DRAFT – JavaScript + Frameworks – get with the program

Brief History of Javascript

Javascript was invented for an ancient browser called Netscape. It was cloned by every major browser after it – Internet Explorer, FireFox, Opera, Chrome, etc. It was looked down as not a real language since it was:(

  • (then) Not fully compiled. Thus must be slow*. (now) Very very fast. Compilers exist (CoffeeScript, TypeScript)*
  • (then) It was loosely typed. (now) Compilers provide strong typing.*
  • (then) It ONLY ran in a browser. (now) Browsers took over the world. App Frameworks support Javascript too.*
  • (then) It was partially OO and fully prototyping based. OO purists were aghast. (now) Compilers provide full OO.*
  • (then) It lacked some real tools languages had: IDEs, unit testing. (now) Several IDEs. Several Unit Test frameworks.*
  • (then) It was attached to awful HTML which was going to die anyway, that had NO PROGRAMMING and NO separation of presentation from content like it’s father SGMIL. (now) CSS and HTML 5 fix all that. And PS HTML is alive and thriving despite many attempts to replace it which all died.
  • (then) It had no way to store or serialize data or transfer server and cloud data. (now) XML and JSON (preferred)  for serialization.
  • (then) HTTP was chunky and all page changes required the whole page round trip to the server (now) Ajax and several other partial page refresh technologies are easy.
  • (then) Visual Basic syntax was the rage and Javascript was not. (now) C# and Java brought C++ syntax back and devastated VB so Javascript required less learning for C#/C++/Java programmers.

Then the Internet did not go away. And browsers did not go away (although Apps arrived as an extra channel besides browser to get to the cloud data) in fact people preferred them to Desktop apps. And a rich cloud started growing up.

 

BTW ironically developers rarely EVER use the (now) bullet points in their apps. They were just a convenient excuse to not learn Javascript.

And suddenly not doing Javascript was fatal to a developer’s career.

Some Javascript Humor

Javascript is serious business. So here is some more lighthearted Javascript links

The rise of Javascript Frameworks vs. Libraries

Javascript was adopted quickly by hardcore C++ and C# and Java programmers. Plus open source hippies and capitalists. Those types lost passion for libraries a decade ago, so focused on a few frameworks that duked it out to become THE framework: JQuery, Dojo, Angular, etc.  because they were super familiar with Separation of Concerns, and time was limited because they snobbishly ignored it for over a decade and a half, the frameworks did not attempt to be the one true framework.

  • So a lazy smart Javascript developer can use 1 or more frameworks without causing any clashes.
  • The frameworks are so tiny every framework  added up together took a tiny fraction of what the Java and C# frameworks took up, so combining was an easy decision.
  • They invented minification and bundling which really helped the browsers compress code, and allow browsers and servers to be able to more readily cache multiple frameworks and components. Vstudio ASP.net MVC did this all automagically.

People needed to write very little Javascript code and get BIG results and libraries would not get them there. Frameworks got them there in style.

What are some Frameworks good developers use, and why?

Do you have to use them all? Absolutely not. Should you consider them and know when to use them, and when not. And promise not to be a “Devil I know is better than Angel I don’t know” JS Framework bigot. One of those people that once they choose one framework use confirmation bias to dismiss the value of every other framework.

