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what I feel when I see someone using JPG when he should be using a PNG

Seriously, is that hard?

To discovery which file type you have to use for your image just follow these simple instructions in following priority order:

  1. Have text? Use PNG.
  2. Is a piece of art like a draw, a painting or a webcomic? Use PNG.
  3. It is… moving! Use GIF.
  4. Is a photo? Use JPG.
  5. Is not exactly a photo but contains photos (like people. trees and landscapes)? Use JPG.
  6. Is not a photo, does not contain a photo but I remain concerned about the size of my file despite the breakthrough in telecommunication speeds. Try PNG with indexed palette and Floyd–Steinberg color dithering.
  7. Nah, man. Use JPG but with all lower compression or higher quality options you may find.
  8. It’s nothing listed above! Sir, your problem is far away from the scope of these instructions.

Thank you.

Twitter Bot @rudaufc versão 1

robô

Este aqui é um bot bem simples para Twitter.

Diariamente, as nove da manhã ele posta qual vai ser o cardápio do RU (Restaurante Universitário) da UFC naquele dia.

Assim, quando vai batendo a hora da fome, os alunos podem entrar no perfil @rudaufc e olhar qual vai ser o prato do dia, ou quem está seguindo ele no Twitter pode ter a agradável surpresa de ver todo dia o que vai ser servido hoje.

Aqui está o código fonte do arquivo rudaufc.sh:

#!/bin/sh
# Twitter bot @rudaufc
login="rudaufc"
senha="suasenhaaqui"
 
segunda="Picadinho com legumes ou bife na chapa. Salada de macarrão com cenoura. Arroz. Feijão com abóbora e batata doce."
terca="Franco guisado ou coxas de frango ao forno . Salada de acelga, cenoura e passas. Arroz. Feijão com abóbora e batata doce."
quarta="# Feijoada à moda RU ou bisteca . Salada de repolho branco, cenoura e abacaxi. Arroz. Feijão com abóbora e batata doce"
quinta="Frango à passarinho ou frango chinês. Salada de Alface, Tomate e Cebola. Arroz. Feijão com abóbora e batata doce."
sexta="# Isca ao molho ou maravilha de carne. Salada de acelga com cenoura. Arroz. Feijão com abóbora e batata doce."
 
dia=`(date +%w)`
log=`(date +%Y-%m-%d-%s)`"-$$.log"
dir="/home/silveiraneto/rudaufc"
msg=""
case "$dia" in
#	"0") msg=$domingo ;;
	"1") msg=$segunda ;;
	"2") msg=$terca ;;
	"3") msg=$quarta ;;
	"4") msg=$quinta ;;
	"5") msg=$sexta ;;
#	"6") msg=$sabado ;;
esac
 
curl -u $login:$senha -d status="$msg" http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml > $dir/$log

A mágica toda está na capacidade do Curl de acessar facilmente a API do Twitter para enviar mensagens.

Para que o script execute diariamente as nove da manhã ele está alocado em um servidor com a crontab configurada da seguinte maneira:

0 5 * * *  . /caminho_para_onde_ele_esta/rudaufc.sh

ps: leve em conta que o servidor está em um fuso horário diferente do Brasil.

Nessa versão o prato de cada dia está hardcoded no script, o que não é o ideal e faz com que semanalmente eu tenha que atualizar o script inserindo os pratos da semana manualmente. Eu espero que a próxima versão seja capaz de descobrir esses pratos e se atualizar sem nenhuma interferência.

BumbaBot-1

I got a simple motor from a broken domestic printer. It’s a Mitsumi m355P-9T stepping motor. Any other common stepping motor should fits. You can find one in printers, multifunction machines, copy machines, FAX, and such.

bumbabot v01

With a flexible cap of water bottle with a hole we make a connection between the motor axis and other objects.

bumbabot v01

bumbabot v01

With super glue I attached to the cap a little handcraft clay ox statue.

bumbabot v01

It’s a representation from a Brazilian folkloric character Boi Bumbá. In some traditional parties in Brazil, someone dress a structure-costume and dances in circular patterns interacting with the public.

776513346_c31db6843b_m

2246467684_49164d3397_m
Photos by Marcus Guimarães.

