Side project update

| categories: luftballons, tech, libason | View Comments

Consider this the obligatory "sorry I don't post more" post.

I have a couple of econ/political rants brewing, and I'll get to one of those in a minute, but for today let's talk about software.


Making a game engine is hard.

I knew this, of course, and I planned for it. There's a reason that despite being little more than a messy OpenGL demo, Luftballons arrived on the net with a website, a mailing list, an IRC channel (#luftengine on Freenode), and a big list of lofty goals. I never thought I could do it alone, and, not being terribly sure how to promote a project that wasn't going to have any usable form for quite some time, I just put as much community infrastructure in place as I was able to and made some noise.

I have taken a single patch.

The internet is littered with the remains of game engines that never took off. If this just ends up being an ever-unfinished personal tinkering project, I've hit par for the course.

That said, a couple of personal friends have shown interest in poking around in the code lately, and I worked up the energy to dust the code off and look it over.

It no longer worked.

It seems one of the libraries I used to parse a certain thing I hate not only managed to change APIs in the gap, but introduce a fatal bug in the process. Bug filed. I've exercised some neighboring open source code, the project has done good in the world. Plus the experiment the developer had me try seems to work, so the demo works again on my laptop at least. Hopefully there will be a consumable patch soon.


Databases? New forms of algebra? Also hard.

Since release, the biggest thing that's shown up in libason is a disk B-tree file format which was intended to be the beginning of persistent storage. I'm a big believer in the "write one to throw away" software approach, and I will probably throw most of this away. I still don't know what I was thinking. I'm sorry. It's all wrong.

I'm still finding bugs in how we reduce values to simplest form too. That code is due for some major renovation soon. It's way too intricate for steady maintenance.

And that's it. See you in six months for my next apology.

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