From the Burrow

Excellent CRISPR Introduction

2015-07-10 12:18:16 +0000

Not sure how long until we will be programming biology but it doesnt hurt to start knowing about the technology which will make it robust. CRISPR is an interesting topic in how it works and also with it’s reliability (relative to previous methods).

Andrew Gibiansky has writting an excellent post on CRISPR which was very easy to understand, check it out here

Sometimes...

2015-07-06 12:23:48 +0000

…the most terrifying thing code can do is run whilst you looks at some part of it so terrible that you cant understand how it even started. It’s like cutting someone in half and they walk off and try and carry on their day.

Better Error Messages

2015-07-06 11:11:57 +0000

Been a bit quiet recently but yesterday I spent the day working on conditionals in cepl.

There are simply too many cases where the error is cryptic, or fails way later in the process that it should have.

Defpipeline should now through more sensible errors now and varjo will try and suggest types if you use one it doesn’t know. e.g.

VARJO> (defshader test ((x sampler2d))
         (texture x (v! 0 0)))

gives

Varjo: Varjo: Could not find the correct type for type-spec SAMPLER2D

Perhaps you meant one of these types?:
:usampler-2d
:sampler-3d
:sampler-2d-shadow
:sampler-2d-rect
:sampler-2d-ms
:sampler-2d-array
:sampler-2d
v-sampler-2d
:sampler-1d
:isampler-2d
:sampler
   [Condition of type UNKNOWN-TYPE-SPEC]

Restarts:
 0: [RETRY] Retry SLIME REPL evaluation request.
 1: [*ABORT] Return to SLIME's top level.
 2: [ABORT] abort thread (#<THREAD "repl-thread" RUNNING {1005078003}>)

I have finished cleaning up type errors for textures and will be focusing on c-arrays & fbos after this.

That should hopefully stop the cases where Ι assume that cepl is buggy rather than checking my own typos :D

Tweak paredit so it doesnt put spaces before parens if they follow certain chars

2015-06-26 16:47:58 +0000

I quickly hacked this together to fix fixes a frustration where trying to write #a(1 2 3) gets ‘corrected’ by paredit to #a (1 2 3)

(defvar paredit-dont-add-space-after
  '((?s ?#) (?a ?#) (?λ) (?- ?#) (?+ ?#) (?c ?#) (?o ?#) (?p ?#) (?r ?#) (?s ?#) (?x ?#)))

(add-hook 'paredit-mode-hook
          (lambda ()
            (setq paredit-space-for-delimiter-predicates
                  (list (lambda (endp delimiter)
                          (if (not endp)
                              (save-excursion
                                (let ((1-back (char-before))
                                      (2-back (char-before (- (point) 1))))
                                  (null
                                   (cl-loop for (1b 2b) in paredit-dont-add-space-after thereis
                                            (and 1-back (char-equal 1b 1-back)
                                                 (if 2b
                                                     (when 2-back
                                                       (char-equal 2b 2-back))
                                                   t))))))
                            t))))))

Machine Readable GLSL Spec

2015-06-22 08:27:04 +0000

TLDR: Look Here

There was one thing during making my glsl compiler that was terrible; One thing worse than any of the bugs I have hammered out so far.

The GLSL Spec

The spec is available either as pdf or html. It is designed for humans to read but I needed my program to know about every function in glsl. To that end I spent days processing the contents of the pdf, and some other open code, in order to get a list of all the functions with their return & argument types.

Since then I have wanted to update all the functions with information on which versions they are available from, but this has seemed a daunting undertaking.

Just the other day however, some people have put together a new gl documentation site http://docs.gl, whilst the information itself still is geared to be human readable it is at least better laid out and stored in a github repo.

I took a few hours over the weekend to knock up a script that would extract the basic info I need from the glsl spec. Potentially I could do the opengl one too, but for now that is not urgent. You can find the results here.

The data is one big s-expression which contains all the glsl functions and variables.

