Launching Ragnarok Code

It’s my new website! Visit it at http://ragnarokcode.com.

For some time now, I’ve been stagnating in terms of writing code. My day job usually provides me with ideas for post material. The thing is, much of the code, concepts and business logic is proprietary and confidential. So the material’s fairly mangled to unrecognisable pieces before it’s seriously considered for publishing.

I’ve also noticed that my articles are starting to lean towards the theoretical, and not enough practical ones. Practical referring to code, and trying out new concepts, and testing new technology. Besides, I’m starting to bore even myself…

Thinking hard, I came up with the answer. Do my own thing and write code! But I need some purpose. It’s fine and dandy to just write code, but without any purpose, the motivation to write code dies quickly.

My considerations:

  • Show my work
  • Current interests in C# and ASP.NET
  • Love simulations

So I’ve decided to launch a new website, running on .NET. I’ll be able to fulfil the first 2 at one go. The simulations thing will probably be a Windows application, powered by DirectX (or XNA?) for graphics. I’ve got water surface simulations, particles affected by “gravity” fields and so on in mind. I can create the simulations, and make them available for download, maybe even the code (once I make it presentable).

Do you know what’s the hardest part? Coming up with a domain name. I thought through a few, and discarded them one by one. I finally decided on one, but it was taken (expired, but still renewable by the owner).

It’s gone on for a few days, with the search for the perfect domain name and the perfect ASP.NET web host. It started to drive me crazy. Until something inside of me screamed “Stop this!”. And I made a decision, and bought a hosting package and registered the domain name “ragnarokcode.com”.

After I registered the domain name, I realised a fatal mistake. I’m not going to rank well for the word “ragnarok” due to a popular game Ragnarok Online. Totally forgot about it. Eeesshh… It’s fine, since I plan on using the website like a test bed for concepts.

So right now, I’ve only got an implementation of reverse polish notation on the site. What it means is, you can type “2 + 6 / 3” and get “4” as an answer. Hardly noteworthy, since you can write that in code and get an answer anyway. Until you realise that to evaluate a new expression “4 – sin(pi/2)”, you have to recompile your code.

This type of dynamic evaluation requires dealing with the symbolic meaning of the terms in the expression (symbolic computing?). There’s this software called Mathematica, which I used in my university days. My implementation just scratches the surface of what’s achievable.

Because I want exceptions to fail silently, that even if the expression doesn’t make sense, every best effort was made to evaluate the given expression. Which gave surprising results when I tested my own creation. Did you know “love + hate” has a numerical answer? *smile*

So here’s the link again: http://ragnarokcode.com. Have fun!