Tinkering with Babylon.JS – Part 1

Yesterday I wanted to have a new challenge, a small side project. After discovering BabylonJS, a library for creating and animating 3D scenes in the browser with good performance, I though now was the time to test it with a solution to a problem I have wanted to solve from sometime now.

When you are searching for a new house, you usually use a real estate listing, filtering by location, rooms, sizes, and pictures, but there is an important factor no real state listing includes, and its the amount of sun/shadows the house gets throw the day and throw the year. and until now the only way I have found is to go and visit the place (and using some augmented reality sun tracker, etc). This is specially important if there is a pool, or hills/mountains around, or if the house doesn’t get enough sun to be heated (which can also affect your monthly expenses).

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How recoverable is an APK source code made with Titanium ?

Last Friday, I had a meeting with a possible client who had made an app with a freelance developer using Appcelerator Titanium. Now he wished to make upgrades to the app, but he realized he didn’t have the source code for it, and the original developer was nowhere to be found.

I’ve heard these types of stories a lot of times before. Still, I thought as I’m creating compilers that currently generate Titanium code, I wonder: how recoverable is the source code of a Titanium app from an existing APK? I found it a nice challenge, so I started digging, and this was my experience.

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How can I show you my dev tools?

While writing this blog site I thought it would be cool to show you the tools I’ve been developing, but found myself in the necessity of having them in English. You see when I started creating them, my target were chilean developers, who speak Spanish, so I made the first DSLs in Spanish.  I also found that having a Spanish programming way was cool since all existing source code languages were in english. Since Concepto is mostly about concepts and icons, the texts that are used are mostly for attributes and settings.

So my next task is going to be to translate my DSL for Appcelerator Titanium into one that takes english text nodes as commands instead of Spanish. I’ll show you the result in the next blog post, in which I also hope to show you how Creador OPEN can make a difference in your daily work.

From an idea to reality

To think of on idea before creating it, I have used mindmaps for several years now. Since they have a non-linear structure, it is easy to gather all ideas and write them down. It allows me to add, remove, or move grouped notes fast, add attributes, colors, symbols, etc. I find it the perfect tool to gather the concepts of anything.

I thought so many times that it would be marvelous if I could transform those mindmaps into the actual working code…

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A new way of thinking

Since I have memory, I’ve been curious, and through the years, I have come to appreciate it as a treasure. As developers of new products, we always try to create the things we imagine. In a sense, we act as translators, transforming an idea into code.

As in every language, there are some things easier to say in one that are much more difficult to express in another. Maybe it’s because of its cultural roots, or because of the communication needs of the people who created them, but the hierarchy for the expression of ideas remains the same. We always maintain a structured copy of our ideas in our heads.

The best way I have still found for documenting my ideas are mindmaps.
I once thought that if we could transform a mindmap into a reality, we could save lots of programming time and really maintain the focus on what’s important.