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Archives for Programming

brenda romero: jiro dreams of game design

It’s months since GDC, and I’m still trying to unpack my feelings about Brenda Romero’s Jiro Dreams of Game Design talk. Or maybe not so much my feelings about it—it’s an excellent talk, no question—but my emotional reactions to it. Her talk confronts concepts that I care about (greatness, team structure, creation) in contexts that […]

medium: setting up a build system

After I set up Medium, the next thing I did was start writing code and unit tests. And I will write about unit tests in a couple of posts, but I want to jump ahead one stage, to a build system, because that was something that required workarounds almost from the beginning and turns out […]

medium: setting things up

As I said recently, I’m experimenting with writing a Netrunner implementation in JavaScript. I’m calling it Medium; here’s the first in a series of posts about issues I’ve encountered along the way. Before I go too far, I want to thank two sources of information. The first is Bill Lazar; he’s one of my coworkers, […]

men, women, programming, culture

So, a couple of weeks ago, a prominent programmer / writer wrote a post whose driving metaphor was: frameworks are bad because it’s like one woman having many men sexually subservient to her, whereas the way things should be is for one man to have many women sexually subservient to him. People complained, he apologized […]

netrunner implementation experiments

GDC got me in the mood to do some game-related programming; and, when that mood didn’t go away after a couple of weeks, I started to spend some time thinking about what exactly that would mean. I’d thought initially that maybe I’d learn how to use Unity, trying to implement one or two game-related tech […]

what are apple’s language plans?

I spent my commute home today listening to John Siracusa and Guy English talk about how Objective C is getting old in the tooth. A topic, of course, that Siracusa has addressed a few times; as you would expect, it was a thoughtful discussion, I’m glad I listened to it. And I really am curious […]

that paul graham interview

So, there was this Paul Graham interview going around recently. Which was originally behind a paywall, so the link that got passed around was from Valleywag; I wondered how much they might be quoting out of context (which is what Graham claimed), but looking at the full text and The Information’s explanation, it seems not? […]

programming as meditative practice

I’ve been thinking recently about what I want to get out of work; and it seems like, these days, I’ll get the most out of work if I focus on what I personally like about the process, the details of working with code. Which, for me, translates into: paying attention to the shape and feel […]

netrunner, systems thinking, rule sets, cynicism

I play a lot of Android: Netrunner at work; other board games, too, but Netrunner is the one that’s sunk its teeth into me most deeply. I mostly play over lunch, but sometimes I play at other times, and occasionally those lunches get pretty long; this makes me wonder: is there any way I can […]

on estimation

It probably would surprise people who have interacted with me recently to hear it, but I actually spent a fair amount of time a few years back trying to get good (as an individual, as part of a team) at estimating: reading the literature (both agile and otherwise), trying it out, and refining and repeating […]

object thinking

One of the books I read over vacation was Object Thinking, by David West. I should probably reread it, I certainly don’t claim to understand it well yet or know to what extent I trust the ideas therein, but it’s the sort of melange that appeals to me. The book doesn’t shy away from grand […]

upgraded memory to rails 3.1/3.2

A while back, I got around to upgrading memory (my spaced repetition memorization project) to Rails 3.0. Then Rails 3.1 hit; I upgraded to that in the sense that I was using a 3.1.x version of the Rails gems, but Rails 3.1 came with a bunch of new defaults: jQuery instead of Prototype, the asset […]

silicon valley vc startup culture

One thing I’ve been wondering recently: to what extent do I like the influence of Silicon Valley venture capital firms on the local startup culture? There are certain ways in which their influence is good, no question: it’s great that there’s money available for people to try new things, it’s great that it means that […]

upgraded to ubuntu 12.10

I upgraded this server to Ubuntu 12.10 last night. And, as is always the case, almost everything went smoothly, with the only exception being my memorization program. It’s a Rails app, and at least half the time I upgrade the server, something goes wrong with it. Usually, reinstalling Passenger does the trick; last time, I […]

sumo logic has launched!

The startup that I’ve been working at for the last year, Sumo Logic, has now launched its product! Our product is a service for gathering, searching, and analyzing logs: if you have software that’s generating log files, you point our collector at those files and it will upload them to our service, at which point […]

polishing fragments

A while back, I mentioned that I’d written a little microblogging platform called ‘fragments’. At the time, it was a little unpolished; since then, I’ve cleaned up the code a bit (most importantly, separated the content from the guts of publishing, though presentation is probably more interwoven with the latter than would be ideal), enough […]

an apple-focused personal history of computing

When Steve Jobs died, I felt I should write about him. Probably about Apple, really: I don’t know anything about Jobs, but Apple (the company and its products) occupies a surprising amount of my psychic space. It took me quite some time to get around to writing the post, however; and, when I started typing, […]

fragments

I’ve started another blog (or blog-like thing), “Malvasian Fragments”, whose intent is to give me a space to explore nascent thoughts, thoughts that are too long for Twitter but aren’t well-developed enough to fit in this blog. (Insert snark about the lack of coherence of a lot that does show up in this blog!) The […]

rock band driven development

I’ve been playing through a bunch of Billy Joel songs this month in Rock Band, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Mostly repeated chords and chord progressions, but they’re interesting enough chord progressions for me to have fun playing them, and there’s a fair amount of melody interspersed throughout the songs as well. One song […]

testing updates via unobtrusive javascript

When talking about upgrading memory to Rails 3.0, I mentioned that I’d had trouble testing a bit of the unobtrusive JavaScript code. Specifically, I had a file answer.js.erb that contained the following: $(‘answer’).update(“<%= escape_javascript(render :partial => ‘answer’, :object => @item) %>”); and I wanted to take apart the HTML returned by that render :partial section. […]