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Not dead...



Sounding off....

Posted by , 28 May 2012 - - - - - - · 795 views

There are two things I dislike about games and to an extent software development in general.

One of them are the gamers themselves; I could rant about this for ages but I'll refrain.

The other is the massive weight of resistance to anything new or not understood which seems intent on holding the whole state of the art back to What Is Known.

It annoys me because instead of trying to look for the good in new things people seem intent on trying to tear them down or pick holes in them without offering any constructive ways to improve; "waaaah it is different there fore it is bad and we like what we have!"

It's nothing new I admit; this refrain can be heard down the years probably echoing back to long before I was born a good 30 years ago.

Even professionally there is resistance; for a chunk of the last two months while I've enjoyed the freedom of working with C#, TPL and LINQ it has been against a back drop of resistance to things not understood; "what are these tasks things?" - "is this the best way of doing it" - "isn't this going to cause deadlocks?" and being told that by using LINQ I'm doing 'fancy stuff' when its a facility built into the language!

I appreciate that not eveyone has time to learn everything, that sometimes you have to look at a bit of technology and let it pass you by (I did myself with pretty much everything after .Net2.0 because I didn't have the time) but this doesn't account for the resistance - sometimes you just have to trust people who have had the time to look into something.

Maybe I'm just one of the few and the brave always willing to look forward to try the next thing to see if it will make life easier or not..

I'm not saying 'embrace everything as the answer to all our problems' but the constant resistance is nothing but a sad statement about what should be an industry where things are pushed foward - not sat in a corner playing with what is safe.

So I say this; pick a weekend, any weekend, but soon and try something new - a language. An IDE. A design method. An API. Anything...

Not every shiney new thing will be a diamond - but without searching we don't stand a chance of finding anything at all.


Slow progress...

Posted by , 09 May 2012 - - - - - - · 687 views
C#, Tasks, LINQ
Not a great deal to report from the front; having spent a few hours on trains over the weekend I've managed to chew into the DLR book I have a fair chunk. It is slow going but progress is being made in my head which is nice.

Most of my time at work has been spent working on our new data build pipeline (I am a rendering coder, honest!) which has let me do something I've been wanting to do for some time and really stretch my wings a bit with C# and .Net4.

Over the last few weeks I've come to love the whole Task system in .Net 4 so much so that, after some initial resistance from those who didn't know about them in general, I've managed to convince the other guys working on it that using Tasks as the basis of the build system is the way forward. It isn't a strict task system; asset processing rules themselves get launched as 'long running' tasks which means they get a new thread, as to tasks which kick off an exe to do some processing however the ability to just throw work around and know that it'll get done and back to you does make coding quite relaxing.

It isn't completed yet however it is already leaps and bounds better than our old python build system (a pox on the GIL!) and has afforded me a nice chance to learn somethings.

In fact today, while converting some build rules from Python to C# I took the time to dive into LINQ too, which I've always liked the look of but never had a chance to try. It has made parsing XML files and pulling out data MUCH saner so yeah, pretty much in love with that too... so much so I want to revisit some already converted rules armed with this new knowledge :)

So, if you haven't got around to it already I would urge you to have a play with the Task system in .Net and the LINQ stuff; an afternoon of learning and playing around adds a couple of extra useful tools to your skill set.





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