Layout

each element looks something like this

(((("EmitStreamVertex" "void") (("stream" "int"))))
  (("EmitStreamVertex" NIL NIL NIL NIL NIL NIL :400 :410 :420 :430
  :440 :450)))

Each item has two elements:

  • A list of function definitions
  • A list of information on which version are supported

Function definition

Each function definitions is laid out as follows:

  • The first element is a pair of the function name as a string and the return type as a string.
  • The rest of the list are pairs of the argument name as a string and the argument type as a string

Version Information

Each element in the version info list is laid out as follows:

  • The first element is the name of the function and in some cases enough arg info to differentiate it from other incarnations of the same function. This is one string which sucks, so I need to parse this so we can apply the version info directly.
  • The rest of the elements are the versions supported. It is either nil or a keyword specifying the version. The nils are becuase the orginal tables were rows of ticks of dashes to indicate versions supported. I turned the ticks into the version keyword and the dashes into nil. Really I need to remove the nils and I will do that very soon.

GLSL Variables

In the event that the function definition list is nil then the entry is a variable. You will find it’s name as the first element in the version table along with the versions that support it.

Right I hope this helps. This will be in a state of flux for a while as I also want to extract all documentation for each entry in glsl and I’m sure there will be tweaks to be made.

I Hope it helps someone else.

New videos coming soon!

2015-06-12 09:40:59 +0000

Last week was a good week for making videos, and cepl in general. With the big merge, primitive osx support and sampler objects it has been feeling like cepl is progressing very quickly all of a sudden.

I have had to throw away a couple of videos I was going to release however, as they are now very out of date. I had hoped to get full blend-mode support in last night but as I failed at that it will likely be merged in in the next 3 days. The next videos in the pipeline will be on sampler-objects and blend-modes, I will the re-record my “Intro to CEPL for people who know GL”, as this was one of the casualties of the last week’s progress.

Thanks to anyone who is reading this, Ciao

Sampler Objects

2015-06-11 11:09:24 +0000

Textures in opengl have parameters that affect how they are sampled. They dictate what happens when they are magnified or minified, what happens if you sample outside the texture etc.

Sampler objects allow you to override the sampling params in a texture. One sampler object can be used on multiple textures in a single draw call.

As of last night these are now available in cepl if (>= (version-float *gl-context*) 3.3)).

You can use them like this

(defvar sampler (make-sampler :wrap #(:repeat :clamp-to-edge :repeat)))

(with-sampling ((tex sampler))
  (map-g #'some-pipeline some-stream :tx tex))

With sampling overrides a texture’s sampling params with the sampler object for the duration of the scope. The texture then reverts to it’s own sampling parameters.

The functions that are used on samplers to change their parameters also work on textures so:

(setf (lod-bias some-texture) 0.5)
(setf (lod-bias some-sampler) 0.5)

are both valid.

Next up are blend-modes. I have had to hold off making new videos for a few days as they are going out of date so fast as we keep getting new features.

OSX SUPPORT WOOO!

2015-06-05 08:58:14 +0000

IT FINALLY FUCKING WORKS!

Video coming saturday explaining in detail how to get set up on osx but the tldr is:

  • run osx-sbcl-launch.sh from the terminal
  • slime-connect
  • (in-package :cepl)

Back soon!

Progress

2015-03-10 02:22:53 +0000

It’s buggy as hell right now but I’ve been working on a new way (for cepl) to write and compose shaders.

You now write gpu functions and compose them using defpipeline, the gpu functions can be used as stages or as regular functions and varjo will compile them correctly for each task. We also have lost explicit return in favour of implicit tail returns, just like in regular common lisp.

