Sep. 20th, 2017 06:02 pm
catness: (playful)
[personal profile] catness
#17. What does your joy look like today?

Specifically today: rewriting a part of my game engine from a homebrew text format with a Perl script parsing it to C++ code into the YAML format with a Python parser.

The game code is tightly integrated with C++ (e.g. the callbacks are written in regular C++, same as Unity's callbacks are written in C#), but there are many common tasks, like initializing rooms and objects, which would be too annoying without simplification. Right now, I have a plain text "game configuration file", which basically contains all the info split over a zillion of forms in GUI-based game development systems; but here, you can see everything at a glance, and edit it all in one place, in a regular text editor.

I've developed a custom text format because JSON, XML and alike are human-unfriendly, due to the amount of markup. But recently I've discovered YAML - a popular standard for human-readable data, and it looks almost the same as mine! YAML's drawback is the usage of indentation for syntax, but I'm already used to Python, so it's a small sacrifice for huge benefits, such as a YAML parser already supported by all major scripting languages.

I could've stayed with Perl, but lately I'm into Python, because it's so neat and pleasant to work with. Especially upon discovering the heredoc syntax for templates, perfect for my purposes. (I guess there's no end of learning). I'm still on the stage of code refactoring - technically, there's no new functionality besides cleaning up some odds and ends - but the parser is already looking SO MUCH MORE ELEGANT and user-friendly.

US politics

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:33 am
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
Hope not Hate is coming to the US, to counter the rise of international hate groups. American friends, you can sign up here.

why, what and how

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:00 pm
catness: (shovel)
[personal profile] catness
Why: Apparently I can never be happy without doing my own thing, whatever it might be. Lifetime of consumption is unfulfilling, even if it involves consuming the best products civilization has to offer: books, games and movies, sightseeing and entertainment, physical comforts, even knowledge. And neither is life of servitude, attending to other people's needs, following orders, aiming to please, being a good little cog in the machinery. Self-improvement sounds more like it, and it's a never-ending journey, but it should be considered as a means to an end, not a goal in itself - otherwise it's akin to masturbation.

(A couple of words about hate: it can be inspiring all right, but I'm sick and tired of it. I want to move on to something constructive.)

What: Game development always comes up during questionnaires and exercises for discovering your goals, passions, ideal career etc. The weird thing is, if I loved it so much, wouldn't I have been doing it since a long time ago? Even assuming that it's never too late to start anew - this is not how a passion is supposed to feel. But the whole point of doing the questionnaires and fretting over my inability to set goals is that I'm not that enthusiastic about *anything* right now (and haven't been for a while). But like it's said, idle hands are the Devil's workshop.

Well, waiting for a hurricane of passion already cost me years of life; it's time to settle up for something reasonably appealing. Anyway, goals are not set in stone... if something better turns up, I promise I'll jump ship! But at the moment, I just don't see anything else worthy to focus upon. I don't consider applying myself to depressing mundane goals like earning more money and improving quality of life, because it's much less motivating, and in any case, it's just procrastination; another excuse to put your dreams on hold, waiting for perfect conditions.

How: Adventure games - my favourite kind - are a blend of creative writing and programming, but for me it was always, first and foremost, about programming.

(To be continued... There's going to be a lot of technobabble, so it will be better to make a separate post.)

Breaking Bad (seasons 1 & 2)

Sep. 9th, 2017 06:29 pm
catness: (Default)
[personal profile] catness
A high-school chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer starts to cook meth in order to raise money for treatment and to provide for his family after he's gone. An unlikely choice of a show for me - a contemporary drama, no sci-fi/fantasy, horror or mystery, hardly even a comedy. But I decided to give it a try, seeing its high ratings, and ended up enjoying it so far (the first 2 seasons). I give it 4/5.

I can definitely relate to the main character, Walter White, initially a quiet, timid, introverted middle-aged loser, but apparently he has a dark side, which starts to emerge and develop: a brilliant, tough, self-confident and cruel drug dealer. I cheer for Walt's self-improvement, and approve all the way ;)

Other notable characters: Walt's partner Jesse, his ex-student and a street-smart petty criminal, also in the process of self-improvement (in a more conventional sense); Walt's brother-in-law Hank, a loudmouthed DEA cop (that's where Walt got the idea of drugs being a lucrative business :) ; and a charismatic but thoroughly corrupt lawyer Saul Goodman. These guys are always fun to watch.

The character I grew to hate is Walt's wife Skyler: what a boring, plain, prim&proper, mundane, meddling bitch! Spying on her husband by checking his cellphone - so disgusting. Plus, the whole pregnancy and baby subplot, ewwww.

Funny, Walt claims that he does what he does purely for his family's sake, but it's more like he's doing it for himself, as he really seems to enjoy embracing his dark side. And who wouldn't? ;) But it's a pity to be stuck with such a mundane family, which is constantly dragging him down. (His son, a moody teenager, is also quite annoying.)

a couple of thoughts/spoilers for season 2 finale )

And chemistry is amazing. It's great to be able to use your professional knowledge in a creative, unorthodox way. I wonder what could I do in a similar situation... Hacking banks? Not enough skills, LOL.

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