I usually like to write about one coherent thought for about three paragraphs but I’m stumped. So today I’m going to write about two or three ideas.
First, Magic is a complicated game and trying to construct a basic user interface (UI) for it is hard. I keep thinking that I’ll rewrite the UI but I know it will be hard and frustrating since I’ve never done anything like that before. I really enjoyed the UI for the previous version of Magic Online and the UI for Shandalar was very clear and easy to use.
Basically I’m not a very visual person and I can’t tell what looks good and what doesn’t. My only hope for a better UI is to copy a preexisting one. I understand Shandalar’s UI the best but I will be doing good if I can write something that looks half as good.
Second, Java is my programming language of choice but it still gives me problems. The problem is that there are many different versions of Java which are supposed to work the same way but they don’t. The newest version of Java is 1.6, which is all fine and dandy, but the user interface looks different between 1.4 and 1.6 and I wrote MTG Forge with 1.4. (The user interface is “more white”, making it harder on the eyes.) And other problems abound, such as Java 1.4 code will compile with 1.6 if you turn off all the warnings, which is usually considered a bad, lazy approach to programming.
Third, MTG Forge’s source code is about 1.5 MB uncompressed and 271 KB zipped, which is about the size of Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities”, 294 KB zipped. You might be wondering why am I comparing zipped sizes between Java source code and plain text? The answer is that if two things compress to the same size they have about the same amount of information.
I have no idea which project took longer to write but by compared zipped sizes, we know that they have about the same information. (Although hopefully my program is more interesting than an old book, but who knows?)
Information theory is part of computer science which deals with the theory behind computers and how to code better programs.