Issue 122

Lori M Olson Lori M Olson Follow Dec 14, 2022 · 7 mins read
Share this
DRD122: Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. - Vince Lombardi

OPED — Lori’s Unvarnished Opinion

A Creature of Habit

Wow. Christmas really snuck up on me. Here we are in the middle of December and Christmas is next week. Eek. On the bright side, our house renovation is winding down. I expect to be dealing with a lot of “not done yet, waiting for…” stuff for probably another month. But our furniture is officially being moved back in on Saturday. Yay. I might even get some Christmas baking done.

One does not realize the extent to which one is a creature of habit, until all your habits are disrupted for months on end. It’s important to acknowledge this, when you look back and try to figure out why you haven’t been as productive as you expected. This is definitely the case for my (now retired) husband and I while we spent three months at a rental house and another six weeks living in a construction zone with no kitchen or living room. If you haven’t read (or listened to) any books on habits, to learn why they are essential to well-being in my opinion, I recommend several:

  • My introduction was [The Power of Habit]( by Charles Duhigg. While there's a lot of stuff in the second half I didn't think was entirely relevant to me, I still think the first part of the book was a fascinating education on how our brain works with habits.
  • [Tiny Habits]( by BJ Fogg, PhD. I actually participated in some of Dr. Fogg's habit development challenges, long before the book was released. His work on habit creation has been really useful for me.
  • Today, James Clear's [Atomic Habits]( is all the rage, and probably the book most people would recommend. I think he covers a lot of the same ground as the other two, but his is the #1 Best Seller, so there's that I guess.

Anyway, Merry Christmas, and if you have some downtime over the year end, maybe read (or listen to) a book on habits!

Working With...

Since last month with RubyConf Mini and RubyConf in Houston was pretty exhausting, I don’t (yet) have anything new for you in the school. Instead, I thought I would point out this set of completely free Working With… books that “aim to introduce Ruby programmers to system programming”.

Tech newsletter 🗞️ content crunch? Intellog can help. And they have a special offer for DRD subscribers: they will curate and write the first issue of your newsletter for free. Find out more.  Sponsored

TALK — Talk of the Tech

Here are our selections from the two most widely used RubyMotion/DRGTK chat spaces, respectively:

  • Discord — Think you’re the next Kazunori Yamauchi? If so, you had better get the physics right. Good thing for the recent discussion on Discord which mentioned the driving_physics library from Rick Hull. It’s a “simulation of how to make a car go around a track quickly, in pure Ruby”. Drivers, start your engines…

  • Slack — What with Lori’s recent bout of COVID and her recent attendance at RubyConf, it’s forgivable that the yellow sticky note with RubyMotion 8.8 released! scratched on it somehow got ‘misplaced’. We’ll take responsibility for that. But in any event, it was. Released, that is.

TWIL — This Week I Learned…

If you are engaged in the seemingly never-ending search for inspiration for that new, world-beating app—or you’re in the hunt for data to support an existing project—here’s a great place to start looking. It’s a tweet thread which enumerates the ten best places to find all sorts of data for the task at hand. David Miller writes the The Data Toolbelt blog which, if you’re into data science, will be a place to spend some time, as well.

GAME — All Things Gaming

We have featured the work of the prodigious talent Freya Holmér in a number of previous issues of DRD, and we’re delighted to do that again. She’s back with a brand-new video entitled The Continuity of Splines. Without giving too much away, if you think the world is a pretty rough place, well, splines are how you smooth it out.

Who knows, equipped with all that new information about employing splines to creating natural-looking gamescapes, you might be tempted to submit a proposal to the Experimental Game Workshop which, much to our surprise, is already in its 21st year. But you had better hurry, because the deadline is 2023-01-01. There’s a new facet to the conference, this year: they’re including both game projects and cultural presentations, the latter of which includes interactive art, modding practices and zine making amongst a variety of other subjects.

SPOT — Spotlight On…

In addition to our usual items above, we found a special bonus item in the Discord this week: Brett Chalupa’s new eBook Building Games with DragonRuby, which seems to be coming together quite nicely.

Meanwhile, our prolific friend Akzidenz has yet another game out, called This game is TOO EASY which, and while we realise we’re a little slow-witted when compared to our readers, we found pretty hard. Stumped at ‘slide back’. It’s also testament to how a razor-thin premise can be turned into a pretty sticky game.

Do you have a DragonRuby-related product or service you would like to get in front of well over 1,200 raving DragonRuby-istas? 🐉 If so, please get in touch...we would love to help you get the word out in a sponsored spot like this!  Sponsored

APP — All Things App

It’s highly likely you have seen a variety of 100 Days of… type challenges out there—there seem to be a lot of them!—and you might think it’s time to move on. Not quite, we say, because here’s a challenge from Ben Orenstein with a useful and refreshing twist: The 30-Day Code Quality Challenge. In it, ‘you will receive a 20 minute exercise, the completion of which will improve the quality of the codebase you work on’. It’s free and language-agnostic.

HAHA — And They All Laughed

This is from one of our favourite Twitter feeds, @nixCraft. Which made us think of what other similar collective terms might be. What would you call a collection of code bugs for instance? Careful with that one. Or how about a collection of feature requests or maybe a collection of missed customer expectations, perhaps?

The World’s Best DragonRuby Newsletter can be delivered to you—at least it will be if you subscribe! Follow the WNDX School on Facebook, and don’t forget to follow WNDXLori on Twitter and Instagram.

If you enjoyed this issue of the DragonRuby Dispatch, please forward to a friend and ask them to subscribe, too…we really appreciate it!

* * *

“Once you break a habit into its components, you can fiddle with the gears.” — Charles Duhigg