Category Archives: Tech Notes

Luminance HDR

Not many of you know that I’m a developer of Luminance HDR since this summer. Luminance HDR is a cross-platform software for HDR imaging, with a large number of users and an active flickr group.
Why am I working on it? There are several reasons:

  • I’m an user of Luminance HDR (and the previous version, also known as Qtpfsgui), but I really didn’t like its limitations (slowness, memory leaks, unstable UI, …).
  • I’ve got a little passion for the High Performance Computing (and the vectorization in particular). So I decided to use these knowledge into the project in order to improve the code.
  • I’ve got a Mac and there was no release for Luminance HDR running on OS X until few weeks ago (when I made it!).
  • Using a Mac, I work mainly with XCode. But I also had chance to put my hands on Shark (a performance profiler), Instruments (a memory/function call profiler) and MallocDebug (a memory allocator profiler). These tools are absolutely useful in many fields (and in my PhD as well), so I’m really interested in learning and using them effectively.

Give a try to Luminance HDR and let me know what you think of it. If you like it, you can also consider to make me a donation! :)

Google Chrome

Imagine a new browser. Multi process, that use WebKit to render pages and perform a new JavaScript Virtual Machine. Imagine all this and put everything into a Firefox Environment. That test it. And test it again. And… again more!
This is Google Chrome, the missing browser. The first browser using WebKit on Windows (who says crappy Safari?). And probably, one of the quickest browser avaialable.
I noticed that it still have some problem with Facebook (probably AJAX is not fully supported yet) but I’m sure that Google Team will fix this boring bug quickly.
Anyway, try it! :)

Obviously, It crashes like every software of this world. But… with style! ;)

Android

Ok, I felt in love for Android.
Let me speak about it, because I think it is a really really interesting project. ;)
Android is a completely new platform for mobile phones. It has been designed by Google, within the gPhone project and is deeply based on a Linux kernel. Google works on this platform in a community-open environment, in order to improve quickly the overall quality of the product. In fact Google decided to create deadlines to submit modules, which were written by external developers. In this way it is possible to increase drammatically the number of available applications and, at the same time, their quality.
Why is Adroid so interesting? They are mainly two reason for considering this platform so interesting. First, it is completely written in C++ upon a Linux Kernel. So performances, safety, scalability. Which are incredible characteristic for a mobile device, expecially comparing with crappy Symbian phones, instables Windows CE ones or boring iPhones. The second reason instead is connected with the Software Developed Kit (SDK), now freely available from Google Android Web Site. This SDK contains libraries, sample codes, one device emulator. But it is also available (separately) an Eclipse IDE Plugin, in order to speed up the developing process (which is, unfortunately, based on Java).
There is only one problem: currently it is not available any device which support this platform. This means that it is not possible to make tests “on the road”. Currently the most important company interested in this platform is HTC (well known for its Windows CE based smart phones), which is working on a phone called Dream, expected for the end of this year (or the early months of the next one).
Obviously this platform is rival of iPhone and its Mac OS X version. But I’m absolutely sure that the open environment of Android will shut up the paranoic-controlled iPhone developing process. :)

Masquotte of this project is the fun android that you can side on the side of my pages. :)