Hi (I'm not sure if my initial attempt to comment submitted - so I'll post again. Sorry if this ends up being a duplicate). I'm a fiber optic technician who is also a hobbyist programmer. I have written some small applications to help myself and my colleagues do our jobs, although I have never been paid to develop software. I actually studied programming at a small technical college after I finished my masters degree in an unrelated field (Music, MANY years ago). I used to use Java, but have migrated to Clojure for my projects these days. I enjoy lurking here and on Lobste.rs, although sometimes the articles are over my head. Not being a professional programmer, I'm not immersed in the technologies many of the submissions refer to, and a lot of the mathematical or physics related submissions are difficult for me to grok. I enjoy the attempt though, and hope that I learn something.
I'm a PhD in Pure Math (Graph Theory), non-exec director of a company that does the maritime equivalent of air traffic control, and now a full-time torturer of adults and confuser of children. I do enrichment and enhancement for math and science, giving 150 to 200 talks and workshops a year.
nice to meet you! I have enjoyed the content you submit.
I studied math properly a long time ago, and I'm recently starting to study at home by myself again. I also did a bunch of hacking and game making in the past, I'm interested in a lot of things. I got a lot of opinions about software and tried to build various lean minimal pieces of kit but I nothing seemed to gain much interest - it's difficult to find community despite the internet existing. Recently I've been playing a lot of difficult puzzle games like Molek-Syntez, Recursed, Stephen Sausage Roll and Hiding Space.
By day I work as a software engineer for a heartless global corporation. By night I shitpost about hypertext and leftist politics. For a little while I worked on Project Xanadu, and I write freelance on medium (and for publications like Tedium) as a side hustle. Every november I participate in NaNoGenMo, a 'contest' for writing programs that write novels. I have released nearly 50 albums worth of experimental electronica under the name 'Infocalypse', and published two essay collections. I've been on this site for a few years, but I rarely post.
I was originally brought on in 2011 to bring the XanaduSpace 'prototype' written by Rob Smith up to releasable quality (after Ted came across coverage of my ZigZag-inspired operating system iX on hackaday).
XanaduSpace (or, at least the version we pieced together from chunks of various different versions -- the author didn't use revision control) was more of a demo & a POC than a prototype, and so salvaging it was more work than we expected (especially because we needed it to be cross-platform and needed to integrate a nice, responsive editor). We (myself and my buddy) ended up rewriting it entirely, and that became a different (never-released) project called XanaSpace.
Part of the XanaSpace rewrite was switching from OpenGL 1.1 to modern OpenGL -- necessary to make editing responsive, and necessary to fulfill certain demands about the amount of text we can display. But fulfilling the text quantity demands (we needed to support arbitrary unicode in arbitrary truetype fonts & be able to display the whole king james bible on screen at once) were tough, and my partner and I burnt out on it. We were working as volunteers anyhow, so we sort of skated along for a few years.
I worked a little bit on the web-based OpenXanadu, released in 2014 (wrote the code to display the little 'X' logo during loading, and also wrote a substantial amount of code to support a caching proxy that we never ended up releasing & an entire editor we also didn't end up releasing), though the current web-based version on the xanadu site (called XuCambridge, formerly XanaBurger) I didn't have any connection to. I'm still occasionally consulted on ZigZag.
Ultimately, the biggest impact of my tenure on Xanadu (aside from being able to brag about attending Ted Nelson's wedding) has been my work with documentation. Both official and internal Xanadu documentation has been a bit hard to make sense of for newcomers: Ted has a carnival-barker sensibility when it comes to style, a love of puns and neologisms that would put Pynchon to shame, extremely severe ADHD, and hasn't written a line of code since the 60s (though he has a deep intuitive understanding of data structures and their performance), so 'documentation' is mostly Ted making up new words and pontificating about how cool his ideas are -- a real shame because his ideas really are good, if you can figure out what they are. So, with his blessing (if not his oversight), I wrote an introduction to Xanadu internals aimed at software engineers not acquainted with the project: https://medium.com/@enkiv2/an-engineers-guide-to-the-docuverse-d080cdbb73a6?source=friends_link&...