Controlling a stepper motor is not difficult.  There’s a good documentation on how to that on the Arduino Stepper Motor Tutorial. Basically it’s about sending a logical signal for each coil in a circular order (that is also called full step).

full step

Animation from rogercom.com.

stepper motor diagram

You’ll probably also use a driver chip ULN2003A or similar to give to the motor more current than your Arduino can provide and also for protecting it from a power comming back from the motor. It’s a very easy find this tiny chip on electronics or automotive  stores or also from broken printers where you probably found your stepped motor.

Arduino Stepper Motor UNL2003A

With a simple program you can already controlling your motor.

// Simple stepped motor spin
// by Silveira Neto, 2009, under GPLv3 license
// http://silveiraneto.net/2009/03/16/bumbabot-1/
int coil1 = 8;
int coil2 = 9;
int coil3 = 10;
int coil4 = 11;
int step = 0;
int interval = 100;
 
void setup() {
  pinMode(coil1, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(coil2, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(coil3, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(coil4, OUTPUT);
}
 
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(coil1, step==0?HIGH:LOW);
  digitalWrite(coil2, step==1?HIGH:LOW);
  digitalWrite(coil3, step==2?HIGH:LOW);
  digitalWrite(coil4, step==3?HIGH:LOW);
  delay(interval);
  step = (step+1)%4;
}


Writing a little bit more generally code we can create function to step forward and step backward.

My motor needs 48 steps to run a complete turn. So 360º/48 steps give us 7,5º per step. Arduino has a simple Stepper Motor Library but it doesn’t worked with me and it’s also oriented to steps and I’d need something oriented to angles instead. So I wrote some routines to do that.

For this first version of BumbaBot I mapped angles with letters to easy the communication between the programs.

motor angle step control

Notice that it’s not the final version and there’s still some bugs!

// Stepped motor control by letters
// by Silveira Neto, 2009, under GPLv3 license
// http://silveiraneto.net/2009/03/16/bumbabot-1/
 
int coil1 = 8;
int coil2 = 9;
int coil3 = 10;
int coil4 = 11;
 
int delayTime = 50;
int steps = 48;
int step_counter = 0;
 
void setup(){
  pinMode(coil1, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(coil2, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(coil3, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(coil4, OUTPUT);
  Serial.begin(9600);
}
 
// tells motor to move a certain angle
void moveAngle(float angle){
  int i;
  int howmanysteps = angle/stepAngle();
  if(howmanysteps<0){
    howmanysteps = - howmanysteps;
  }
  if(angle>0){
    for(i = 0;i<howmanysteps; i++){
      step(i%4);
      delay(delayTime);
    }
  }else{
    for(i=0;i<howmanysteps;i++){
      backstep(i%4);
      delay(delayTime);
    }
  }
}
 
// tells motor to move to a certain angle
void moveToAngle(float angle){
  moveAngle(angle-actualAngle());
}
 
// actual stepper motor angle
float actualAngle(){
  return step_counter*stepAngle();
}
 
// angle made by each step
float stepAngle(){
  return 360.0/steps;
}
 
// backward step
void backstep(int coil){
  digitalWrite(coil1, (coil==3)?HIGH:LOW);
  digitalWrite(coil2, (coil==2)?HIGH:LOW);
  digitalWrite(coil3, (coil==1)?HIGH:LOW);
  digitalWrite(coil4, (coil==0)?HIGH:LOW);
  step_counter--;
}
 
// forward step
void step(int coil){
  digitalWrite(coil1, (coil==0)?HIGH:LOW);
  digitalWrite(coil2, (coil==1)?HIGH:LOW);
  digitalWrite(coil3, (coil==2)?HIGH:LOW);
  digitalWrite(coil4, (coil==3)?HIGH:LOW);
  step_counter++;
}
 
void loop() {
  byte val;
  if(Serial.available()){
    val = Serial.read();
    switch (val) {
      case 'A': moveToAngle(  0); break;
      case 'B': moveToAngle( 45); break;
      case 'C': moveToAngle( 90); break;
      case 'D': moveToAngle(135); break;
      case 'E': moveToAngle(180); break;
      case 'F': moveToAngle(225); break;
      case 'G': moveToAngle(270); break;
      case 'H': moveToAngle(315); break;
      case 'I': backstep(1); backstep(0); break;
      case 'J': step(0); step(1);   break;
    }
    Serial.print(val);
  }
}