  • Angular.js – making MVC (Model-View-Controller) style framework coding with Javascript on client and server much easier if you code the right patterns. It is much much more extensive than every other free framework here, and has a lot of power and a steeper learning curve because of the scope of features. Read more @ https://angularjs.org/.
  • Backbone (depends on underscore.js and JQuery) brings models/views/events to JS programming in a minimalist way to reduce learning curve and “lock in” and interop well with other frameworks, Get it/read about it @ http://backbonejs.org/
  • Bootstrap is not really a Javascript technology, it is all about simplifying CSS, but since so many JScripters use it at least learn about Bootstrap and consider it.
  • D3 – Data Driven Documents and Transformation focused on CSS, SVG and HTML 5. Get it @ http://d3js.org/ and there are a ton of plug-ins @ https://github.com/d3/d3-plugins.
  • Dojo is the favored big framework before Jquery. IBM and others blessed it for clients impressed by name dropping. A ton of Javascript components are built on top of it including Graphing and Charting and custom tags and much more. Get it @ http://dojotoolkit.org/download/.
  • Ember – focused on creating new markup tags and templates that look simple on client, but interact with server transparently. Easy transfer of data to/from server.  Routing to easily control where data is fetched to and from the server. Get it @ http://emberjs.com/.
  • ExtJS/Sencha (depends on YUI) – It is focused on providing a bunch of ready made widgets/controls/custom tags and easy commands to interact and manipulate them. It started out as free under the name ExtJS but evolved into 2 commercial products, and combined with several other open source and commercial products (all towards providing high end HTML 5 and Touch Support and Responsive and multiple device support) to improve it’s versatility. Get at http://www.sencha.com/products/complete/. It costs money but is well worth it on the projects I used it.
  • Handlebars is focused on templates that focus on strong separation of client and server code and ability to switch out the back end languages without breaking the front end templates. It is compatible with mustache. Download/read about it @ http://handlebarsjs.com/.
  • JQuery (see next section) emerged as the #1 framework when Microsoft and Open Source types both promoted the heck out of it.
  • Json is not a framework per se but a data transfer structure almost all frameworks have come to depend on. It’s goal is to be a lighter version “easier for human to read” replacement for XML. Microsoft emraced it quickly and the latest ASP.net MVC releases replace many ASP.net MVC XML contructs with JSON. Read more @ http://www.json.org/.
  • Kendo UI By telerik –  A commercial product focused on providing a bunch of ready made widgets/controls/custom tags that provide responsive/adaptive design and multiple devices. And graphing as well. Read more @ http://www.telerik.com/kendo-ui.
  • Knockout is all about data binding 1-way, 2-way, automatic update and dirty control sensing, dependency tracking, and templating, and the like. – Read more @ http://knockoutjs.com/.
  • Meteor – a framework all about building mobile applications. Read more @ https://www.meteor.com/.
  • Node.js – if you want to do portable cross platform SAS (Software as a service) in Javascript instead of a vendor specific stack (Java, .NET) than Node. js is for you.
  • Modrnizr making conditional browser version code easier – @ http://modernizr.com/
  • Reactive.js (not to be confused with RActiveJS) is a “Microsoft Blessed” library all about Observables + LINQ + Schedulers and something they call “Promises” (basically an easy way to have chatty reliable HTTP conversations) – Read more @ http://reactive-extensions.github.io/RxJS/.
  • Underscore.js – Provides a ton of extremely useful functions missing from JavaScript without in any way extending or altering Javascript syntax. See a nice complete function list @Test Suite of the supported functions that can save you a ton of time. Read More/Download @ http://underscorejs.org/.
  • YUI (Yahoo UI library now abandoning new development as of August 29, 2014) – is an oldie but goodie – a way to build UI components (custom tags, widgets, components). Not very active anymore but many sites were built with it, and many components built on top of it. The principles that created it have left, Yahoo is not subsidizing it anymore and it’s future is dead, unless some important group or person rescues it.
  • Browser sniffing on steroids, a Commercial product ($$$)  @ http://51degrees.com/Products

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JQuery – father and grandfather to many

JQuery is a framework that many other libraries are built on top of. So you probably will download JQuery plus a bunch of goodies.

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JS Pre-Processor and Sister Languages

Compilers have been created as proof of concepts for upcoming compiled JavaScript standards. Technically Emmet and Less are listed here not because Javascript is their central focus, but because Javascript and other programmers get frustrated quickly by lack of programming commands in CSS and HTML and these really help.

  • Emmet (used to be Zen) -a pre-processor that is used to make HTML and CSS much easier with snippets, dynamic snippets and editor helpers/expansion. Read more @ http://emmet.io/.
  • Less – a pre-processor that is used to make CSS much easier and add simple programming syntax/constructs and extensions and mix-ins. Read more/get it @ http://lesscss.org/.
  • Zen  – OBSOLETE, replaced by Emmet.
  • Typescript Javascript compiler – Read more/get it @ http://www.typescriptlang.org/*
  • CoffeeScript is a smaller, lighter version of the kind of beast Typescript is. Read more/get it @ http://coffeescript.org/*

These are being used heavily by the more serious developers.

