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/silicon/ - technology

from the trenches
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ゆっくりしていってね !

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Let's talk coding and software, sushis, because I don't do enough of it and I really should. Let's hear about projects you're working on, stuff your coding, learning. Trade secrets, info, tips, whatever. Programming isn't something that should be done alone in a corner.

I guess if we need a thread starter, I want to brush up on my coding skills. I want to find something to play around with, something not as mainstream as the stuff like Java and C, but will still be useful in a professional setting, something I can make usable stuff out of.


>projects you're working on, stuff your coding, learning
Someone released a Python library for ffmpeg, so I'm trying to make a GUI frontend for it as a personal project and learning the hard way why people don't like making GUIs. Although, XAML is actually very pleasant for that purpose.

A friend/co-worker and I are trying to make a phone application for the office that'll be a simple intranet scheduler application for the conference rooms we have in the office. I still don't know how we're going to handle the calendar part, though, because I have no idea how one would handle that and google searching hasn't been very fruitful.

>but will still be useful in a professional setting, something I can make usable stuff out of.

From what I've read, you're simply not going to get away from languages like Java, C, C#, C++ when it comes to making useful programs for a professional setting. I've also read, however, that Haskell and F# are really coming into their own as functional programming is finally starting to battle against OOP for the paradigm spotlight. Disclaimer: I don't know a whole lot about programming.


I believe almost every language has a place in some comercial setting, however obscure (esolangs notwhitstanding). Surely there are FORTRAN applications that still need maintenance, even COBOL struff, and I suspect there may be more antediluvian LISP applications scattered about, and I've heard rumors of people wwriting APL for a living.
But to suggest you languages that you might find handy to code something useful in: Haskell, Common Lisp, Racket, Erlang, Clojure.
Haskell is even used by Facebook somewhere, it's probably a good language to start learning languages that are not Algol-style.
Common Lisp is old but it's the most interesting lisp available and still at the cutting edge of language technology
Racket is an interpreted dialect of lisp with batteries included: has regular expressions, networking, systems programming, all sorts of things.
Erlang is largely used in Telecomm, it's emphasis is on massively parallel programming, it combines the actor model (central to OOP) with functional programming
Clojure is a sort of lispy dialect running on the JVM, I hear it's making itself a place in the industry because, of course, java.

Ultimately, just have fun, make something you like, don't care too much about commercial use because your main options for that would be Java, javascript, PHP and maybe C++


>Let's hear about projects you're working on, stuff your coding, learning. Trade secrets, info, tips, whatever
After a slight burn out on a big project, starting to code again is somewhat difficult. Instead of starting the next big project, I found that making a really small something is easier. I've finished a trivial note-taker script in one evening and seeing the working result almost immediately and applying it is really satisfying - brings the joy of making programs (and solving problems) again.
> I want to find something to play around with, something not as mainstream as the stuff like Java and C, but will still be useful in a professional setting, something I can make usable stuff out of.
I've been looking for something like this for a while. Tried golang, racket, wanted to try forth but could not find the implementation that was good enough. I heard Elixir is promising, but I know nothing about it.


Go is definitely gaining traction in industry, it's what I spent the summer getting paid to do. It's a pretty small language: easy to pick up, but not particularly enjoyable. If you want something totally different, Haskell and OCaml are taking off, but you're basically restricted to working for a banking or investment company at the moment.


I have a really great idea, and the right skills to make it a reality.
But I can't think of any way to profit much from it (Even though huge and small companies will profit from it when it comes to fruition)
And even then there will be the bigger hurdle of it only becoming useful when it becomes kind of a standard (There is nothing like it currently though).
What can I do to get people to notice it, after I developed it?
I thought about doing some showcase videos and posting about it online. Do you think that will be enough?


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For a few years now I've been working on writing a tiling game engine in Python called Driftwood. I took a very long break but returned to it about 2 weeks ago and have gotten it some halfway closer to beta since. It's a remake of my previous game engine, Tsunagari, which was written in C++, and poorly designed and unmaintainable.

Driftwood boots up and then provides an internal API to a world package made of images, sounds, maps, descriptive files, and scripts which tell the engine to do things. Each game starts with the engine loading a script which tells it how to proceed, and then the maps and entities can have events which call other scripts. The goal is to simplify game making eventually to somewhere around the convenience of RPGMaker. Currently its limited feature set is functional and it's in early alpha. I'm working with one partner.

