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Drag & Drop library editor for GameMaker released
Posted on August 31, 2017 at 00:57

I spent some time this summer working on hobby projects and learning this new framework called Vue.js which is similar to Google's AngularJS. It basically solves a lot of UI engineering problems by making things like data binding super simple. It also introduces an interesting paradigm, that other ephemeral ad hoc frameworks haven't, called single-file components which is very similar to class composition.

I wanted to put all of this to good use and ended up creating a new action library editor for GameMaker called ActionMaker. It really wasn't my goal from the beginning, I just wanted to really take a crack at finishing a project from start to finish by myself.

It supports all of the older GameMaker versions and GameMaker: Studio 1.4 as you can see in the following screenshot:

You can give it a try in your browser right now by visiting the official announcement at the link below and I'd be interested in hearing from Safari users!

Tabs vs. Spaces
Posted on August 31, 2015 at 21:42

Yes, that age old debate. This post in no way attempts to elicit a flamewar of programming fundamentalism.

I recently started a project to create a docking library for Oracle's new RIA platform, JavaFX. After years of banging my head against the wall with the default Eclipse formatter, I realized there had to be a better way. A colleague of mine, Josh Ventura, introduced me to the Google style guide and its elegant formatting of what is an otherwise Salvador Dali of semantics (Java).

After some research of this age old debate I really started to settle on spaces; having configured Notepad++ and Eclipse to use an 80 character width line limit and 2 spaces. After more research and just stewing on the idea, I believe my friend DaSpirit's earlier influence has begun to drive me in the opposite direction, and allow me to explain why.

Most of you who would read this are probably aware of the existing advantages and disadvantages of each. For example:
* Spaces are better with large projects and source revision control and are consistent with every editor (including the web)
* Spaces make it easier to detect formatting errors
* Spaces are semantically correct for alignment
* Tabs have smaller file sizes and thus lead to the computer even consuming less energy
* Tabs are quicker to type (not true if you properly configure your editor, but still almost always true for backspacing)
* Tabs are semantically correct for block indentation
* Tabs are dynamic and represent the separation of view as in MVC (you can set your editor to how you want to perceive or "view" the tabs/indentation)

However, I am starting to see things a little differently. We are all most likely aware that tabs can solve a lot of the complaints against it by proper configuration of the code editor. A lot of editors like Qt or Notepad++ also allow you to display a symbol for the tab character making it both easier to visualize (imo) and easier to detect SCM (like git or mercurial) formatting inconsistencies from other contributors.

I also feel that using tabs makes it easier to port my code. For example, let's say I prefer 3 spaces, my employer prefers 2 spaces, and I have a second job or hobby that requires 4 spaces. Through the use of tabs I am able to write my code once and run a regular expression to give it to any employer or publish it in a variety of different ways. Because I feel that this addresses all outstanding concerns related to tabs, I am still conflicted on the subject because of what I feel is the only remaining disadvantage to tab indentation. To clarify, I believe a mixture of tabs and spaces is where I am heading for my own personal projects as in the following screenshot:

If you've ever tried to publish code through the internet using or to a forum/blog site like 64Digits you will understand what I mean. Websites where formatting code is virtually integral to the function of the site, such as or Stack Overflow, have always been a headache for me with tabs. From the complete absence of tab input to the ugly line wrapping, using tab indentation on webpages has been a huge nightmare. However, many sites do work around this and provide tab input support, it still does not address the issue of configuring the tab width to a reader's liking (as far as I am aware). I feel this is extremely necessary for people to read the code the way that they want, specifically other people reading my code in a way that makes them comfortable. I would say that it is almost integral to the web.

In a perfect world we probably wouldn't use either and all of our code might be written on a single line with no whitespace with the editor configured to generate different views based on some parsing or lexical context. I would be very happy in that world as everyone would get a different view of the code just like with model view controller, which we sort of get with tabs. I am really looking to see what others have to say about this and if you feel my opinions are justified. Perhaps there is some browser configuration that could solve my tab problems on the web, or there is some other advantage to spaces that I have not considered. Either way I would like to know what others think and if anybody may have a solution to my dilemma. Comments welcome.

Petition to bring back Sonic Chao pets....
Posted on July 25, 2013 at 19:54

I don't know if anybody remembers, but the Sonic Adventure series for Sega Dreamcast that went to GameCube and all the Gameboy Sonic games have these. Basically they are little Chao pets that can be customized from level collectibles and using coins to buy stuff from the black market. They can be given names, go to school, put in competitions, they can mate, and eventually they get old and die. They were kind of like those little pets you could get on a keychain, Digipets, back in the 1990's. But anyway, this is my plea for Sega to rekindle them in their next Sonic game, everyone loves them, and you could stick them onto your Game Boy and take them with you or put them back into your GameCube.

They were an excellent minigame and subfeature.

LateralGM 1.8 Beta
Posted on May 09, 2013 at 01:02

After getting so sick of looking at Java's bloated Swing GUI, I decided to add theming and customization and quite a few improvements to LateralGM's interface including panel docking and floating. I really hate Java I swear, Eclipse is a wonderful IDE though, it is very easy and intuitive while still being powerful. I just hate anything that is not C :(

Please read the official announcement for more info...

Edit: Changes are now in beta!!!

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