CoffeeScript vs. Typescript is a raging debate that shortly ended with Typescript beating CoffeeScript for now (and probably CoffeeScript’s death). The 800 pound gorilla in the room was Microsoft producing a 1st class version of Typescript integrated with Visual Studio (including interactive debugging) and getting heavily involved in filling out the Javascript standards teams with people and financial donations. Here is a great history of the many Javascript compilers and languages that predate the victory, for now, of TypeScript.

JS IDEs and Debuggers

Then IDEs and Debuggers and Tools appeared. Oh my.

Visual Studio began to every release address Javascript more as a 1st class citizen.

IDEs appeared for Javascript like:

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Why use Javascript Frameworks instead of raw Javascript?

Well many reasons…

  • It is more OO. Which if you disregard the King and the Toaster story is a bad thing.
  • The learning curve is less.
  • Event-driven and Event Bubbling.

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Why not use Javascript Frameworks?

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Tight coupling with all the associated issues that raises: version upgrade breakage,

Size – hmm every library needs a Library + the framework. But JS frameworks are tiny.

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Online Tutorials I love

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Video Tutorials

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Books on Javascript and Frameworks I Love

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How to get Javascript Help!

My favorite places to solve any javascript problems I encounter:

Enjoy your Javascripting – Chaz

Sunglasses-Me

XP Upgrade Nightmares – Why Microsoft? Why?

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XP Users take special note

I should preface this with a note that I highly recommend Windows 7 (my favorite) and in early 2015 when Windows 10 ships I do really have confidence in it’s quality after using it and testing it. I hope Windows 10 is free though and takes a page from Androids, iPads, Mac and Linux and realizes people should NOT have to pay for OS upgrades. MS has plenty of non-Windows profit and a lot of our money to afford an upgrade to fix Windows. As you can see by my Windows Free Must Haves List everybody but them (even tiny companies) figured out what Windows is missing yet somehow they remain clueless or apathetic to using the above list to bolster their core product. They could pre-install the above if they cared instead of the usual crapware that hardware makers add no one wants.

Do I force people to update their XP to Windows 7 or 8 because of safety? No, if they have hardware that will break under Win 7 or 10.

  • I do force them to use Chrome instead of Internet Explorer on XP because of it’s much better malware/download protection that Internet Explorer and FireFox lacks. I encourage them to use XPLite to remove IE.
  • I do set them up to be a non-Admin user which eliminates 90% of their risk. They should run their usual account as non-Admin. A few times a month for software upgrades only they sholud run as admin and then get out of admin account quickly and back to normal non-admin account. Read about how @
    http://www.mechbgon.com/build/Limited.html
  • I encourage them to buy a Mac and use BootCamp or Parallels to import their XP environment and software. The hardware is faster and more reliable and the Windows drivers more reliable than anything I ever got from Dell or HP when running Windows on a Mac.

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Horrible XP and Win 7/8/10 Upgrade Decisions/Issues Microsoft made that is very anti-consumer

