Sam says you should read this
This blog was created with the BlogFile software, written by Samuel Levy.

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Game of Life: Total War - an analysis

Approximately 4 weeks ago, I launched a side project, called Game of Life: Total War. It is a multi-player, competitive variant of Conway's Game of Life. It spent some time on the front page of Hacker News, and some time on the front page of /r/programming on Reddit.

Apart from Linode sending me emails at 3AM telling me that my CPU usage was too high (thanks, HN), it all held up pretty well. So far there have been over 3000 challenges created, almost 2000 armies, and about 300 user accounts created (you can create an army and play without creating an account, but accounts let you create and ke…

Let's talk about copyright, licencing, and who owns the code

As a freelance developer, the most common conversation I have with new clients is about copyright, licensing, and code ownership. It isn't a well understood area for many people, and many other freelancers who I talk to don't really get it, either. So let's talk.

Copyright

In general, when you create something, you are automatically assigned copyright over it. This means that you have the right to determine who, when, and how the thing that you created is copied. For me, as a developer, any code that I write is automatically copyrighted to me. I can, through a general agreement or a contract gi…

BYOB - Build Your Own Blog

I am helping a couple of friends to learn how to program, and how to build things. Working through Codecademy has helped them get a grasp of the basics of syntax and problem solving, but they pretty quickly grow bored without a real goal in mind.

This is why I tell them to build their own blog, and why I think you should too.

Let's face it, you're not going to knock wordpress off it's pedestal, nor compete with blogger/tumblr/whatever other blogging platforms are popular. It's about building something for you. Something which doesn't affect everyone else, but you can play with, show off, and le…

Do I look like I give a shit (public license)

I'll make this short and sweet. I felt that we needed a new license. Blogfile was/is released under the WTFPL, and it's sub-project, SHITLang was also released under the same license.

I have no interest in maintaining SHITLang, and wanted to discourage people from trying to get me to look at pull requests.

Anyway, today, it is moving to the brand new license that I created (based heavily on the concept of the WTFPL): the Do I Look Like I Give A Shit Public License.

So what should this license be used for?

  • You are sick of maintaining a side project
  • You really don't give a shit about the project
  • You …

Teach a man to fish (and he'll die when he catches Fugu)

Let's talk about how we teach new people to program.

There is a saying which I see getting thrown around frequently in the mailing lists and user groups for programming languages. Everyone knows the saying, and I used the latter half of it as the title for this post.

"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you've fed him for life."

This is a common refrain when people ask for resources to learn to program. I see it for Python; I see it for PHP; I see it for JavaScript; I see it in almost every community I'm a part of. People say it meaning that new users should s…