Icon ASCII : A Love Letter


Icon My Neural Network isn't working! What should I do?


Icon Phase-Functioned Neural Networks for Character Control


Icon 17 Line Markov Chain


Icon 14 Character Random Number Generator


Icon Simple Two Joint IK


Icon Generating Icons with Pixel Sorting


Icon Neural Network Ambient Occlusion


Icon Three Short Stories about the East Coast Main Line


Icon The New Alphabet


Icon "The Color Munifni Exists"


Icon A Deep Learning Framework For Character Motion Synthesis and Editing


Icon The Halting Problem and The Moral Arbitrator


Icon The Witness


Icon Four Seasons Crisp Omelette


Icon At the Bottom of the Elevator


Icon Tracing Functions in Python


Icon Still Things and Moving Things


Icon water.cpp


Icon Making Poetry in Piet


Icon Learning Motion Manifolds with Convolutional Autoencoders


Icon Learning an Inverse Rig Mapping for Character Animation


Icon Infinity Doesn't Exist


Icon Polyconf


Icon Raleigh


Icon The Skagerrak


Icon Printing a Stack Trace with MinGW


Icon The Border Pines


Icon You could have invented Parser Combinators


Icon Ready for the Fight


Icon Earthbound


Icon Turing Drawings


Icon Lost Child Announcement


Icon Shelter


Icon Data Science, how hard can it be?


Icon Denki Furo


Icon In Defence of the Unitype


Icon Maya Velocity Node


Icon Sandy Denny


Icon What type of Machine is the C Preprocessor?


Icon Which AI is more human?


Icon Gone Home


Icon Thoughts on Japan


Icon Can Computers Think?


Icon Counting Sheep & Infinity


Icon How Nature Builds Computers


Icon Painkillers


Icon Correct Box Sphere Intersection


Icon Avoiding Shader Conditionals


Icon Writing Portable OpenGL


Icon The Only Cable Car in Ireland


Icon Is the C Preprocessor Turing Complete?


Icon The aesthetics of code


Icon Issues with SDL on iOS and Android


Icon How I learned to stop worrying and love statistics


Icon PyMark


Icon AutoC Tools


Icon Scripting xNormal with Python


Icon Six Myths About Ray Tracing


Icon The Web Giants Will Fall


Icon PyAutoC


Icon The Pirate Song


Icon Dear Esther


Icon Unsharp Anti Aliasing


Icon The First Boy


Icon Parallel programming isn't hard, optimisation is.


Icon Skyrim


Icon Recognizing a language is solving a problem


Icon Could an animal learn to program?




Icon Pure Depth SSAO


Icon Synchronized in Python


Icon 3d Printing


Icon Real Time Graphics is Virtual Reality


Icon Painting Style Renderer


Icon A very hard problem


Icon Indie Development vs Modding


Icon Corange


Icon 3ds Max PLY Exporter


Icon A Case for the Technical Artist


Icon Enums


Icon Scorpions have won evolution


Icon Dirt and Ashes


Icon Lazy Python


Icon Subdivision Modelling


Icon The Owl


Icon Mouse Traps


Icon Updated Art Reel


Icon Tech Reel


Icon Graphics Aren't the Enemy


Icon On Being A Games Artist


Icon The Bluebird


Icon Everything2


Icon Duck Engine


Icon Boarding Preview


Icon Sailing Preview


Icon Exodus Village Flyover


Icon Art Reel




Icon One Cat Just Leads To Another


Created on June 9, 2015, 2:20 p.m.


Edit: So polyconf happened and it was great. You can see a video of my talk here. Enjoy!

In December last year Cello recieved another round of publicity when it got posted to Reddit and Hacker News. Response was great and it got me thinking again about a whole load of things I wanted to do with Cello. Since then I've been quietly working on a completely new version of Cello which personally I think is a huge improvement. I was also invited to speak at Polyconf which I was really chuffed about, and providing I get it all done in time I should be speaking about some of the new things there, so if you want to talk to me in person, or hear any of the other awesome talks, please attend!

Providing I get everything I want done in time you can expect a big Cello update in the next few weeks. I've completely revamped the website and written a few more articles about some of the new features. Everything should be much easier to use and navigate. But before any of that gets uploaded here is a little preview of the things I've been working on:

Fat Pointers

I've completely restructured how Cello worked internally. I've borrowed some ideas from Walter Bright's Fat Pointers and the C sds strings library, and Cello now stores all of its meta-data about an object in the memory before the pointer to the object. The really neat thing about this is that it means Cello pointers are completely compatible with standard C pointers - and you can mix normal C and Cello seamlessly. Before you needed to do everything in a Cello way and it felt like a totally new language - now Cello feels much more like C, just with a bunch of sweet additional features.


When I finally got around to benchmarking the previous version of Cello it was insanely slow. There was a huge amount of overhead for calling a Cello function and the data structures sucked as well. With the current version I've benchmarked Cello pretty extensively and now the performance is really impressive (even if I say so myself). The overhead of calling a Cello function is roughly the same as a C++ virtual call and all of the data structures have been revamped to be state-of-the-art. The performance now sits somewhere between C++ and Java. But even more importantly, because Cello now interacts so well with standard C, if you ever do need that final bit of performance you can just drop to standard C and get it.

Garbage Collection

One of the things I really wanted to try to add to Cello was optional Garbage Collection. Previously I had sworn that it would be impossible, but I started to get a few inklings about how it might be done (in some form or other) and after following on from those I managed to find a compromise that adds a kind of Garbage Collection for Cello objects and is both simple, and portable. To my suprise the performance wasn't too terrible either. So now Cello has a pretty nice kind of optional Garbage Collection. Probably my poudest addition!

Type Definition

In the previous version of Cello writing type definitions was insanely labourious. You had to implement about 20 functions just to make your object in the slightest way useful, and use 5 different macros in weird complicated ways. In the current version you can define a Cello type in a single line of code, with a single macro, and instantly get lots of useful default implementations for most of the library type classes. Combined with C compatibility now you there is really nothing to lose by making your C structures Cello compatible. One line and you're ready to go.


One of the main issues people had with the previous version of Cello was that it used some C extensions for some of the advanced featuers. This included things like GNU nested functions and Clang blocks which are definitely not part of normal C. The current version only uses two extremely common C extensions (dollars in identifiers and variadic macro pasting) and is therefore compilable with all of the major C compilers including gcc, clang, tcc (on the dev branch), and even cl.exe (Visual Studio). This does mean closures are dropped from the feature list - but it was probably for the best.


Cello Documentation is now built into the language. In fact - the website documentation is just generated using a simple Cello script. Having the documentation avaliable from the library is nice (you can just call help on some type), but more importantly because the code and documentation is in the same place there is less chance of it getting out of sync - all pull requests go to the main repo.


The new version of Cello has python3 style iterables. Although the syntax isn't as nice as python this does mean you can do neat things like use slices, filters, and maps on any iterable type. Special care has also been taken to ensure these types can be constructed on the stack so the overhead should be as small as possible.


Having a runtime layer provides an easy way to insert all of the runtime checks that are missing from standard C programming. In the new version of Cello these are everywhere. It performs out of bounds checks, out of memory checks, IO checks, etc, etc. And if there is a runtime error an exception will be thrown and you get a nice error message and a stack trace. Once you're program is running correctly all of these checks can be disabled using -DCELLO_NDEBUG to get C style "don't pay for what you don't use" performance. Before when Cello was used incorrectly all I could do was shrug and point at C, but now it should really be able to give a helping hand, and ideally, no more segfaults!

github twitter rss