Microsoft unfortunately…

  • Has changed the UI in small and big ways that make XP users uncomfortable. And IT types belittle the people who love and know XP, and this is not how to win friends and influence users. They could provide easier transition by lots of UI Tweaks in 7, 8 and 10 to make XP Users comfortable – and when they do not, it ensures a consumer perception that they don’t respect their own users and biggest fans. Which creates mistrust for your average person that new versions will take their work habits seriously.
  • Is way out of touch with average user. Windows 8 and 10 for example have a real show stopper for most users. A Start Menu missing entirely in Windows 8. And programs people know and love are missing or hard to find. Want to play Solitaire on Windows? On XP just click on an item in the Start Menu. In 8 it is not there, and go to a new Windows “store” and sift through a few dozen solitaire programs and try to guess which one is best, and hope none of them are lousy, or spy on you, etc. Such basic small mistakes abound do not give you confidence they got the big stuff right either.
    • If you do run Windows 8 and want a Start Menu everyone BUT Microsoft has a clue… Choose one from http://www.extremetech.com/computing/141702-how-to-bring-the-start-menu-and-button-back-to-windows-8 but shake your head at why these small companies can fix it but Microsofn with its billions has not for a few years.
    • Keep in Mind the Window 7 or Windows 10 Start Menu is not anything like the XP Start Menu and shake your head again. It is only superficially similar 100+ things on the Windows 7 and Windows XP start menu are not there or not accessed the same way. And SIGH download a 3rd party Start Menu that actually works like 7 or XP. Ouch.
  • Did not provide all device drivers that work under XP a Win 7 or Win 8 or Win 10 upgrade. No drivers means BUYING NEW HARDWARE. Ouch on pocket book. And what if you like your hardware?
  • And upgrading several perfectly working pieces of software at $50-$100 or much more EACH to run under 7 seems like a high price to pay.
  • They also have a XP Mode that is only part of the Ultimate license (with  suitably ultimate price tag, which is basically a cheap knock off of awesome Parallels software) but my experiences with XP mode is it poorly supported and when you have troubles ouch. XP Mode under Win 7 (at a high price in $$$) does allow you to run software that only runs in XP, and I have used it to get XP hardware drivers working under Win 7.
  • I have relatives who have some great hardware that has no post-XP drivers they really love. And companies with very expensive machines that would love to upgrade but someone fell asleep at the switch and did not work with, use their power with partners to get the XP hardware drivers updated.
  • MS does not provide an upgrade disk for XP to Windows 7.   Windows 7 upgrade to Windows 8.x loses all programs – they must be re-installed.  I like Windows 7 and 10 and run them personally.

But if I need to upgrade a friend or family Win XP user to Win 7 I have to go through way too many steps (which I did for family and friends but it was longer than it should be):

  • Dig up a Vista CD and upgrade to Vista. Be patient this upgrade and install can take nearly 12+ hours on older slower machines but does keep all programs and Data. Then upgrade Vista to Windows 7. MS should integrate that XP Vista upgrade program into Win 7/8/10 installs. 
  • Import their XP into a Virtual Machine and install a fresh Windows 7 or 10 and let them access old programs via a VM. I never ever ever use XP Mode because of the poor support and abandonment of this. Or:
    • Import their XP into a Virtual Machine and buy them a super safe fast Mac and let them run their Windows XP in a VM on the Mac.

$$$ and Upgradability does Matter Microsoft!

MS however provides no upgrade path. Its all “reformat and lose programs”, or use a lame transfer utility and get data only no programs. Even though they had an upgrade program in Vista they abandoned and could have included in Win 7, 8 and 10 🙁

And the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of a Win 7, Win 8.x (yuck, such a bad version for normal users, they are providing FREE upgrades to Win 10 and they never offer FREE) can be quite high. Pay a LOT for a Win 7 or Win 8 license. pay to upgrade many pieces of software you use all the time that work fine, pay to upgrade your security software, if you are not a power user pay for someone to backup in case the upgrade has problem, and do the upgrade and re-install programs and hope they got it all. Or make your friends and family do it and hope they forgive you after when there are issues.

Charles Carroll’s 6 Player Chess Variant

6 Player or 8 Player/Octopus Chess

Designed by Charles Carroll  – May 2014

Chess-Stockings SONY DSC

Supplies

You will need to order 2 (or more) of these to play:

Additional Supplies and Preparation:

  • You will need to paint the silver and gold pieces some other color
  • or order another set of 2 or more Chess pieces in a non-silver or gold color. I choose red and blue.

Ideally you need twice as many pieces in each color for when a player conquers or subjugates an opponent (see rule #4).

 

The Board Setup: 6 player Chess

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Alternate Setup: 8 Player/Octopus Chess!

Here is an alternate setup that could support 8 player Chess just place the boards side by side:

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The following rules are relevant for 8 player variant only:

  • The pieces that are backed up 4 deep next to each other in center of board cannot move backwards or capture backwards until there is an empty space there.
  • They cannot capture on that row till the major piece (non-pawn) has left that row once.

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Rule #1 Pawns = Princes (4 player Chess too)

Pawns are now “Princes”

  • they can move 1 in any direction (but not backwards), or 2 forward or left or right spaces at any time.
  • They can capture diagonally forward or backwards.
  • They can make a cascading capture where they make multiple diagonal captures like Checkers.

