This week I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get TortoiseHg – the Tortoise-branded interface to the Mercurial version system – compiling and running on my Mac Mini so I could finally replace git as my VCS. My next post will be a howto for getting TortoiseHg running on Snow Leopard OSX, but first: a reason.

hg-love

I’ve tried a lot of Version Control systems in my 8 years as a programmer: none, CVS, SVN, SourceSafe, Vault, Git and Mercurial.  I’ve noticed over time that they’ve gotten less and less…hmm, how do I put this…annoying. Every source control system gets in the way somehow, that’s the trade off: you have to break flow to commit stuff, but if you stuff-up there’s a backup around. And that break of flow has (mostly) gotten less annoying as I’ve moved to new and improved systems. CVS was command-line, SVN had a GUI, Vault has a nice inline diff, Git is…okay, git is command line again. Technically it comes with a GUI but in the same way you’d say that Halo: Reach comes with annoying douchebags online – it’s more of an annoyance than a feature. But the TortoiseHg commit screen is the best thing I’ve ever had for a versioning system, and one that finally fits into my workflow. Sorry other version control commit windows: I have a NEW girlfriend now!


Like the polish on an indie game, it’s small things that add up to make a big difference with the commit screen. The changed files are all shown on one side of the screen, and an inline diff is shown on the other side, making it very quick to see what’s changed when I’m writing comments for the commit. I can easily switch that to ‘hunk selection’ and choose only to commit certain parts of the file that have changed, and then the rest in the next commit. This is GOLD when I feel like I’ve missed a commit and want to make different commits for the separate functionalities I’ve just implemented. There’s easy access to any of the other tools from the menus (repo explorer, push and pull synchronisation etc.), and lots of ways to filter the list of changed files. And then I can right-click on a file and automatically add it to the .hgignore file, see it’s history, copy it, rename it, edit it. I truly love a commit screen that lets me do the little changes I need to get that commit right without having to go back into my project, stop whatever I was in the middle of and make the changes there.


But the most important thing is that the screen stays open. Nothing annoys me more than committing a file or two, but not all of them, and then having to go back through TortoiseSVN’s right-click menu or git’s command line in order to get the commit window back. And to commit, there’s a nice big button but even better a Ctrl+Enter straight after typing a comment will do the commit for me.


Thanks to TortoiseHg, my version control really feels like a part of my workflow now. It’s not perfect (an ability to select more than one file at once is sorely missing), but it’s better than anything I’ve used before.

TortoiseHg commit window, you complete me!


Now get back in the kitchen and make me some pie.

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Ouch

3 June 2010

I had intended this week to be a treatise on the benefits and drawbacks of some of the distributed version control systems I’ve used recently, but instead it has become necessary for me to discuss a series of unfortunate events.

Several weeks ago I happily registered my shiny new business name – Dinosaur Party Software – and contacted Apple to upgrade to a Company developer program in preparation for my upcoming first game. Unfortunately, I was told in no uncertain terms that Apple had changed their policies “on advice from their legal department” and they were no longer accepting ABNs as a proof of company registration, only ACNs. When I pressed further on this, I was told outright that Apple would no longer accept Partnerships or Sole Traders as business entities. I would either have to incorporate (start a corporation, for the low low starting fee of $600+) or live with my own name stuck to my apps.

I don’t even know where to start on this topic. Sole traders, single programmers, teams of motivated hobbyists are the people that made the App Store what it is!! Giving them the finger is tantamount to bending over for Google to take its sweet Androidy time to jam home its share of the market. Certainly it’s moves like this that paint Apple as the new Microsoft.

The next piece of news is that I’ve lost my iPhone. With some sense of irony the universe deemed to remind me how much I suckle at the technological teat of Steve Jobs creativity right at a time when I most despise it. So with a gathering anger, and a hope that I can switch my plan over when the new iPhone gets released, I bought myself an Android phone outright to tide me over until the Jobs-milk runs anew.

Until a new phone gets announced and ends up in my hot little hands though, there’s little way for me to be able to release my game on iPhone in the next few weeks. Development will continue, but I can’t release without proper testing on hardware. The cross-platform code I’ve written will also prove useful for an Android port…or that’s what I was thinking before I stumbled upon something I definitely should have checked earlier: Google isn’t allowing Australian iPhone Developers to release paid apps onto their marketplace. They have no timeframe for when they expect them to be able to. Fuck. Just….just fuck.