GitHub if anyone's interested in taking a peek, though currently it's only guaranteed to work on Linux and there is a known problem with Mac OSX that my partner is working on. Windows is untested. You also can't do all that much with it right now, as it's lacking text and UI functionality, but it's almost to the point where you could make a game similar to Yume Nikki. There's also no manual, but the code is documented well (though it's untested for many possible situations and probably riddled with bugs at this stage.) https://github.com/seisatsu/Driftwood


I'd say make it first, then worry about marketing.
Particularly because you won't be able to make it fluorish if you have nothing to show


Code can be for fun you know. Just make it a side project, your life's work can be something else.


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Ahh, I've been waiting to post this.

I've been working on napalm, a terminal-based ASCII/ANSI painter written in C with ncurses. It has some similarities to how you interact with vim. Currently, in 0.1, it lets you make canvases, draw on them and save the output to files.

I'd appreciate it if sushis tested it and reported back bugs, because I'm sure there are loads.

Repo here:

Sei, that looks awesome. I might peruse the code/try it out.


I will program it in any case.
But I want to actually see it used, and more importantly I don't want my idea exploited,
like google, microsoft and the like making millions out of my work (without me seeing a single cent),
or even worse, them managing to patent it or something!


That is hard to do unless you make it proprietary, but you wouldn't be so bad a person would you?
Sorry if I have no substantial advice, I might advice you to either try crowfunding or get leverage from some company you can sign a contract with, that can market it for you. Problem there is, you are prone to getting backstabbed by them if you choose poorly, so if you do that get a good lawyer
It's hard because companies like google will most surely find a way to make millions off it if they can…


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It's not terribly hard to program for anyone competent, really.
So making it proprietary wouldn't even protect anything.
Also software-freedom is important for me, so this isn't even a choice for me.
Well, even if it gets big, and I don't get any money out of it, a bit of fame isn't too bad either.
I'm actually quite surprised why this isn't a thing yet (Maybe multi-billion dollar corporations aren't really a hotbed of creativity after all)
Anyway, I'll definitely post it here when I put it up on github! Also sorry for being so secretive.


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>Let's hear about projects you're working on
Writing a game in C#/MonoGame, it comes along slowly, day by day. I've been debating writing my own tiling or using TileD and an already existing parser. All I really want is to easily make maps.


I've been writing a concurrent web framework based on Golang's net/http. I'm able to write basic web servers now, which is pretty neat


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im working on a VN with a writer friend of mine, he's finally almost finished up with the script, and so it will be in my hands to code it. figure's it would get transferred to my hands right as school is starting to pick up.


If he's doing the writing and you're doing the programming, who's doing the art?


he's done some photography for backgrounds and im using a cool little piece of software called iicharacteralpha to generate the waifus and other characters. its not ideal, but the budget is $0 and neither of us do art so we're kind of s.o.l.


Cool. I guess you two are doing this for fun, so whatever works, works.
I've been wanting to create a little game myself for some time now (been looking into the love2d framework), but my complete lack of skill when it comes to art/sprites is what keeps me from even starting.


Im working on a project and would like to get more input from sushies while Im making it so I can share when its done. I also put up this >>>/arcade/184 and will put in a DB update tomorrow.
Im building a turn based game in Rails 5 and HTML5/JS. I will be using Ruby all the way though to keep to only one language on the back end. I will keep up here as well for any one interested.


How do I get better at coding, or at least coming up with things to actually do? My biggest problem is an apparent lack of imagination, if I want to sit down and code something, I have do idea what to make or where to begin.


Im >>287 and this is my first big project. The best way to practice is to make little tools that you need all the time (or just want ala youtubedl) and just do what ever comes to mind. Helping in projects is always a great way to get good as well. reading other peoples code is not always easy and it takes practice as well.


>make little tools that you need all the time
And that's part of what I mean. Most of the time, I can never really think of anything that I need done by a program.

Actually, there probably is something I could do. It's a little more involved, but definitely not outside of my skill range. The issue is that it would require me to obtain a database of a mass amount of stats (or just copy everything by hand, which would take eons and leaves way to much room for error). It wouldn't actually get me to do anything for a while, though.

