Thursday, January 19, 2006

Current EarthBrowser status

EarthBrowser version 2.9 is coming out soon. I am abandoning CodeWarrior as a development environment. It was a lifesaver in the 90s, but with XCode and Visual Studio, I understand why Motorola has them focusing on embedded developers.

I got a new iMac Intel (is that what they are calling them?) and have been preparing the Universal Binary release. Version 2.9 will have some major speed boosts due to better hardware optimizations. It will also feature a completely new database engine which is faster, portable and open source. Apple has expressed interest in distributing EarthBrowser as part of their school software bundle program, but we haven't signed any contracts yet.

It's like running through water to be developing the OpenGL based version 3 and have to keep going back and updating the old code base. At some point I hope I can focus on the new version exclusively. Speaking of the new version, I had YAMS (yet another major setback) on that front. I had been trying to develop my own clipmap and geometry clipmap classes for the past few months. After googling for some more recent info on the geometry clipmap, I came upon Microsoft's patent application for the method. Very disappointing, but I'm certain they will get granted many of their claims. I can't take the risk of implementing patented code, so guess I'll be moving to geomipmaps, they are simpler anyway. All those guys over at gamedev.net who are putting it into their games should be made aware of it, but I am not a member there, just a lurker.

I've been working on version 3 off and on for the past year and a half and the foundation is very stable, scriptable and extensible. Once my second son is safely getting accustomed to this world after a few weeks, I hope to dig in and really bring the version 2 and 3 functionality closer together.

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