I Did Some Programming…

…for the first time in around nine months, and it felt pretty damned good, honestly. I’m not setting deadlines, I’m not pushing myself, I have no expectations other than making an interesting game. And slowly, but surely, a bit more of that has now taken place. I’ve probably done around twenty hours of coding in the last three weeks. A lot of that was figuring out what everything means and how everything pieces together, but I’ve done some work on the conversation system, and a bit of work fixing a bunch of bugs, too. Feels good. And more importantly, I’ve broken the mental barrier I had about “getting back” to programming after so long away, especially on such a big project, and especially when other stuff, i.e. academic work, now flows so smoothly and so easily out of my brain. But yeah: feels great to be “back”, albeit in a small, cautious way, and without any deadlines, or sense of pressure, or anything like that.

On an unrelated note, the new website is now almost finished, and I am ridiculously happy with how it looks. My designer has gone above and beyond what I expected or hoped for, and all being well, everything will be shifting over to there in the not-too-distant future. On the health front, things have improved markedly on both the physical and psychological levels (hence why I’ve been able to do a bit of coding), and I’m thinking through some serious life changes I think to overall be in a stronger place. Thanks, as ever, for sticking with me, everyone: it isn’t over just yet.

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40 thoughts on “I Did Some Programming…

  1. Happy to hear all this good news! I hope things will continue to go well and improve, for you. And indeed, do take your time. Just do it when it feels good.

  2. Glad to hear you’ve been doing better!!! Also the new website is getting me excited! Can’t wait for that!

  3. Good to hear, again, take your time. This game is something special, but your health is always top priority. I went through some health stuff recently and it’s pretty life changing, but sometimes it drives you to change your life for the better too. Hopefully that’ll be where you land too.

    • Thanks Jonathan, I really appreciate it. Yeah – believe me, I empathise and sympathise. I feel like for the last five years after the illness and my life exploding that I’ve been in a coma, in many ways… but I think I’ve figured out the way out.

  4. That’s great that you’re feeling better. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things, but I hope you’ve been enjoying the programming. Looking forward to seeing the new site!

  5. I’m glad to hear that ! Take your time, I won’t shift my attention away from this project anytime soon. Great news to see your everyday life improved.

    • Goodness, what a question! Hmm; as with everything else coding-wise, I’m completely self-taught, so I really have no idea whether my techniques are good or bad, but I like to use the print function to dump lots of information about the present states of various things into the console, which helps a lot, and I generally make saves an instant before the issue so I can replay it over and over… but I’m sure everyone does stuff like that, to be honest! Debugging is overall less tricky than one might think given the size, scope and complexity of the project.

      • Thanks for long reply.
        Do you use standard output (stdout) for printing present states of various things, or stderr? I found that printf function doesn’t work every time on some platforms (some buffering subtleties in different places of code), but fprintf(stderr, “…”) works there fine.

        • Neither, actually, I just use “print”! As ever – in terms of coding quality, i.e. how precise and tight coding is, I’m probably not the person you want to talk to. I get stuff done and create cool stuff, but being entirely self-taught, my code is not the most elegant thing…

          • Sorry, I forgot to check in what specific language you do programming work for URR. But even in this case, it doesn’t change the idea. Because in Python, ‘print’ uses stdout (by default), and some people say that for debugging (even in Python), it is better to use the logging module, which prints messages to stderr. I just thought that you have some reflections about this. I’m not here to judge your programming style.

        • (sorry, have to answer here because I cannot answer the last post of you, dfTruF)

          …actually, there is a sort of inofficial law of good programming (coming from the Unix and Mainframe world, which is the major league of programming) which states that everything which is for logging purposes or an error message *has* *definitely* to go to stderr (fd 2). Only notes, informational messages (like help text) and regular output go to stdout (fd 1). This makes it easier to do things like „foo 1>/dev/pty6 2>err.log; xterm -e tail -f err.log” while testing and debugging.

  6. Good to hear things are going OK! Health is the one thing you can’t rush or just “fix” . I’m full of anticipation for when you announce you’re ready to start file 2 🙂

  7. Mark, sometimes, waiting for a new article or blog from you is just SO „waiting for godot”…
    Please, let us know whether you’re still a) alive and b) well enough to at least give a few comments about the „will be up soon” new webpage and stuff.

    Hope you’re still well, my best regards and wishes!

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