PyGLy Progress

Posted in Development, Twisted Pair with tags , , , on 2012/07/06 by Adam Griffiths

Work on PyGLy is progressing well. The code is better designed and cleaner than I’d hoped, so I’m very pleased.

I’m wanting to keep PyGLy thin, so not much more new functionality will be added. New features will go into higher level projects that sit on top.

I tried some NumPy optimisations with BLAS and other libs, but haven’t seen much improvement. Biggest change was running Python with ‘-O’, which got me another 10 FPS.

Dev continues!

Getting Cocos 1.x / Kobold2D to work with the latest CocosBuilder

Posted in Development, How To, Programming, Rant with tags , , , , , on 2012/03/30 by Adam Griffiths

CocosBuilder is a brilliant tool that helps you rapidly develop Cocos2D applications.

But the latest versions require the Cocos 2.x branch.

Some of us are stuck with Cocos 1.x for the time being. So let’s figure out how to get things going.

Continue reading

Adventures in Kivy

Posted in How To, Programming, Rant with tags , , , , , , on 2012/03/22 by Adam Griffiths

So here is a semi-live blog as I delve into Kivy.

Mission #1: Attempt to resize the default window

Ok let’s start at the start.

We first create an object that inherits from App. Done.

Ok, and the examples all return a widget from the App’s build() method. So we don’t over-ride __init__… ok… thats… unique.

Perhaps the widget is the window if it is returned from the build() method?

Widget is not the window. Widget returned from build() is added to the window. So… where is the window created?

Window docs state the window has a constructor that lets you set the window size. Ok, cool. But we don’t create the window… so.. we can’t use the constructor… sigh.

Ok, Window has a static accessor.

kivy.core.window.Window = None

No comment on what is stored here but I assume it’s the instantiated window. It doesn’t mention when it is set… handy!

Only 1 window allowed. Ok… weird. Well… let’s try that.

import kivy.core.window.Window
AttributeError: 'module' object has no attribute 'window'


Let’s scour the code.

Screen capture of Kivy window module

No file……… how far does this rabbit hole go.

Ok, let’s check out the file in the window module.

class WindowBase(EventDispatcher):
 '''WindowBase is a abstract window widget, for any window implementation.

So… window base is in there. Feel free to scream now.

So we can get this by importing kivy.core.window and just leaving the class off the end.

import kivy.core.window
def build(self):
    print kivy.core.window.Window.size
    return None
(800, 600)

Ok sweet, thats our window.

So let’s change its size.

def build(self):
    print kivy.core.window.Window.size
    kivy.core.window.Window.size = (1024, 768)
    print kivy.core.window.Window.size
    return None
File "/Users/adamgriffiths/Workspace/VirtualEnvs/progress_quest/lib/python2.7/site-packages/kivy/core/window/", line 243, in _set_size
 if super(WindowBase, self)._set_size(size):
 AttributeError: 'super' object has no attribute '_set_size'


Ok, so after some googling we find this post about the relationship between the App and Window classes.

His solution is to pass the size as a command line parameter……….. LAME. That kinda throws the whole configuration settings thing out the window.

Looking through the Kivy code we find this block inside their base window class’ __init__ method.

if 'fullscreen' not in kwargs:
    fullscreen = Config.get('graphics', 'fullscreen')
        if fullscreen not in ('auto', 'fake'):
        fullscreen = fullscreen.lower() in ('true', '1', 'yes', 'yup')
    kwargs['fullscreen'] = fullscreen
if 'width' not in kwargs:
    kwargs['width'] = Config.getint('graphics', 'width')
if 'height' not in kwargs:
    kwargs['height'] = Config.getint('graphics', 'height')

Ok, so we can try and set it via the global config object.

So let’s add that to our App class.

def build_config(self, config):
    config.setdefault('graphics', 'width', 1024)
    config.setdefault('graphics', 'height', 768)
    config.set('graphics', 'height', 1024)
    config.set('graphics', 'width', 768)

Run the code and……

(800, 600)

……. sigh

So let’s put some debug INSIDE kivy and see what is happening. We’ll also force it to pull the ‘graphics’ setting and ignore kwargs.

if True: #'width' not in kwargs:
    kwargs['width'] = Config.getint('graphics', 'width')
print kwargs['width']
if True: #'height' not in kwargs:
    kwargs['height'] = Config.getint('graphics', 'height')
print kwargs['height']

And the output…


…. calm blue ocean…. calm blue ocean….

Ok… google…

Hmm.. ok, this post on the kivy-users forum (because documentation is for lusers) shows a similar method.

