Kristian Lyngstol's Blog

A free software-hacker's blog

Status update

I’ve been fairly quiet lately. Not too much code being released either.

The main reason has been summer, I’d have to say. What I’ve been doing is mostly experimenting with DBus, Python and AT-SPI. And general playing around with zoom.

Over the course of the next few days I’ll be:

  1. Bringing “Sync Mouse” in line.
  2. Creating a small plug-in for displaying information messages on-screen. This has to be a plug-in so we can see the text regardless of zoom.
  3. Create functionality for locking the zoom area and storing/restoring zoom areas.

Most of that will probably be finished within 3-5 days. I need the extra plug-in to have a consistent way of displaying information about when a zoom area is stored, locked etc, but it should be used by other plug-ins too (Opacify for instance could use it to inform the user on when he/she toggles Opacify on/off). It’ll simply use the logging interface of Compiz.

I’ll also upload a little bit of code that gives ezoom the ability to move based on region of interest messages over DBus, similar to how gnome-mag gets what it needs from Orca. I’m sure you can see a pattern here…

On a different note, I’ve “had to” buy/build a new computer. It’s pretty crazy to see the BIOS report a CPU temperature of 19C when all I was going for was quiet… I literally can’t believe that temperature, considering that can’t be more than a couple of degrees Celsius above room temperature at the time… Nice having more than one core for a change though.

8 responses to “Status update

  1. luke July 11, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    Kristian, thank you for all of your amazing work. The enhanced zoom is fantastic.

    Is there a way to increase the maximum level of zoom? A visually impaired friend of mine needs to be able to zoom in so much that about only one character can fit on the screen at the time. I believe he currently uses ZoomText at 16x zoom.

    Also on a side note, are there any plans for different types of filters for zoomed text? Like perhaps 2xSaI ?


  2. kristian July 11, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Right now there is a limitation on eZoom because it’ll be a victim of clipping if we zoom further. There are a few ways to improve this, however, and I’ll make it a priority now that I know it is an issue for visually impaired.

    This is a fairly major change, however, so it will take time. With luck, I can adjust the clipping instead of changing the zoom method from actual zooming (by moving along the z-axis) to stretching, which has a few drawbacks in the bigger picture.

  3. luke July 12, 2007 at 6:00 am

    Wonderful. Thank you so much. The current ezoom plug-in functions exactly the way my friend needs it to, and with just a bit more zoom, he’ll finally be able to ditch ZoomText and thus Windows all together. I’ll be sure to get him to thank you formally when he finally makes the switch.

    I have to admit that I feel bad for imposing, since you’ve already done so much voluntarily. I hope in the end it’s not too much trouble..

    If there’s any way I can help, I’d be glad to.


  4. kristian July 12, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Ok, I just changed ezoom so it no longer translates along the z axis but instead scales. This means you can zoom in to the extreme.

    There are some minor issues that are apparant when you do, however, the mouse scaling being one of them. You hardly want the mouse cursor to take the entire screen, I assume. Maybe a threshold for how large the scaled cursor should be.

    I’ll be improving this along the way, as there are some other parts of ezoom that can be simplified a bit now, and there isn’t any need to limit the zoom to 0.001 which is currently done (it used to be limited to 0.1).

  5. luke July 13, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Wow. That was fast! I almost can’t believe you did it just like that. Really, that’s quite amazing. :D

    People used to tell me that if you made a request to a developer of a piece of open source software, that they would either ignore your request, or tell you to do it yourself. Apparently, that’s not the case at all. At least not with you, my friend. You resolved my problem in like 24 hours. I’m stunned and I’m grateful.

    I look forward to your future work. And again, thanks, eh? This’ll really help out my friend, and I expect a number of other visually impaired people.

  6. luke July 14, 2007 at 7:08 am

    Kristian, I just thought I’d let you know that I pulled the updated zoom code down from opencompositing and it works fantastically. It’s perfect. I really can’t thank you enough. Now I just need to find a font that looks good ultra zoomed in.

    Woo! You’re my hero, man. :)

  7. Jason Grieves July 20, 2007 at 4:17 am

    Is this code in the newest Compiz/Fusion tree? If not, are u writing code that is being built against their libraries?

  8. kristian July 20, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    The code is not currently merged into any of the compiz-fusion-{main|extra|wip|unsupported} meta packages, because they simply didn’t exist when ezoom started and we don’t have clear guidelines for what goes in “wip” at the moment.

    Since the plugin is mostly finished, I’ll see about getting it into compiz-fusion-main, probably some time this week, skipping the “work in progress” meta package entirely (which in reality isn’t in use yet anyway).

    Like all the compiz fusion plugins, it is built against compiz git (“head”), no special libraries except that is required. Once Compiz Fusion has a release strategy, I can tell you more about what versions to use, right now, there’s only the head version.


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