Doing things the hard way

This year, Jon gave a talk at GDC called “Making Night in the Woods Better with Open Source”. In it, he talked about how Night in the Woods (which came out last month and you should totally go buy) used the open source process in its development.

Unlike most of our other talks, we did something a little ridiculous with this one – we built an entire presentation system, from scratch, into Night in the Woods. We’re actually pretty proud of this, and so we put together a video showing how it was done. Check it out!

 

 

Studying Law

Tomorrow I start a Law degree at the University of Tasmania. I’ve wanted study Law for a long time, and originally considered enrolling when I first started University –– instead, I did a BA (in History), a BComp, and then Honours in Computing, and finally my PhD.

Now I’m enrolled in a Bachelor of Laws, a large portion of which I get credit from my preexisting degrees for, and plan to study part-time for the next few years. I’m not sure if I’ll finish the degree, or even whether I’ll stick with the same degree (there’s also a Bachelor of Legal Studies, which is for those who want to study Law but not practice it, and I’m not sure if I would want to practice).

As I’m studying part-time, this doesn’t really impact anything with Secret Lab, or our writing, but it’s a fun new adventure regardless. I’ll post some updates about this, occasionally.

ACS Digital Disruptors Awards

It was an honour to be recognised with a 2016 “Gold Disruptor” award (in the “ICT Professional of the Year” category) at the ACS Digital Disruptor Awards in Sydney last week. It was a fun day of events, and there were amazing nominees in all the categories.acs-awards-2016-2982

Thanks to the ACS for the photo, and thanks to me for doing a silly face in the photo.

What’s New in Swift 3

Tim, Jon, and I have been working with O’Reilly Media on a free report covering the latest version of Apple’s programming language, Swift 3.

What's New In Swift 3

You can download it, for free, over at the O’Reilly website. The report covers:

  • a high-level view of Swift 3’s changes and new features, and learn how this version differs from Swift 2
  • the Swift Evolution Process and the full list of accepted proposals—including those not yet implemented
  • Swift 3’s changes to the language’s syntax, standard library features, and other areas
  • Swift 3’s use on the server, and use a simple program to learn about Swift’s use on Linux
  • further resources for learning about, working with, and converting projects to Swift 3

The Tasmanian Entrepreneur Show

YThe Tasmanian Entrepreneur Showesterday I was interviewed for The Tasmanian Entrepreneur Show, a great new podcast run by my friend Nigel Honey. We spoke about how Secret Lab got started, what we do, and how and why we do it. You can listen to my episode over on the website, or subscribe on iTunes.

It was great fun, and the whole series is excellent! Go listen!

GovHack 2016

Over the last weekend I took place in GovHack 2016 at the Hobart site. This was the 4th time that I’ve participated in GovHack, and – as usual – it was an excellent event! I formed (what is now becoming the usual) team with Jon, Tim, Josh, Rex, Seb, Matthew, and Arabella, and we built a game out of the data-sets.

The game we built involves players taking control of news readers on flying news desks, grabbing images and matching them to headlines. It’s called Beat the Press and you can learn more about it on the project website, and through the video we made:

Thanks to my awesome team members for working so hard on art, music, data-wrangling, copy editing, video production, programming, design, and game design over the weekend! Thanks also to Craig Clark for hosting a fabulous event, as well as the other volunteers in Hobart, and everywhere else!

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Swift for Linux, on a Mac

This is what a computer linux hacker looks like

This is what a computer linux hacker looks like.

I’ve been working with Swift for Linux, as part of a bunch of teaching material, as well as some conference talks that we’re working on. It’s not super easy to figure out, from searching, the best way to install Swift and Linux, if you’re a Mac user who wants to have a go with it. Here’s what I’ve found.

As it turns out, after extensive research, my feeling is that the best way to run Swift on Linux (on a Mac) is using Vagrant and VirtualBox. I’ve looked at a variety of options, including setting it up manually in a VM, using Docker for Mac, and so on, but this turned out to be the easiest way to do it, and maintain it.

To get Swift on Linux running, on your Mac:

  1. Download and install VirtualBox.
  2. Download and install Vagrant.
  3. Make sure you have Git installed, and clone the following repository: https://github.com/IBM-Swift/vagrant-ubuntu-swift-dev.git
  4. Once you’ve cloned the repository, change directory into it: vagrant-ubuntu-swift-dev
  5. Run the command: vagrant up
  6. Wait. The vagrantfile included in the repository you cloned, which tells Vagrant what to do, downloads Ubuntu 15.10, the Swift prerequisites, the prerequisites for libdispatch, the Swift concurrency library, the Sphinx documentation system, and then clones the Swift repository and creates a script that allows you to build Swift. (This might take a while, and will download a few gigabytes of stuff.)
  7. Once Vagrant is done, you can run the following command to connect to the Linux installation: vagrant ssh
  8. Then, once in Linux, run the following script to build Swift: /vagrant/swift-dev/swift/utils/build-script (This might also take a while, depending on the speed/capabilities of your computer.)
  9. You can then run the following command to verify Swift is up and running: swift –version
  10. You can then create some .swift files, and compile them with the swiftc command.

Easy! Hope that was helpful to someone.

Building Swift Applications

We’re running online Swift programming training with our publisher, O’Reilly Media, in a week or two (July 20 and 21, US West Coast time). You can learn more and register over on the O’Reilly website. We’re really excited! Attendees will all receive an electronic copy of our new Swift programming book, Learning Swift.Building Swift Applications