They use the Config module directly instead of the config object passed to App….. because….. they’re not the same? Well.. let’s try it anyway.

from kivy.config import Config
Config.set('graphics', 'width', 1024)
Config.set('graphics', 'height', 768)

And our output

(800, 600)

Ok, weird because the window HAS ACTUALLY CHANGED SIZE.

Whatever. We’re all living in crazy-ville atm so let’s just pretend everything is normal.

So let’s move that inside our build_config() method.

def build_config(self, config):
    Config.set('graphics', 'height', 1024)
    Config.set('graphics', 'width', 768)

And the output

[INFO ] Kivy v1.1.1
[INFO ] [Logger ] Record log in /Users/adamgriffiths/.kivy/logs/kivy_12-03-22_40.txt
[INFO ] [Factory ] 102 symbols loaded
[INFO ] [Text ] using <pygame> as text provider
[INFO ] [Loader ] using <pygame> as thread loader
[INFO ] [Window ] using <pygame> as window provider
[WARNING] [Window ] Unable to use <pygame> as windowprovider
[CRITICAL] [Window ] Unable to find any valuable Window provider at all!
Fatal Python error: (pygame parachute) Segmentation Fault
Abort trap: 6

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Install GCC with XCode 4.3

Posted in How To with tags , , , , on 2012/03/21 by Adam Griffiths

XCode 4.3 removed GCC from the default installation. To get it back simply do the following:

  1. Run XCode
  2. Select XCode -> Preferences -> Downloads -> Command Line Tools -> Install

Voila! GCC is now installed and libraries such as PIL will once again install.

Installing Kivy on OS-X from PIP and Homebrew

Posted in How To, Programming with tags , , , , , on 2012/03/19 by Adam Griffiths

Begin by following this guide to get your python environment setup.

If you aren’t using virtualenv, then feel free to ignore those commands (mkvirtalenv, cdvirtualenv).

Remember to run ‘brew’ commands as the current user and not root.

Install SDL

brew install sdl sdl_image sdl_mixer sdl_ttf smpeg portmidi

Install Mercurial to gain access to PyGame repository.

brew install mercurial

Create a virtual environment to work in

mkvirtualenv kivy

Install our Kivy dependencies and then finally, Kivy itself.

pip install cython
pip install pil
pip install hg+</pre>
pip install kivy

If you don’t install PIL or PyGame, you will get errors such as this

(kivy-test)Vibur:kivy-test adamgriffiths$ python src/ 
[INFO   ] Kivy v1.1.1
[INFO   ] [Logger      ] Record log in /Users/adamgriffiths/.kivy/logs/kivy_12-03-19_4.txt
[INFO   ] [Factory     ] 102 symbols loaded
[WARNING] [Image       ] Unable to use <pygame> as loader!
[WARNING] [Image       ] Unable to use <pil> as loader!
[WARNING] [Text        ] Unable to use <pygame> as textprovider
[WARNING] [Text        ] Associated module are missing
[WARNING] [Text        ] Unable to use <pil> as textprovider
[WARNING] [Text        ] Associated module are missing
[CRITICAL] [Text        ] Unable to find any valuable Text provider at all!
 Traceback (most recent call last):
   File "src/", line 2, in <module>
     from kivy.uix.button import Button
   File "/Users/adamgriffiths/Workspace/VirtualEnvs/kivy-test/lib/python2.7/site-packages/kivy/uix/", line 38, in <module>
     from kivy.uix.label import Label
   File "/Users/adamgriffiths/Workspace/VirtualEnvs/kivy-test/lib/python2.7/site-packages/kivy/uix/", line 94, in <module>
     from kivy.core.text import Label as CoreLabel
   File "/Users/adamgriffiths/Workspace/VirtualEnvs/kivy-test/lib/python2.7/site-packages/kivy/core/text/", line 520, in <module>
 AttributeError: 'NoneType' object has no attribute 'register'

Installing Virtualenv and Pythonbrew on OS-X

Posted in How To, Programming with tags , , , on 2012/03/19 by Adam Griffiths

This post will help you get Pythonbrew and Virtualenv installed on OS-X. Two important libraries for Python development.

  • Pythonbrew lets you install multiple python installations without affecting your system’s Python install.
  • Virtualenv lets you set up isolated python installations and modules for each project.

Begin by installing Pythonbrew

# install pythonbrew locally
# do NOT install to your system python directory
curl -kL | bash

Install your desired Python versions

# get a list of available python versions
python list -k

# install desired python
# force the install as python fails some tests at the moment
pythonbrew install <VERSION>
pythonbrew use

# should print out
python --version

# virtualenvwrapper must be installed for each python version
pip install virtualenvwrapper

You can install virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper into the system Python, or into your newly installed python.

# install into system python
# do this if you plan to use the system python as default
sudo pip install virtualenv
sudo pip install virtualenvwrapper

You can install virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper into the system Python, or into your newly installed python.

# install into pythonbrew installed python
# do this if you want to over-ride the default python installation
pythonbrew switch <VERSION>
pip install virtualenv
pip install virtualenvwrapper

Add support for Pythonbrew to bash by adding the following to the end of your ~/.bashrc

Follow this guide if you want to make your .bashrc modular.

# Python definitions

# Pythonbrew
# add pythonbrew support
if [[ -s $HOME/.pythonbrew/etc/bashrc ]]; then
source $HOME/.pythonbrew/etc/bashrc

Add virtualenvwrapper support to ~/.bashrc

# Python definitions

# Virtualenvwrapper
# virtualenv wrapper support
export WORKON_HOME=~/Workspace/VirtualEnvs

if [[ -s /usr/local/bin/ ]]; then
source /usr/local/bin/

# tell pip to only install inside virtualenvs

# make pip use the virtualenv dir

# add pip bash completion
# use eval to avoid the error "Could not find an activated virtualenv (required)."
eval `pip completion --bash`

Close the terminal and re-open it to reload your .bashrc.

When creating Virtualenv environments, virtualenv will use the currently set Python install.

If you wish to use a Python install other than the current system install, run the following command before running mkvirtualenv.

pythonbrew use <VERSION>

Note: I’ve found that virtualenvwrapper has stopped obeying this. To force virtualenvwrapper to install a specific version, do the following.

pythonbrew use <VERSION>
MY_PYTHON="$(command which python)"
mkvirtualenv -p $MY_PYTHON <NAME>

Some basic Virtualenvwrapper commands:

  • mkvirtualenv PROJECTNAME – create a new virtualenv project.
  • workon PROJECTNAME – enter the virtualenv for the project.
  • deactivate – stop working on the current virtualenv project.
  • cdvirtualenv – change to the directory of the current virtualenv project.

If you need to add environment variables to your project, edit the ‘bin/postactivate’ file inside the virtualenv directory. This file is executed when the ‘workon’ command is run and can be used to add more paths to $PYTHONHOME and other useful commands.

Initial release of PyGLy

Posted in Development, Programming, Twisted Pair with tags , , , , on 2012/03/07 by Adam Griffiths

It’s a pretty big day for us, as I’m pushing my labor of love, PyGLy, to GitHub.

PyGLy is a 3D framework developed in pure python.

I’ve been dismayed at the state of game frameworks on Python.

There are a large number of quality 3D engines and frameworks out there. However, there are serious problems with the ‘engines’ out there that have Python bindings.

  • Not truly cross-platform (this is Python FFS!).
  • Not free.
  • Not maintained.
  • No documentation (the worst culprit).
  • Bindings are 2nd class citizens and you still need to code C/C++/Whatever.
  • Don’t work with latest versions of code.

Most engines have bindings created by the community. The problem is these are quickly dumped when the person moves on.

Python only 3D engines seem… well… stagnant.

  • PySoya and PySoy seem to be seething at each other but not really producing much.
  • PyGame is just SDL in disguise.
  • The rest… well they all 404 now.

For the most part, 3D game development on Python is dead.

So, behind the scenes, I’ve been writing my own 3D framework for Python, PyGLy.

“Framework” is an important word there. PyGLy does not force any one methodology on you. PyGLy simply provides functionality to wrap common functionality. Windows, Viewports, Scene Graph Nodes, Cameras. It’s up to you to put them together how you want.

Obviously some things are going to be coupled together. But for the most part, PyGLy just gets out of the way.

At the moment PyGLy is quite small, but it is in active development and already has features that may interest some.

I think the best case for it at the moment is for people wanting to rapidly prototype in 3D but not be abstracted from the rendering process. PyGLy lets you forget about the scene graph and just concentrate on rendering your objects. Rendering is performed via callbacks. You can make any OpenGL call you want in these callbacks.

PyGLy is the foundation of our Python 3D work, so expect it to be actively developed going forward.

The following are some of the things that we’re wanting to add in the future:

  • Shadowing.
  • Scene management (Octree, etc).
  • Cocos2D integration (CCLayer).
  • Separate OpenGL 3+ path.

As we’ve said before, Twisted Pair are true believers of Open Source, so you can find PyGLy on our GitHub repository under a very liberal license.

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