A quick update (for me, as much as anyone else) of where I’m at and what I’m currently thinking about … March 2017:
ClojureScript and Reagent
I want to get up to speed on this as my standard way of writing browser based software. React seems to have conquered the world as browser based, reactive framework. And with React Native it’s also come to mobiles. It seems that the ClojureScript / React Native story is becoming compelling too.
So, yes, this is mainly how I want to do GUIs moving forward. I’m doing some experiments. Expect, eventually, Patterning and some of my other projects to move to this.
Lisps on Android
It may be that ClojureScript + ReactNative is the right way to go. But I’m also looking at Clojure on Android. And Racket on Android.
Reading online it seems that Clojure on Android has been improving, but is maybe not as efficient as ClojureScript with ReactNative. And, also obliges you to deal more directly with the Android Java frameworks. Maybe something that’s useful for larger, more framework intense, applications.
I was originally tempted by LambdaNative, a Scheme for Android app. development. But it now looks like Racket’s Android story has improved considerably and is quite similar. Especially sharing the focus on using OpenGL for visuals. Racket on Android basically compiles to C and uses the NDK, which might be a faff to get working, but might also be more efficient. One to have in the arsenal.
Also, of course, Racket on Android would let me keep a common Racket code-base for both the command-line and an Android version of Mind Traffic Control.
I’m kind of intrigued by Rosette and the idea of “solver aided” programming. And being a Racket DSL is a bonus. I want to get my head around this, this year.
Last year. I did a lot on Sonic-Pi. This year I thought I’d go back and take another look at Overtone. Which is, in many ways, the predecessor of Sonic-Pi done as a Clojure library.
It’s not quite as simple as Sonic Pi with its integrated development environment but Clojure is
more powerful than Ruby.
While I still think that Faust looks cool. I’ve also been tempted by the lower-level simplicity of CSOUND … wondering if it might make sense to write a CSOUND generator in Clojure. I’m slightly pulled backwards and forwards on this question. Plus, Overtone provides its own synth-design functions.
So, I haven’t trumpeted it here. But last year I moved away from the Smallest Federated Wiki for ThoughtStorms. See ThoughtStorms:LeavingTheSFW for the full story.
Here I’ll just note … I’m very happy with the decision, and I have lots of ideas for how to develop my currently very minimal wiki engine to do more of the things I want to do. In many ways, this is like the MTC reboot of last year.
I’ve become a bit of a collector of small hobbyist / maker boards, from Arduino to last year’s CHIP. I’ve just got a couple of BBC Micro:Bits which are great fun. These are a really smart and original idea in what’s becoming a crowded and competitive market. The computing power is pretty minimal. But what gives them an edge is that they’re packed with sensors. And come with their own primitive display.
I’m looking forward to playing with and giving these a good run for their money.
Interestingly they run MicroPython. Something I hadn’t really looked at before.
So Python is definitely here to stay in my near future.
A rather crazy art-project I dabbled with last year spawned an interesting toy / esolang : QaSaC. This is little experimental “concatenative” language like Forth and Joy cross-pollinated with a visual data-flow language like Pure Data.
I think there’s some potential here. And I’ve really enjoyed the concatenative / stack-based thinking and elegance of this kind of programming. So I am working (albeit slowly and interspersed with everything else) on getting an actual viable version of this out soon.
OK. I think that’s a pretty comprehensive list of my obsessions for 2017. Let’s see how much progress I make with them all. This year, I promise, I’ll be trying to release, and blog, more often about them.