Name: Evan Simpson
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I am not going to let these entries deteriorate to once-a-year!
I've had quite a fun time taking over hosting and maintenance for WEBoggle, a MMOCG (medium-sized multiplayer online cube-based game). The original author, Logan Ingalls, did an excellent job of designing the DHTML client and Perl server, but had to abandon it due to hosting issues. I adopted it, and rewrote the backend in Python (with SCGI) for performance and maintainability. Now I'm struggling to deal with all the travails (mis-cacheing, browser incompatibilities, etc) to which an online game is prone. If the game's players have half as much fun with it as I have coding it, then I had twice as much fun as they did!
I had read about geocaching, but never really investigated it. During a family visit in Boulder, CO a few weeks ago, my dad introduced us all to it, and took us out to find several caches in the area. Fun! The kids now want to continue geocaching here in Waco, and according to the website there are hundreds in our area.
I still can't remember my advogato password, but I finally fetched my cookie from an old backup and changed it to expire some time next millenium.
Random observations from the last half-year, in no particular order:
Once again, it's time for the ICFP Programming Contest. This year it looked like I'd have a totally free weekend. Mom took the youngest on an Elder Hostel trip for a week, the eldest is in Ohio with other Grandma looking at a college, and the middle kids arranged to sleep over. My wife decided to go to the casinos at Bossier City with her brother.
ChrisMcDonough, hathawsh, and I set up a CVS repository and TeamSpeak server. The problem was to optimize a series of commands to a simulated race car on ten different tracks. Friday night and Saturday we spent writing the peculiar fixed-point math library needed by the problem, and creating a simulator in PyGame. We managed to get a lightning entry in by manually driving the car around several of the tracks. Our plan was to hand-pick a set of waypoints on each track, interpolate them using cubic splines to make a smooth path, then get the car to more-or-less follow the path.
Right after the lightning submission, Grandma and Grandson returned, and Sunday was a lost cause between chemo tiredness and family obligations. In the end, we had a rather nice path editor, with draggable waypoints, etc., but no working path-follower. Our final submission was a complete set of manually driven traces :-P.
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New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!