Neil's News

Java Chain Reaction

16 July 2003

I've been relearning Java on the daily train journey between Inverness and Elgin. My previous experience with Java was five years ago with the object tree. The current exercise is to recode the Chain Reaction game from VB to Java. I'm trying to shed all my ties to Visual Basic (ugly language, not portable, Microsofty).

It took three weeks to relearn Java and recode Chain Reaction. The end came abruptly and unexpectedly. I had completely lost sight of the big picture and was simply plugging away at one low-level function after another. Then on a routine test compile, it suddenly played a game with me. Half an hour later (after I fixed some logic errors), it surpassed my abilities and became virtually unbeatable. A remarkable experience. Ok, I need to get out more.

Check out the new Java-based Chain Reaction.

Update: On a completely unrelated note, Slashdot just published my first submission. It seems to have been fairly well received. Unfortunately we'll probably be reading more about this over the coming years as OSP problems become more public.

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