More or less one year ago I have started with developing in VR and tried several plugins and tools in Unity to implement all the basic stuff like teleporting, grabbing, triggering and so on.
The first thing you will probably try or see in Unity is the official SteamVR plugin from Valve if you have a Vive like me. Basically this SDK has everything you will need to realize your project, but it's really a very hard start if you try several things with the SteamVR SDK directly. There is no much documentation or example scenes where you can have a look at. For me it was more frustrating than helpful, so searching the Unity Asset Store and also the internet you will maybe find the VRTK (Virtual Reality Toolkit) from Harvey Ball (aka TheStoneFox).
It's the best toolkit you can get if you are try to do something in Unity for VR. You get tons of documentations for nearly all use cases you can imagine. Furthermore he has created lots of examples where you find nearly all that stuff sorted and splitted in different scenes to show you how to use them. Every single script he has written is licensed under the MIT license and can be studied directly in the SDK or in his GitHub repository for the toolkit.
A very active community is discussing stuff at its own Slack channel. Even a Youtube channel exists where he posts tutorials or doing a live Q&A session to answer your questions.
But why do I tell you this? Because Harvey Ball has done an absolute astonishing job on this toolkit. You don't have to fiddle around with each single SDK for each vendor, you don't have to think about grabbing an object, teleporting around, using an object, realize a button, realizing an usable door or anything you can think of. You can such use the VRTK and use nearly all available VR headsets out there directly and start to code your idea or project right away.
And the best thing, he has decided right from the beginning that he give this away all for free! This is even more astonishing if you see all the effort which is behind such a toolkit. These are all reasons to give something back to Harvey. How? You can decide to become a patreon on his patreon page, start contributing directly in the toolkit if you are a coder, contact Harvey and ask how you can help. Right now he is really looking for some donations to go on with the development of VRTK. It would be a shame if VRTK is dying just because of the lack of support. So give and show him a little bit of love and help for this really useful and totally necessary toolkit for VR development in Unity!
Look at all the links I have posted here and decide on your own how important this project is.

Original Article

The reproducible build initiative has been started a long time ago by Debian and has been grown to include more projects. Arch is now also in the process of getting reproducible build support, thanks to the of hard work of Anthraxx, Sangy, and many more volunteers. In pacman git patches where landed to support reproducible builds which will be included in a hopefully soon next stable release! Meanwhile with help of the reproducible-builds.org rebuild infrastructure rebuilds have been started!

Currently 77% of the 17% tested packages are reproducible as can be found here. This page is fed by the work done by two Jenkins builders, which currently build the whole Arch repository. The builder builds the package twice in different environments and then uses diffoscope to find differences in packages. Usually the differences are due to timestamps :-). Now that we have some results of rebuilds, we can start fixing our packages. The work I did so far:

  • Fixing 404 sources of our packages, some of the source failures where due to ftp://kernel.org being used and not https://www.kernel.org. This has been fixed in SVN. Also old pypi links needed to be fixed

  • One package’s .install file contained a killall statement, I’m not sure why but it shouldn’t be required so it was eradicated

  • Integrity mismatch, so upstream did a ninja re-release, annoying but fixed

  • Imagemagick’s convert sets some metadata in the resized png’s which makes reproducible builds fail. Since it does not adhere to SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH.

  • Missing checkdepends on pytest-runner, which is automatically downloaded by the build tools but that failed in the reproducible build. Some simply adding the depdency to checkdepends fixed it.

As you can see, only one of the bullet points was really an reproducible build issue the others where packaging issues. So I can conclude that reproducible builds will increase the packaging quality in the Arch repository. Having the packages in our repository always build-able will also help the Arch Linux 32 project.

The Arch reproducible project still needs a lot of work, to make it possible to verify a package build as a user against the repository package.

P.S.: If you are at 34C3 this year and interested, visit the reproducible build assembly.

Reproducible Arch Linux?! was originally published by Jelle van der Waa at Jelly's Blog on November 26, 2017.

Original Article


Maybe you have heard about the great WRLD project, which provides a great way to display real world map data in your project. Furthermore they provide several different SDKs to access these datas.
For a small project I needed some map data to visualize them in a 3D scene inside Unity. Using the Unity SDK from WRLD you can easily access those data and they will be displayed in your scene. Sadly they render the map all over your scene and their is no restriction in size. At least I haven't found any, even if you use their script attached to a GameObject with a specific size, the map will be displayed all over the scene.
After some fails and searching the web I stumbled upon a video showing the usage of WRLD in a AR environment. There they do exactly what I needed. Luckily the video was made by WRLD and they also provided two very good blog posts where they explained how they have done it. With the help of these blog posts I have implemented it without all the AR stuff and came up with the proof of concept you can see in the animation.
The displayed cube is used as a stencil mask for the map and if you move the cube or the map, only the part of the map which is inside the cube will be rendered. Also new tiles of the map are loaded dynamically depending on the main camera in the scene. I have published the Unity project on GitHub to provide the solution ready to use for your project and also to archive it for myself. You will need a valid API key from WRLD, just register at their website and generate one for your needs. Then insert your API key at the WRLD Map GameObject:

The project includes the WRLD Unity SDK which you also find in the Asset Store of Unity. But be careful if you replace the included one with the official one from the store, because I have done some changes they have mentioned in their blog posts. So make sure to apply the code changes if you replace the integrated WRLD SDK.
Hope you will find it useful. If you find a bug or have useful hints then let me know, because I'm quite new in Unity and thankful for anything related to it.

Original Article

This is the second edition of Arch monthly, mostly due to the lack of time to work on Arch weekly. So let’s start with the roundup of last month.

New TU David Runge

David Runge applied to become a Trusted User and was accepted! He mentioned to have a huge interest in pro-audio, so hopefully there will be improvements made in that area!

Farewell 32 bit

After nine months of deprecation period, 32 bit is now unsupported on Arch Linux. For people with 32 bit hardware there is the Arch Linux 32 project which intends to keep 32 bit support going.

AUR Changes Affecting Your Privacy

The next aurweb release, which will be released on 2017-12-03, includes a public interface to obtain a list of user names of all registered users. This means that, starting on 2017-12-03, your user name will be visible to the general public. The user name is the account name you specified when registering, and it is the only information included in this list. See this link for more information.

#archlinux-testing irc channel

An irc channel has been created for coordination between Arch Linux testers. See more about becoming an official tester here.

Arch monthly October was originally published by Jelle van der Waa at Jelly's Blog on November 11, 2017.

Original Article

Following 9 months of deprecation period, support for the i686 architecture effectively ends today. By the end of November, i686 packages will be removed from our mirrors and later from the packages archive. The [multilib] repository is not affected.

For users unable to upgrade their hardware to x86_64, an alternative is a community maintained fork named Arch Linux 32. See their website for details on migrating existing installations.

Original Article