Icon Quaternion Weighted Average


Icon BVHView


Icon Dead Blending Node in Unreal Engine


Icon Propagating Velocities through Animation Systems


Icon Cubic Interpolation of Quaternions


Icon Dead Blending


Icon Perfect Tracking with Springs


Icon Creating Looping Animations from Motion Capture


Icon My Favourite Things


Icon Inertialization Transition Cost


Icon Scalar Velocity


Icon Tags, Ranges and Masks


Icon Fitting Code Driven Displacement


Icon atoi and Trillions of Whales


Icon SuperTrack: Motion Tracking for Physically Simulated Characters using Supervised Learning


Icon Joint Limits


Icon Code vs Data Driven Displacement


Icon Exponential Map, Angle Axis, and Angular Velocity


Icon Encoding Events for Neural Networks


Icon Visualizing Rotation Spaces


Icon Spring-It-On: The Game Developer's Spring-Roll-Call


Icon Interviewing Advice from the Other Side of the Table


Icon Saguaro


Icon Learned Motion Matching


Icon Why Can't I Reproduce Their Results?


Icon Latinendian vs Arabendian


Icon Machine Learning, Kolmogorov Complexity, and Squishy Bunnies


Icon Subspace Neural Physics: Fast Data-Driven Interactive Simulation


Icon Software for Rent


Icon Naraleian Caterpillars


Icon The Scientific Method is a Virus


Icon Local Minima, Saddle Points, and Plateaus


Icon Robust Solving of Optical Motion Capture Data by Denoising


Icon Simple Concurrency in Python


Icon The Software Thief


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

The aesthetics of code

Created on Oct. 17, 2012, 12:04 a.m.

Recently I've come increasingly vain over the aesthetics of the code I write - particularly for personal projects. This doesn't just mean formatting style, but includes overarching structure and programmer values such as simplicity, clarity and creativity.

When I first started programming I was primarily a Digital Artist, and I always felt programming would remain a way to 'get things done'; that it would never deliver quite the creative reward in the same way artwork did. But as I branched out in computer science, and worked on many more personal projects, I realized that I do get precisely the same feeling from programming as I get from artwork or writing. It is this exact feeling that keeps me coming back; the sense of fulfillment and pride for something you have created. Put simply - the joy of self-expression.

The idea of programming as self-expression is now one of my strongest held beliefs and is the reason why, for personal projects, coding aesthetics are so important. The key is this: to express yourself within programming all decisions must be personal. They cannot be prescribed from a boss, textbook, or dogma. They must come from the head and heart.

Almost all creative projects give reward in some form, from a large number of different outlets, but those projects which are artistic, in the lonely sense of the word, are the purest when it comes to self expression.

This is a feature of Hacker Culture that is not much talked about, but it is very much what defines us. Self expression is what the quiet hacker longs for most. It is what makes us sit up all night alone, what makes us rebel against the languages of bondage. It is why we love the languages and constitutions of freedom - C, Lisp, Python, Ruby, BSD, GPL ...

At my most cynical Java, and Design Patterned Object Orientation are paint by numbers. No one would dispute that guidelines, techniques and study are important in all craft - but just ensuring not to color outside the lines doesn't give any satisfaction. One could never write poetry in Java. It wouldn't compile.

Sometimes when I'm at work, programming is still just 'getting things done' and that's okay. I'm thankful that programming can sign a pay check. But when I retire I wont be programming on someone else' terms. Obsession over "the right way" (tm) is a fast track to programming becoming an anxious weight. What truely matters in programming is what matters in life. I hope that freedom and self expression will always be celebrated in the programming community. Life is so much more than 'getting things done'.

github twitter rss