A quick code sample

(defun-g v ((vert g-pc))
  (values (v! (cgl:pos vert) 1.0)
          (:smooth (cgl:col vert))))

(defun-g f ((color :vec4))
  color)

(defpipeline prog-1 (g-> v f))

Compiles to

// vertex shader
#version 330

layout(location = 0) in vec3 fk_vert_position;
layout(location = 1) in vec4 fk_vert_color;

smooth out vec4 out_86v;

void main() {
    vec4 return1;
    vec4 v_tmp_83v_84v = vec4(fk_vert_position,1.0f);
    return1 = fk_vert_color;
    gl_Position = v_tmp_83v_84v;
    out_86v = return1;
}

// fragment shader
#version 330

in vec4 out_86v;

layout(location = 0) out vec4 output_color_87v;

void main() {
    output_color_87v = out_86v;
}

An out of control reddit post

2015-02-24 09:32:48 +0000

I tried to write a short reply to someone on extending a language with macros…I failed…it got long

This was the thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/lisp/comments/2wy18r/is_this_what_people_mean_when_they_say_lisp/


[note: this assumes you’re a lisp newbie, sorry if this is patronising] Is it what ‘THEY’ mean when they say Lisp allows you to invent your own language. No, not really. But it is nice to be able to use symbols normally deemed off limits right? But syntax is part of language so what you are doing is in the sphere of language. Let’s have a look at a macro:

(defmacro fn^ (name args &body body)
  `(defun ,name ,args
     ,@body))

Ok so first let’s see what it does and then how it does it.

A macro is a function that runs at a different time, weird right?! It the above kind is run before your program is compiled. the arguments will be source code and the return value will be new code to go in place of the old code. So this:

(fn^ some-func (x) (* x 10))

-becomes-

(defun some-func (x) (* x 10))

See what happened there? The macro was give the following arguments: name -> some-func args -> (x) body -> ((* x 10))

if not you may want to read up on ‘backquote syntax’, it is (aproximately) a very tidy way of splicing lists and data together.

Ok so now we have functions and this kind of macro (yes there are other kinds) we can image that we redefine every common contruct in common lisp.

lets say: let becomes val<-, make-hash-table becomes hsh^,

(f^ fnc (%) (val<- ((x (hsh^)) (y :dflt)) (<> % x)))

Well it’s clearly still lisp but it’s very unfamilar (and ugly! :D). While this may affect language design it doesnt feel like a new language. Let’s do something else with these macros

(defmacro val<- (&rest form)
  (let* ((body (last form))
         (bindings (butlast form))
         (b (loop for i below (1- (length bindings)) by 2 collect
                 (list (elt bindings i) (elt bindings (1+ i))))))
    `(let ,b
       ,@body)))

so now

(val<- ((x (hsh^)) (y :dflt))
       (<> % x))

could be writen as

(val<- x (hsh^) y :dflt
       (<> % x))

OK! so now this is different. This feels more like changing the language as we messing with how the code behaves. The issue is…now we are messing with language we not only have the normal problems a programmer deals with but also with those of a language designer. These are issues of feel and experience as well as functionality (it’s very like api design but with much deeper implications), the answers are often subjective and based on what the language is designed to solve. A big one for me is ‘Does the programmer have to think more to acheive something using this’.

In my own project I use macros to make defining glsl shaders feel like defining regular lisp functions.

(defshader some-name ((x :int))
  (+ x 10))

And translate the lisp code into glsl for the programmer.

We have only scratched the surface of what we can do in this little blogpost. There are also other kinds of macros, like reader macros for example. Reader macros are function that run before the macros we have seen already. They don’t recieve the code as lists of symbols, they recieve the actual characters from the code you wrote. They can allow for cool and often crazy stuff, all the of literal syntax you see around lisp is made usign reader macros: ‘ ` , #() . etc are all made possible using reader macros, and you can extend that in any way you can concieve.

I hope this was of some use. Sorry it turned into a whole post rather than a comment!

p.s. Also check out: http://enthusiasm.cozy.org/archives/2013/07/optima <- macros give CL pattern matching https://gist.github.com/chaitanyagupta/9324402 <- Info on reader macros Look symbol-macrolet <- this type of macro swaps out a symbol for another whole form