Travelling through time & space in real-time...

Deploying Laravel apps over SSH with Maneuver

Maneuver is a nice and simple (but unmaintained) plugin for remote deployments of Laravel apps over FTP and SFTP/SSH. The documentation on configuring SSH connections is lacking important details though, so here’s some examples. Maneuver uses the Bridge library under the hood, whose source code is how I found out the required parameters. The following example code demonstrates server configurations in the connections section of the maneuver.php config file.

Native immersive 360° VR video playback on Android with Spectaculum

Playback of immersive 360° video on Android is usually done in a WebView with an HTML5 video player. This tutorial demonstrates how to display 360° video in a native view widget to save the overhead of a whole browser stack. This is done by using the versatile Spectaculum view widget for video rendering and the popular ExoPlayer for video decoding. Both of these libraries are open source under the Apache 2.0 license and available on GitHub and the JCenter repository.

Spectaculum – Android OpenGL ES Accelerated View for Picture and Video Content

Spectaculum is a view widget for Android to display visual content in a GLES accelerated context, providing zooming and panning functionality, parameterized shader effects, and frame grabbing. It comes with additional views that save developers a lot of time and implement all functionality for displaying bitmap images, camera preview, and videos through the Android MediaPlayer, MediaPlayer Extended, and ExoPlayer. The packaged shader effects range from simple color filters to immersive 360° VR video rendering.

The Spectaculum view can be used with all sources that can write to a surface or surface texture, which is essentially every visual content source, but I recommend using one of the many available modules if applicable. Example use-cases are photo galleries and picture viewers with zooming/panning support and optional picture effects through shaders (e.g. contrast adjustment, color correction), video players with live image adjustments through shaders and 3D/360°/immersive/VR playback, and camera previews with live effects. An extensive documentation on functionality, API, usage, and modules is available on GitHub. The library is also available from JCenter’s Maven repository, and a demo app that showcases various views and shader effects is available on the Play Store.

Spectaculum on GitHub
Spectaculum Demo
Developer: Protyposis
Price: Free

Painful Bugs: Android’s Matrix.setRotateEulerM(…) Rotation Around Y-Axis

Android’s Matrix.setRotateEulerM(…) function contains a bug and returns a wrong matrix result when rotating around the Y-axis. Googling android setRotateEulerM bug returns just 15 hits out of which only the first one is relevant: a neglected AOSP issue, marked as obsolete, that luckily contains the fix in comment #3. This bug has been reported in 2010 for Android 2.2 and still exists today in Android 6.0.1.

Left: rotation gone wrong. Right: rotation with fixed function.

Can it really be the case that almost nobody is using this function although there are thousands of OpenGL apps and games around? Why is it not discussed more frequently? Why is it marked as obsolete? Is this not a bug, but a case of incorrect usage?

Publishing a JavaScript Library – for Dummies

Publishing a JavaScript library can be overwhelming these days. You want to reach a crowd as broad as possible, but there are dozens of different approaches existing and choices to be made. This article is a quick summary of current best practices, which are developing with npm, and publishing via npm and Bower package managers as well as a universal standalone distributable file. To follow, you need to be familiar with npm.

In the good old times when Prototype and jQuery were competing for the default JS framework, publishing a JS library was easy. Provide a download of the .js file somewhere, optionally add a fancy minified version, and specify the dependencies on other libraries that had to be present. Potential users would manually download the file (CDNs were just starting to be used), add it to their project, take care that the dependencies were met, and hopefully get it to work. Today, there are dependency managers that just require a single install command and take care about (almost) everything else. This of course requires some legwork to be done by the developer, which isn’t too straightforward as I recently found out. In an experiment on publishing a simple JS library called gallerygrid.js, it took me quite an amount of research time to figure out how to publish it, almost more than the actual time needed to develop the library itself. So this is a guide that sums up the current best practice and required steps to publish a JavaScript library.

GalleryGrid.js: A Simple and Lightweight Picture Gallery Grid Layouter

GalleryGrid.js is a simple JavaScript library that transforms a list of images into a nice Google+/Flickr style grid without any whitespaces between the images. It is now available under the MIT license on GitHub and through package managers.

This library is one of the artifacts of my recently developed Picturesque photo platform and an experiment on how to publish a JavaScript library. A blog post describing the publishing process will follow soon is available here. It is available on GitHub (sources and distributables) and through npm and Bower. Read the docs, check out the demo or see it in production use in the picture list on LAIS.Foto.

GalleryGrid.js on GitHub


LAIS.Foto is a voluntary project that I developed a few months ago for a friend. It is basically a self-hosted online photo sharing platform with community features, similar to Flickr. Compared to other existing platforms, it features a unique upload and download workflow with an intermediate moderation step, tailored to the principle of donating and requesting pictures.


The story began when the client asked me for my opinion on how she could build and manage a photo sharing platform with one of these online website generators provided by webhosting companies. The idea was to create a picture sharing website called LAIS.Foto, where people could donate (upload) pictures for charity and nonprofit projects that cannot or do not want to afford paid pictures for their promotion work. Members of these projects would then request and acquire (download) pictures that they want to use.

ITEC MediaPlayer reaching v3.0, getting production-ready and a new name: MediaPlayer-Extended

Since the previous post from about a year ago, the ITEC MediaPlayer for Android has evolved to its second major version, receiving a lot of bugfixes, a rewritten playback core with huge performance improvements, and the ability to playback audio-only sources. Its new name now bumps it to version 3.0 and it is reaching a point where I feel confident that it can be used in production, and in fact, people are already starting to use it.