In another post I wrote how create a Java program to talk with Arduino. We’ll use this to send messages to Arduino to it moves. 

captura_de_tela-bumba01-netbeans-ide-65

[put final video here]

To be continued… :)

JavaFX, how to create a rpg like game

JavaFX 1.0 is out and there are tons of new cool features, specially for game development.trans

I’ll show in this tutorial how to create a very simple demo that shows how to load imtrages, handle sprites, collisions and keyboard events that you can use to create a game with a old school rpg like vision.

For the background scenario I’m using the house that I drew and we’ll call as house.png.

That we load as a Image and place into a ImageView.

ImageView{
   image: Image {url: "{__DIR__}house.png"}
}

For the character I’m using the last character I drew, the nerdy guy.

To make the animation easier, I spited it into 9 pieces:

down0.png, down1.png and down2.png

left0.png, left1.png and left2.png

right0.png, right1.png and righ2.png

up0.png, up1.png and up2.png

All images I’m using should be in the same directory of source code.

Let’s start loading the scenario and a single character sprite.

import javafx.stage.Stage;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.image.*;
 
Stage {
   title: "RPG-like demo", width: 424, height: 412
   visible: true
   scene: Scene{
      content: [
         ImageView{
         image: Image {url: "{__DIR__}house.png"} },
         ImageView{
            x: 320 y: 80
            image: Image {url: "{__DIR__}down1.png"}
         }
      ]
   }
}

Saved as Game.fx you can compile and run with in your terminal:

$ javafxc Game.fx

$ javafx Game

Hint: You can use NetBeans 6.5 JavaFX plugin to easier the JavaFX development.

To put animation on the character we load all sprites into four lists. Each list for each direction.

// sprites
def up    = for(i in [0..2]) { Image {url: "{__DIR__}up{i}.png"    } }
def right = for(i in [0..2]) { Image {url: "{__DIR__}right{i}.png" } }
def down  = for(i in [0..2]) { Image {url: "{__DIR__}down{i}.png"  } }
def left  = for(i in [0..2]) { Image {url: "{__DIR__}left{i}.png"  } }

And create vars to store the character position and frame of animation.

var frame = 0;
var posx = 320;
var posy = 80;

Also store the house background.

// house background
def house = ImageView{ image: Image {url: "{__DIR__}house.png"} };

I create booleans to store some key states and at each interval of time I see how they are and do something about. You can handle keyboard event with less code but I like this way because keep visual and game logics a little bit more separated.

// keyboard
var    upkey = false;
var rightkey = false;
var  downkey = false;
var  leftkey = false;
 
// player
var player = ImageView{
   x: bind posx y: bind posy
   image: Image {url: "{__DIR__}down1.png"}
   onKeyPressed: function(e:KeyEvent){
      if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_DOWN) {
      downkey = true;
      } else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_UP) {
         upkey = true;
      }else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_LEFT) {
         leftkey = true;
      }else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_RIGHT) {
         rightkey = true;
      }
   } // onKeyPressed
 
   onKeyReleased: function(e: KeyEvent){
      if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_DOWN) {
         downkey = false;
      } else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_UP) {
         upkey = false;
      }else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_LEFT) {
         leftkey = false;
      }else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_RIGHT) {
         rightkey = false;
      }
   } // onKeyReleased
}

See a video of the game working so far:

Now we will add collisions. In a previous post I showed some math behind bounding box game collisions. The good news are that you no longer need to worry about that. There are a lot of API improvements in JavaFX 1.0 that do all the hard work for you, specially the new classes on javafx.geometry package, Rectangle2D and Point2D.

We create rectangles that represent the obstacles in the house.

