Monday, 29 November 2010

November update, with zealots and only a hint of TDD

I noticed a few days ago that I have managed to post an entry almost once per month, and thought maybe it's time to finally commit myself and update my site exactly once per month. So this will be my November 2010 post.

TDD is definitely one of the better things I've picked up for development in the last few years. No smallish graphics demos (like that would ever have happened ;) ), but I am writing tests and new classes for the Outburst game engine and reorganizing classes a bit. The new source code looks really nice. Another friend of mine has another game idea with simpler technology which may bear fruit a little sooner, now developed from scratch with some planning and TDD strapped tight just underneath. No more bloated classes or members, no more super complicated dependency chains or whatever. Oh right, wrapping TestInvariant calls in class templates for auto verification at the entry and exit points of methods, constructors and destructors is pretty useful, just be careful with local objects that mutate the current object.

Waiting for my guitar. It took two days for the guitar to go from the Japanese provider, through customs/export, through the air I guess and to the french customs in Roissy outside Paris. It's been there for one week plus 25 minutes or so as I post this.

I noticed a problem in a particular piece of open source program and thought I'd remedy it. The developers hang out in IRC, so double newbie warning there, since I don't normally hand in patches (I use my own forked version of DWM, customized to how I work on my PC, nobody else will ever have it) and I never use IRC. Like a sheep without any worries in the world, I presented my patch and got some suggestions on improvements and I asked about a few implementation details such that the patch would fit the rest of the project nicely. The discussion went from the ISO C++ standard about primitive types to me being a user of abuse discussion tactics and childish for pointing out that was an offensive thing to say to a guest. Oh yes, I was just wrong too. When I asked how, I was referred to _my_ older posts. It's like saying "You are wrong. See previous sentence." This reminded me of a forum discussion that I tried to start up regarding stuttering in 3D applications on Fedora but not on Ubuntu. These days, the Fedora and NVNews forums are run as companies by angry Windows converts with the brains of suits, meaning if you got a problem, goons who know how to click on "reply" and "post" shove you into the hands of support people. From my part, the discussion was along the lines of "glxgears stutters in Fedora, not in Ubuntu, what does Fedora do that Ubuntu does not?" and I was met with "GLXGEARS IS NOT A BENCHMARK, YOU ARE A CHILD, GET LOST". Mhm, some caps. It took a few days until "reasonable" people showed up and started discussing various ideas without bearing any fruit. At that point, I did not care any more and I'm a happy Slackware user now. The problem is, big Linux distros are what Windows is, i.e. "try this, try that, until it works" "yay it works!" "nay it unworks". Where did "the problem may be this and that _because_ of those and these, so I would _look into_ this or that." Linux people of today actually don't understand what is happening. Plug the CD in, install bloatness and off we go until we need to do the same thing in a year.
I said I was gonna fix that patch. I think I shall not ever go to that channel again to be honest.

The Filco tenkeyless blue keyboard is still holding up nicely. The keys have loosened a little bit and it's so wonderful to type on once you hit a streak of feelgood words. My webcam mic picks up the sound pretty badly though, but if people force me into talking rather than letting me use my wonderful keyboard... payback! ;) Doesn't mean I don't want a HHKB 2 Pro. Stupid price.

EDIT: Leslie Nielsen has passed away. It was not immediately apparent on IMDB, they sport a very pleasant wine red:ish almost camouflaged banner at the top for actors recently passed away. It's Nielsen of all people, they should have painted the banner in flashing neon green.