This is designed:

  • To encourage promotion which seems to rarely happen in 4 or 6 player games
  • Allowing pawns to be able to deal with the sheer distances involved in the board
  • Have some “teeth” if a good player uses them right as they do in regular Chess.

1.a.  Pawns are subject to En Passant for the entire game.
1.b.  Promoted pawns can draw pieces from the original player’s color, or any pieces of an army they have taken over (see rule #3)

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Rule #2 Knights = Assassins (4 player chess too)

Knights are now “Assassins” – they can move one Knights move forward, or two Knight moves forwards on a turn.

They can capture on first move only, not on the second move. They can capture on first move, then move away if desired. On a board this long this keep knights from being second class citizens compared to Bishops, Queens and Rooks.

2.a. Assassins are subject to En Passant for the entire game. The first square they land on as part of a 2 part move that is not a capture is vulnerable.

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Rule #3 Checkmate and King Capture

As in 4 player Chess if a King is checkmated, upon the move where a player actually captures the king all the pieces in that kings army change control to that player – they become a conquered or subjugated Army. The player still only has 1 move, it is just an increase in size of army.

3.a. Ideally at that point you trade all the captured/controlled player’s pieces for the color of the player who captured the king.

I own a few extra sets for this reason. When for example a gold player checkmates and captures a White player’s pieces I trade all the white pieces for gold pieces to signify their new owner. Rule #1 becomes essential then because in the most common 4 Player Chess rules pawns can only move forward, and capture diagonally. If not playing 6 player Chess with Rule Variation #1, the pawns will remain the same color as the original player so their direction restrictions can be maintained.

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Rule #4 Truces and Betrayal (4 player chess too)

Any player can ask for a 1-3 turn truce with any other player. During the truce neither can attack each other. This means for duration of truce the player need not fear attacks from player they have truce with. But once truce expires, all bets are off. There must be a minimum of 3 turns between truce.

There is a tendency for players to informally ally, this formalizes it for very short term situations without creating any need to make any alliance rules. 4 player Chess rules, the main ones discourage allying but have no way of enforcing it, since Chess is not a game of mandatory captures.

4.a. BETRAYAL The King can be killed during a truce. Check still has to be announced. This increases tension, and give other player in truce chance to protect other player’s king and reduce odds of successful betrayal. This betrayal can be done regardless of verbal promises.

APPENDIX: Compatible Variants

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Card Games

Card Chess is fun.

So we have incorporated this into our 4 or 6 player Variants.

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More Variants

  • Atomic Chess. Atomic Chess is very compatible with this variant.
  • Extinction Chess. Very compatible with this variant.

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Enjoy! Charles Carroll

Sunglasses-Me

Copying Files Fast (Windows)

Copying massive amounts of files are slow and prone to errors.

First some common sense…

There are many tools listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_file_copying_software including

  • Robocopy*
  • Teracopy
  • XXCopy (a good product but plagued by one unforgiveable bug that keeps it from being my favorite and the lack of a GUI is a bad point as well)
  • XXClone
  • RichCopy*
  • etc.

* Orphaned by Microsoft rather than sanely being made a first class part of their Operating System.

But my current favorite is FastCopy.Minimalist with simple UI but fast and reliable.

http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/fastcopy.html
is as good  a place to get it as any.

It outperforms most of them and handles errors and retries well.

FAQ #1: I encountered the dreaded
GetVolumeInformation(Access is denied.5)
when trying to copy from Network path.

Answer: It does not like Network paths unless you map drives to them.  Then it copies fine.

 

 

LOST on the Island – my Novel

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I loved LOST the TV show but I always wanted to write a novel that filled in some key gaps

  • Who was Whidmore and what was his staff really up to? How did the Island rules affect him?
  • What did Dharma do on it’s years on the Island?
  • What went right and wrong with the Dharma experiments?
  • How did Dharma and the others meet and battle and make a treaty? What was the treaty?
  • The “voices” and trapped spirits had what powers and limits on the mainland?
  • What did Ben and Whidmore and others do “off island”?
  • What did the Sumerians do on the Island?
  • How do “The rules” of the Island work?
  • What was the temple and it’s resurrection waters?
  • How did the lighthouse work?
  • What was Jacob’s Cabin?
  • What was Richard doing on the Island?
  • What were Ilanya and the Temple Guardians doing for Jacob and how did they interact?
  • What were the rules and rituals of OTHER society and their contact with the world?