// collidable obstacles
def obstacles = [
	Rectangle { x:   0 y:   0 width:  32 height: 382 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x:   0 y:   0 width: 414 height:  64 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 384 y:   0 width:  32 height: 382 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x:   0 y: 192 width: 128 height:  64 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 192 y: 192 width:  64 height:  64 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 224 y:   0 width:  32 height: 288 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 288 y: 128 width:  96 height:  64 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x:   0 y: 352 width: 128 height:  32 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 192 y: 352 width: 192 height:  32 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 224 y: 320 width:  32 height:  32 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x:  32 y:  64 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  64 y:  64 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  96 y:  64 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 128 y:  64 width: 64 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 192 y:  32 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  64 y: 128 width: 64 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  32 y: 250 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  64 y: 250 width: 64 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 200 y: 255 width: 20 height: 20 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 200 y: 170 width: 20 height: 20 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 257 y:  32 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 288 y:  32 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 320 y: 192 width: 64 height: 64 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 352 y: 295 width: 32 height: 60 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  32 y: 327 width: 64 height: 23 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
];

We just have to change a little bit the game logics in order to handle collisions.

We define a bounding box around the player, it’s a rectangle from (4, 25) at the player coordinates system and with width 19 and height 10. The idea is to prospect where the player will be in the next step, see if it’s bouding box don’t collide with any obstacle and so pass it to the real game position.

// game logics
var gamelogics = Timeline {
   repeatCount: Timeline.INDEFINITE
   keyFrames: KeyFrame {
      time : 1s/8
      action: function() {
         var nextposx = posx;
         var nextposy = posy;
         if(downkey) {
            nextposy += 5;
            player.image = down[++frame mod 3];
         }
         if(upkey) {
            nextposy -= 5;
            player.image = up[++frame mod 3];
         }
         if(rightkey) {
            nextposx += 5;
            player.image = right[++frame mod 3];
         }
         if(leftkey) {
            nextposx -= 5;
            player.image = left[++frame mod 3];
         }
         for(obst in obstacles) {
            if(obst.boundsInLocal.intersects(nextposx + 4, nextposy + 25, 19, 10)) {
               return;
            }
         }
         posx = nextposx;
         posy = nextposy;
      }
   }
}

This is enough to do the trick but I also added a way to smoothly show the obstacles when pressing the space key.

Here is the complete source code.

package Game; 
 
import javafx.stage.Stage;
import javafx.scene.*;
import javafx.scene.image.*;
import javafx.scene.input.*;
import javafx.scene.paint.*;
import javafx.scene.shape.*;
import javafx.animation.*;
 
var frame = 0;
var posx = 320;
var posy = 80;
 
// sprites
def up    = for(i in [0..2]) { Image {url: "{__DIR__}up{i}.png"    } }
def right = for(i in [0..2]) { Image {url: "{__DIR__}right{i}.png" } }
def down  = for(i in [0..2]) { Image {url: "{__DIR__}down{i}.png"  } }
def left  = for(i in [0..2]) { Image {url: "{__DIR__}left{i}.png"  } }
 
// house background
def house = ImageView{ image: Image {url: "{__DIR__}house.png"} };
 
// keyboard
var    upkey = false;
var rightkey = false;
var  downkey = false;
var  leftkey = false;
 
// player
var player = ImageView{
   x: bind posx y: bind posy image: down[1]
   onKeyPressed: function(e:KeyEvent){
      if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_DOWN) {
         downkey = true;
      } else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_UP) {
         upkey = true;
      }else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_LEFT) {
         leftkey = true;
      }else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_RIGHT) {
         rightkey = true;
      }
 
		if(e.code == KeyCode.VK_SPACE){
         if(fade==0.0){
         	fadein.playFromStart();
			}
			if(fade==1.0){
				fadeout.playFromStart();
			}
		}
   } // onKeyPressed
 
   onKeyReleased: function(e: KeyEvent){
      if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_DOWN) {
         downkey = false;
      } else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_UP) {
         upkey = false;
      }else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_LEFT) {
         leftkey = false;
      }else if (e.code == KeyCode.VK_RIGHT) {
         rightkey = false;
      }
   } // onKeyReleased
}
 
