joey is currently certified at Master level.

Name: Joey Hess
Member since: 2000-03-06 23:42:41
Last Login: 2011-12-31 20:04:52

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sweet summer

blackberrytart.jpg

Having a wonderful summer, full of simple sweet pleasures. Mom visited today, and I made her this blackberry chocolate tart. Picking berries, swimming in the river, perfect summer day.

dunetent.jpg

Earlier this summer, camped at in the dunes on Ocracoke island with many family and friends. Thunderstorms away across the sound flashed and grumbled long in the night, but mostly missed us. Jupiter and Venus in conjunction overhead, and the arch of the milky way completed the show.

beachselfie.jpg

Syndicated 2015-07-11 20:23:31 from see shy jo

our beautiful fake histories

Here's an odd thing about the git bisect command: It has only 1 option (--no-checkout). Compare with eg git commit, which has 36 options by my count.

The difference is largely down to git having a pervasive culture of carefully edited history. We need lots of git commit options to carefully produce commits that look Just Right. Staging only some of the files we've edited, perhaps even staging only some of the changes within a file. Amend that commit if we notice we made a mistake. Create a whole series of beautiful commits, and use rebase later to remix them into a more beautiful whole.

Beautiful fake histories. Because coding is actually messy; our actual edit history contains blind alleys and doublings back on itself; contains periods of many days the code isn't building properly. We want to sweep that complexity away, hide it under the rug. This works well except when it doesn't, when some detail airbrushed out of the only remaining history turns out to be important.

Once we have these beautiful fake histories of changes, we can easily bisect them and find the commit that introduced a bug. So bisect doesn't need a lot of options to control how it works.

I'd like to suggest a new option though. At least as a thought experiment. --merges-only would make bisect only check the merge commits in the range of commits being bisected. The bisection would result in not a single commit, but in the set of commits between two merges.

I suspect this would be useful for faster bisecting some histories of the beautiful fake kind. But I know it would be useful when the history is messy and organic and full of false starts and points where the code doesn't build. Merges, in such histories, are often the points where things reach a certian level of beauty, where that messy feature branch got to the point it all built again (please let this happen today) and was merged into master. Bisecting such points in a messy organic history should work about as well as bisecting carefully gardened histories.

I think I'll save the full rant about beautiful fake history vs messy real history for some other day. Or maybe I've already ranted that rant here before, I can't remember.

Let's just say that I personally come down on the side of liking my git history to reflect the actual code I was working on, even if it was broken and even if I threw it away later. I've indeed taken this to extreme lengths with propellor; in its git history you can see every time I've ever run it, and the version of my config file and code at that point. Apologies to anyone who's been put off by that... But oddly, propellor gets by far more contributions from others than any of my other haskell programs.

All in the form of beaufiully constructed commits, naturally.

Syndicated 2015-07-10 15:40:23 from see shy jo

I am ArchiveTeam

This seems as good a day as any to mention that I am a founding member of ArchiveTeam.

ArchiveTeam logo

Way back, when Geocities was closing down, I was one of a small rag-tag group who saved a copy of most of it. That snapshot has since generated more publicity than most other projects I've worked on. I've heard many heartwarning stories of it being the only remaining copy of baby pictures and writings of deceased friends, and so on. It's even been the subject of serious academic study as outlined in this talk, which is pretty awesome.

Jason Scott in full stage regalia

I'm happy to let this guy be the public face of ArchiveTeam in internet meme-land. It's a 0.1% project for me, and has grown into a well-oiled machine, albeit one that shouldn't need to exist. I only get involved these days when there's another crazy internet silo fire drill and/or I'm bored.

(Rumors of me being the hand model for ArchiveTeam are, however, unsubstantiated.)

Syndicated 2015-04-01 17:50:49 from see shy jo

7drl 2015 day 7 scroll success

A frantic last day of work on Scroll.

Until 3 am last night, I was working on adding a new procedurally generated level.

This morning, fixed two major bugs reported by playesters overnight. Also fixed crashes on small screens and got the viewport to scroll. Added a victory animation in time for lunch.

After lunch, more level generation work. Wasted an entire hour tracking down a bug in level gen I introduced last night, when I was bad and didn't create a data type to express an idea. Added a third type of generated level, with its own feel.

Finished up with a level selection screen, which needed just 47 lines of code and features a playable character.

I have six hours until my 7drl is officially over, but I'm done! Success! You can download the code, play, etc, at Scroll's homepage

Syndicated 2015-03-13 22:27:53 from see shy jo

7drl 2015 day 6 must add more

Last night I put up a telnet server and web interface to play a demo of scroll and send me playtester feedback, and I've gotten that almost solid today. Try it!

Today was a scramble to add more features to Scroll and fix bugs. The game still needs some balancing, and generally seems a little too hard, so added a couple more spells, and a powerup feature to make it easier.

Added a way to learn new spells. Added a display of spell inventory on 'i'. For that, I had to write a quick windowing system (20 lines of code).

Added a system for ill effects from eating particular letters. Interestingly, since such a letter is immediately digested, it doesn't prevent the worm from moving forwards. So, the ill effects can be worth it in some situations. Up to the player to decide.

I'm spending a lot of time now looking at letter frequency historgrams to decide which letter to use for a new feature. Since I've several times accidentially used the same letter for two different things (most amusingly, I assigned 'k' to a spell, forgetting it was movement), I refactored all the code to have a single charSet which defines every letter and what it's used for, be that movement, control, spell casting, or ill effects. I'd like to use that to further randomize which letters are used for spell components, out of a set that have around the same frequency. However, I doubt that I'll have time to do that.

In the final push tonight/tomorrow, I hope to add an additional kind of level or two, make the curses viewport scroll when necessary instead of crashing, and hopefully work on game balance/playtester feedback.

I've written ~2800 lines of code so far this week!

Syndicated 2015-03-12 23:02:38 from see shy jo

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