Glitch makes programming on the web fun again

Glitch is a simple and powerful open-source canvas for experimenting on the web—and after a year of beta testing, it's ready for artists and coders to get stuck in. If you want to make things online but get put off by complicated frameworks, the headache of server set up, and myriad incompatible platforms your work has to end up running on, Glitch might be for you.

I tinkered with it for the first time last week, and within minutes had overcome hurdles that I thought I'd never have the time or energy to figure out.

To a casual visitor, Glitch looks like YouTube, but for digital artwork and rudimentary games. You can even embed stuff there on your own site, just like video, though you have to click into the editing tools to get the snippets.

Dig in, though, and it turns into a simple but powerful coding environment: one that can't be messed up, no matter how hard you try. For me, it seems to offer all the freewheeling instant gratification of the early web, but with modern tools and technology -- and the chance to collaborate with other people without having to teach them Git. The promise of just focusing on art or application code seems almost alien to the modern web, but here it is, all without having to be my own sysadmin, security expert and full-stack drudge.

Best of all, you can take anything anyone's done, clone it, and tinker with it, and see the results change live: the best and fastest way to learn markup and scripting languages. Read the rest

lossy-compress GIF animations

Who needs mp4 and the mystery meat data within? Kornel Lesiński's lossygif compresses GIF images, including animations, at the cost of noise. Though GIF does not offer true lossy compression, superimposing long horizontal lines of identical pixels gets the job done before encoding. Photoshop already does this, but this is better at it and it's free.

See also Gifski, the author's high-definition GIF movie encoder. It does the exact opposite thing, manipulating the GIF format into showing thousands of colors per frame at the cost of massive file sizes. Read the rest

Introducing Nocode, the long term solution to web application security and reliability

Kelsey Hightower's Nocode [github] fixes all the problems associated with modern web app development: "Write nothing; deploy nowhere."

Now that you have not done anything it's time to build your application:


Yep. That's it. You should see the following output:


A number of issues are open at github, mind you. Perhaps it wasn't ready for prime time. Read the rest

Split images into individual pixels, then stack them neatly

Pixel Chart splits images into their constituent pixels, then organizes them in various interesting ways that you can define. [via] Read the rest

Perl is the most hated programming language

What do computer programmers not want to code in? Read the rest

Crunch: game development hell

In the New York Times, Jason Schreier reports on the game industry's cult of crunch: the pervasive practice of making workers put in 20-hour days, resulting in one met deadline and a many lines of low-quality code.

“People think that making games is easy,” said Marcin Iwinski, a co-chief executive and co-founder of CD Projekt Red, the Polish developer of a 2015 game, The Witcher 3. “It’s hard-core work. It can destroy your life.” Mr. Iwinski, like many other top video game creators, sees crunch as a necessary evil ... A growing faction of game developers, however, argues that it’s possible to make good games without crunching. Tanya X. Short, a co-founder of the independent studio Kitfox Games, asked colleagues to sign an online pledge against excessive overtime. The pledge, which was published last year, has been signed by over 500 game developers. “Crunch trades short-term gains for long-term suffering,” said Ms. Short in an email.

Hey, ever met a geeky computer programmer with a bottomless need to prove his own competence and a political ideology perfectly tailored to capital's needs? Read the rest

You can do everything in Javascript with six characters: []()!+

Springing from the august tradition of esoteric programming language Brainfuck, behold the mind-mangling power of JSFuck. Read the rest

Sheet, a spreadsheet program in 217 bytes of javascript

The code for Sheet fits in one of those newfangled 280-character tweets with room to spare: at 218 bytes, it's the most amazingly compact spreadsheet app committed to screen.

