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!