In Which I Join Greplin

Hay you guys! I got a new job in San Francisco! Starting next month I will be a software engineer (specializing in mobile) with Greplin, Inc.

Some of you may be asking “Why the switch?” Well, I’ve been an avid follower of the Valley tech scene for quite some time now, from TechCrunch and GigaOm all the way down to Valleywag. I have also been the earliest adopter of tons of weird web stuff at SPG (to the sometime-bemusement of my coworkers!)– so it stands to reason that I would eventually find myself moving out to SF and working for a web company!

Anyway, if you’re not quite sure what Greplin does or who they are, I forgive you! They’re still quite young. You can check them out at http://greplin.com — or just watch this video:

Anyway I’m incredibly excited (and also incredibly nervous!) to be joining these guys out in the bay. By the way, did I mention that Greplin is nominated for a Crunchie? Well we are! Vote for us! (I think the we/us pronouns are appropriate, even though I haven’t technically joined up yet? Not really sure, but ohwellz!)

Now somebody needs to buy my house. Quickly, get to it! It’s in a great spot in Carrboro– walkable distance from everything!

[related: In Which I Leave Spark Plug Games]

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In Which I Depart Spark Plug Games.


And so it is, that after nearly three years of Igniting Fun, I have made the difficult decision to leave Spark Plug Games. Amie and I have been talking about moving out West for awhile now, and San Francisco seemed like a natural fit– given that I’m a bit of a fanatic for new web technologies and the startup scene.

In early February of 2011, I will be joining Greplin, Inc. as a software engineer and Mobile Dude.

I’ve absolutely loved working at SPG. I don’t lie or exaggerate when I tell you it’s the best work environment I can possibly imagine. This is to say nothing of the absolutely incredible people that I’ve had the privilege of working with. The guys at SPG are nothing short of world class talent and I can only hope to work with them again someday.

Obviously there are reasons for my decision, which I won’t go into here, but I think the best explanation is a simple one: I got the “itch”.

I need to see what else is out there and I wouldn’t mind getting away from games for awhile. Seeing that I’ve been fascinated by Valley culture and the tech race for awhile now, it really does make perfect sense for me to be there at this point in my life.

Now buy my house… Seriously, you guys! It’s in a great part of Carrboro and we don’t need it anymore. I’ll love you forever.

[related: In Which I Join Greplin]

Data Formatters in XCode (or how to make XCode suck less at custom containers)

Ever been working on somebody else’s code with their cruddy old custom string class and come across this?

Really? This is all you got?

Gee, thanks summary!

…only to drill down into the object to find more of this:

whaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggaaaaaarrrrrrrblllll

WHARGARBL?

Do you see my actual string there at the very bottom? Man… I’d really hate to have to do this every damned time I want to get at a string! Luckily, that empty summary box is not the final word in debugger previews. Instead you can use a handy little scripting language to create DATA FORMATTERS that will do the work for you. Check this out!

What's that?

….and then…

HOOOOOOOOO!

BAM! You win. By the way, in case  you were wondering: The ‘:s’ gives you the summary field of the value you’ve drilled down to.

Also this:

The Console can be useful as well.

P.S. — You can build Data Formatters into your project via a Bundle, instructions HERE

Soooo…

Where Have You Been?

...Yeah

I’m sorry I abandoned you, Internet! I know I haven’t called or written lately, and I’m really sorry for that. I’ve been spending quite a bit of my off-hours time developing noncritical engine features for NYMPH, and haven’t really had much time to write on the ol’ blog.

I’ve got a couple ideas for posts kicking around that you may find interesting. Firstly I want to write about why the hell it’s so hard to turn a profit over here in Gameland while Techland over in the Valley seemingly has more money than it knows what to do with. I mean– I know we’re kind of commoditized as a field, but don’t we get a pass by sheer virtue of the fact that we’re in a creative industry? Evidently not.

But there’s more!

Continue reading

On Flash and its Idiosyncrasies

Flash Sucks  I’ve become fond recently of saying that “Flash is as professional-grade as Y is a vowel.” The thing just befuddles me in some ways, while being really neat in others.

I’ve definitely become a fan of just drawing stuff on the screen with Flash, because the vector conversion makes all my lines look really deliberate and sharp, where in real life they’re nothing but (it takes a special kind of algorithm to create cool stuff from freehand mouse-drawing). Tweening is also really cool, with all the control you have over ease of transition, etc.

Then you get to the programming aspect of Flash and the pungent reek of terrible design slaps you in the face like month-old fish. I respect that they made their own custom scripting language, and it’s passable for that– but then adding in OO-style classes, and I’m like… wtf– how does that tie in with Flash’s concept of an object: “Symbols”?

I’ve been able to so far bypass any OO style programming with flash, and put any object-specific code into the symbol’s own actionscript file, but I get the feeling that won’t last.

I also effing hate the IDE. If you want to earn my love, you will use an open language that produces plain text code files, and that can be integrated with something like MS Studio or Eclipse. They have invented not only the wheel, but also suspension, A/C, and internal combustion. There is no reason to try to do it better.

I’ve been keeping my projects in a local SVN repository, and it really pisses me off that even the source for these things is binary. At least give me something that can be parsed and diff’d by Subversion!

Ugh, closed-standard-mongering asshats.