Projects

Hi everyone, I'm Matty. I've recently learned that there's this thing now where you can play audio on your computer, and not just that, you can actually play it from the internet. I thought this sounded intriguing, so I've decided to see if it's possible to record my own audio, and have that be played on peoples' computers, from the internet.

I don't entirely trust it, so I will also provide a traditional written transcript on my blog. If you are hearing this somewhere on the internet other than my blog, the blog itself is matthew.kerwin.net.au/blog

So, what am I here to say? I thought I'd give a bit of a run-down on the projects here on my To Do list, where they're at and where I'd like to take them.

First up is the IETF stuff. If you've seen my blog you might have noticed that I'm interested in development of the HTTP/2 spec; that is the proposed protocol that will hopefully revolutionise the way our computers talk to the interwebs, the idea being to make it better in such a way that nobody even notices. Because who ever actually notices things getting better? I've had some pretty rewarding discussions and debates with various folk in the working group, occasionally vented my spleen a little bit here on the blog. The working group mailing list has mostly quitened down at the moment, apart from an ongoing debate over whether or not HTTP/2 should list its requirements for algorithms in TLS or something. I don't really know, because I was never planning on doing encrypty stuff anyway, because I don't care. I think the quietness, aside from that, is because people are working on polishing implementations. So to that end, my project list includes implementations. For myself, I have a rudimentary C library that I'm slowly working on, which is intended to provide HPACK which is the header compression magic stuff in HTTP/2 -- it currently does Huffman encoding, and I'm working on doing all the rest, like delta encoding, all that. Should be fun. That one's a bit on the back-burner at the moment, because I've also decided to take on a more challenging -- and, probably, more likely to actually finish -- project, of updating Ilya Grigorik's Ruby http-2 library gem thing. I've been plugging away, making incremental pull requests, and I even got rake and rspec working on my home PC. I'll link to the github repo in the transcript [http-2], if you're interested in having a look.

So, that's a thing I'm doing, and it's moving along at its own pace.

Still on the IETF and back to the HTTP/2 spec itself, I currently have another little side project underway, to draft an extension (or two) to add optional compression to the HTTP/2 protocol. I'm not even going to start on why, but to say Content-Encoding? Really? Yeah, again I'll put some links on the transcript [internet drafts] if you want to have a look at that.

Away from the IETF and HTTP now, if you've seen the blog before you might also have noticed that I like video games. Sadly, I'm not much of a modern gamer per se, because buying a current gen console, or even a previous gen console, or a PC with DX10 or 11 is still quite a little bit beyond my acceptable spending range. Yes I'm still running DirectX 9.0c in WindowsXP on a 32-bit machine. Because I hate my life. I'm right into the community, and I follow the new releases, and watch heaps of Let's Plays and reviews and all of that... I just don't get to actually play the games myself. As a brief diversion, the other night (actually quite a while back now that I think about it) my wife and I were watching Good Game on ABC2, and they were interviewing a bunch of games industry people for something, and up popped Zorine Te. And I whent, "huh, that's Zorine, what's she doing on on Good Game? She works at gamespot." And then the subtitle popped up saying "Zorine Te, Community Manager - Gamespot AU". And my wife looked at me with a bit of wonder and surprise, and said, "Most of the real serious gamers I know play a lot of video games, I didn't realise that you were so into it. I knew you talked about liking games and all that, but I didn't realise how into it you were." I just looked at her and said, "We can't afford it."

So, yeah, that's my anecdote... but back to the projects. Not the New York City Housing Authority projects; I mean my list of things that I'm working on, or not.. you know what I mean.

(Sorry.)

I have decided to finally download Unity3D, and see if I can get back into development, or let us say, just get into development. Back at university, in the old days, (oh God, I started university when the year started with a 1)... back in the olden days I used to program OpenGL demos in C. Yep, I made spinning boxes, and... stuff. I dreamt up awesome AI strategies, which some of which even made it to the blog, and played with things like overlays and shaders and other hot new tech, which was hot new tech at the time. Unfortunately since then the industry has moved on, and I have actually, if anything, moved backwards. I haven't touched interactive graphical programming for like eight years or so now. Wow. Also I never bothered learning DirectX; because, well, OpenGL was good enough for John Carmack... So now today I wouldn't even know where to begin. So a platform like Unity is perfect for me; I can leave the fancy new stuff to them as knows better, and I can focus on the things that I want to get right, which is the core gameplay. The first thing I want to build is a game for my kids. Why not? Based on one I vaguely recall from my own childhood; at schoole we used to have an old green-screen Apple ][ or something, and the game was called "Farmer Jane's Ponds" or something like that. basically, there was a frog pond with lily-pads in a fixed repeating pattern; you had to press the arrow keys to program a path for the frog, and then set it on its way, and see how far it got before it fell off and drowned. Because frogs can't swim on Apple ][ games, apparently. Anyway, I want to make that game for the girls. Whether or not it's a true representation of the one from however many years ago that was, I don't care; I want to make a game that I think will be interesting, hopefully the girls will like it, hopefully I will actually build it. Unity may have just completed downloading -- it has, Unity has just finished downloading, so that project hasn't gotten particularly far yet, but it's on my list.

There are other things that are much more trivial, minor projects that aren't really worth talking about; also things that are so grandiose and astounding in scope that they will never get anywhere, so I'm just ignoring those ones. But the very, very next thing I'm going to do is wrap up this recording, and work out how to make it get into the internet. Then I'll type up the transcript, and publish it. This may not be the last time you hear my lovely voice and accent, if I happen to feel enthused in future.

Until such a time, goodbye, I guess. My name's Matty, and this is my blog.


Matthew Kerwin

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CC BY-SA 4.0
Tags
development, games, meta, OT, podcast, software

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