Hacker News - Wednesday, November 8th 2023
From Hacker News
Northlight technology in Alan Wake 2
The development team at Northlight is thrilled to announce the release of Alan Wake 2, and they're showcasing several new features and tools that make the game visually stunning and immersive. One key highlight is the switch to a new data-oriented game object model, which enables more efficient storage and parallel execution. The engine now supports different hardware cores, resulting in larger and more dynamic worlds. The team also introduced a Voxel-Based Character Controller for smoother character movement in complex environments. The NPC locomotion has been reworked, combining animation-driven movement with new motion matching techniques, resulting in improved movement quality and control. Another notable addition is a realistic wind system that affects physics, particles, and cloth, allowing for smooth transitions between indoor and outdoor areas. The team also developed a scattering tool for mass-authoring vegetation and creating richer environments. Other features include a new scripting language, a GPU-driven rendering pipeline, character-style rigs on foliage, HDR support, improved transparency and atmospheric effects, advanced VFX tools, and enhanced ray tracing capabilities.
Oh my poor business logic
The author of this piece discusses the importance of adopting existing tools that work and applying them to specific business problems. They argue that this approach is underrated, as many companies either focus solely on measurable business outcomes and blame engineers for technical debt, or get caught up in technobabble and obsess over trendy tools and configurations. The author believes that both of these approaches are equally problematic, and individuals within the technical field often criticize the former while ignoring the issues of the latter. The problem is compounded when companies introduce unnecessary metrics and measurement systems that distract from the core business logic. The author suggests that there needs to be a middle ground where developers can focus on the most valuable aspects of the business without incurring technical debt or complicating the development process. They invite technical leads, managers, and business owners to share their strategies for achieving this balance.
Go, Containers, and the Linux Scheduler
When running Go applications in container orchestrators, it is essential to set CPU limits to prevent the container from consuming all the CPU resources on the host. However, the Go runtime is not aware of these limits and will use all available CPU. This can lead to high latency and performance issues. The Go garbage collector (GC) runs concurrently with the execution of the program, but there are two points in the GC process where all Goroutines need to be stopped. This is necessary for data integrity. In containerized environments, it is important to consider the Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS) used in the Linux kernel. The CFS is a proportional share scheduler that allocates CPU time based on the number of CPU cores allowed. The Go runtime creates an OS thread for each CPU core, regardless of CGroup CPU limits. Therefore, the Go runtime may expect to be able to use more CPU time than allocated, leading to longer stop-the-world durations. To address this, you can limit the number of CPU threads that the Go runtime will create using the GOMAXPROCS environment variable. This ensures that the runtime matches the CPU quota and improves garbage collection performance. It is important to correctly set the value of GOMAXPROCS to the number of CPU cores allocated to the container. This can be calculated manually or using libraries like automaxprocs.
Interactive examples for learning jq
This podcast episode discusses the power of using the jq tool for processing and manipulating JSON data. The host shares their personal experiences with dealing with large and complex JSON files and how jq has helped save time and effort. They provide various scenarios where jq can be useful, such as integrating with APIs, converting data formats, managing configuration files, extracting data from websites, and analyzing server logs. The host walks through different examples of using jq, including selecting values, filtering arrays, mapping arrays, combining filters, splitting strings, handling null values, formatting output, traversing nested objects, performing object manipulation, sorting arrays, extracting unique values, calculating averages, grouping and aggregating data, filtering after aggregation, calculating histogram bins, extracting values based on multiple conditions, formatting Unix timestamps, and enumerating by top-level key and value. The episode concludes with additional resources and an invitation for listeners to provide feedback on the content.
Perfect Dark: Recompiled
There is a resurgence of Nintendo 64 gaming thanks to the ability to decompile N64 ROMs back into C code using Ghidra. There are projects focused on classic games, with developers renaming the generic function and variable names in the Ghidra output. There are two approaches to these projects: one is to recreate the original work and achieve a bit-perfect binary that matches the original ROM, while the other approach involves fixing bugs, optimizing the code, and adding new features, often porting to new platforms. Currently, the latter approach is being applied to the game Perfect Dark from 2000. A developer named [fgsfdsfgs] has taken the project to new heights, producing a version of Perfect Dark that runs on Windows or Linux, with mouse support, at a solid 60 frames per second (FPS), and at multiple screen resolutions. Not only that, but the upgraded rendering engine can handle ultra-widescreen displays and support mods. In the future, the developer plans to add high-definition textures. It's important to note that players must provide their own legally sourced copy of the original game in order to play, as this project treads in a legal grey zone. While Nintendo hasn't shut down the project, a similar Mario 64 port was indeed shut down. In the meantime, enthusiasts can enjoy this nostalgic trip.
