mrspeaker's head in a monitor You find yourself at the entrance to the Hompage of Mr Speaker. In a darkened corner sits a trunk containing HTML5 games and some JavaScript tidbits. Next to it you spy a Twitter account. Exits are North, East, and .

?> _

De-bloating my piece of the web

debloating Mr Speaker

While tackling a TODO task on a client's mobile web app, I noticed it was loading nearly 15Mb of non-app scripts. This included several third-party marketing/user assistance/analytics scripts, CDN hosted libraries, some ad scripts, and their embedded videos where also loading their own cornucopia of scripts, cookies, and trackers. FIFTEEN MEGABYTES! I sighed as I injected the 13th "user-experience-enhancing" tool into the app…

"Oh the modern web." I lamented - my tired smugness tinged with sadness - "Why can't you be more like my blog. It's a beacon. An oasis in this privacy-hostile, bloated world. No tracking, no ads, no client-side frameworks. Just hand-rolled, artisanal code - the epitome of integrity… what the web should be."

Then, out of interest, I opened a dev console on mrspeaker.net.

What I saw shook me to my very core.

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Farm to Table: A postmortem

You have 48 hours of adventuring time in a country you've *never* been to, and *may never* return. By random chance, There is a 48 hour game jam happening simultaneously. A sacrifice must be made: the game or the experience? Choose wisely.

...

Trick question! You can do both, poorly! Welcome to my Ludum Dare 43 entry for the theme "Sacrifices must be made". My game - Farm To Table - has you training your workers, breeding them to improve, and possibly grinding them up to make the tastiest burgers in the business!

Farm to Table

The gameplay centers around selecting the lil' workers from the queue and assigning them to different tasks: farming, cooking, breeding, and, well, getting crushed into mince meat.

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These are my Emacs days

I've been using Atom as my primary editor for several years now. But recently there's been a tidal wave of support for VS Code. It swept through the tech industry and washed away Atom and Sublime and friends. I figured it was fruitless to fight the trend, so I switched to Emacs.

Emacs. Emacs

Now that I reflect on it, it's been a long time coming. From early on I suspected it would end this way. Somehow I intrinsically knew it would eventually happen.

It happened.

Popcorn kernel bread ™

It is, with no doubt, the greatest idea I have ever had: bake bread with a bunch of popcorn kernels in it.

This idea... it's just... it's by far better than any other idea on this blog. It's better than my Kentucky Fried Chicken Feen from 2005. It's better than my BASIC revelation from 2015. As far as ideas go, it's just about the best there is. The best I could hope for.

It doesn't work though. The kernels don't want to pop. I'm not sure why, but here's how it went:

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ES6 (ES2017+) module support

It's been a long time coming, and we're still on shaky ground - but native module support is close. Not "burn your build tools!" close, but "burn your build tools for personal projects!" close... like arrow function syntax in 2013. If you have Firefox Nightly, or Safari Tech Preview (or Edge, I believe!) - you can give Babel a nice kick in the guts, and get back to some plain ol' JavaScript + HTML + CSS.

Read on for more »

Building geometry with fraggles

My last experiment got out of hand and now the cubes have become self aware. See for yourself!

3d fraggles

The earlier "lil cube" example worked by creating individual box meshes and adding them to the scene. This is not a very scalable approach if we want a lot of boxes! Creating a single chunk of 16 x 16 x 32 blocks would take about 20ms to create: More than a single frame at 60 fps, and way too long to do anything dynamic.

Then next thing I tried was to merge the boxes into a parent geometry, rather than adding each mesh individually. This did indeed give a performance boost, with each chunk only taking 5 to 10ms to create. Good, but still pretty slow.

Finally, I went all in for building the geometry myself. Using Three.js's BoxBufferedGeometry as a base, I wrote a function that would create the entire geometry for a single chunk. Each plane is added to a BufferGeometry - excluding any planes that would be obscured by a neigbouring box.

To work with Multi Materials (so you can have a different texture for each side of a cube) I had to split the creation into faces: rendering all the "top" faces first, then all the "front" faces and so on.

The result is a ~1ms render for most chunks on my machine: getting up higher with very complex and hole-y chunks.