An Excellent Way to learn VIM

Well, I just tried out VIM Adventures, and I must say I’m pretty impressed. Only the first two levels are currently available, though apparently a third level is being developed. It’s unclear whether this will become a pay site, however I highly recommend giving it a try.

After years of trying to learn VIM and finding it too impenetrable to really dive into when I know that Notepad++ is available, I’m quite pleased to find that a tutorial now exists for VIM that is actually not only tolerable, but FUN! There are tons of other applications I’d like to see utilize this kind of learning model, why there isn’t similar learning games out there for all productivity apps, I really don’t know…

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A brief intoduction

Well I suppose I should introduce myself. The name is Andrew have just recently finished the 5th semester of the Software Development program at Mohawk College. My interests tend to lean towards just anything involving code and I’ve decided to chronicle some of the tech news and projects that I find interesting as I go through my day.

I also wanted to keep records of a project I’m beginning next semester, where I create a game based on the Mohawk College Amaze-bot competition, which I have participated in the past three years (placing 2nd place in both 2011 and 2012). In the competition, you are to program a bot that will use a Java API to navigate a maze intelligently while keeping looking/moving to a minimum.

The game will involve creating a version of the game styled similarly to old dungeon crawler games in an effort to demonstrate to non-programmers just how the bot is controlled, as many people tend to have difficulty comprehending just what they are watching when they finally see the competition on the big screen. The game will be developed using LimeJS for the most part, likely using a rather minimal PHP backend. Anyways, that project doesn’t start until September, but I wanted to provide some context and make sure that I have a place to post about it when the time comes.


Dual-view gaming to make the split-screen a thing of the past

Heard about this awhile ago, but I’m glad to see it’s being talked about again!
This could be the best thing to happen to multiplayer gaming in decades (especially since it’s been in a rut since online multiplayer came along and forced everyone to play uninspired 3D shooters).


What’s happening between Google and Oracle?

Slides 2-8 appear to be Oracle’s evidence, and 9-13 are Googles. This is shaping up to be pretty crazy, Oracle’s take on Java under the GNU has basically been exposed as flytrap had set at this point, as they try and claw back the open source status of one of the most popular languages in the world. Google largely appears to be trying to argue that the Dalvik VM bypasses Oracle’s patents somehow, though Larry Ellision stating  “I don’t know if Java is free” may have been the most braindead move in business history.

Meanwhile, Oracle is complaining about what appears to be a trivial amount of copied code. Just how many ways are there to say, write a FOR loop? Google appears to have wanted to use Java for the Android platform because of it’s longstanding existing popularity, and couldn’t be bothered to care about the Oracle VM itself. Just look at the Java ME documentation to find out why Oracle’s portable device implementation of Java was not considered an option for the Android platform. I expect Oracle may find many other begin to follow suit.

While there appears to be a lot of hubbub going on about whether you can copyright an API and other issues, it appears that Google and Oracle would have had this settled long ago if both sides hadn’t been so hungry over control over a programming language that has long been thought be free…


University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department, Increases Athletic Budgets. Hmm. – Forbes

“The school is eliminating all funding for teaching assistants in computer science, cutting the graduate and research programs entirely, and moving the tattered remnants into other departments.”
Shocking stuff, I expect there will be a fair bit of outcry over this, however Jeffrey McManus has a great article here that makes some great points that seem to soften the blow.


Megaupload Trial May Never Happen, Judge Says | TorrentFreak

Wow, did they raid them just to shut it down quickly? Was there ever actually an intent to get any kind of conviction?

The U.S. government needs to get over the hurdle of a five-year jail sentence to meet the criteria for extradition. Copyright charges in [New Zealand] carry a maximum of four years,” reported the Herald.

Judge O’Grady’s comments, interestingly, came after the FBI requested that the 1,100 servers that still store Megaupload data be allowed to be deleted.


A true battle of the titans…

Nice summary (other then the obviously inaccurate 15000 lines claim):

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-04-19/tech/31366652_1_java-platform-android-larry-page

I’m not exactly a fan of either company but I do find the Android platform to be the best for development these days…  To give an idea of the scale of this debate, Oracle claims “3 billion mobile phones run Java”, so while I can understand why they want a piece of Google’s action, consider the technological progress that this case will affect, possibly for decades! This should be interesting, finally a debate that can settle a few things the world of open source has yet to legally define in an adequate manner.