With AltDevConf around the corner, we are all busy with preparations to make sure it becomes a success. In the mean time, we still have a few more talks to announce properly, next up in the pipeline is John McCutchan‘s talk titled “Control, Configure, Monitor and View Your Game Engine From the Web”.

Today I had the opportunity to catch up with John and ask him a few questions about his talk and his background. Instead of writing a formal introduction, we thought it would be a good idea to simply transcribe his answers:

Ignacio Castaño: I’ve seen your name in the linux kernel and gnome mailing lists, can you explain what was your involvement in those projects?

John McCutchan: I got my start with Unix at a young age- when I was in elementary school I was given a book on Unix that came with 5 inch floppy disks. A couple years later my friend introduced me to Debian Linux and I started to get into C and Free Software. Many years later, after Gnome 2.0 came out, I started to use Gnome as my desktop environment. At the time if you had a CD-ROM the file manager would block it from being unmounted because it was using something called dnotify to monitor file systems for changes. I wanted to fix it so I wrote inotify which allow for more efficient file system monitoring without blocking unmounts. In order to get inotify in the kernel I ported a bunch of user space code to use it (FAM, gnome-vfs, etc).

IC: What brought you to the game industry?

JM: During graduate school I started to become interested in real time rigid body simulations and collision detection in particular. While working on my thesis I spent my spare time writing a 3D collision detection engine and rigid body physics engine. I never released my engine to the public, but along the way I met Erwin Coumans and he hired me to work on Bullet at SCEA.

IC: Are you still involved in any other open source project?

JM: No, I’ve drifted away from working on open source projects. Mostly due to limited spare time.

IC: You are becoming a regular author at AltDevBlogADay. What motivates you to be part of this community?

JM: I really enjoyed many of the articles on the site and after reading an article about something I had just done, I decided that I should share some of my ideas and quit working in a vacuum. I always enjoyed working on open source projects because of all the interesting people and ideas constantly being shared. AltDevBlog has captured some of that.

IC: In a few words, can you tell our readers what your talk is about?

JM: Creating an interface to your game engine that allows web applications to control, configure, monitor, and view your game over the network.

IC: John, it was great talking to you, thanks for you time and for contributing to AltDevConf!

To learn more about John’s work, check out his recent AltDevBlogADay articles or come to his talk this Saturday at 2:00 PM (PST). Check out our schedule or register online now!