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Gimmick's News

Posted by Gimmick - 1 month ago

Was a bit tougher this time around. Quite a few confusing curveball-type questions in this compared to the previous one. Fumbled quite a bit in the speaking test, and for some reason couldn't stop saying the infinitive form of verbs even when I knew I had to conjugate them. Bah, I'll be getting the results dans un mois. Je pense que je vais recevoir environ 70 (sur 100)

Posted by Gimmick - March 11th, 2019

Yay. I'll get my results in 10 days. Rather easy, fwiw.

Edit: Apparently it's a month, not 10 days. Bah

Edit 2: Got my results! 99.50 / 100, hooray!

Compréhension de l'oral: 25/25

Compréhension des écrits: 25/25

Production écrite: 25/25

Production oral: 24.50/25

I have signed up for A2 :]


Posted by Gimmick - October 2nd, 2018

It's been almost four years (less 2 months, to be precise) since I first announced work on ASBoxer in the Newgrounds BBS. Well, for those of you who were paying attention anyways. Ever since then, it's been a damn near neverending quest for the red dragon. Countless time was lost in adding new features and making things look snazzy, all the while ignoring the base concept of time to market. Not that I'd have sold it anyways...not if it were so rudimentary. I have "standards", you know. (Yeah, right.)

In the meantime, a lot of stuff has changed. A lot. The entire tech landscape changed, swiveling towards the internet. AIR all but lost significance, as if it didn't already. Somehow, fucking JavaFX of all things became slightly more relevant. JavaFX. Not that I'm complaining - it's a swanky runtime - but it was pretty much an abortion from the get go thanks to Oracle and somehow that managed to become more popular than AIR. And I'm happy for it. I might use it in the future (just not for ASBoxer, because it's a nightmare to port anything from one engine to another, and a useless value proposition at that)

Other things apart from tech happened too. Too many to count, and the past four years have honestly just seemed like kind of a...haze to me. It's hard to believe it, but yes, I am "that" age where life seems to just pass by fast (the days go by slow, but the years go by fast, you know the rest). 

Kept adding more features to ASBoxer in the meantime. Skinning, custom components, localization support, you name it...all with nothing to show for it in reality. As far as y'all were concerned, I just had screenshots from a bygone era, and nothing more. And that's true. It's vaporware, by this definition. Something that should have taken a year...then two...then three...now galloping on to four and with no signs of stopping.

In the meantime, I also made the - I believe - one of a kind (for AIR, that is) AIRDock because I'd not found anything like it. Making that helped me a lot in designing and learning the value of good design practices, something that I'd shirked when making ASBoxer because I just wanted to code, dammit. Who needs planning? I know the code anyways.

Hah. As if. Once I came back to ASBoxer, with a new insight, I realized having a 10,000+ LOC in one file was probably not a good thing to be proud of. Thankfully, it was not spaghetti, so I was able to get back to it relatively easily, but let's just say that it won't be seeing the underside of 8,000 anytime soon. I added concurrency (background worker, technically) support because the main thread was too damn slow for running processes. That was a crapshoot of lost messages and faulty coding and testing. Ultimately, I forgot the meanings of the messages I'd used in the code and everything related to that had turned to spaghetti (thankfully, just restricted to that area alone). It still exists in incomplete form, haha.

Now? I'm still working on it. No way in hell I'm giving it up, even if it's the comatose dog lying on the road after its untimely rendezvous with a high-speed car tyre. I've had a lot of fun making ASBoxer, and it's taught me a lot, and gave me a lot of joy - albeit rather double-edged at that - while doing so. I'm still running around breaking things fast - but early; better now than later where it really counts. I've planned to migrate away from the custom zip file format and instead use a fixed database to support easier asynchronous operations; in so doing, hopefully import/export operations will be able to return to the main thread again, back from the land of concurrency (to be fair, it is hard, and even more props to those who get it done right). After that? Maybe. We'll see. 

And for reading this far, here's a rather old Imagine Dragons song. Never really a fan of them - really the only two songs I heard from them were this one and Thunder (IIRC) but it's a nice song, I guess.

S/O to @PsychoZombii, if you're still here dude hit me up let's chat sometime


Posted by Gimmick - August 24th, 2018

Time sure does fly by.

