The Playground

December 12, 2009 | categories: Programming, The Playground

Over the last 2 years, I've done a lot of personal programming projects. Some of these are available on my github, but any information about them is spread among Twitter and a few forums (some of which no longer exist). So over the next month, I'm going to blog about a few of these. I've chosen the name "The Playground" for the category because it accurately reflects both the nature of the projects (small projects that are mostly tinkered with, with very little concrete plans) and the reasons for making them (to practice programming, or to mess about, or because I was bored).

Anyway, for the time being, here is a quick summary of my projects currently in my github repo:

Twitter Matter

This is a simple Python program to send tweets from the command line. At the moment, it can send tweets, and get the latest tweets from your timeline, your friend's timeline, and @replies to you. I made it mainly because although I've always said Python looks like a nice language, and I know the basics of it, I never wrote an actual program in it beyond Project Euler maths puzzles.

JavascriptCity (aka Webcity, webicity, JSC)

This is an attempt to write a Simcity clone in Javascript. I got quite far into it, with the ability to set zones, have them develop and build roads actually working. However, at the current stage any change I make is too bad for performance that it is basically on hold. I can say it's definitely not impossible to write a Simcity clone in Javascript, but you need someone with better Javascript skills than me to make it, and probably someone who knows about <canvas>.

Young Developer Forum

This is a program set up by me and a Iroup of people on a forum which has since shut down. It didn't really get very far.


This is an IM server and client that I wrote in Java. It was my first experiment in GUI programming and Threading in Java. Some revisions of it work, and some don't.

JS Battleship

This is a battleship game I am writing in Javascript. It re-uses a lot of code from JavascriptCity, but without the huge 200x200 table grid that caused a lot of programs.

First serious Java programming project

July 27, 2009 | categories: Programming

I've done a good bit of programming in PHP and Javascript, but up until recently, my desktop programming experience has been limted to calculators and other similar simple programs. However, that is changing as my current programming project is an IM client and server written in Java. The name is Machat (hey, I'm not very inventive) and the source code is under the GPL and available at my new github account.

Currently it is in a VERY rough state (in fact it doesn't even send messages) and I don't really expect it ever to be succesful, but it's still an interesting project to learn about GUIs, threading and network programming (3 things you don't do a lot of in PHP).