I am working feverishly on a Novel on these very topics. Chapters to appear soon!

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Great LinQ Bloggers

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Want to read some great LinQ blogs?

Greg Costikyan speaks about Online Gaming

Ten years ago, at the launch of the PS3 and the Xbox 360, I told you to ignore the manufacturers’ hype. These machines were not ushering in a new golden age; they were putting the last nail in the coffin of game innovation. The long term trend of ever-higher budgets and ever-larger teams would continue, and fewer and fewer original titles would be published, until the last ounce of creativity was squeezed out of the industry, profits would decline, and the whole structure would eventually totter and fall under the obvious inconsistencies of the system. And I decried the greed, and lack of taste, on the part of publishers, that led us to this sorry pass.

I was kind of right. We’re now witnessing the last death throes of the AAA system, the viper that sucked game innovation dry. And my sincere regrets to every developer who has suffered in that transition, inevitable though it is.

I called for a revolution; and to my astonishment, we’ve witnessed one, over the last ten years. Online distribution and developers ready to defy the system produced the indie revolution, a Cambrian explosion of creativity not seen since the early days of computer gaming. New platforms – social and mobile games – have opened up entirely new channels, and enabled entirely new game styles. The last 10 years have been the most exciting and most promising time to be a game developer in history, and I include the birth of the industry, and the rise of tabletop hobby games, both exciting times, in that judgment.

But all good things come to an end. And so it is today. The walls are closing in once more. The coming years are going to be harsh. There will be a winnowing of developers unseen since the Atari crash. There will be less and less innovation. Ten years from now, we’re going to need another revolution. And as usual, greed and lack of taste will be to blame.

Let’s look at the markets that have sustained this revolution: indie, social, and mobile games. All three face dire challenges.

The indie revolution has been sustained by one thing: Steam. Oh, yes, XBLA was important once, but Microsoft screwed that pooch; they no longer care about indie games, and don’t care that their authorization and update policies make developing for XBLA utterly unattractive to indie developers. What’s happened with PC games is that we swapped a world in which you had many possible distributors – admittedly distributing into a declining retail market – into a world in which ONE company has a virtual monopoly. And that company is moving from a curated market, in which you were virtually guaranteed success if you passed their curatorial bar, into a total free-for-all, like the mess that is the Apple appstore, in which it will be well nigh impossible to reach an audience unless you are at least as good at public relations and marketing as you are at game development – something true of very, very few indie developers.

Capital likes to invest in companies that are at the pinch-points of a market, because they can squeeze out the lion’s share of the revenues that market produces. Valve is at the pinch-point of the PC games market. Valve, admittedly, actually cares about games, which puts them one up on every other channel; but you can guess where the revenues are ultimately going to go. And it’s not to you.

The Apple app store? Do I even need to recap what a horror -that- is? Tens of thousands of apps, and only two ways to find them: the best-sellers list, and featured games. This is WORSE than conventional retail, where you have at least a few hundred SKUs; nothing below the top 10, 20 at most, on these lists is going to benefit. And “featured” means that unless you know whose cock to suck at Apple, you can forget it. You’re not going to be on that list. Discovery is bloody fucking impossible.

And it TOTALLY DOESN’T HAVE to be this way. Amazon solved this problem decades ago; people are not identical, and best-sellers are a terrible window into your inventory. Why is there no “recommended for you?” Why is there no “people who bought this also bought?” Apple is NOT working to help expose their inventory to people who might like it, because they do not give a flying fuck. The app store is just a marketing gimmick to support hardware sales to them, and they could care less that it does not work for developers. Apple has historically been actively hostile to games, those geeky, boy toys that don’t mesh with their technocool, hi-brow mystique. They’re greedy, and they don’t care.

