Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November: Picture Book Month

Novembre è il "Picture Book Month" (il mese del libro illustrato). E' un'iniziativa internazionale nata dall'autrice Dianne de Las Casas per celebrare la letteratura attraverso i libri illustrati. Una particolare attenzione ai libri per l'infanzia e all'introduzione dei bambini alla lettura attraverso libri che parlano di verità universali e spiegano la realtà che ci circonda.
Quest'iniziativa, è anche un modo per non "dimenticare" i libri stampati in un epoca in cui gli eBook stanno prendendo sempre più piede.
Molti blog tra cui PictureBookMonth presenteranno per tutto il mese un libro illustrato al giorno per celebrare quest'iniziativa.

Noi di AddictiveColor, nonostante si parli di  libri stampati, e "L'Omino delle Tasche" sia un libro interattivo (per iPad e iPhone) ci sentiamo in dovere di celebrare il concetto di letteratura per l'infanzia (ma non solo) espresso attraverso le figure.
E' importante che ogni bambino si avvicini alla lettura fin dalla più tenera età, attraverso libri o eReader, divertendosi e, ci auguriamo, con una certa curiosità per tutto ciò che può imparare attraverso essa.

Anche noi amiamo i libri cartacei, purché ci sia un particolare occhio di riguardo per la natura, per questo ci stiamo dedicando ad un progetto di libro Pop-up utilizzando carta riciclata e di recupero: le figure di questo post sono parte del progetto ancora in lavorazione. 
Ne troverete altre qui

November is "Picture Book Month", an international initiative started by Storyteller Dianne de Las Casas to celebrate Literature through picture books. Picture books help children approach the world around them through a mix of Art and Literature that speaks about universal truths.
This initiative mainly focuses on printed books, not to forget about this form of expression in a  world of digital e-books. Several blogs, like PictureBookMonth, will dedicate the entire month to this purpose by presenting a new Picture Book every day.
We at AddictiveColors, even though our "PocketBoy" is an interactive book for iPad and iPhone, feel compelled to help celebrate the notion of Children Literature (and not only that) expressing itself with images.
It's important to introduce books and reading to children as early as possible, with physical books or through an e-Reader, and let them enjoy the experience of exploration and learning they can provide when they stimulate the child's interest and curiosity.
We love real books, but we also love sustainable and environment-friendly models for their production. This is why we are dedicating ourselves to the production of Pop-up books using recycled paper and waste paper: we have included a few pictures in this blog post to give you a work in progress look at them.
You can find more of them here 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Omino delle Tasche v2.1 sull'App Store di Apple!

Arriva la versione 2.1 dell'Omino delle Tasche!
Nel nuovo update dell'Omino delle tasche troverete un cambiamento evidente nel menù: abbiamo cercato di allargare lo spazio interattivo facendo scomparire il menù col bottone in basso nel frame e lasciando solamente una piccola freccia che punta in alto per farlo tornare visibile.
Anche nella pagina delle matite colorate troverete delle novità: abbiamo aggiunto la matita nera e una gomma, per permettervi di creare disegni sempre più belli!
E cosa non meno importante, toccando l'icona a forma di lettera nella parte alta dello schermo, potrete spedire i vostri disegni via e-mail o pubblicarli su Facebook! Che ve ne pare?
L'Omino continua a girare per il mondo e a scoprire nuove lingue: da oggi c'è anche la versione del testo in coreano grazie ai nostri amici che hanno aiutato a localizzarlo!
A warm welcome to version 2.1 of Pocket Boy!
In the newest Pocket Boy update you will find many exciting new features like the new navigation menu system: we focused on creating more space for the player to interact with and to avoid some confusion in some scenes in which the old menu could create some problems. You are presented with a little arrow, indicating you how to bring out the full sized menu, and by clicking on it the arrow will disappear slowly and the full sized menu rises up from the bottom of the screen.
We also added a new black pen and modified the existing colors for you to paint with and we added an eraser to help you create better and better drawings! Touching the envelope shaped icon in that very page, you will be able to share your drawings by e-mail or Facebook. What do you think about that?
Pocket Boy keeps travelling the world and learn new languages too: this time he brought back a brand new Korean version thanks to our friends that helped with the localization!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Scripting fun with Automator

Ok, I'll be the first to say that scripting and command line operations are not the first thing that I learned to like on computers, but a lot of times they really can save a lot of time or... destroy files at random on a disk (rsync with a few not too correct paths and parameters here and there) ;).