I'm trying to get used to Godot, but these scenes and nodes are just plain weird.


>The issue is that it would require me to obtain a database of a mass amount of stats (or just copy everything by hand
See, that's your first tool to write. Instead of copying by hand, let a program handle the task.


Well, the thing with programming is that languages are usually fit for a particular domain of application. I don't think there is such thing as a 'general purpose programming language'. C is great for working with raw data or interfacing with the kernel and most libraries, yet it's really hard to do some high-level stuff.
Perl is great for mass data processing, R is great for statistical analysis, and lisp is great for manipulation of program logic. I found ruby to be great for structured programming.
So first you got to find the best language for your particular purpose, or if you're in love with a language, the particular domain of that language.
Usually you build up your knowledge gradually: what is some basic stuff I can do with this? then do it.


Has anyone here ever used ConnectWise Automate/LabTech before? I'm looking to impress a company I had an interview with this morning, but having trouble trying to decide what direction I want to go in for a project.


> based on C
> with garbage collector and pointers
Sounds just fine imo. I've been fiddling around with Ethereum for some time now. The dev team seems to like Go pretty much, ending all their github/wiki pages with
> golang <3


>Let's talk coding and software, sushis, because I don't do enough of it and I really should. Let's hear about projects you're working on, stuff your coding, learning.
I'm constantly reading about programming in some form; it's fun. I've been meaning to pay ECMA-48 proper attention, but I still read other documents more lately.

I'm mostly working on a development tool as of right now.

>Trade secrets, info, tips, whatever. Programming isn't something that should be done alone in a corner.

Even on the wired, we're still alone like this.

>I guess if we need a thread starter, I want to brush up on my coding skills. I want to find something to play around with, something not as mainstream as the stuff like Java and C, but will still be useful in a professional setting, something I can make usable stuff out of.

Lisp and APL have already been mentioned.

Consider learning a machine code; you'll use an assembler for this. Avoid Intel.


Recently I've been learning Haskell and recently wrote myself a simple file encryption program. I'm pretty proud of it and I'm finding Haskell and the whole functional programming thing really interesting. I'm considering learning something like OCaml as well as I hear that's getting real popular.


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I released v0.4 of napalm, my ncurses-based program for doing ASCII and ANSI art. This version is all about adding layers instead of having a single canvas. You can now import multiple files without overwriting everything, for example.

It's written in C, and I guess I learnt a new way to initialise a struct in the process. It's interesting to note that, since the first commit (612 LOC), the number of lines of code has quadrupled. Whether that's good or bad, I don't know.

The code is here: https://gitla.in/chibi/napalm


>Let's hear about projects you're working on
I'm making a pseudonym generator in C. For now it takes a string of characters in input and randomize them, the difficult part would be to make the output readable, so I have to detect vowels etc…

Do you sushis think it's possible to live off your own code projects via patreon or something?


git link? since gitla.in is down.

try it


The homepage for the project is now: http://unraed.uk/prog/napalm.html

There's no code browsing though, just a link to clone the repo (this is a bit slow for some reason, be patient!). If you have any comments whatsoever, email me. I am always grateful for people testing it out.


I hope you don't mind, but I looked through your webpage and found your music. You should make more, it is very comfy.


You don't know how happy that makes me. Thank you for saying so, sushi. Unfortunately you cannot expect new music for a while because I work on it quite slowly, so maybe check back into unraed.uk in a year or so.

(Saging because off-topic, btw)


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I'm working on a Jekyll theme.

Here is a minimal [code]_config.yml[/code]:

theme: adriatic
title: Hello !


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hey sushis. recently i've been looking at taisei (open source touhou clone). the graphics are surprisingly good, the soundtrack is great and the codebase seems to be really clean and organized. I don't know too much C but I'm hoping I can figure out something to do and contribute! anyone know anything about this project?

in other related news: I finished a really quick mangadex downloader in python. figured out their new api and just downloads chapters in parallel and tries to do padding so you can just `feh -r` a directory. Can post code if anyone is curious, I'm frequently without internet so I like to download most of my media.

Looks nice. I like the use of color to separate different fields.

hey, that's great! what program did you make? I think learning haskell made my code in other languages better, I try to be more pure/shorter functions and so on now.