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On styling and sauces

8 October 2009

This post is really sort of a rehash of a conversation I had with a friend the other day.  I’ve recently become somewhat enamoured with the idea of a raw food diet.  That is, making sure as much of a  picture from http://healing.about.com/od/healernetwork/ig/Pictorial-Site-Index/Raw-Food-Diet.htmmeal as possible is uncooked fruit, veg, bran, wheat etc.  Obviously the two main issues with this diet are meat and white bread – two of my favourite cooked foods!  So I excuse them, because not eating meat is just stupid, and white bread tastes nice (and wheat bread tastes like sucking on sand).  And to any vegans I may have just insulted by claiming not eating meat is stupid, I apologise: I’m sorry that you’re stupid :)

So while I’m happily munching away on my raw carrots, lettuce etc (with a nicely grilled steak on the side), my friend heads out to a 10 course degustation dinner for two (all expenses courtesy of his work the lucky bastard).  And it makes me think: it’s all well and good to be reverting to hunter-gatherer cuisine Bear Grylls-style, but then what has been the point of the last several hundred years of evolution in our cooking abilities.  As far as I remember, Fred Flintstone never had a George Foreman grill.  And as I’m a firm believer in there not being such a thing as a step backwards, I set myself to musing to how to integrate these two ideas.

What I decided on was that flashy cooking is like styling a basic in dancing.  It’s fun, it’s showy, it adds something unique – but only if image from http://euro-quest.tripod.com/prague_swing_lindy_hop_dance_classes/ you don’t do it every time.  If a styled basic becomes your default it doesn’t look cool anymore, it looks like you’re a retard that can’t dance a basic properly.  If you keep always styling your basics, you end up being confusing and unpredictable.  But if you have a clean basic and throw a style in every now and again, it creates this ‘WOW’ factor.  Flashy cooking is like that.  Things like sauces, char-grilled vegetables, cheeseburgers, cabanossi and degustation menus – those sorts of things that couldn’t possibly count as a part of every healthy hunter-gatherer’s food sources – they’re styling.  Always eating cheeseburgers trains your body to be shit at digesting stuff (no pun intended).  Always cooking in strange and different ways (like I’ve been doing most of my life) throws your body’s energy levels into confusing and your sleep cycles all over the place.  But with a clean basic – raw food and meat – then adding all these extras every now and again is fantastic.

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On Money and Music

28 July 2009

Before I head into this weeks rant, I wanted to write a quick aside about my previous post: Frozen Heads and the Naked Man. I’ve been thinking a lot more about it, and I realised that it’s not about the Naked Man at all – it’s about being a man and having the courage to ask for what I want. And while I still kinda want to know if the Naked Man works, it’s much less intimidating if the girl knows that the option for her to say no is out there and acceptable. So instead of “Do you want to come back to my place?”, try “Here’s what I want: I want to take you back to my place and make out and maybe do more. What do you think about that?”. It takes a lot more courage to be able to own it all when I want to escalate, and let her own her own opinion on it. And that’s all I’ve have to say about that for a while I think.

So, on to the topic at hand: money matters. How is it that people less successful than me, with smaller pay checks, still have nicer apartments, more furnishings, better TV’s and can also afford to go out Friday and Saturday nights??!?! I has a money. What I do wif it?This really has me stumped, you guys. I always thought the best way to fix money issues (assuming I’m budgeting properly) was to make more money! Now it seems like I actually need to be female! Somehow the combination of what I would consider ‘normal’ financial pressures, plus the need to buy a new pair of shoes every fortnight has made the fairer sex much more penny-wise. Although that said, they’re also willing to pay $400 for a cardigan.

Aaaanyway, while I’m bitching, why the hell are we as a culture so hell-bent on being deaf in 20 years? Last Friday I was in a bar. Now I don’t want to get into trouble for defaming an establishment, so let’s just pretend it’s called ‘The Agincourt’. The music was so loud that *I* couldn’t hear what I was yelling at people. Now I know that bars have found that when they play their music a little louder, they sell more drinks that night. The reason for this is that when I can’t hear what anyone is saying, I (and I expect a lot of other people) tend to stop talking, not my head blankly, and drink. Quickly. Mainly, this is because I want to get this drink over with and go to a nice quiet cafe instead (yeah, I’m that guy). But if that’s the way most of your clientele are feeling while they’re in your pub, you’re doing it wrong!!

And finally, people with iPods. I’d say don’t get me started, but I’m already out the gate. I don’t need to hear your music up the other end of the bus. You don’t need the music to be that loud to hear it. I tried it once. It hurt. The beautiful thing about portable music players is that they let me bring music into so much more of my life. It’s sort of like having my own soundtrack :) . But that’s just what it is to me, a soundtrack. Background music as my feet crunch down the footpath, or as I pant around the jogging track, or as the train lumbers into the station. I simply can’t understand people who want their soundtrack to be so loud they can’t hear their life happening around them. They’re overpowering their best moments, and they’ll never know it. And in 20 years they’ll all be fucking deaf.

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(picture thanks to ICanHasCheezburger.com and http://galerias.ojodigital.com)

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