Google is no better; nor does it seem to bother Google that per-user game revenues on Android lag iOS drastically. And they certainly aren’t doing anything to fix that.

And Facebook? Good Christ almighty. Not content with seizing 30% of developers’ revenues off the top, they have nerfed the viral channels that once made it possible to quickly build a massive audience, so that now the only route to user acquisition is advertising – on Facebook, in competition with every other developer on Facebook, so that an ever-increasing share of revenues go to Facebook. And social game developers either die on the vine, or turn to other channels.

Game markets are killed by greed and lack of taste. The casual game market should serve as a warning to us all. Ten years ago, it was the only sign of hope on the horizon, an alternative channel where developers could innovate and thrive; but the casual game portals took an every-increasing share of revenues, cut prices ever lower to compete with each other, and turned a thriving market into a cesspool in which only a Croatian living on starvation wages could hope to compete. Their short-sightedness and greed killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

The same thing can, and will happen again, unless our distribution partners start to realize that success can only be sustained over the long term if there is a viable business ecosystem in which all parties can thrive. Apple doesn’t care about games. Google doesn’t care about games. Facebook doesn’t care about games. Valve may care about games – but my bet is that they care about money more.
Contrary to libertarian theory, a business does not exist to maximize profits. A business exists to do something. Profit is the condition of survival, but it is not the goal.

How many of you go to work each day, thinking “I want to maximize share-holder value?”

And how many of you go to work thinking, “I want to make the best damn game I can?”

We’re faced now with a scary landscape: Essentially monopolistic distribution channels that have total power over what gets distributed, and what gets attention, with the power to demand whatever portion of the consumer dollar they want.

You can sit passive in the face of this, or you can do something about it.

Actually, I have no idea what you can do about it.

But it might be creating an indie cooperative movement, to join together for better leverage against the other members of the value chain. It might be trying to create our own path to the consumer. It might be marching on the Googleplex, or Apple’s ridiculous flying saucer, and demanding change. I don’t have any pat answers, but we need to start thinking about these issues, instead of allowing ourselves to be passive victims in the face of inimical market forces, shaped by those who do not give a flying fuck about games.

Games are good. Games are powerful. The best games are worthy of love, and of passion. We must somehow shape a world in which games that are worthy of love and passion can find their audience. We’ve had this, for a brief few years; we must not let it go.

C++ gets some power from BOOST

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Boost makes C++ easy & powerful

Where to get BOOST….

http://www.boost.org/
is an awesome FREE open source C++ library that truly makes C++ easier to code. i rarely code C++ without it. It features:

  • Better data types and collections like Vector (including bound checking) and many useful ways to manage object collections.
  • Regular expressions.
  • Easier multi-threading
  • Easier, Safer I/O
  • Timers
  • A rich array of math functionality
  • Hundreds of features you wish C++ had

Its part of the C++ 11 Standard now

These are so useful C++ 11 made it a standard part of the language thus officially blessing it.

Speedup a Windows Machine!

How-Can-Fix-Slow-Computer-Boot-Windows-Computer-Boots-Up-SlowSpeed-Up-Windows-8-Booting-Start-up

Speedup that work for all Windows Versions

Introduction

Sent about 12 hours speeding up my Mom’s old XP system because it had gotten very slow. Here is the definitive guide (and almost all these suggestions are Win7/win 8 / vista ready) to what I did some of you may have great suggestions or corrections here is the list:
(of course I first just removed lots of programs casual users grandkids, me, her other children put on that have not been used in forever, drivers for 3 different printers and their companion programs she does not have anymore, etc.)