// collidable obstacles
def obstacles = [
	Rectangle { x:   0 y:   0 width:  32 height: 382 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x:   0 y:   0 width: 414 height:  64 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 384 y:   0 width:  32 height: 382 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x:   0 y: 192 width: 128 height:  64 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 192 y: 192 width:  64 height:  64 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 224 y:   0 width:  32 height: 288 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 288 y: 128 width:  96 height:  64 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x:   0 y: 352 width: 128 height:  32 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 192 y: 352 width: 192 height:  32 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x: 224 y: 320 width:  32 height:  32 stroke: Color.RED },
	Rectangle { x:  32 y:  64 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  64 y:  64 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  96 y:  64 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 128 y:  64 width: 64 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 192 y:  32 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  64 y: 128 width: 64 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  32 y: 250 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  64 y: 250 width: 64 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 200 y: 255 width: 20 height: 20 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 200 y: 170 width: 20 height: 20 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 257 y:  32 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 288 y:  32 width: 32 height: 32 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 320 y: 192 width: 64 height: 64 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x: 352 y: 295 width: 32 height: 60 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
	Rectangle { x:  32 y: 327 width: 64 height: 23 stroke: Color.YELLOW },
];
 
// game logics
var gamelogics = Timeline {
   repeatCount: Timeline.INDEFINITE
   keyFrames: KeyFrame {
      time : 1s/8
      action: function() {
         var nextposx = posx;
         var nextposy = posy;
         if(downkey) {
            nextposy += 5;
            player.image = down[++frame mod 3];
         }
         if(upkey) {
            nextposy -= 5;
            player.image = up[++frame mod 3];
         }
         if(rightkey) {
            nextposx += 5;
            player.image = right[++frame mod 3];
         }
         if(leftkey) {
            nextposx -= 5;
            player.image = left[++frame mod 3];
         }
         for(obst in obstacles) {
            if(obst.boundsInLocal.intersects(nextposx + 4, nextposy + 25, 19, 10)) {
               return;
            }
         }
         posx = nextposx;
         posy = nextposy;
      }
   }
}
 
gamelogics.play();
 
// obstacles view
var fade = 0.0;
 
var obstacleslayer = Group {
   opacity: bind fade
   content: [
      Rectangle { x:0 y:0 width:500 height: 500 fill: Color.BLACK },
      obstacles,
      Rectangle {
        x: bind posx + 4 y: bind posy + 25 width: 19 height: 10
        fill: Color.LIME
      }
   ]
}
 
var fadein = Timeline {
	keyFrames: [
   	at (0s) {fade =&gt; 0.0}
   	at (1s) {fade =&gt; 1.0}
   ]
}
 
var fadeout = Timeline {
	keyFrames: [
   	at (0s) {fade =&gt; 1.0}
   	at (1s) {fade =&gt; 0.0}
   ]
}
 
// game stage
Stage {
	title: "RPG-like demo", width: 424, height: 412
	visible: true
	scene: Scene{
      fill: Color.BLACK
		content: [house, player, obstacleslayer]
	}
}

Play Through Java Web Start

or click here to play via applet, inside your browser.

update: The applet version and Java Web Start versions should be working now.  The applet version on Linux seems to be having problems with the keyboard handling, use the Java Web Start version while I’m trying to fix it.

Downloads:

JavaFX SDK 1.0 on Linux

JavaFX 1.0 is out and is absolutely amazing. You guys did really a great work on it.

As I really need a working SDK on Linux to continue to study and I don’t have any Windows/Mac near me, I’m using the Weiqi Gao’s workaround. I tried to simplify a little bit more the process for those who need JavaFX SDK working on Linux right now.

Download javafxsdk_linux_unofficial.tar.bz2 (~18Mb).

And then

tar -xjvf javafxsdk_linux_unofficial.tar.bz2
sudo cp javafx /opt/javafx
echo “PATH=\$PATH:/opt/javafx/bin” >> ~/.profile
echo “JAVAFX_HOME=/opt/javafx” >> ~/.profile
source ~/.profile

Now you can call javafx, javafxc, javafxdoc and javafxpackager from your terminal. Don’t forget that you need Java 1.6 or greater installed.

Here’s a video showing the SDK working, I’m compiling and running two sample applications. Remeber that as a temporary unofficial port for Linux, there’s not native video support nor hardware acceleration.