Thursday, 30 December 2010

What comes around

Lichess is a cool online chess site. Although, it is not, as it claims, open source: it places non-commercial use restrictions on the code, for example, failing the open source definition.

Its easy to write simple web applications quickly with Webpy. Can parse C99 with open source parser (pycparser) implemented in Python, and display the generated syntax tree in a web browser via JSTree. Hence a very semi-working OpenCL lint tool (just needs, hmm, a proper preprocessor, symbol table, type-checker to do this right: not going to do that outside the day job, obviously!).

The graphics support in browsers is getting better: Graphviz display in the browser via canviz, and some ease of use APIs over the HTML5 canvas (EaselJS) element.

Maze generation. Nifty CS assignments I wish I had on my course. Key events in JavaScript. If this script works, and the web-service it uses is any good, finding plane tickets should be easier.

With the somewhat more extreme climate around, weather seems more interesting. See also wview.

For journalism, and print media that 'gets' the internet, the Economist is pretty good; a print subscriber gets the same content online, and in an iPhone App, and in audio. It's rather like distilled BBC Radio 4.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Cloning Technology

Concurrent Programming with Revisions and Isolation Types from Microsoft Research (here) is an approach to concurrent programming looking extremely similar to Sieve C++ (described herehere and  here) developed at Codeplay.

How to setup virtual box shared folders to access host data from the Linux OS inside the VM after installing the guest addons; it works, but is very much slower than a real machine.

Intel have released an alpha OpenCL implementation (for X86).
There is also an interesting performance guide, SIGGRAPH slides, noting that transformations to code beneficial on GPU are not optimisations on X86 (e.g. exploitation of hierarchical memory spaces via __local etc).

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Crashing Around You

One who seeks knowledge learns something new every day.
One who seeks the Tao unlearns something new every day.
Less and less remains until you arrive at non-action.
When you arrive at non-action,
nothing will be left undone.
The above is a commit message: I wish it had been informative, not pretentious.
Its time for operating systems to prohibit the space character in file and directory names. Too much breakage with respect to quoting even today, and this is a classic known issue in programming since before I was born.
Ubuntu 10.10 installs pretty straightforwardly in VirtualBox, but you need to install the "Guest Addons" from Virtual Box to teach it that there is a monitor capable of more than 800x600 resolution. Sony Vaio laptops need the virtualisation of the hardware enabled in the BIOS to let VirtualBox run the VM it creates: thats the first BIOS I have seen in, four? years or more. F2 gets the BIOS up at boot, and the enable virtualisation option is there. Note that this is after the BIOS update, that obsoletes all the dangerous hacks on the net that talk of unofficial BIOS updates / patches, that are now sitting around on the web to break careless readers.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Ain't it Fun

Teaching modern C++, as opposed to warmed up C in Modern C++.

Scripting user interfaces with images in Sikuli. Interesting, if inherently brittle.

Isometric in browser game development in JS and HTML5 canvas,

Pyparsing - some or all of the power of Parsec without the brain hurt of Haskell. MARS : a MIPS assembly IDE and simulator in Java, also usable as a cmdline emulator for a compiler tester.

The half float type - 16bit floating point, somewhat uncommon to find, but present in OpenCL. Conversion routines between float and half here, and here and here.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Mirror Mirror

Embedding a Flash MP3 player in web pages is nifty. Yahoo also. Tips on the use of mercurial. Free web hosting on bit-bucket, via hg. Some actual content on the web. SQL in your web browser.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Enjoy the Silence

Folklore about computers. Guess they've been around long enough.

OSX continues to surprise with little command line tools that wrap the features of the underlying frameworks e.g. sips - scriptable image processing system. Useful in combination with pdftk.

Online PDF and MP3 of language learning courses.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Starting Over

The site has a great overview of JavaScript best practices. Makes dealing with cookies pretty painless and easy.

Always good to get more usable icons.

Python has built in templates, good for a start before bothering with a full blown template engine.