Rawkes Weekly: 17th October 2011

The seventh installment of the all-new Rawkes Weekly. In it I go over events of the past week and give you some of my favourite links related to Web development and general geekery.

This week started off slowly but was great fun by the end of it, especially when my iPhone 4S arrived and I could ask Siri stupid stuff. Honestly, you have to try it. The answers may be scripted but it's still a laugh to see what she/he/it says.

Some absolutely massive news this week is that Crytek are hiring HTML5 games developers. Why is this big? Well, HTML5 gaming is in its infancy at the moment and it's very exciting to see big traditional gaming companies getting involved. I'm interested to see what this position is actually for as the job description is nice and vague, yet exciting at the same time.

Speaking of HTML5 gaming, I've starting researching the feasibility of a JavaScript version of Minecraft. I'm still hoping for an official version, but in the meantime I have been doing some experimentation myself and hope to document it as things progress.

Links of the week

  • Manifested
  • Learning Three.js
    • I've been digging into WebGL more and more recently. This website helps a lot with explaining how to use the three.js, one of the most popular WebGL engines out there.
  • Google Maps and WebGL
    • One of the most exciting announcements this week was that Google Maps is experimenting with WebGL. It is being used to increase performance and allow for much "richer" visualisations. I like it.
  • Node.js cluster
    • This is a recent code check-in to Node.js which adds a new cluster functionality. The gist is that you can use it to run Node.js in a cluster for load balancing and multi-process applications. I'd like to hear more about this.
  • Isogenic Engine released
    • One of the most promising HTML5 gaming engines has been released to the public, aimed predominantly at creating isometric games. Interestingly, it includes multiplayer support from the word go which is something a lot of the other game engines are missing.
  • KickSat
    • While I was at university I worked with a team of people on a project with the aim of putting "Your Voice in Space." It never materialised but the desire to a see cheap method of space exploration for students has always stayed with me. KickSat is a project that aims to solve this exact problem by giving anyone the chance to send a message into space on a relatively cheap satellite. I really hope it succeeds!
  • Installing Node.js on Windows
    • I've heard that getting Node.js running on Windows can be a pain. Fortunately, this blog post from Schalk Neethling at Mozilla walks you through the process.
  • Run IE on Mac and Linux with ievms
    • Testing on IE has always been a pain if you use a Mac. I don't think I've seen a solution as easy to use as ievms, just one curl command and you've got IE 7, 8 and 9 ready for testing!
  • BrowserMirror
    • This is a project by Ian Bicking from Mozilla that lets you mirror your browser in someone else's browser. It's a pretty interesting concept because the DOM is actually shared between the two users, rather than a video of the browser like other screen-sharing applications.

Track of the week

Skinny Love by Birdy. I heard this track on TV recently and I can't get enough of it now.

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