[SDL] Integration of SDL with VRPN?

Russell M. Taylor II taylorr at cs.unc.edu
Fri Dec 10 10:34:36 PST 2010

I'm posting this message to the developer list because I did not see 
another management email address to use to contact the system 
owners.  I hope that it is useful information to others on the list as well.

I am the principal maintainer of the Virtual-Reality Peripheral 
Network (vrpn.org), which provides cross-platform C++ drivers (also 
wrapped for Java and Python) for a number of VR input devices (and 
force-feedback output devices), including trackers, analog, and button devices.

One of the external developers on the project pointed me at SDL 
because of its set of device drivers for HID devices.  Looking at 
SDL, I can see two ways that we could benefit from each other.

The first is easy: VRPN is licensed under the Boost license, so all 
of its drivers are fair game to be picked up and used by SDL, either 
by writing a VRPN/SDL translation layer or by grabbing the code and 
pulling it directly into SDL with a more restrictive license.  If any 
of the developers want to do this, that's great.

The second is what I'd like to open a discussion about.  My main goal 
in writing VRPN is to reduce the amount of device-driver writing that 
folks have to do.  I'd love to be able to pull the device drivers 
from SDL into VRPN.  My favorite approach for this (of course) would 
be to pull the drivers from SDL into VRPN and then consider using 
VRPN as the device layer for SDL.  This would involve taking at least 
some of the SDL code and placing it under the VRPN license (if you 
are willing to let us distribute it in the VRPN source).

Another approach would be to write an SDL wrapper layer to enable SDL 
devices to be used inside VRPN (with the wrapping layer falling under LGPL).


Russell M. Taylor II, Ph.D.                           taylorr at cs.unc.edu
CB #3175, Sitterson Hall                        www.cs.unc.edu/~taylorr
University of North Carolina,                     Voice: (919) 962-1701
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3175                        FAX:   (919) 962-1799 

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