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Mmmm... food code [Nov. 14th, 2007|05:23 pm]
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So, today is one of the more interesting days.

As possibly hinted at earlier, my supervisor, who is also the fourth year co-ordinator, now knows I'm trans. This is down to Ola being in there before me, asking about AgentFactory and then saying "I'll let you talk to Aoife now...." And with Ola not quite being a quiet girl... he picked up on it.

Anyway, not the main point of my entry. Recently I've felt like I was sinking in Natural Computing. Seriously. Basically, there's this really cool form of evolutionary algorithm called Grammatical Evolution[1][2]. It's a really cool way of doing evolutionary programming because it is pretty much guaranteed to produce workable results. It's a fairly new technology and my lecturer (who maintains the first site I referenced) is one of the fathers of it (the main site for it is the second one - maintained by his formed colleagues in UL). Naturally enough, some ideas got into my head, and I had ideas of what I wanted to do.

The one reservation that my lecturer had was that it was potentially heavy on coding. I didn't believe him. I was wrong - it's damned heavy. So by the time that I'm meant to have finished coding and have run some tests for papers, I'm just beginning to understand the source code. Unlike the other people, who are working in other fields, and are using well-established, well-documented and well-commented code, I'm facing a kludge that should never see the light of day!

That said, I'm just at the point where a few changes should sort everything out. I hope.

Until then, I procrastinate. In my procrastinatory travels, I stumbled upon Wikipedia's page on Anti-patterns - it's quite fun. I've actually even found an article that describes what I seem to observe in a lot of programmers (especially Joe K) - Ravioli Code, it's like the spaghetti code of yore, but it's got objects in it! Seriously, those kinds of framework do my head in. I remember seeing the framework that Joe K gave first years for their Game of Life game. It was seriously evil. I mean, it was interesting, and had a lot of potential, but it just felt too loose. Now I have a name for it.

Yay! Yay for procrastination!

Oh, speaking of which, I got killed in Assassins today.

[User Picture]From: ebel
2007-11-15 09:40 am (UTC)
There are basically 2 ways of making money doing hacker stuff. Academia or Industry. I'm currently in industry. I'm still intrigued by lots of techy reseachy things. Things like this, like natural programming, like genetic algorithms and machine learning. On the other hand I also love hacking on Javascript and making real world things that people use and can benefit from. :)

Also I agree about the over use of objects. That's one thing I love about Python. It avoids that by good support for metaprogramming.
You can start off with a simple list or dictionary. Later you can turn it into an object and use the special __methods__ to make your object look like a simple list or dict. You then don't need to change the rest of your code. This makes it easy to start programming (because you just start using dicts and lists), but if you're hobbled by them you can easily change (since you don't need to rewrite *everything* you are more likely to rewrite it to just an object). (My thoughts and opinions on software and programming are coalesing, maybe I should have a rant blog)
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