windows-tips-tricks

The Speed Up Tips

  • http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html is the ULTIMATE SURVEY TOOL to see what your system has hardware and software wise and print it out. Free and does an amazing report including License keys, installed service packs, every piece of hardware and motherboard revision #s, etc. A printout from this will answer any techie’s question about what is on your system. And will help you know what drivers you do need based on your current hardware.
    Note: Speccy http://www.piriform.com/speccy is somewhat better in terms of hardware discovery. For instance, a video card that Belarc will show as a generic VGA card will be much better detailed by Speccy. Belarc, however will doa great job with applications and software!
  • http://www.blackviper.com/ BlackViper is your must have reference to know what Windows Services are started and don’t need to be (i.e. Services.msc issues). This option is time consuming, consider just steps 3, 4, 5, 8 first they may speed things up enough that you don’t have to do this even though eliminating unneeded services speeds up PCs even further.
  • Tip use half as many colors as usual i.e. if your Graphics card can do 32 million colors, set it to use 16 million instead. Half as much work redrawing the screen. Right click on display properties provided that option.
  • TIP If your system has 2 to 4 Gigs of RAM turn off ‘swapping to disk’ for memory just use straight memory. On control panel, SYSTEM, ADVANCED
  • if on XP make the system look great, turn on ClearType (on already in Vista/Win7 most of the time). You will be shocked how much better text looks on the machine.

Process Lasso is your friend

  • Install Process Lasso YESTERDAY from http://bitsum.com/prolasso.php it will help you make any system MUCH MUCH FASTER it allows you to
    monitor who is hogging your computer’s brain (CPU) and memory (RAM) sooooo much better than any other tools, terminate programs instantly
    that don’t want to exit or take minutes or never exit when they hang, etc. It also ‘throttles’ (i.e. slows down) any program that tries tomonopolize your machine.
    process lasso has many more features than Task Manager:
  • when a program tries to grab 100% and takes over a machine PL keeps a log of the programs that did so on the bottom of its screen. This is helpful because when a program slows down a machine often machine is sooooo slow Ctrl escape will not pull up Task Man and when it finally comes up the offending program has calmed down and you cannot see who was monopolizing the machine a few minutes ago.
  • When a program tries to tab 100% PL throttles it i.e. slows it down and gives it less CPU time so it can grab 100% of the CPU. PL is an active tool unlike TaskMan that observes but cannot slow down a greedy program.
  • When a program hangs FoxPro, Explorer, whatever and quitting or clicking on the X will not close it, Process Lasso has several right click terminate options some of which can end the program in a second when a stubborn program refuses to end.
  • It has many more useful columns of information about running programs to see RAM consumed to spot RAM pigs, threads, average and current % of CPU, etc.

More Speed Up Tips

  • http://pcdecrapifier.com/ is superb tool. It clears out a ton of uneeded programs vendors throw on that clutter your computer and registry.
  • http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner   Ccleaner can clean your registry but it makes me super nervous as it does MS engineer to remove things that may break software. But this seems to be the best at it.
  • Glary Utilities is useful.
  • Revo uninstaller is amazing. It can remove things Add Remove Programs will not.

Security Tips

Security I just removed everything but Microsoft Security Essentials.
In the past I have used AVG (very good free), Norton, Macafee, Spybot Search and destroy (also very good), and AntiMalware Bytes but nasty things slipped by any way on other’s machine about twice a year or anytime my machine got infected by a baddy  I had to clean. NORTON in particular slows down a machine so much I always remove it entirely from a machine and use Microsoft Security Essentials which takes much less machine resources to keep machine even safer. Process Lasso has identified most scanners as CPU HOGs – windows security essentials is not.
When Bad things slip by or even if you suspect but are not  sure your machine is infected do THOROUGH BADDY CLEAN (see end of doc)

Browsing Tips

  • Internet Explorer and Firefox are memory hogs. IE more so than fIreFox. On an old system or slow system switch to Chrome it will perform much better on any system.
  • Use the suggested add-ins I recommend.

xp

XP Only Speedup Tips

  • http://www.litepc.com/xplite.html is THE TOOL to remove tons of uneeded stuff that windows XP itself will never let you remove and to do so in a very easy way. First thing I do after installing it is apply the SHRINK option it reclaims a lot of disk space and eliminates a lot of unneeded update rollback info, orphaned temp files, etc.

More Questions? Need Help!

All of these tips and more and advice on this can be gained by asking questions on email groups devoted to repairing and using Windows I recommend joining and sending questions, error messages, etc, to

  • http://superuser.com/ the Stack OverFlow family of help sites for Windows.
  • my favorite Yahoo Groups i.e.
    • xxxx
    • xxxx

What a SMART tech company would buy…

A smart tech company would bolster their tech portfolio with these excellent products: