∞ Scientific Languages & Java Memory

Programmers apparently double down on publishing articles and updates during summer vacations. Here’s the second link collection this month that’s exclusively concerned with software development, and mostly with Java… Lambda the Ultimate recently linked and excerpted two excellent posts on scientific computing by Graydon Hoare. Published in March, the first article looks at the history […]

Custom KOMA-Script Letter 1.1

Over the last couple of KOMA-Script releases, I noticed that my custom letter format for this style package had changed its appearance. Specifically, the second page’s header and footer had moved from the margins into the page, taking up far too much space. I opened a (German) bug report on the KOMA-Script forum, including sample […]

∞ Balls of Mud & Java Optimization

Here’s another link roundup, this time exclusively about software development… Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder’s 1999 paper Big Ball of Mud, also available for download in various formats, posits the likely inevitability of this infamous design anti-pattern and is still well worth reading. Foote’s 2012 presentation Who Ever Said Programs Were Supposed to be Pretty? […]

Glyph Positioning in JFreeSVG & OrsonPDF

Object Refinery Ltd. makes two small but extremely useful Java libraries for producing vector graphics. JFreeSVG (free & commercial) supports Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and HTML5 Canvas output, and OrsonPDF (commercial with free demo) supports Adobe PDF output. Each provides a custom implementation of java.awt.Graphics2D, the 2D drawing surface for the Java AWT graphics library. […]

Quarriors’ Quirky Dice

Icarus Studios’ Quarriors! for iPad was released in December 2013 to mixed reactions. The app was certainly pretty but the interface was a confusing mess of taps and swipes, with too many pointless pauses and not enough information for those new to the game. On top of that, the AI players were pretty terrible and […]

∞ Managed Code & Silly Science

Time for another roundup of worthy links from the last couple of months. First, if you’re at all interested in historical wargames, you should visit Wargame_[space] where veteran strategy game writer and actual brain surgeon Bruce Geryk now collects his articles. Quirks Mode’s Peter Paul Koch has published three slide collections from the HTML5 developer […]

Star Chess: The Next Generation

At long last I’ve finished updating Star Chess to Java and JavaFX. This little space empire builder was the founding project of the Kynosarges website. The original Fortran 90 version (yes, really) was the first page I published back in 1999. The first total rewrite in plain C for Windows followed in 2001. Then the […]

Light Field Photography

The American company Lytro makes cameras based on light field photography. The first version, a tiny box, made headlines but didn’t have much impact. Now Lytro tries again with the Lytro Illum, an improved model about the size and shape of a typical “prosumer” camera. One defining feature of light field photography is the ability […]

Robot Writer News

Computers still struggle to master the Turing test, but that doesn’t matter for low demands on writing quality. In today’s sampling of publishing news we learn that this includes social networks, professional journalism, and scientific conference proceedings. The Scientific Bot In February, science publishers Springer and IEEE were forced to retract over 120 papers from […]

Busy Red Wood Ants

A colony of red wood ants has discovered a nearby tree stump and is busy building its nest there. I snapped a series of pictures as ants were dragging tasty food (pictured below) and building materials into the nests. Bonus pictures include a cardinal beetle and a click beetle. For this excursion I switched from […]