History of Libraries

This post is for resources from a talk I gave at Write the Docs 2021 Portland (held online). The talk description was:

Why do we care about libraries? Why are they so special? What makes them feel like secular sacred spaces? How do we capture and preserve that feeling? How do we recreate it? 

This session explores what’s so special about libraries, and unpacks the layers behind what makes a library a library. Open data wasn’t invented in the age of the computer!

In this session, from a computer scientist with a history degree, you will learn such things as:

  • why and how traditional Jewish law says that no writings with the name of God on them can be discarded, and how this led to treasure troves of resources on medieval Jews (as it turns out, people in that era who could write, would barely write anything without referring to God, so if you want a medieval shopping list, I’ll tell you where to go!)
  • how craftspeople in the Renaissance would use old books, and scraps of paper, to make boxes. This preserved writing never intended for posterity (posterity in the form of a box, no less!) What can we learn from this? Come and find out!
  • what’s the use, in 2021, of what is effectively a medieval sticky note saying “Could you please get me some wild roses? But make sure to include some that are not yet flowering!” Why do we have a 600 year old sticky note, much less care what it says?

Find out how we can create future libraries, and what we can do to preserve the libraries we have now. What even is a library? This will be a fast-paced history lesson, relating everything you hear to the modern day. Find out what’s next, from the past.

Sources

  • The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders by Stuart Kells (2017)
  • Encyclopedia of Library History by Wayne A. Wiegand and Donald G Davis Jnr (2015)
  • Ancient Libraries by Aikaterini Oikonomopoulou, Greg Woolf, Jason König, and Katerina Oikonomopoulou (Eds.) (2013)
  • History of Libraries: Ancient Mediaeval by D N Marshall (1983)
  • Libraries, Books, and Collectors of Texts, 1600-1900 by James Gregory (2018)
  • Lost Libraries: The Destruction of Great Book Collections Since Antiquity by J Raven (Ed.) (2004)
  • … and more which I’ll post soon once I export my bibliography.

Video link to come after event.

Practical Machine Learning for iOS

This post serves as a collection of follow-up resources for my AppBuilders 2020 talk, Practical Machine Learning for iOS. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me (via Twitter is preferred). 

If you want a full transcript, the script for this talk is available here as a PDF.

Here’s some useful links, roughly in the order they might interest you related to the talk:

  • CreateML — Apple’s easy to use tool for creating machine learning models based on tasks
  • CoreML — Apple’s framework for using machine learning models that are in the CoreML mlmodel format

Building a Sound Classifier:

Building a Caption Generator:

Some additional links that might be of interest:

And finally, we have a GitHub repository with the code that was shown in the talk, as well as the code repository for our book, Practical AI with Swift, that has a whole lot of great activities for you to use (even if you don’t have the book) across sound, vision, text, and more.

SA Conference 2020 NYC

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We’ve just finished speaking at the O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference 2020 in New York City. It was, as always, a fabulous event, and we had a great time! In a few weeks we’ll be speaking at O’Reilly’s Strata conference in San Jose, as well!

At Software Architecture in NYC we spoke about entity component systems, in a talk entitled “Entity component systems and you: they’re not just for game developers“.

Below are some of our favourite links relating to ECS. We hope you find them useful!

You can also find a slightly earlier version of the talk (from last year’s conference) on YouTube:

Software Architecture NYC was fabulous, and we can’t wait for the next one! We really enjoyed seeing our friend r0ml give an amazing talk (as usual), and signing copies of our Unity Game Development Cookbook!

Catch us next at the O’Reilly Strata Conference in San Jose!

🧶 Yarn Spinner 1.0

The popular open source narrative game development framework, Yarn Spinner, which is maintained by Secret Lab and a fabulous community, has reached version 1.0. As part of our 1.0 release, we’ve debuted 5 exciting new features:

  1. Compiled Scripts — Yarn Spinner now compiles to a binary format.
  2. Automatic Compiling — In Unity, your Yarn scripts will automatically be compiled when they change.
  3. Line Tagging — You can automatically add unique tags to lines of dialogue, and generate a .csv file to send to translators with the click of a button.
  4. Code Extension — There’s a syntax highlighting extension, available from the marketplace, for Visual Studio Code.
  5. No more .yarn.txt — The file extension is now .yarn! It was time.

We want Yarn Spinner to be the best tool that it can be. As part of that, we’ve launched a Patreon page, and we’d love for you to help support its development!

We’ve got big plans, so please check out the website, follow us on Twitter, support the Patreon if you can, and join our Narrative Game Development Slack. And we’d really appreciate it if you shared the news!

/dev/world/2019 Early Bird ⚠️

Get your /dev/world/2019 tickets soon! Don’t miss out!/dev/world/2019 is fast approaching, and discounted Early Bird tickets are available until 9 August 2019.

A ticket gets you access to three days of workshops, sessions, and networking — it’s a great deal! /dev/world/2019 runs in Melbourne at RMIT, and features speakers from companies like Google, Canva, Mercari, Etsy, CBA and beyond, covering topics from the latest SwiftUI, to Flutter, to Rich Notifications, to hand puppets with Augmented Reality (AR).

Join us at /dev/world! For more information and tickets, visit https://devworld.com.com.au

The first announced Featured Presentation at /dev/world/2019 will be from Simon Joslin and Matthew Clark, from The Voxel Agents, developers of The Gardens Between, the Apple Design Award-winning adventure puzzle game. They’ll be talking about good design, and how it can’t just be rushed.

Get your tickets at https://devworld.com.au ❤️

Science Fictional User Interfaces

This week at the Strata Data Conference, in London, Mars and I gave a talk on Science Fictional User Interfaces. It was a very enjoyable talk to prepare, and we were really thrilled to be given a slot at such a technical data-focused conference as Strata, to effectively rant about how great science-fiction is, and how everyone should watch, read, and play more sci-fi.

This post serves to provide some links to resources that we mentioned in the presentation, or that we think you’d find useful if you enjoyed the presentation. We’ll also post a video of the talk here, once it is available (usually a few weeks!)

If you’re interested in reading more about this topic, there’s two amazing books that cover similar ground:

There’s also a range of books that take a different angle on a similar topic:

  • Designing Agentive Technology (Christopher Noessel) — available from O’Reilly’s Learning Platform, Rosenfeld Media, and Amazon
  • Speculative Everything (Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby) — available from The MIT Press and Amazon
  • Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies (Dave Addey) — available from Amazon
  • Extrapolation Factory Operator’s Manual (Elliott P. Montgomery and Chris Woebken) — available from Amazon

And there’s some interesting papers and academic articles we think you might be interested in, if you enjoyed our talk:

  • Hopes and fears for intelligent machines in fiction and reality (Stephen Cave and Kanta Dihal) — available from Nature Machine Intelligence
  • Long-Term Trends in the Public Perception of Artificial Intelligence (Ethan Fast and Eric Horvitz) — available from arXiv
  • “Scary Robots”: Examining Public Responses to AI (Stephen Cave, Kate Coughland, and Kanta Dihal) — available from AIES Conference