Archive for April, 2008

Design – a webcomic auto-update system

Two of my friends plan on starting webcomics in a few months time. Neither of them have reliable Internet access, so they both need to keep a buffer of comics on the server ahead of time. When the comic is due to be updated, the next stip from the buffer needs to be shown on the homepage. Then, when they next get online, they can top the buffer up with new strips.

As ‘the computer guy’, it’s up to me to create a system to allow them to do this.

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Starting to come together

I’ve done a bit more work on my website, now. It’s still very much a work in progress, but at least I’ve created the various sections that I plan on writing. I’ve also uploaded a game I wrote – Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, which can be found in the code section. It’s based on an old Amstrad game that I used to play, which in turn was based on 20 questions. The code is fairly basic -it runs in a command line, the user has to decide whether an object should be prefixed with ‘a’ or ‘an’ (if the user forgets then it isn’t handled) and it only knows a handfull of animals, vegetables and minerals- but it’s still a pretty fun little game.

Back to the website, the sections I’ve created are Code and Guides, to suppliment the About, Blog and Photo Gallery sections, all of which are fairly standard.

The Code section is where programs I’ve written will go. The aforementioned AVM game lives in the Code section, as will the C++ wordcount tool I wrote, when I get around to uploading it. Revision has to take priority over working on my website. Eventually, I plan on uploading my final year project to the Code section. It needs a little more work before I release it to the world, though.

The Guides section is where I plan on writing short intro guides to various technical things. Take LaTeX, for example. My University department recommends the use of LaTeX for both second and third year projects, but doesn’t give us any pointers as to learning it. Not that learning it is that difficult, but I feel that the guides I used could have been a bit more helpful in places. The guide I plan on writing will basically say “This is what you need to install, use this program and not that one, this is what you need to do, this is what this error message means.” It won’t be a replacement for more fully featured guides, such as the LaTeX WikiBook, but it will act as a good primer for newbies, I hope.

More: Some stuff about AVM

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