too.

Enjoy watching Arte!

Written by Simon Wenner

September 20, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Posted in gnome, noise

I am attending GUADEC

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See you all in The Hague!

Written by Simon Wenner

July 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Posted in gnome, noise

Totem Arte Plugin Update

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About a week ago changed their video service, which broke the Arte Totem plugin. no longer provides WMV streams, only a Flash player and the video feeds are crippled. Exciting improvements. *grr*

But we found a workaround to access the old WMV streaming server. We’re back in business! Just update to the plugin version 0.8.4, from source, from Nicolas’ ppa or from Debian.

I don’t know how long this streaming server will be running. In the long run we will probably need a RTMP gstreamer plugin to play the Flash video content in Totem. HTML5 to the rescue!

Written by Simon Wenner

May 26, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Posted in gnome, noise

Totem Arte+7 Plugin

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I’m proud to announce the first stable release of the Arte+7 Plugin for Totem. It allows you to watch the streams listed on with Totem in a convenient way. Sadly, this service is only available for users from France, Germany, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland.


Thanks to everyone who tested it, sent me feedback and patches. Notable changes since my last post:

  • Preferences are hidden in the preference dialogue and stored in gconf
  • Streams can be searched
  • Stream thumbnail images are cached to improve the start-up time
  • I18n support (Nicolas Delvaux)
  • German and French localization (Nicolas Delvaux)

You can download the stable totem-plugin-arte-0.8.tar.gz or pull it from Nicolas created an Ubuntu package in his PPA for those of you who are too lazy to compile it. It would be nice if someone from a country not supported by the Arte streaming service, could test the plugin too, to check if it behaves reasonable in such a situation.

Written by Simon Wenner

February 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Posted in gnome

Raytracer Contest 2009 @ ETH

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Here is the reason why It was very quiet on my blog in the last months: In the ‘Computer Graphics’ lecture at ETH Zürich, Fabian and I had to implemented a raytracer from scratch. In the last week we rendered a video, which was the winning submission in the final rendering contest. You can download the video here or watch it on Youtube.


Written by Simon Wenner

December 30, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Posted in blender, ETH, graphics

Totem Arte+7 Plugin

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During the Christmas holiday I wrote a Totem plugin to watch video streams from the Arte+7 website. Sadly this service is only available for IPs from Germany, France, Belgium and Switzerland. Guillaume Desmottes released a similar plugin for Moovida some days ago, which I was not aware of when I started my project. Arte is the only TV channel that I watch regularly. I like their documentaries, the European news flash and the music magazine ‘Tracks’ (available in German or French).

You can pull it from here: It’s probably the first useful Totem plugin implemented in Vala. Your feedback is very welcome.

Totem Arte Plugin

Written by Simon Wenner

December 30, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Posted in gnome

Arte+7 in CH

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Endlich ist Arte+7 auch direkt aus der Schweiz nutzbar. Nun muss nur noch die 7 Tage Restriktion wegfallen und TV ist so wie es sein sollte…

Written by Simon Wenner

October 4, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Posted in german, noise

GSoC 09: final report

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All main goals of my project are implemented and work. Libchamplain can now draw maps from OpenStreetMap XML data with customized drawing rules. Watch this short screencast to see that editing drawing rules actually works ;-).


Known Issues:

  • There is one known minor bug. Libmemphis can render tiles at any size, but only 256×256 can be used in libchamplain, because switching between map sources with different tile size causes memory corruption. Bigger tiles could lead to better drawing performance.
  • libmemphis is copied into the champlain source tree.
  • Some renderer (libmemphis) features are missing (e.g. point of interest data).

The Future:

I have not planned to disappear after the GSoC. I want to make sure that my code can be merged. First, I will push libmemphis to a release, so it can be removed from the champlain tree. Second, I will add some of the missing libmemphis parser/renderer features.

Written by Simon Wenner

August 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Posted in gnome