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The Tuxsters

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The Tuxsters

A competition to win awards for producing videos.

Myself and Rach had a chat – and we came up with the following questions:

  • Time limit for videos – Maximum time limit?
    • If we have films that are going to be judged – then if they re all over an hour long, then we could be looking at the best part of 4 hours just watching films.  That could be  big ask for a judge.  Suggest that a maximum time limit of 20 minutes?
  • Time limit to be handed in – before OggCamp
    • How long should someone have to produce a film?  
  • How will the event be advertised  on podcasts / in linux format
    • Arrange for Tuxsters to be advertised on Linux Outlaws
    • Arrange for Tuxsters to be advertised on UUPC 
    • Arrange for Tuxsters to be advertised in Lunx Format (Community page – Les Pounder) 
  • Where will the event be advertised
    • See above
  • How long to judge
    • How long will the community have to judge
  • Who will judge
    • Judging will be performed by the community – however you cannot judge your own film.
  • How to present results
    • Show all films?
  • Categories / Themes
    • Should there be theme for the films
  • Rules
    • Cannot judge your own film
  • How can a user submit a film?  Should they upload it somewhere?  Perhaps Youtube
  • Standard format for submission
    • All AVI
    • Suitable for all players eg Macintosh / Windows
  • Is there a theme or can a film e about anything
  • Rules for Judges
  • People’s choice awards
    • All attendees can vote on their favourite film – the film will receive the people’s choice award
  • If you win
    • A resin tuxsters  – suggest a tux ?
    • A png sticker “Winner of the 2013 Tuxter”


A member of the site can upload a video to you tube.  The video should be tagged with Creative Commons http://www.youtube.com/yt/copyright/creative-commons.html.  The user should select a portion of their film to show for the nominations.  Verification checks confirm that this is indeed licensed correctly, and hasn’t already been submitted by someone else.  This will be further enforced by a hash to confirm that a video hasn’t been submitted under a different url.


A member of the site can review any video they haven’t uploaded.  Each video is marked for different categories. and the film is categories describe the film content.


For the award ceremony a page will be generated that displays the results.  These results pages will display 4 nominees, and allow the presenter to click on all 4 video screenshots to play the nominee clips.  After all clips are played there will be a button that appears that will allow the presenter to display the winner.  If a film maker is not going to attend the can make an “In absentium” video clip, and in that situation the in absentium clip (20 seconds) will be played in full.

If the film maker (or representative) has attended they will get 20 seconds from when they get to the stage before the music starts to get them off the stage.  These timings are configurable, and therefore will need some planning.

The interesting thing about this whole operation is that it is run almost entirely on line, using a web front end for everything.

  • Submitting
  • Judging
  • People’s Choice Awards
  • Results presenting
  • Next day results.

This should mean that it is possible to present from any laptop at oggcamp.


Categories / Films

When submitting a film, the film maker will describe the film using a set taxonomy.  They can also petition to add film types to the available list of film types – however there needs to be other films that comply with that film type – otherwise there would be no competition, and they would win by default.

Tuxster Nominated = film reached the final 4

Tuxster winner = film received a tuxster

Tuxster entrant = Film has been entered into the tuxsters



Authentication will be provided by OpenID – in the same manner that CampFire Manager does.  This will allow a user to be tracked within the site, and to record the rating for a film for a user.  this will prevent a user from voting for the same film twice, but will allow a user to alter their existing vote.


Technical Notes

I have decided to develop this using CodeIgniter, PHP MVC framework.  The following points need to be taken into account :

1. The site uses modrewrite to remove the reference to index.php – for example www.tuxsters.com/index.pxp/about becomes www.tuxsters.com/about – this makes the site more accessible for search engines.

To accomplish this the following apache configuration file had to be configured to allow the .htaccess files to operate – /etc/apache2/sites-available/default


Site Design

The site has been designed using the Bootstrap toolkit, and divshot has been used to create a framework for storing content.

Tuxsters home page

Tuxsters Login modal form

Web of Fear / Enemy of the World – FOUND!!!!!

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After months of twitter rumours, surfacing and being denied before resurfacing again, we finally now know that 11 missing episodes have been recovered.

You can watch them now on ITunes, They have been digitally remastered and look like they were broadcast yesterday.

This is a good thing.

However this week the hype surrounding this was unbelievable.  We were told on Monday of an announcement on Wednesday which got pushed back to Thursday afternoon which then was pushed further back to Midnight  (presumably to make the first edition print of newspapers Friday morning). Attendees at the event where then issued with a press embargo – which seemed to have been broken by the northern echo early and finally after months of rumours, denials, counter rumours, announcements, delays and embargoes we know it’s the Web of Fear and the Enemy of the World.

Which leaves me a little deflated, earlier stories had the number recovered stored at 106 (never happen, that would be ALL the missing stories) which was then revised down to ‘dozens’ before we realise its not even a dozen.

But let’s think about this for a second-  we got a complete new second Doctor story, and the number of remaining missing episodes is now under 100! maybe this is what we should be concentrating on.

I cannot wait for DVD releases of these. I could watch them on ITunes but I really don’t like that program very much. I prefer Songbird and don’t like the idea of buying songs/films over ITunes. I get the distinct feeling that most of the money I would be spending on ITunes would end up in Apple’s coffers.

Of course it will take a while for everyone’s records to be updated and for Wikipedia to be accurate (right now it still says Web of Fear is incomplete). But once it is done, I would hope that BBC would look at classic episodes missing only 1 episode and consider them as candidates for animation. It would now make more sense to animate the final missing episode of the Enemy of the World to give us 2 new Troughton releases! I hope in the future  the Beeb, instead of having embargoes that people inevitably break, instead have a late night press conference.  Yes it’s hard on any guests having to hang around until way after midnight, but it means your secret is released to the press when you want it to. I would point as well that there is still no footage of the San Diego ComicCon trailer, which seems to mean that a load of doctor who fans are better at maintaining professional silence that paid journalists- Or how about a live streamed event next time? I don’t know its a difficult circle to square, you want a coordinated release for your news, but its hard when everyone and his dog are live tweeting.

Again it is thanks to Philip Morris that these episodes have been unearthed . I hope that some day there will be more !

Want to see how good the footage actually is? ok here’s the trailers

Fixing broken canvas references in Synfig

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I have been working on synfig stage, and have logged the following bug on the Synfig forum, and in the bug tracker.

Synfig has a rather nifty mechanism for creating reference object – this is great if you want to create parts of a character, and re-use them throughout the life of the animation.   Creating a reference canvas is pretty simple, and the nice thing about it is that once the reference canvas is created, you can swap and change the referenced element from your model through a nice canvas picker.  Except that the feature is a bit broken.

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