An Application Programming Interface is a way for software components to communicate. A web API is a way for a HTTP server to exchange data with Apps, web browsers, and other clients. Roy Fielding described RESTful Web APIs in his doctoral dissertation.
There is an excellent article in this week’s Sunday New York Times: The Default Choice, So Hard to Resist. Thinking about defaults is an important exercise in design. However, the interesting underlying story here is about distribution.
It’s once again time for DemoCamp. DemoCamp 11 was a huge success and we are hoping to build on that momentum. We had almost 20 presenters put together a 30 second pitch. The final 6 minute presentations were quite good, too.
First there was the iPhone and iPod Touch. Then the iPad. Then iOS 3.0. Then 3.2 but iPad only. Then 4.0 but some of the features aren’t available on older models. Then there is the 4x3 versus 3x2 aspect ratio to worry about. And then 480x320 versus 1024x768 versus 960x640. The Media Player framework changes at every single point release.
I am helping host the next DemoCamp Vancouver. DemoCamp is an opportunity for designers, developers, and marketers to get together and show off the projects that they have been working on. It is an unconference style event that allows people to gather and meet in an informal manner.
There has been a shift in development landscape over at Apple. John Siracusa of Ars Technica recently published an article about Apple’s language and API future. I believe Apple is preparing to transition to Ruby as their next default language.
I will be speaking at the next DemoCamp Vancouver in March. DemoCamp is usually an event where speakers show off a product that they have been working on. I have been consulting with a few companies over the last year or so about how to integrate Geo Location and Location Based Services into their existing applications and services. Boris Mann from over at Bootup asked me to do a talk and I just couldn’t refuse.
Vancouverites suck. There. I said it. If we are not busy complaining about the Olympics we are busy complaining about the rain. If we are not busy complaining about the rain, we are busy complaining about the Canucks.
Recently, I was forwarded an email from a group of commerce students. They were assigned a project to startup a new venture that they would pitch to investors. They had a product plan but they didn’t know where to start with a strategic financial plan.
“You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It’s easy. Just make yourself perfect and then paint naturally. That’s the way all the experts do it. The making of a painting or the fixing of a motorcycle isn’t separate from the rest of your existence. If you’re a sloppy thinker the six days of the week you aren’t working on your machine, what trap avoidances, what gimmicks, can make you all of a sudden sharp on the seventh? It all goes together.
The real cycle you’re working on is a cycle called yourself. The machine that appears to be ‘out there’ and the person that appears to be ‘in here’ are not two seperate things. They grow toward Quality or fall away from Quality togehter.”
– Robert Pirsig. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
I will be in Seattle December 9th for Apple’s iPhone Tech Talk World Tour. There is an agenda available. The topics seem fairly straight forward and basic. However, it should be a good place to directly ask Apple questions related to iPhone development.
The good people at Handi Mobility shipped the Translink App for the iPhone earlier this week. One of the best features of the Translink App is its use of Location Services provided by the iPhone. The user is able to find bus stops located near them.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
I ran the Vancouver Half Marathon earlier this month. The race started at 7 AM on a Sunday morning. I woke up at 5:30 AM. This is early for me. Very early. I don’t wake up this early never mind the fact that I had to actually run.
March was a good month in terms of blogging. I was able to crank out 7 blog posts in March including a post with video. Look for more media rich content in the future. I’ll continue to focus on generating higher quality, unique, editorial and opinionated content.
DemoCamp is an adhoc conference where anyone can pitch an idea for a presentation. The goal is to pitch your idea or demo and get solid, constructive feedback. DemoCamp attracts a diversity of people and as a result is a great networking event as well as a great place to take in new ideas.
I recently did a talk for a group of friends on productivity and focusing. I thought that others may also find this talk valuable. I took my notes and put together a Keynote presentation with voice-over. Enjoy.
The CBC has decided to cancel jPod. This is unfortunate because it is the first high-quality show that the CBC has put out in years. The first three episodes of the first season were not so great. It got its legs after that and found its biting satire. Unfortunately, the CBC had moved the show from its Tuesday time slot to Friday nights. They effectively sealed its fate.
Last week Apple released a BETA version of the iPhone Software Development Kit. They also announced the iPhone Apps Store. Users will be able to download applications through iTunes on their Mac or PC. Applications can also be downloaded directly from the iPhone or iPod Touch too.
N+ is a game that game out on XBox Live Arcade this weekend. The orginal game, N, was developed by Metanet Software. Slick Entertainment took this game and ported it to XBLA. One of the cofounders of Slick is Nick Waanders. Nick is another one of the guys that I worked with back in the day at Relic Entertainment.
