My serial enthusiasm is straying back toward things Indie Web. So, maybe I’ll start lighting this thing up again with little bits and bobs of mad web science. This status post, in particular, is really just an excuse to see if WebMentions work.

Parsec Patrol Diaries: How To Avoid Smashing Into Things

I made a hero ship with beam weapons. I even built drifting asteroids that handle smashing into things. What gave me trouble was finding a way to teach enemy ships how to avoid smashing into things. You know, not perfectly, but just well enough to seem vaguely cunning and worth pretending to outsmart in a video game.

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Parsec Patrol Diaries: Entity Component Systems

The Entity, Component, & System design pattern is old hat for many game developers. But, keep in mind that I’m a web developer, and mostly on the server side of things for the past decade or so. One of my last big revelations was discovering the Model, View, & Controller way of doing things. Apropos of that, this ECS thing seems to be a Big Deal of similar proportions.

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Parsec Patrol Diaries: Why a Game?

I decided to start writing a retro space game for the web, because I thought it might be a good way to exercise a lot of interesting technologies and have fun to boot. You know, like how sending rockets into space yields astronaut ice cream & anti-shock trousers back down on Earth. But, I’ve also wanted to make games all the way back to my Atari 2600, Commodore 64, and Apple ][ days – because Warren Robinett is my hero.

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Parsec Patrol Diaries: Hello World

So, I’ve been working on a retro space game for the web. I planned it as a fun project to “sharpen the saw” and get myself more current on some newer technologies. I also planned to use it as blog fodder, writing little diary entries about what I’ve been doing & discovering along the way. But, 147 commits and almost 4 months later, I’ve had fun doing the coding and have totally neglected the writing.

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Behemoth, Part 1

I’ve been meaning to get myself writing again, so here’s the first rough part of a story that’s been bouncing in my head. It’s a quick and dirty opening scene for a space opera, but I’m hoping to take it in an interesting direction almost immediately after this.

A distant sun cast silvery rays through a field of tumbling asteroids and swirling dust. Among the rocks, a balletic swarm of glinting motes danced, alighting here and there to vaporize and harvest masses with actinic flares. The source and sink of the swarm’s flow was a dark, ovoid craft tracing a lazy, eccentric orbit around the cluster of debris. Nestled within the craft was its pilot, Alan Rickard.

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I like it when services treat me like I treat my pets

I like animals, and I’ve been told that I’m good with them. I’d like to think that’s due to a mix of empathy and respect that I’ve developed over the years.

It occurred to me the other day that my favorite online services treat me like I imagine my pets like to be treated.

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Social novelty filtering (or Google Reader, R.I.P.)

Wherein I muse about Google Reader past, and what it might have been. And, wherein I describe what I hope springs up in the aftermath of its closing.

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Too long? Read anyway.

Wherein I rant at medium length about functional literacy and language competency in knowledge work and information technology.
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Looking for a Django app to manage Roles within Groups

I want to add some team-based features to django-badger. I was hoping that someone had already built a reusable app to do most of the work for me. This happens quite a lot when I’m working with Django. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite found what I’m looking for yet. Consider this blog post either the product of my thinking out loud toward a rough spec, or a long-winded lazyweb search query.

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KumaScript: Bringing scripting to the wiki bears

KumaScript turned one year old back at the end of January, and I’m sad to say no one celebrated its birthday – not even me. I’m pretty sure very few people outside of the core team at the Mozilla Developer Network even know what KumaScript is. So, I guess it’s about time I do something about that.

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Building my couch computing station

Remember when I posted about gaming from the Orchard House couch? The key part was figuring out how to get a laptop-quality LCD monitor working in the living room, preferably attached to my trusty IKEA DAVE. Well, despite my best attempts at ruining my materials and tools, I managed to get it built!

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Naming Things: CamelCase vs snake_case

I’ve contributed code to a number of projects, often as a drive-by bug fix in a GitHub pull request. And, usually, I’ll try to do as the Romans do and follow the local naming and coding conventions. But, sometimes, I’ll fall back to my personal conventions and get dinged in the code review.

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Gaming from the Orchard House couch

I like playing video games; it’s one of my favorite things in life. I also like hanging out with my wife; she’s my favorite person in the world. This is a post about ensuring these two things can happen together. This is also a post where I played with SketchUp for the first time.

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Trifecta #59: Intention

Thought I might try my hand at this Trifecta thing I just found, by way of Fred. The challenge is to write fiction, between 33 and 333 words, using the word of the week and its associated definition. I think I ended up with more of an introduction to something than a complete story, but here goes my attempt…

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