From Posts IndieHackers
I am building an Android starter pack that saves you hours in repetitive code and helps launching faster
The speaker, who has seven years of experience as a mobile app developer, discusses the repetitive nature of coding when building apps from scratch. To address this issue, they have created SwiftApps, which offers a prebuilt code starter pack with features like authentication, payments, and content creation. The goal is to save developers time by providing a boilerplate code that they can customize to suit their app's needs. The speaker mentions having experienced difficulties with no-code mobile app development websites like Thunkable, and suggests that SwiftApps offers advantages such as ownership of the app code, flexibility, and scalability. They invite feedback from other developers and entrepreneurs to identify additional features that could help reduce development costs and time needed to build a minimum viable product (MVP).
Designing Your Success Story: Branding, Templates, and Creative Design for Startups
Branding your startup goes beyond just having a logo and colors; it's about creating a unique identity that conveys your mission and values. A well-defined brand brings credibility to your business, making it more attractive to customers, investors, and partners. Creative design is what makes your brand memorable and appealing. However, startups often face the challenge of inconsistency in their communication and design. This is where templates can help by providing a consistent look and feel for your business. Combining templates with creative design services ensures that your brand is visually stunning and consistent across all touchpoints. Using templates and creative design also saves time and money. Designing materials from scratch can be time-consuming and costly. Templates provide a ready-made foundation, and with the expertise of creative designers, you can make your brand truly remarkable. Templates streamline processes, speeding up production and reducing errors. This efficiency is crucial for startups, and when paired with creative design, it ensures that your materials are both efficient and aesthetically pleasing. As your startup grows, you'll need to scale your operations and maintain a consistent brand image. Templates can easily adapt to your evolving needs, and creative design services ensure a seamless evolution of your brand's visual identity. Branding, templates, and creative design work together to facilitate marketing efforts. A well-branded and creatively designed marketing campaign effectively communicates your value proposition and delivers a consistent message across all channels. This leaves a lasting impact on your audience. In the competitive startup world, being unique and memorable is essential. A strong brand, templates, and creative design give you a competitive edge, capturing the attention of your target audience and leaving a lasting impression. Investors often look for startups with a clear and compelling brand. A strong brand story, supported by well-designed templates and creative design expertise, can attract potential investors by demonstrating a strategic and creative approach to your business. By combining the power of branding, templates, and creative design services, your startup can establish a strong brand identity and present it with visual excellence. This three-fold approach provides the competitive advantage you need to confidently navigate the challenging path to success. If you're looking to unlock the full potential of your startup's brand and design, consider utilizing creative design services to take your business to the next level. They can bring your vision to life and make your startup truly unforgettable.
I built a no-code tool for reducing churn for your SaaS
In this episode, the host discusses a product called GuideSail, which is a no-code method for building product guides and tours on top of SaaS (Software as a Service) products. The guest, who built getguidesail.com, explains that this tool is designed to help SaaS founders guide new users, explain features, and retain customers. The primary objective of GuideSail is to provide a super quick and easy way for SaaS founders to create interactive product guides without the need for coding skills. By using GuideSail, SaaS founders can create step-by-step guides and tours that walk users through the different features and functionalities of their product. This helps new users easily onboard and understand how to use the software effectively. Additionally, GuideSail can be used to provide ongoing support and assistance to existing customers, keeping them engaged and satisfied with the product. The guest highlights that GuideSail is a user-friendly tool that requires no technical expertise to implement. It offers customizable templates, interactive elements, and analytics to track user engagement. Overall, GuideSail aims to simplify the process of creating and managing product guides for SaaS founders, ultimately enhancing the user experience and customer satisfaction.