Sun rising, birds singing, daffodils pushing up. Too early but welcome in the short term. 🌼
I’m enjoying baking again. I try not to think about how much the electricity costs.
I shook the cold just in time to give a lightning talk at LRUG about my WebAssembly project. I think it went okay; if nothing else it was nice to talk about it in front of other people instead of hidden away in my flat. I did, as previously decided, go to the pub afterwards.
It’s been almost exactly seven years since the last time I spoke at LRUG in February 2016. It doesn’t feel like anywhere near that long ago, although I suppose all sense of past time has to be adjusted to account for The During. Anyway, see you in another seven years for my next LRUG talk, like a shit Richard Linklater project.
I also felt well enough to stream twice. Unexpectedly I hit the milestone of getting 100% of the core WebAssembly test scripts passing, which means I’ve now implemented all of the (non-SIMD) happy-path language functionality that’s tested by
assert_return. There’s still tons of work to do — there’s no way to, like, run a WebAssembly program yet — but getting to this point felt significant even though I was half-asleep when it happened.
I’m unsure what to work on next. The easy option is to spend hours refactoring and polishing the code I already have, which is valuable for its own sake but doesn’t get me closer to a language implementation that’s usable in practice. Likewise I could grind through the unhappy-path assertions (e.g.
assert_malformedfor parsing errors,
assert_invalidfor typechecking errors,
assert_trapfor runtime errors) so that I can more convincingly say that those test scripts are fully passing, but the ability to identify broken programs is arguably less important than the ability to execute correct ones.
The biggest missing pieces are support for the binary
.wat) format, SIMD support, and a public API for loading & executing a WebAssembly module from Ruby. So, for the sake of my own motivation, I’ll probably pick one of those and see how far I can get.
I’m twelve episodes into Double Fine PsychOdyssey and enjoying it very much.
On one level it’s a soothing and faintly nostalgic continuation of Double Fine Adventure which apparently, according to my brain, already registers as elegant content from a more civilised age. It has pleasant music, it’s well shot and edited, and the material itself is gentle with only the mildest occasional peril to break up the long stretches of clever people being nice in the workplace.
But it’s also a long record of a long project, so inevitably I sometimes find myself thinking about my own tiny endurance project and trying to work out what I can learn about how to stick with an idea once the novelty has worn off.
It’s interesting to watch their creative process in detail and realise how much of it is just messing about to see what works, although I haven’t played Psychonauts 2 so I can only guess how well it actually does work. And on such a big project it boggles my mind how the size of any individual contribution (e.g. “this month I animated one character”) compares to the massively larger scale of what they’re ultimately trying to accomplish.
Importantly it also reinforces my existing belief that it’s a good idea to end a meeting with a single decisive clap (I think I picked this up from Pivotal?) because otherwise it just trails off awkwardly.
I wasn’t feeling the urge to watch more of The White Lotus but Phil said season two was better so I gave it a go. Four episodes in, it’s a dramatic improvement. The cast & characters are more likeable, the setting & interpersonal situations are (slightly) more relatable, and the music has somehow got even better. Most importantly it’s simply funnier and every episode has made me laugh out loud.
I was enjoying it enough that after the first couple of episodes I bought the season on iTunes so I wouldn’t have to suffer through the unbelievable annoyingness of NOW’s Apple TV app: janky non-native video player, intrusive UI that covers the screen, no ten-second forwards/backwards skip, unskippable pre-roll ads for other shows I don’t care about, stereo sound, etc. Just an awful experience that can’t even get the basics right.
On Wednesday I was lucky enough to have lunch with James and then dinner with Dan & Lou. On the same day! Ridiculous behaviour.
Some days life feels like a dream. Not in a necessarily good or bad way, just disconnected with no internal logic or narrative structure. Maybe I need to get out more.