Richard Jones' Log

Tue, 25 Jul 2006
Inlining Python via the AST

Alex has implemented that silly idea I started during some slower EuroPython talks, but never finished.

category: Python | permanent link
Sun, 23 Jul 2006
Recent Video Games

I've not posted much about video games here for a while. Recently I've had a chance to try out a few new games while I'm hanging out for Half-Life Episode 2, Spore, Team Fortress 2 and Portal (three of which arrive in the same package; no idea how I'm going to cope).

We Love Katamari
Have played it for about 5 hours so far. It's certainly a great little idea, I'm enjoying it heaps and it has more gameplay depth than I'd expected. In my opinion it's let down by what I see as a couple of big flaws.

It's really, really hard for anyone who isn't already a (seasoned?) video game player. Rachel (who doesn't normally play video games) has real trouble just trying to finish the first non-training level. The controls are the most bizzarely convolutely I've seen in all my video-gaming experience. Seriously, push both sticks forward to go forward. Both sticks left to turn left. Both sticks back to go back. In my universe we use a single stick to do those things. Having ... some experience with games under my belt I could adapt to the controls pretty quickly.

Also, the incessant rambling of the King harks back to Metal Gear Solid 2. So much inane, unnecessary monologue. In the middle of it some really important stuff is mentioned, like how to play a given level. Because you're sick of sitting through the King's (sometimes amusing) barking mad ravings, you just skip it. And then you have no idea why the level you're on seems to be finishing.

Narbacular Drop
Is a cool little game. Nowhere near as riddled with bugs as some people would have you believe (I made it through from start to finish in one sitting and witnessed only one bug). Makes me even more keen (if that was possible) to see Portal in action.

The Bub's Brothers
I wasn't a huge fan of Bubble Bobble but this multiplayer variant is really quite cool - and runs on a bazillion platforms to boot.

Sun, 16 Jul 2006
Cheese Shop tutorial

I've added a wiki page with a basic tutorial for the Cheese Shop. It is linked from the Cheese Shop sidebar. Improvements welcome :)

category: Python | permanent link
Fri, 14 Jul 2006
Brain dump

EuroPython was great. Attended some interesting talks, talked to some interesting people. Inspired by Alan Kay, Guido and Gregor Lingl. Brain juices well and truly swizzled.

At the post-conference sprints, the Cheese Shop got a much-needed facelift. Searching, browsing and the xml-rpc interface got some attention too (thanks Johannes, Felix, Bjørn, Moshe and Michał for playing.) David Boddie just emailed me his PyQt4-based GUI Cheese Shop explorer. Neat.

I've just noticed Elisa which has a lot of promise - I just hope gstreamer can do DVB time-shifting one day.

For those keeping track, the next PyWeek will be at the end of August. No solid date yet - that will be announced on the announce list and other places. Effbot, this is your early reminder call :)

Hugin does cool things with panoramic photos. I need to learn to drive it better as my very wide panoramas come out all bent.

Pixen is a really well-thought-out pixel art program. I'm hoping Phil takes notice for future development of the editor in PGU.

Finally, we've got around 65 proposals in for OSDC 2006 with about half a dozen more I'm expecting in that didn't make the deadline. Some really interesting Python talks including one on ctypes by Alex. Looks like it'll be a great program!