Which is to say: I am a software engineer. I studied computer science at university, I write software for a living, and I even sometimes code for fun in my free time. Here, I talk about it.

What todo?

The return train ride after a visit to my parents' house is, if anything, more pleasant that the outward journey. This is not least, of course, because it ends in Edinburgh, rather than Doncaster*. Be that as it may, this is perhaps a good time to pick up the thought I left hanging at the end of my last entry, in which I talked a little about ways of keeping notes and writing down ideas. Having dealt with information, we now come to action. From stasis, to process. Less obliquely: what, exactly, are you going to do about those ideas?…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

Fractal Errata

Some of the particularly sharp/anal ones amongst you might have noticed that while the technique for generating fractal lanscapes I previously described works (and works well), it's not 100% correct. Specifically, the fact that it uses the the same scaling factor for nodes created by the diamond and square steps isn't quite right. Why is this? Because they generate nodes which adhere to different levels of detail, that's why. Lets go back to that last diagram from the post which described the algorithm: Now while you'll note that both steps add nodes that can be addressed using fractions with…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

Now In Eye Popping 3D!

It took a little bit of fighting with bugs that weren't showing up in the 2D view, and a bit of time to figure out what was going on with the lighting system in JME, but I finally got the 3D display of the fractal landscapes working. The first stage was just displaying each node as a discrete point so I could see that each was in about the right place. It looks a little bit like this: I did this by simply piping the spatial coordinates and colour information of each node into a pair of standard Java FloatBuffers,…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

Some Random Landscapes

I don't have any 3D views of the fractal landscapes I've been making to show you yet, as I'm still working through the different implementation options. I did get a little distracted with the 2D views of the landscape this morning, though, and play with the colouring scheme. First of all, let's start again with the example landscape used in yesterday's post, only with slightly more sober colours and a bar on the right showing how the height values map to actual colours: Now that looks reasonably neat already, in a "my first atlas" kind of way, but…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

You're Speaking My Landscape, Baby.

No, that isn't a typo... but yes, it is a bad play on words. That's the bad news. The good news: finally! A Clockwork Aphid implementation post! If you're building something which relates in some way to virtual worlds, then the first thing you're going to need is a virtual world. This gives you two options: Use a ready made one; Roll your own. Option 1 is a possibility, and one that I'm going to come back to, but for now let's think about option 2. So then, when building a virtual world the first thing you need is the…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

Language Post Mortem and Some Other Notes

A couple nuggets of knowledge came out of my "You're Speaking My Language, Baby" series of posts, so I though I'd just take a quick moment to talk about them. The first two are perhaps the most obvious by far. Firstly: if you actually write blog posts, people are more likely to read your blog. Funny that, huh? While my post on installing Celtx on the Acer Aspire one is still my most popular by some margin (probably because it actually provides some utility), I actually had my highest numbers of hits per day during the last week.…

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