try, catch and finally moving on from Robotlegs


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Code as game design: fun++; frustration- -;

When you build an application or utility you are shaping a challenge for all the developers who ever interact with this code. For the rest of your team, for the future developers who maintain and extend the codebase, and for yourself – today, tomorrow, two years from now when you have no recollection of the code.

The challenge is akin to playing a game – and many of the rules of good game design apply just as well to your code base as the product of your compiled application.

A golden rule: ‘Guess what I’m thinking’ is not a fun game

But it is! I can hear some of you shouting. What about 20 Questions! What about ISpy! Yes, ok, they can be fun, given certain conditions: ISpy requires a small enough possibility space. It’s more fun in a car than a supermarket. 20 Questions (a beautiful binary search of the whole universe!) relies upon having an agent that can accurately tell you which pile of hay your needle resides in.

Without those constraints, ‘Guess what I’m thinking’ is just frustrating.

> man brain

I was totally blown away by Flash on the Beach. What a lot of smart, interesting people!

My full slides will follow tomorrow. I’m going to release a flick-through version that includes extra text, and a screen-cast version with voice. Thanks to everybody who made my first FOTB experience so rewarding – I’m very glad that I got out of my comfort zone and did it.

For now – a little something for the lovely people who attended my presentation on “Robotlegs 2 and your brain” – that vital missing ‘man brain’ entry file.

Why I’m giving away Robotlegs Pomodoro Timers at my Flash on the Beach session

I’ve been using the Pomodoro Technique for a good few months now.

The pattern I use is:

25 minutes uninterrupted task-focussed activity (no IM, no twitter, no email, no internet) – this is called a Pomodoro
5 minute break for checking emails
rinse and repeat
I love it. And here’s why:

ActionScript Developer’s Guide to Robotlegs – done!

The Robotlegs book I’ve been collaborating with Joel Hooks on is finished! Here’s how it looks from afar: