Two New Releases


Xpad 3.0 is released. The release itself is rather minor: I fixed an xpad-is-waking-up-40-times-each-second bug noticed by Sergej Schwarz. Thanks, Sergej!

The more interesting changes are operational. I’ve moved the project largely to Launchpad, following my successful move of Multiplication Puzzle. Code and tarballs are up. The mailing list isn’t yet, but it will come. Translations will be done there too, now that I’ve been kicked out of the Translation Project.

As part of the move away from Sourceforge, I decided to move the main xpad website to this domain. I simplified it a bit, to give it the same look and feel as the rest of the site. I don’t think much was lost. The previous site was sort of crufty.

I also relicensed the code to be GPL v3 and changed the versioning scheme to match Multiplication Puzzle’s: feature or major bug fixes get a major version bump, translation and packaging fixes get a minor version bump. The previous scheme didn’t make sense anymore.

Multiplication Puzzle

Multiplication Puzzle 7.0 is released. This finally brings my vision for 6.0 to fruition. I added the ability to guess letters by either pressing keys on the keyboard or dragging and dropping digits to letters. I worked around the nasty gdk bug by just forcing a larger drag icon and making most of it transparent. So the user never knows they’re dragging around a 64×64 icon. Yay!

I also added a Hint menu item that will tell you one digit and added a game timer, for extra urgency.

Xpad, Multiplication Puzzle No Longer Using Translation Project

Sadly, xpad and Multiplication Puzzle are no longer participating in the Translation Project. The TP is a great service that matches up FOSS maintainers with translation teams.

Skipping the nerd drama, suffice it to say that there were creative differences. It is current TP policy to kick out any projects that accept user translations for languages for which TP has not provided any. Given the choice of deleting a translation or leaving the TP, I chose to leave.

Which sucks, because they did provide good translations. I will try launchpad‘s translation infrastructure for gmult, and see how that goes. If it goes well, I might move xpad over to launchpad.

So translators, please visit the gmult translation page and translate away!

Multiplication Puzzle 6.3

I realize I’ve been spamming my blog with Multiplication Puzzle announcements, so I’ve decided to only post major releases on this blog from now on. All releases, major and minor, will now be announced on the brand-spanking new launchpad project page (after this point release).

That’s right! Multiplication Puzzle has by and large moved to launchpad for hosting rather than It’s a little less me-centric and they provide some nice services, like a bug tracker and bzr hosting.

Well, this release is 6.3, and it is another translation update: updated fr, new da, io, and ru.

Multiplication Puzzle 6.0

Multiplication Puzzle 6.0 is out. This is a more substantial release than most:

  • I rewrote the whole thing in Vala
  • I relicensed the now-vala code as GPL v3+
  • I changed the guess interface

The rewrite into Vala was largely because I wanted to play with the new language. Plus, it is much nicer to work with than C++. Vala was really fun, and I’ll be looking for opportunities to use it again. I don’t think I’ll go so crazy as to try to port xpad or anything, but it has a lot to recommend it for new projects.

This version requires the just-released Vala 0.3.5 if you want to hack on it. If you just want to build the published tarball (I’m looking at you, distribution integraters), you don’t need Vala at all. If you want to patch the source, you can either patch the Vala source (in which case you do need Vala) or patch the generated C code (not really maintainable, but doesn’t bring in a Vala dependency).

I made the GPL v3+ change because it was a good time for it, what with the rewrite. I dig on the GPL v3 slightly more than v2, but it hasn’t been a priority to switch for me.

The new interface is interesting. Now, instead of clicking on letters and having some hokey dialog pop up, you click on a letter and then click on the digit for it. You can also first click on a digit, then a letter. I really wanted to enable dragging digits to letters, but bug 544475 got in my way. Any GTK-internals hackers in the audience? The code is in there, just disabled for now, because it was really odd to drag a digit box only to have it disappear.

There were also some translation updates. Indonesian is new, and I received updated Vietnamese and Chinese (simplified) translations.

I am new to packaging Vala (as are we all), so I may have made some mistakes, and there might be bugs in the big rewrite. Please report bugs to me!

Vote for the New Gnome Game

The list of possible new games for GNOME has been finalized.

And yup, my game Multiplication Puzzle is on there! I’d be pretty pumped if it was chosen.

Reasons Why GNOME Should Marry Multiplication Puzzle

  • There aren’t any other math games in Gnome Games.
  • Games are short, fitting in with the stated Gnome Games goal of “simple but addictive — five minute games for when you need a break.”
  • It’s already pretty GNOME-ish. It’s simple, uses basic GTK+ widgets, and fits the HIG.
  • I’m already a somewhat involved GNOME hacker, having contributed my first patch in 2003 and since obtained CVS write access. I’m here for the long maintenance haul.

But everybody go vote, even if not for Multiplication Puzzle. It’s important to have a good sampling of GNOME users.


A while ago, Fran├žois Dispot contacted me about gmult. He suggested that I add the functionality of making each number spell a word instead of being just a random collection of letters.

I never ran with it because I didn’t want to deal with the internationalization issues and I worried about whether some permutations would no longer be reachable. But that was largely just me being lazy.

Well, he went ahead and made his own puzzle game Crypta that does it, and it’s pretty nice. I especially like the online version, which lets you play the game from anywhere with no install, which is nice.