Blog / Knockin' on Node's door

This weekend I helped a coworker with a Node Knockout 48 hour programming competition. It taught me two things: one, I do not have the constitution for programming marathons; and two, that specification documents are essential before starting programming. Oh, and something about Node.js I suppose.

I didn’t do anything on the Node side. Just some page styling and a tiny amount of front-end JavaScript hinting. But it was inspiring to see my compatriots bang out Facebook integration and a game engine over two days. Maximum cowboy coding but perfectly acceptable for a time-limited competition.

It got me thinking about what backend I want to use for my game. Some part of it has to be Node: the constant saving will need to be never blocked by I/O. But what about the rest of the site? I was going to go with MVC 4, since that’s what we use at work, but now I’m wondering if I couldn’t write the whole thing in Node using Express or Geddy. Give it static typing with TypeScript and reverse proxy it through Apache on my local machine so I wouldn’t have to type the port 3000 nonsense. I know I’ll want to use a NoSQL database for storing game states, but the rest of the site/CMS should be on a nice relational database.

During the competition I found an extension for Sublime Text that automatically compiles LESS files into CSS. Now I need one that does the same for TypeScript and also restarts Node servers automatically. I love programming.

On another note, I’m still hooked on Junk Jack X. It is the portable version of Minecraft. Tapping out blocks feels just as satisfying. Catching a glimpse of a skeleton in the tunnels beneath your house causes the same “no no no run run run” panic that I love. Granted Junk Jack’s AI is even more anemic than Minecraft, but it’ll do for now. The joy of exploration is wonderful to have in the palm of your hand.

Need storage. Send chests!

Behold my first crappy house. The first house I built in Minecraft was a tiny shanty on the beach. I stayed there all night listening to the moans of zombies outside my door. So much fun.