Posted by Gimmick - May 31st, 2018

AIRDock v0.4's out! This version is much better than the previous one (but also a bit more tedious to use, currently working on that). Those of you who've seen my previous posts know what it is, but for those who haven't, it's a docking panels library for Adobe AIR (yes, I know, stop telling me it's a dead platform). Here's a small demo:


Posted by Gimmick - January 16th, 2018

Exams over, and so are the semester vacations. My RSI has gone, thankfully (although it comes back every now and then, but it's not too much of a problem)

I've been developing a docking window library for Adobe AIR for some time now, inspired by WeiFen Luo's DockPanelSuite for C# WinForms, but created from the ground up (not just a direct port). It uses the NativeWindow class, so only AIR projects can make use of it.

One thing I've been trying to get to work was the dragging and dropping of tabs / panels onto others and making them join into one; how do you do that across multiple NativeWindows (especially when your Stage's MouseEvent only provides enough info about the mouse within the bounds of the stage?)

Yesterday, it occurred to me that using the NativeDragManager class to initiate and handle drag-and-drops could be performed! (I was already using it in an earlier part of HitShaper, but had failed to make the link then, because in that case I was only dragging from the filesystem into the application, and not within the application itself) It turned out that I could indeed do that, by transferring object references! (Fun fact: I got this "epiphany" during a fever...who said fevers were entirely bad? :P)

However, I guess poor design has caught up to me and I will have to redesign the classes, putting more priority on containers rather than the panels instead, and that is another headache...for another day.


Update 001 - see video description for more details (click the YouTube icon)


Posted by Gimmick - November 11th, 2017

Thankfully it's not in my dominant hand, but this does mean I can't work on ASBoxer as much for the next few days or weeks. That being said, there's not much left! (I know, I know...) I've planned a (tentative) release date of sometime around Christmas, although it remains to be seen whether it is possible to or not.

Posted by Gimmick - July 24th, 2016

Half of 2016's gone by speeding ahead. My, how time flies; it feels like it's only April!

So. I know it may look like ASBoxer (now HitShaper) is practically vaporware as there have been no updates, but I assure you (those of you who're still listening at this point, anyways) that it will be released this year. Current stage? Right now, I'm done with practically everything up to this point, and there's "only" three things left to do:

  1. Optimization - mostly complete, but I know for a fact that there'll always be some place where it's possible. I wonder how much of an impact it has, though, given that I'm using AIR -- the overhead of the AVM alone may make the optimization disappear into background noise in practical usage.
  2. Demoing - I might make a few demo videos and tutorial videos, for how complex this gets. I'm pretty sure that most users won't use all the features there are, but I'll put them up there, if only for name's sake.
  3. Marketing - Let's face it, this project is nigh invisible. Practically nobody knows about this. I have no idea how to market this though, given that this is quite a niche product. I'm considering a few avenues, such as:
    1. Self-publish it and make a few posts here and there on various sites catering to devs
    2. Go the swivel route, if possible. I don't know whether this will work or not, though, given that Swivel is way more useful -- that is, has a larger use case -- than this. Maybe @TomFulp can decide. IDK
    3. Other - ???

Anyhow. Until later next time.

Posted by Gimmick - December 31st, 2015

Whoweee, this has been a...strange year to say the least. I'd like to say it was a whirlwind year, but in reality nothing much has happened. As such, this section will not be very long.

The end of last year marked the start of ASBoxer on suggestion of user @PsychoZombii, during a time when I had a lull in my programming - so thanks @PsychoZombii for helping me overcome my programming block! Ever since then, there have been a number of changes and improvements to it. It's slowly coming together, but there is the issue with its release - there's no specific date, as I don't want people to keep saying "it's been <x> years since <y>...when is it coming out?" (although that's still better than no interest in it, I guess). I guess I'll cross that bridge when it comes to it.

This year, around the middle, marked my entrance to university. I don't think many will know it even if I told them, hah, so I won't write it. If you really want to know, PM me or idk, doxx me or something. Whatever. As a result though, I had markedly less time.

Then there was also the case of the floods in my state...and I know I'm revealing location info, but again, whatever. It caused a lot of hassle to other people - luckily for me, I wasn't affected too much except for my semester exams being postponed to 2016 January since the campus got absolutely flooded with water haha.

Ooh and I'd also like to get this out there - my laptop suddenly stopped boring and instead started showing a black screen. Oh well, RIP you Acer laptop you served us well. At least I had my backups. Speaking of which, backup everything at least thrice, people!

Apart from that, nothing much noteworthy happened this year, I guess. Here's to 2016.

Posted by Gimmick - June 28th, 2015

Finished overhauling the file load and save method (chucked the 'custom script' method due to lack of documentation. Oh the irony) amongst other things. I may be needing a few beta testers in awhile.