As GUI only tools cannot always do the best job possible on their own or do not have certain capabilities by default, scripting in the command line can have its fair share of drawbacks... most of the time, an efficient workflow will consist of making it possible to quickly open a GUI file explorer from the command line and open a command line terminal from a specified folder in the GUI file explorer.
Sometimes, what I really want to do with scripting on a MacOS X system is to extend the Finder, making a small Finder Service that allows me to quickly do operations on files and folders as if the Finder could natively do it on its own. Call it create an normal PNG from an iPhone retina resource (say with a -hd suffix for those of you using Cocos2D) or a batch of them, call it generate a PVR texture using PowerVR's tools, call it delete all header files (.h) or all non-header files (*.c, *.cpp, *.m, *.mm, etc...) from a folder or a whole hierarchy of folders, etc... Sometimes Apple's Automator actions are enough on their own or it is simply easier to do it with Automator actions chained together, but sometimes what you really want to do is for Automator to let you link a folder, set of folders, or files to a shell script.
The problem with that strategy is the concept of working directory for the script and the target folder you would like that script to work inside of.

One way consists in getting from finder a set of files in one folder and its sub-folders and perform a batch action on them, say doing a simple scaling of a PNG using ImageMagick's tools, the script we can use inside Automator's Run Shell Script node (which would follow a Filter Finder Items node in which you can filter out the non .png files) could be:

for f in "$@"
    cd $(dirname "$f")
    /opt/local/bin/mogrify -resize 50% "$f"

A little bit of advice would be to alwas select the "pass input as arguments" option in the Run Shell Script node, for the above script to do what it is supposed to do. "$@" is a special keyword that basically includes a list of arguments to the current scripting node in Automator.
The following command

cd $(dirname "$f")

changes the working directory to the directory in which the provided file is located in.

In some cases that trick is enough, in others you just want to port your existing shell script so that it is able to run inside the folder you have selected in Finder in the simplest way possible (this is the meat of this post... or rather what motivated me to post this item tonight).

The Automator's Service workflow you are going to create is even simpler here:

1.) Service is configured to receive selected folders in Finder (top of the window).
2.) The Run Shell Script is configured to pass input as arguments.
3.) This is the code you write in the script src section (in this case I wanted to convert a bunch of .wav files into .mp3):

export automatorInputFolder

The magic here is the "$1" element which we save in a shell variable we export in the script so that other scripts launched in this step can use. "$1" is the currently selected folder in Finder.
This is the script in question (using the lame-encoder-related script-fu found here: http://www.discogs.com/groups/topic/151711):


#echo "$automatorInputFolder"
#echo "$(pwd)"
cd "$automatorInputFolder"
#echo "$(pwd)"
for i in *.wav; do /opt/local/bin/lame -b 128 -h "${i}" "${i}.mp3"; done
find . -name "*.wav" -exec rm -f "{}" \;
ls *.wav.mp3 | sed 's/\(.*\)\.wav\.mp3/mv "\1.wav.mp3" "\1.mp3"/'|sh

(you can still see some debug echo commands there... Automator allows you to run the actions inside the app using a pre-defined input and see the output of all commands like the echo one... very useful :))

After this step in the above script

cd "$automatorInputFolder"

the script can execute with the correct working directory, the folder you have selected in the Finder.

I hope this can be helpful to you too :)!
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