Two new open-source force feedback tools from Europe

MICOLE Architecture SDK is an open-source library for multi-modal educational applications. One of the first releases is a <a href="haptic model of the solar system. Cool!

Also, H3DAPI 2.0 beta was released yesterday:

Built on the industry standards OpenGL and X3D, H3DAPI enables rapid haptics application development using X3D and Python alone. More major projects have been developed by extending H3DAPI capabilities with C++.

The improved H3DAPI 2.0 beta now uses SenseGraphics’ own haptics API (HAPI), which grants users more freedom and control in haptics rendering. Users could now choose from more haptics renderers, including SensAble’s OpenHaptics, Chai3D, and H3D point and sphere-based renderers. Its modular design meant that users of the open source H3DAPI could easily extend the platform, whether it is adding their own rendering algorithms, force effects, or haptic surfaces. The latest version of H3DAPI also comes with more device support, including the range of haptic devices by SensAble, ForceDimension, Novint and MOOG FCS.

Installed: TextMate

I’m finally on the TextMate bandwagon, and I have to say, I’m glad to be here. I’ve been developing an enormous LaTeX document with multiple sub-documents, a custom style sheet, and many other complexities. TeXShop, while an excellent starting point and learning tool, just wasn’t able to keep up. TextMate offers many conveniences, such as tabbed document browsing, save as project (and search within project), and easy integration with Subversion.

Watch screencasts showing some of TextMate’s LaTeX functionality here and here.

Online tools for project management and collaboration

I’m in the process of helping select a project management tool for a company I’m working with. There are a lot of options out there, so we’ve been setting up new accounts on each one and seeing how they work. This has had the effect of totally fragmenting our work, but once we decide, I think it’s going to help us a lot. Here are our requirements:

  • Easy to set up client and associate accounts with limited permissions;
  • Useful for executive types as well as designers and engineers;
  • Visualization of tasks and schedules, preferably a Gantt chart;
  • Bloggy, at-a-glance commenting ability.

Even with so many solutions available, none of them seem to be exactly what we want. So, in case there is anyone else in our boat, here’s a list of the ones we’re auditing, in no particular order:

I’ll write about my impressions of each one in a future post. Right now, I feel like we need a collaboration tool to use in order to help us settle on a collaboration tool.