I like to make software that is fun and good looking.

April 11, 2014

Dom Mutators

What I’m envisaging for the scene server I’m working on at the moment, is a dom-like API that you can script against, and then changes to the world get reflected down to all the connected clients. So you’ve got something like this:

April 10, 2014

Parsing scene files using dom-lite

So, I went to Monterey with Rissa last night and drunk a few beers and had a hack at using dom-lite to provide a dom interface to my scene nodes. While I was working on it, I came across micro-dom which uses htmlparser2 to parse html and turn it into dom-lite nodes. So I decided to replace my handwritten scene parser with htmlparser2.

April 08, 2014

Tweening with obelisk

While working on the isometric viewer for mv-world, I added some basic tweening to obelisk using tween.js.

April 07, 2014

Using blender to convert models

So I got the world server working for my 3d world project. You can reliably connect from the client which is currently using obelisk.js to render an isometric overview of the world. I also added script element to the scene, so you can script an animation on the server, and it’ll get replicated out to all the connecting clients.

April 04, 2014

Scene server

So the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with various multi-user 3d environment things. I originally started with a c++ app that uses bullet physics and websockets to provide a shared 3d world where anyone can drop blocks into the world and they physically interact, and the results are streamed out to all the connected clients and rendered using three.js.

April 02, 2014

Wire formats for the metaverse

I’ve been spending my free time working on some metaverse style projects. This has been kicked off by two things:

January 21, 2014

A virtual noticeboard for your pub

This is a pretty niche app, and I think it’d be hard to grow, and people probably wouldn’t like that it always runs in the background and uses your battery, but here’s the idea.

December 11, 2013

Foursquare times snapchat

Sorry, this is a bit of a puff piece, but it’s been interesting seeing the large social networks (Facebook) being stripped down into their component parts and have their lunch eaten by small task-focussed mobile apps (like Snapchat).

November 29, 2013

Everythings coming up mobile

This isn’t a particularly controversial position, but I feel that in my own career, now is the time to learn some proper mobile development. I feel that in about two years time, people will do most of their casual browsing on a mobile device, and most of that will be through mobile apps, not through mobile websites.

Everything is coming up milhouse

November 26, 2013

Post Google Search

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about search in the post-web world. It looks more and more likely that mobile apps will become as popular as the web was. The web is never going to go away, but you’re going to spend more than half your time looking at content in a mobile app. So is there a market for a search engine that only shows results that link to apps on your phone?

November 26, 2013

Auto rollback on error increase

Last night I deployed to ZoomIn, and I forgot to run the migrations that were included in the deploy. Bit of a newbie mistake, but it did point out to me that I need better ops. There’s two things that would’ve helped in this case.

November 25, 2013

Mini rave for kiwiburn

I’ve been daydreaming about what kind of art piece I could take to kiwiburn. Last year way my first kiwiburn so I didn’t take much apart from my lovely self and my acoustic guitar, but I did camp with Sam, who contributed towards a dance tent. What I’ve been thinking about taking, would be a motion activated mini rave. I’d grab the subwoofer and 4 channel amp out of the car, and hook it up so that two channels ran the sub, and the other two channels ran some home theatre speakers we have lying around.

November 21, 2013

Social media aggregator

After a brief google, I couldn’t find any sites that do this - which I find really surprising, but someone needs to build a tool that lets you create a ‘channel’, which is an aggregation of a bunch of Facebook pages and Twitter feeds into one easy to read page. It’s like a google reader, but just for facebook and twitter pages.

November 20, 2013

3d printing rockets

Back in 2006, when I was first working on ZoomIn, I decided I needed a hobby aside from computer programming (startups being quite a full on project). I had been reading the Armadillo Aerospace blog, I decided that I wanted to try and build a liquid rocket engine. So I bought a combination metal lathe and mill and $200 of aluminum stock.

November 11, 2013

Tesseract and Postgres Trigrams

I was chatting with @nicobrevin at the pub the other week, and we were discussing idea for interesting side projects, and we went back and forth over email for a few weeks, until we came across the idea of building some kind of tool around scanning and OCRing your shopping receipts.

November 01, 2013

Improving autocomplete on zoomin

Just sitting here on a Friday thinking about how I could improve the autocomplete on ZoomIn. The problem is, when you search for rogue and vag and it doesn’t autocomplete to “the rogue and vagabond”. Also, if you type in k sing it doesn’t complete to ‘k.sing’.

October 21, 2013

Radar: Remaking Dopplr in an afternoon

So, I read last week that Dopplr, the social travel darling, was being shut down by Nokia at the end of the month. This isn’t too surprising, since there has been no development on Dopplr since it was acquired by Nokia in 2009. But it is a bit of a shame, since Dopplr was a cool app, and was a great way to keep track of your trips and get lots of interesting stats and maps. So, I decided to remake Dopplr, and let people migrate their data off Dopplr and onto my new service, RADAR.

October 14, 2013

Zeptomap - Maps for the Mission District

So today I woke up and decided that I’d have a crack at seeing whether I can build something like ZoomIn, but for the Mission District of San Francisco. And whether it could be built using OpenStreetMap data. Presenting… Zeptomap.

October 11, 2013

Result.success in node.js

Last night I started hacking a chat server using node.js, redis and websockets. It’s a bit of a right of passage for node developers, but I’m actually working towards building an android app I’m tentatively calling riskyclicks. Basically, it’s a public webbrowser, where you can see what pages everyone else in the app is viewing, and if you and another user are on the same domain at the same time, you can chat with them. I thought it up as a nice way to talk to people reading about WWII on wikipedia, or people reading stuff, or people reading about space.

October 03, 2013

Google maps doesnt play nice

I find it weird that Google, the company that relies on the internet having nicely-spiderable, indexable and machine-readable versions of webpages (otherwise their search engine would be useless), seems to have no intention of creating nice indexable, searchable and shareable urls from it’s own web properties.