A 218b spreadsheet app in HTML/JS

Inspired by Golfed by xem, subzey, p01, rlauck, aemkei, odensc, corruptio Related AMA answer

See also my new favorite subreddit, r/TinyCode Read the rest

Java ported to Commodore 64

Back to the Future Java is a Java Virtual Machine planed down until it fits on 8-bit computers (i.e. the Commodore 64). It's based on a port of Java made for Lego Mindstorms, lacks a few key features of the language (such as garbage collection), but is quite an astounding feat. Previously: Java on a Sega Genesis; Java on Apple II. Read the rest

Final Stage: incredible graphical demo shows what you can do with 4 kilobytes of source code

Graphical demos created with severe code-length limitations sometimes betray the techniques used to fit a world into a few kilobytes: tessellating textures, featureless fractals, repetitive sequences, and so on. Final Stage, by 0x4015, is not one of those demos. [via]

Here it is rendered on a XEON x560 with a GTX 1070 video card and 24GB of RAM. Check out all the other uploads from the Revision 2017 demoparty.

Eidolon, by Poo-brain, won in the 64k category:

Read the rest

AI learns to write code the old-fashioned way: stealing!

We've all seen the uncanny, not-quite-there art produced by new AIs. Why Matt Reynolds reports on an area computers might be expected to excel at creatively: programming themselves. And this one's doing it the same way humans do, by stealing and remixing.

DeepCoder uses a technique called program synthesis: creating new programs by piecing together lines of code taken from existing software – just like a programmer might. Given a list of inputs and outputs for each code fragment, DeepCoder learned which pieces of code were needed to achieve the desired result overall.

“It could allow non-coders to simply describe an idea for a program and let the system build it”

One advantage of letting an AI loose in this way is that it can search more thoroughly and widely than a human coder, so could piece together source code in a way humans may not have thought of. What’s more, DeepCoder uses machine learning to scour databases of source code and sort the fragments according to its view of their probable usefulness.

DeepCoder, make me a point-and-click adventure game featuring Rosicrucians, billionaire perverts and the complete dissolving of all culture by internet-mediated telepathy. Read the rest

Draw your own nebula

Jonas Wagner's Neon Flames is a dead-simple web tool to create beautiful nebulae on-screen. There are eight colorful gases to choose from, and the longer you click, the larger your celestial flame. Be sure to check out Wagner's other experiments, such as Javascript filmstock emulation and 1-bit image dithering that puts Photoshop and even old Macs to shame.

Read the rest

The optical illusion that's momentarily intriguing the internet presents a simple "isometric" field of cubes, Q*Bert-style. Click and drag across it and the cubes will rise and fall in series of waves. They also start to flash wild colors... or do they? Yes, they do! Read the rest

Javascript dress

Thinkgeek's $59 JavaScript Code Fit & Flare Dress comes in sizes 6-14; no word on what the code does (I hope it's malware that poisons OCR systems!) (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

Puke, I am your Phava: code that works both as PHP and Java

Devin Ryan created a computer program that is valid, and produces identical output, in two completely different languages, PHP and Java. Read the rest

Make any song swing

Swingify attempts to turn any song into a swing version of itself. Upload an audio file, select the hardness of swing you prefer, and listen. Read the rest

John Whitney Music Box: a psychedelic music machine for the web

Behold the John Whitney Music Box, a realization in music of the motion graphic concepts of John Whitney. The animation and audio are by Jim Bumgardner, who first developed the web app 10 years ago.

You may notice some interesting links between the visuals and the audio, especially if you are a musician. For example, when the pattern forms a 3-arm starfish, the chords you are hearing are diminished chords, which consist of minor thirds, an interval in which the notes are 3 chromatic steps apart. The chords you hear always bear this type of relationship to the pattern you are seeing, consisting of intervals which match the arrangement of arms.

I generated the audio using my sound synthesis program, Syd, which provides a very elegant way to accomplish this kind of thing. Unfortunately, Syd is horribly supported these days (I haven’t updated the Macintosh version since before OS X). Here’s a sample Syd patch which was used to generate the audio (I actually used 3 similar patches and mixed the results together).

Bumgardner commented on a recent Reddit thread:

I made the Whitney Music Box nearly 10 years ago. It seems like it gets rediscovered on Reddit about every 18 months. Invariably, I see the same comments: 1) Aphex Twin 2) Bowser's castle 3) Hypnotoad 4) Microtones are creepy 5) Awesome on drugs. And, much to my relief, no one seems to mind that its still implemented in Flash!

There are many variations and each plays perfectly full-screen. Read the rest

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