I think a game is a really good project to start because it involves a lot (video, audio, math, concurrency) and you can easily think of ideas for new features/modes/power-ups etc. A fun one I like to suggest is the game from Tron (kind of like multiplayer snake–you grow by 1 in the direction you face each turn, if you hit another snake's body, you lose). You can even do it over the internet with websockets for extra difficulty.


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Re: Haskell vs. OCaml
If your interests are in functional programming proper then stick with Haskell. The learning curve is a steep one but if you have no other programming experience and a knack for the abstract then your fresh perspective will make it easier to grasp for a first timer I think.

I actually love (and use) ML more but the community and enthusiasm for modern FP is definitely in Haskell land.

I would also recommend a look at functional style Javascript if you just want a taste of FP, in a language that has seemingly endless educational and discussion materials.

Completely unrelated but for ages I've been using my Rust implementation of AWK (another favourite language) but now I'm wanting to radically redefine the language design itself. Sacriligeous I know. I doubt anything will come of it but I sure think about it a lot.


working on some infosec tools related to shells and botnets


Learning C++


If you are somebody who would try Haskell, just try Scheme. Seriously, once you realize that code is data, you can just choose (i.e., extend) the best language to fit your problem.

Haskell might lure you into thinking about your problem with monads, applicatives, and functors. "It all looks so neat and tidy," you think. Really, you are just locking yourself into a box. You're in the Haskell box. In Scheme, you create the box.

A C programmer might say "I will return from the function early when I encounter an error."

A Haskell programmer might say "I will lift my function into a maybe monad that will prevent further applications when I encounter an error."

A Scheme programmer might say "I will write a macro that only applies the next function if the previous function succeeded."

Which one sounds the most natural? The Scheme programmer! Why? It's because the Scheme programmer creates a LANGUAGE. The C and Haskell programmers must live with the decisions of their language designers.

Remember! Language designers of general programming languages design for the general case. The only way to conform to your case is to become a language designer. The easiest way to do that is to use the homoiconic Scheme language.


I wanted weeks ago to build a small blog with Node.js Vue.js, Express and set up something around Docker o have a development environment without having to install anything on the host machine. I managed this last part and learned a bit more about Docker, but quickly lost interest for the main task. Web development bores me as much as I find everything related to it tedious or daunting. Laziness must also be part of the problem

Otherwise I still have an "art" project in Python using Pillow, I'll rather rewrite it in something else but this library's API is great


Seems to miss the point of haskell a bit. Sure it is less flexible, but in exchange you get abstractions that are broadly reusable because they follow simple laws and have an ecosystem of libraries build around them. Also the type checker can reason about them then, so it suggests what your function should look like and rules out certain classes of bugs.

Still waiting for my ideal language of a scheme with full dependent type checker running on top that you can interact with. Until then I'll probably stick with haskell.


Not everybody works the same though, it takes a bit of a creative disposition to dream up that best language, or even just a good one. Constraints and small boxes to work within have often been cited as inspiration, no doubt you've heard it before.
Kind of a LEGOs vs clay type of situation.
I like lisps too, but you have to realize it isn't the holy grail for everybody. An infinite journey of new boxes isn't always best procedure.
>my ideal language of a scheme with full dependent type checker
If you'd be prepared to put in some work, you could have a go at a toy scheme (based on "Write yourself a Scheme in 48 hours" perhaps) in haskell, figure it would be pretty easy to integrate whatever you like from haskell into it then.


Web development is just… boring. That was my focus in school, but I frequently found out there was no passion in web development, and people basically just do it because it's a "get rich quick" scheme. I went into "real" programming i.e. systems programming and find my tasks much more enjoyable than copying the same boilerplate ad nauseam.


Well, there are people that are fond of front-end development, nice for them, I almost never finish a web-related project of my own because I know I will have to write html/js at some point. I's a marketable set of skills but I'll rather do something completely different than doing boring php dev or javascript bugfixs again.

System programming seems way tougher to get into though, are you working in a particulier subset of it (driver, desktop application, embedded, etc)?


I have worked on both drivers and embedded before. Right now I am working on "cloud native" architecture. I contribute to some open source projects (which are desktop applications) but they are rarely updated projects.


New /adv/ type personal issues board at https://clooven.com is what I've been working on.

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