How To Program

Computer Stuff

Here you will find some software projects of my own. Below are some links that are mostly related to open source software for artists and musicians.

My Software Projects

Tool Sharing

Tool Sharing

Tool sharing is a concept, hopefully soon to be more than just a concept, for sharing tool interfaces between graphics applications. Read more here, and you can see my 2013 presentation about it at the Libre Graphics Meeting here.

Laidout Logo Laidout Screenshot


This is a desktop publishing program for Linux I've been very slowly making since about 2005, which I use to lay out my cartoon books. It can lay out pictures and lines in folded booklets, and even on top of arbitrary polyhedra (see also my Polyptych component). It's supposed to be great for zines and books and such. At least that's what I use to make all my books! Visit Laidout's webpage.

Laxkit Stew   

The Laxkit

This is my graphical user interface toolkit that I've been making over the last few years. I originally had no intention of being so obsessed with it, but I keep thinking it will be worth it in the end. Most of my other software is built on top of it. Hopefully I will be able to squeeze a few years of use out of all my computer projects, before global warming and resource scarcity destroys society. The Laxkit is also another project on
Calehedron Screenshot


Calendar program I made in 2005 to create fancy polyhedron calendars, ideally it would allow scribbling and dropping pictures onto faces with wrap around. It really should have some sort of 3-d preview feature too. I am building these features into Laidout, and will not be working on this program any more. As it stands, there's just make the net, and map the months, saving as SVG. The code is aging a bit, but I think it still compiles.
A Bezier Curve
Here is a write-up I wrote for the Laxkit documentation about bezier lines and cubic tensor product patches.
Go to GimpGo to Stuff
Here are some slowly developing side projects to do some neat things with the Gimp.

Various other software links:

General Linux stuff - Linux for Artists - 3-d Modeling
Math - Text Games - Other Links

Links for Artists

Last updated November 2016
Links to more artsy Linux stuff
Alexadre Prokoudine's provocative Libre Graphics World
Libre Graphics Meeting
the fabulous yearly meeting for all things open source graphics software
I think this one is about linux for artists,
but it's all in French, which I can't read
Fedora's design focused distribution

Desktop Publishing
Laidout (my own software!)
TeX (linux package, includes Metafont and Metapost)

Mypaint (painting and sketching)
Krita (image editing/painting)
Inkscape, svg editor
The Gnu Image Manipulation Program (Gimp)
FontForge (font design)
Synfig (animation)
GraphicsMagick image utilities
Imagemagick image utilities
dia (fancy diagrams)
Generic Mapping Tools

Music and Sound
Lots of links for
this sort of thing
Lots of sheet music
Lilypond, music layout system
Denemo, a graphic front for Lilypond
Lmms, sound synthesizer
Rosegarden, great midi sequencer and more,
you'll probably want Fluidsynth and Jack
Hydrogen drum machine, uses jack
Fluidsynth, kind of a sound font backend
Jack, versatile sound management backend

Music Hardware Reviews
Harmony Central

Video Editing
Video editing under Linux is still something of a wild frontier land at the moment (November 2016). This means that often you will want to use the latest source for the projects below, which will minimize the frustration resulting from bizarre bugs that don't seem to have any workaround. Year by year, things improve, but there are still many bottlenecks!!

Synfig (2d animation)
Tupi (2d animation)
Blender, 3-d modeler including video sequencer with ffmpeg support
MPlayer and Mencoder
ffmpeg, command line video+audio stream convertor
Avidemux, your basic, simple editor
Kino, another basic, simple editor
Kdenlive, promising new editor, multi track video and audio
Natron, a compositor
Cinepaint, mainly for touching up frames
Recordmydesktop, for making video tutorials!
Linux Movies Group (hollywood linux use!)
Lots of linux video links


Project Gutenberg
putting old books online

Stellarium, very nice, planetarium-like
Celestia, space flight simulator
Xephem (star charting)

3-d Modeling Stuff

A very nice open source modeler and animation program. Includes a game engine so you could design 3-d games as well as animation and pictures. Blender has a relatively steep learning curve, but it's worth it.

Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer,
Excellent ray tracer. Works from text configuration files. There are programs that will convert formats, so for instance, you can design a scene in Blender, and run a script to convert it to a Povray file, and get high quality rendering.

A point and click interface for making povray files.

Visiual Python,
A quick and easy way to sketch out 3-d concepts with the python scripting language.

Here's a bunch of stuff for and about Linux:

Some flavors of Linux
Knoppix Live CD

Various Linux Links
The Free Software Foundation
The GNU project
Freegeek Computer Recyclers where you
can get a computer by volunteering
Openbox Window Manager

Lots of software and programming tips

Interactive Text Games

If you've ever played the old Infocom games like Zork 1, 2, or 3, or perhaps the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or The Leather Goddesses of Phobos, then you might be surprised to learn that people are still making interective text games. To learn more and get some games to play, you might try the following.
Kind of a compendium of all things interactive-text.
The site for the annual Interactive Fiction competition. I entered the 2003 competition, but nearly every reviewer thought my game was really pathetic. Unfortunately, I agree with some of the complaints to a certain extent, so I'm revising my game before I post it on my site.

Two newsgroups devoted to discussion of IF. The first is for those interested in programming games, and the second for those interested in playing and reviewing games.