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Drawing with text

Click & drag your mouse to “draw” with a given set of text. I could see this being used to make some really cool JS-based generative art.

The demo explains it better than I can, and you really should check it out. This is a tool you should have in your utility belt.

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Node-Twilio, A Twilio API Client for Node.js

Another useful Node.js module for Sekrit Projekt #14.

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node-etsy, An Etsy API Library for Node.js

Something I needed for a little project of mine.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how insanely good node.js is for doing simple tasks that I’d normally use a webserver (Apache) running a scripting language (PHP) and interfacing with an enterprise database (MySQL). If your server has to handle one, or even a handful of different kinds of requests, node should be where you look first.

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Patricio Palladino Demonstrates Non-Alphanumeric Javascript

This is some head-screwing, eyeball-hurting mojo. The tl;dr:

“I just made a tool to transform any javascript code into an equivalent sequence of ()[]{}!+ characters. You can try it here, or grab it from github or npm. Keep on reading if you want to know how it works.”

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RogueBasin’s Roguelike Tutorial for Lua

Looks like a really neat little guide for getting started making a Roguelike game. Lua’s a very efficient scripting engine and interfaces with C, so it’s well-known and well-used in the video games industry.

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Arduino Battery Meter

A little how-to with some example code from Anonymous Hobbyist. I’m considering adding a solar panel to my Arduino, and I really need to be able to monitor the battery (and the 9v backup).

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EventDuino

Based on the previous link to a Node.js -> Arduino bridge, @JerrySievert pointed me to his own take: An event-driven package for Arduino/Node.js. Listening for events on the board itself is a really cool idea.

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Arduino and the Web using NodeJS

A tutorial on how to hook up sensor data (or anything else your Arduino can spit out) to the Internet.

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Arduino-serial: C code to talk to Arduino

Relevant to my recent interests. I bought an Arduino Uno this weekend and the amount of ideas I have right now are scary.

The primary benefit of this C library is that it will not trigger a reset on the board. This means you can stream data at intervals and not get a reset.

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How Deep Can You Dig Dug?

Don Hodges fixes Dig Dug’s kill screen. Either you’re interested in someone fixing a 20+ year-old video game’s biggest bug, or you aren’t.

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5 Principles For Good Code

While replying to a job posting, I started writing this little manifesto of sorts as a mission statement for myself. After kicking it around a little with my good friend Jesper of Waffle Software, I felt I should open it up to the world for criticism, additions, and discussion. The format and content owes much to Dieter Rams’ 10 Principles Of Good Design.

  1. Good Code is simple. It should be easy to understand for anyone who has to work on it.

  2. Good Code is instructive. Anyone with a similar level of expertise should be able to understand how to keep building on the code.

  3. Good Code is clear. Functions and variables should be named simply and descriptively. They should exist in a logical place in the source.

  4. Good Code is generic. Common functions and elements can be used in future projects, or improved and applied to older ones. Projects are simple and more easily maintainable.

  5. Good Code is specific. It solves only the problems it needs to.

I’m genuinely interested in feedback on this. Reply on your blog, tumblr or tweet me.

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Bootstrap 2.0 Ready For Testing

Version 1 was really useful, Version 2 looks to be pretty amazing. Supports responsive design, has a style guide, and is fully open source.

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A List of HTML5 Game Engines

Saved me a lot of time this afternoon. Sometime I’d really like to review all of these.

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Crafty – HTML5 Game Engine

Promising engine which already includes collision detection, sprites, events, and entities.

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CSS3 Patterns Gallery

Golly this is nifty. A very nice collection of gradient patterns, all of which work with CSS PIE (which means they work in IE!).

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Metroid Source Code Expanded

Nine text files in which you will find the complete source code for the original Metroid game for the NES. I assume this is the code for the American NES cart version, and not the slightly superior Japanese FDS version.

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spin.js

Very nice javascript-based indeterminate progress spinner. Smaller than a GIF, customizable, support down to IE6. Sounds like a winner.

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Location, location

535 ways to reload the page with Javascript. This is a nice illustration of a one of the big problems with Javascript: There are either too many ways to do something or not any.

Regardless, I think we can all agree that this is about 534 more ways than we need.

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Steven Frank: Programming for Mere Mortals

Part 1 in a series, available for $2.99 on the Kindle.

Steven is the co-founder of Panic, the legendary Mac development house that brought you Transmit, Coda, and Unison. You need this book.

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Lettering.js

A very intriguing typography plugin for jQuery. The example gallery is pretty damned impressive.