walterra

I develop data visualizations. This is my personal blog. More about me.

video game soundtrack brain hack

5. Mai 2014

I’m not a regular gamer, but once in a while I stumble upon a video game I start playing and it can get quite addictive.

But what I do later on: I grab my pair of AKGs and listen to the soundtrack of a game I was really addicted to while coding. It turns the coding and problem solving into the same kind of addictive game. Can’t stop then.

At the moment I came back to World of Warcraft’s soundtrack. It’s been released unbelievable 10 years back!

Keine Kommentare

unity + webgl + asm.js = awesome

Not many updates doesn’t mean there’s not much going on. But I’ve been simply too busy. Until I’m back with more updates, keep watching this video :)

The technology is mostly promoted to bring a more decent gaming experience to browsers without plugins, but I can’t wait to try this for data visualizations!

Keine Kommentare

cw9 curated links & thoughts

3. März 2014

Here’s another weekly recap with some findings worth mentioning.

Aaron Marcus’ MuC 2011 Keynote

I had the chance to see Aaron Marcus’ last year at HCI in Las Vegas. In this video he’s giving another great talk on HCI in Science Fiction movies and how sci-fi HCI relates to real developments and vice versa.

Apple Knowledge Navigator

apple-knowledge-center

Aaron mentions briefly some company promotion videos envisioning future developments. I didn’t know this video by Apple from 1987, a concept sort of resembling an iPad prototype including Siri, 20 years before its actual inception. I wonder if there are social or gender studies on how companies envision technology innovation and how actual implementations affect our own work and behavior (or actually don’t change us). Like the desktop metaphor (which took even Apple years and years to abandon it in the context of tablets but MSFT is still struggling with it), the video presents a secretary metaphor. So while they present technological innovation, the idea of a visual personal virtual assistant just maps current hierarchical working structures (e.g. you still get the feeling someone is working for you like a secretary).

That’s it for this week :)

 

Keine Kommentare

cw5 curated web development links & thoughts

4. Februar 2014

  • Reading of the week: The Failures of “Intro to TDD”. Especially for developing and testing interfaces, IMHO good TDD is still a real challenge. The article is definitely a good read.
  • Facebook’s Origami cries for further investigation. Based on Quartz Composer it aims to be your UX design tool of choice. They used it for their new Paper app.
  • youmightnotneedjquery.com — nice reference if you’re developing library stuff where you should think twice about bringing in fat dependencies.
  • Twitter did a nice job visualizing the State of the Union adress
  • Twitter again, see hogan.js, a compiler for Mustache templates!
  • earth.nullschool.net is great in so many ways (design, technology etc.)! There’s only one point I see which might be a little bit problematic: I’m not sure if I even get it right, but as far as I understand it (without deeply investigating the underpinnings), it seems, the visualization is representing a certain point of time, but is still animating it (mapping speed vectors to lines we perceive as moving). I’m afraid this could lead to a bit of irritation or misunderstanding in perception or interpretation. What do you think? — BTW be sure to try out ocean mode, so great! Update #1: Seems the data doesn’t consist of single vectors but indeed multiple timely spaced recordsUpdate #2: Feedback from @cambecc:

 

Keine Kommentare

cw4 curated web development links & thoughts

28. Januar 2014

Last week I started a sort of weekly curated links’n’thoughts series. Here we go again.

Continued to investigate vert.x, but still had no time to give it a go myself. Here’s a nice stackoverflow thread including vert.x and similar projects. Offers three answers with the original developers of each framework in discussion kicking in. stackoverflow is so good and so bad in so many ways (see ‘closed as primarily opinion-based’ in the thread).

More things worth mentioning:

  • gitlab.com offers free private repositories (including gitlab’s nice interface of course)
  • The Tether positioning engine and related tools, including Shepherd, looks like a great framework to create inline tutorials and how-tos
  • Not really encountered this week, but gotta mention it here: Since a few years I use Freckle, my time tracking tool of choice. Not only a great tool, but a great little company behind it worth supporting.
  • Can’t wait for the ElasticSearch v1.0 release, here’s a good roundup of upcoming awesome stuff.

Hari Om Tat Sat.

Keine Kommentare

cw3 curated web development links & thoughts

20. Januar 2014

Since I auto-post my bookmarks into a private pinboard account, I thought I’d restart this blogging endeavour with some curated links’n’thoughts.

http://vertx.io/

I’d say vertx.io is my finding of the week. Can’t wait to try it out, it sounds too good to be true:

Vert.x is a lightweight, high performance application platform for the JVM that’s designed for modern mobile, web, and enterprise applications. [...] Write your application components in Java, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, Ruby, Python or Groovy or mix and match several programming languages in a single app.

Web Components et al

There’s so much fuzz in JavaScript land all the time. Here’s what I think (at the moment):

  • Keep it simple.
  • Angular is interesting and promising. But I try to avoid behemoth frameworks. While it’s great what it can do, it feels overdesigned and complex, sorry.
  • I nearly fell in love with ReactJS. It’s awesome and fast. But I can’t help it, their JSX approach feels so much like the 90ies PHP spaghetteria that we all tried to avoid.
  • I have no hands-on experience with Polymer. While it smells a little behemoth, it might be the way to go (Standards, baby!)
  • So I try to avoid the large frameworks. Instead I focus on code/dependency management and modular, lean programming patterns. Here are my personal preferences (at the moment)
    • Git for code versioning (+ GitLab)
    • Bower for dependency management
    • RequireJS to modularize your code
    • As a pattern for coding modules I mostly stick to Mike Bostock’s Towards Reusable Charts. He developed it originally as a pattern to do charts/infovis, but I pretty much use it for everything. I think that pattern is a perfect fit for RequireJS.

That’s it.

Keine Kommentare