• "‘sdfsdf ‘means, I would argue, ‘I am testing’, or even more specifically, ‘I am now testing what can be seen’. It’s another performative expression because there is no semantic distance between typing this string and doing what it says, in the same way that there is no semantic distance between saying ‘I do’ in your marriage vows and actually performing your marriage vows. Saying is doing."
  • "But in truth you don’t get to choose the games that make you. Rather, these are the ones that time and circumstance pair you with. You don’t get to pick your DNA." I think Simon's short fragment was my favourite by a mile of the RPS "Gaming Made Me" features.
  • "One [memory] always stuck with me was him showing a moody, uplit black-and-white press portrait of Richard Meier in the cliché black-turtleneck and severe glasses in front of venetian blinds – eyes directed up and away in search of the future – very fountainhead. Kaplicky rumbled: “This is not design”. He pointed at me to click the slide carousel forward. An image of a carpark full of Boeing employees, from design engineers to HR to office cleaners in 777 project t-shirts waving at the camera. Kaplicky, now beaming, crookedly: “This. This is design.”" Sounds about right to me.
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  • "Multiplayer Design Lead Tyson Green checked a week ago in with a lengthy explanation of the melee system in Halo 3, how it’s different from Halo 2’s what worked about both versions, what didn’t work and how it’s being addressed by the auto update. here's a reminder of what he explained." Via Offworld, this frankly excellent explanation of a Halo 3 patch from early 2008, explaining the problems latency brough to melee combat, and why Bungie implemented their solutions as they did. Clear, educational, and it feels like the right answer. More writing like this, please, games industry!
  • Playground for Google's Ajax APIs. Well implemented, and very useful.
  • "Isla Lyddle End lies on the far east of the British Archipelago. It is the largest of the eastern islands in what was once the continuous land mass known as Hornbyshire. Isla Lyddle End celebrates the Golden Jubilee of The Grand Iman of Britain HH Patel bin Windsor with a minaret clock tower, constructed of hard-pack, molded synthetic carbon nodules in full compliance with the Rock and Soil Conservation Act of 2038." Julian's Lyddle End 2050 entry is excellent.

0 errors, 0 failures

13 January 2007

I wrote my first proper Unit Tests in Ruby today. It felt good.

That probably sounds slightly gauche and hypocritical coming from a Rails developer. But remember – I’ve come from a front-end background; most of the time, other people make the tests; it’s up to me not to break them. I’m perfectly capable of editing tests to bring them in line with updated functionality; it just tends to have been the case that I’ve never really got my head around testing properly.

That changed recently, mainly thanks to Geoffrey Grosenbach’s excellent Peepcode screencasts. I’ve read a fair amount on testing up to now – Mark Pilgrim’s Dive Into Python is very good on the subject – but it was Geoffrey’s material that really clicked with me. (I’m watching his Capistrano one at the moment, and it’s certainly proving to be as good as the testing one).

I’ve always understood the point – and the utility – of test suites, but I’m pleased to have got my head around writing my own, starting with one (of several) projects on the back burner. Small steps at first, but it’s really satisfying to be working in a relatively test-driven manner.

And so I’ve been enjoying watching the dots fly by before those magic words come up: 0 errors, 0 failures. The Peepcode screencasts come strongly recommended, as well. Here’s to slightly more watertight code from now on.