Website Logo. Upload to /source/logo.png ; disable in /source/_includes/logo.html

Rants of a geek

linduxed's ramblings

So long Magic, and thanks for all the games

It’s been a long time since I left Magic the Gathering, and by now it’s also been a while since I’ve found some great games to scratch the same itch.

This will be a long post, serving as a way to wrap up my time with Magic. I want one place where I’ve gathered my thoughts about the game, and my gripes with it.

Pair programming with multiple keyboard layouts

I enjoy pair programming: I find it’s a way to both solve problems quicker and exchange knowledge easier. With that said, due to my habit of extensively customizing my environment, there’s a fair chance that my computer will be borderline unusable for other people. A year or two ago I was forced to solve a couple of aspects of this problem, to enable my colleagues to pair program with me on my computer.

Let’s tackle the one of those hurdles:

You and your pairing partner use different keyboard layouts.

RMagick - A year later

Just a few days short of a year ago, I explained the sorry state of RMagick development and claimed the following:

RMagick isn’t going to go anywhere until a fork takes off, because the sole maintainer doesn’t seem to be likely to do anything.

Fortunately, it did take off.

Here’s a summary of what has happened during the last year.

Writing more readable RSpec tests

Some time ago Joe Ferris wrote a piece on the thoughtbot blog called “Let’s Not” (that I recommend you read first), which concerns itself with the usage of various RSpec helper methods. Methods like let, before and subject come under fire and are deemed as problematic.

While I agree with the message of the article, I feel that I could expand on the part about why these helpers are as problematic as Mr. Ferris makes them out to be.

Moving from Squarespace to Octopress

Squarespace had been my blogging platform of choice for numerous years. It looked good, had good editing features and took care of a lot of stuff for you. However, when my posting slowed down, I started considering whether what I was using was worth the annual bill I was paying.

I needed something that was both cheaper and that gave me a bit more control. I was recommended Octopress by a colleague and decided to give it a spin; I realized very quickly that this platform was a much better fit for me.

These are some thoughts I’ve gathered up on the subject, about a month after moving.

The state of RMagick development

Yesterday someone got fed up with the situation that the RMagick gem is in and forked the project.

Neither is this the first time, nor do I know if this fork will help the project at large, but I think it’s time people got to know what’s going on with the project.

All of which I’m going to write might be obvious, old news or stuff people already knew in one way or another, but here it is anyway. Here’s some backstory that might answer the following question:

“What’s going on with RMagick?”

Or rather…

“Why is nothing happening with RMagick?”

Currying and other Haskell spices

Most people who start looking at Haskell come from a background of one of the more established languages. Be it Java, Ruby, Python or something else; most often in those method signatures very clearly define the way in which the methods can be called.

Not only does Haskell do things a bit differently, the differences allow for increased flexibility when it comes to usage of functions in general.

Vim search and replace in bulk

Every once in a while you’ll have some word or phrase that is present in multiple files across your project. Finding all of instances can be done with tools like grep outside of Vim. You could probably also use sed, awk or some other tool to perform a substitution inside these files.

While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, what if you wanted to do this kind of multi-file search and replace inside Vim?

Adult gaming

Based on an rather small amount of unscientifically acquired data, a handful of anecdotes and a healthy dose of prejudice, I’m going to make the following statement:

Large parts of the previous generations are incompatible with video games.

This isn’t a new revelation. It’s not some recent discovery, nor is it something I think there will be much of a debate about. It’s just me venting.

Planescape: Torment could have been more

In contrast to Fallout 2, which I finished in my early teens, I got around to playing through Planescape: Torment about half a year ago. Just as everyone around the net had said, it was a world to get lost in, with interesting characters, ample amounts of dialogue and a captivating setting that let the imagination flow.

While I could talk at length about the many things that make this game so remarkable, others have already done this many times over; “Final frontier” wrote a good blog post on the subject about a month ago, well worth reading.

Instead, I’d like to talk about what I felt was missing in this beautiful game.