April 19, 2011


This guy is spending his free time working on a remake of Powermonger. Check out his latest teaser:

Amazing what an Ogre can do for your project.

If you like this project then go over there and tell him. Getting motivated is over half the effort of making something like this!

April 11, 2011


Here's a really good series on the history of Id.

For the techies, I can also recommend going through Michael Abrash's Ramblings in Realtime. It gives a lot of nice details on the tech as it was being developed by Carmack for the Quake series.

April 10, 2011

Rails great; Jira bad

So I've been spending the past week and a half or so working on a new app: a web-based sprint board. Weapon of choice: Ruby on Rails (of course).

It's all interactive AJAXy goodness, with some CSS 3 styling (drop shadows anyone ?). And Rails makes it really easy. I've been using the newest edition (version 3), and I really enjoyed working with it. It tries its hardest not to get in the way, which I love. There is a bit of a learning curve, though, as it requires knowledge of the basic patterns and idioms on which it is based. But the online documentation is, for the most part, excellent. I can also recommend the newest 'Agile Web Development with Rails' book, especially if you're a beginner.

I was planning to give my sprint board a bit of a killer feature (in my eyes): Jira integration. I figured this would be real easy, making use of the JIRA4R Ruby client. This is basically a Ruby front for the SOAP interface which JIRA exposes. And there's the downer: as easy as Rails tries to make life for a developer, that's how hard the JIRA SOAP interface makes your life again.

Only the most basic of information is easily available. But if you want to know, for instance, the remaining time estimate on an issue, you can forget it. I don't see a way to do this with the SOAP service they set up. Same thing for updating a status; how do you even do that ? And why can I get the custom field values but not their names (administrative privileges required) ?

When you google for solutions, here's what people come up with: submit forms programmatically and parse the resulting HTML... Really, when you force developers into these kinds of patterns you have failed.

So: Rails great; JIRA ('s SOAP interface) bad.

April 09, 2011

Access main computer file

This site has a collection of caps from movies featuring computer interfaces. See if you can guess this one, coming from an old favourite of mine...


Just to prove that I'm not just handy with software, look at these freshly installed bike lifts:

And please, no bets on how soon it'll all come down again. :-)