Archive for August, 2008

“Refactor,” what a dumbass term!

When did “rewrite” become “rewrite from scratch?!” In my 30 years of writing code, rewrite never meant rewriting from scratch — until the programming cults arrived on the scene at the beginning of the century, that is. Before them, “rewrite from scratch” meant — lo and behold — rewrite from scratch, and a plain “rewrite” meant what the cultists successfully have named “refactor.”

What a classic textbook example from Lifton’s list of 8 factors of thought reform: #6 – make them speak your secret language!


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Advanced bit manipulation-fu

There are lots of things I think a good programmer should understand, and understand well. One, of course, is that OOP amounts to BSE for programmers. Another, and the topic of today, is that good programmers should know how to manipulate bits in their sleep. (No, not those bits!) Read the rest of this entry »

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SIGGRAPH and books

It’s SIGGRAPH 2008 time! That’s exciting to me, but not for the reason you think. I really couldn’t care much less for the conference itself. I mean, who needs to hear about yet another shadow mapping algorithm, when we know there will be another 10 presented in the next year, and 10 more in the year after that, ad nauseum. I’m not particularly thrilled about going to paper presentations when just about every paper is already on the net, neatly collected and categorized on Ke-Sen Huang’s amazing conference index page. All the cool people I like to hang out with go to GDC and not SIGGRAPH so there’s not much in terms of networking. And the classes at SIGGRAPH just put me to sleep with their academic droning, overall lack of excitement, and no understanding of who actually attends their lectures and what they want to hear. Ugh. Read the rest of this entry »

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Graphical shader systems are bad

It is very easy for programmers to be seduced by pretty tech. Case in point: graph-based shader systems. Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you must have noticed that these systems have become haute couture in the rendering world. Just so we’re clear, what I’m talking about are systems where you can construct shaders in a graphical UI, stringing together Lego-like building blocks of shader code snippets, with connecting lines. Read the rest of this entry »

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