We are just over a week into 2008 and there have already been people falling off of the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon. One of the biggest problems that I see is that people don’t plan to achieve a goal. Resolutions are wishes to achieve a goal. Barring fairy dust and magic, that is just not going to work.
The first episode of jPod will be airing on the CBC tomorrow. So, during my Christmas holidays I decided to go back and read Coupland’s latest novel, The Gum Thief.
I usually jump in bed 15 minutes to an hour before I want to actually sleep. I spend that first chunk of time reading whatever is currently on my to-read list. The second chunk of time I use to just relax myself and jot down notes of whatever is currently on my mind.
_“When I’m done with school I’ll have more fun.”
“When I’ve finally paid off my debt I’ll go on that cool trip.”
“After this project ships, I’ll spend more time on my hobbies.”
“I won’t be happy until I get this one final thing done.”
It’s that time of year when everyone is making resolutions. Have you ever caught yourself uttering the above phrases? You are definitely not alone.
Tactical Strike is Gold. It was officially announced this morning on the Playstation Blog. There is a trailer for the game over here. I believe the North American street date is November 8th. I’m not 100% sure what the street date is over in Europe and Asia, but it should be shipping soon over there too.
I woke up Wednesday, whenever I woke up. I packed my bags and jumped on the bike. I am trying to travel super-minimal. I have one tail bag full of clothes and one backpack full of credentials, toiletries, and electronics.
Today, I am in beautiful Vancouver, BC. SOCOM: Tactical Strike for the PSP is wrapping up, so I am heading out on vacation. I don’t have a firm release date, but Tactical Strike should be in stores in time for Christmas. So, go out and pick it up, because you love me and stuff.
Back in high school, my group of friends used to hang out at a tennis court. We used to roll up in our mom’s minivans and just hang out. If mom’s minivan wasn’t available that day you had to roll out on your mountain bike. We never actually played tennis. We mostly just sat around and killed time.
As some of you may already know, I started work at Slant Six Games a few months back.
I’m currently on the PSP team. I can’t talk about the project too much at this point other than what the website says, “The unnanounced title is based on a major Sony Franchise and will offer a compelling genre twist to the current content on the PSP”.
I have spent the last month or so on sort of a sabbatical. I have been doing a lot of riding and a lot of reading. The 15 pounds that I put on trying to ship CoH are slowly melting away too. I’ve been hitting the gym fairly hard and playing basketball again. I also had the chance to hang out with my dad who was in town for rehab.
This was a great change of pace and exactly what I needed. It feels like I had been working for four straight years at my last two jobs.
And that brings me to my departure from Relic. I wasn’t going to blog about it, but it is fairly well-known within the industry. I thought I would clear up what happened from my point of view in a more public manner. Well, at least for the four people that will probably read this.
After CoH shipped, myself and about 15 others were down-sized at Relic. Some of us were on the CoH team and some were working on pre-production on future projects. The official reason that I got was, “termination without cause, corporate restructure”. That is what Box 18 of my Record of Employment says.
Going from three projects in full production to a number of projects in pre-production, this was an entirely reasonable thing for Relic to do. There have been big changes at the executive and management level. A number of senior people had left Relic after the projects shipped. This is what inevitably happens after a project ships. One has to figure what goal to focus on next.
I myself was considering what my goals in the future would be. There were big changes going on at Relic and I had to decide if those changes were congruent with what I wanted do next. However, that decision doesn’t need to be made anymore.
Let me be absolutely clear. I am in no way bitter with what happened with Relic and I wish everyone there the best. I still go out for drinks with a number of people there on a weekly basis and we are on a friendly basis. The way that I see it is that I would have probably left anyway and this way I get to enjoy my severance package.
I am going through interview processes at a number of places around town and I should probably be back in the industry fairly quick. Good programmers are hard to come by and I have enough experience that I can be fairly choosey.
So, this is the reason I’m finally selling my car. I picked up a Ninja 650R. I was able to get an absurdly great deal on it because I picked it up from a coworker. He bought himself a Triumph Sprint-ST and decided to sell the 650R after putting less than 5000km on it.
City planning and livable communities has been a major topic of interest over at The Tyee. Their coverage is generally more thought out than the “Condos are hot!!! Rah! Rah! Rah!” type content that is available in the local papers. But that doesn’t mean that I agree with it.
Scrolling through the tracks on my iPod, my DVDs, games, and bookmarks it occured to me that arrogant, jerks seem to posses the most interesting stories. Douglas Coupland, at least the character in jPod, is a jerk.
Thanks in part to the IGDA, Quality of Life is an issue that has remained in the foreground the last few years in the games industry. There is an entire committee dedicated to the issue. They have released a white paper, had a summit, and advocate on behalf of developers whenever they get the chance. It’s yeoman’s work. I should stop being ungrateful and renew my membership.