The past months I embarked on a book writing project on accident; a book on low level graphics programming. It uses Vulkan though the concepts focus on graphics programming, not Vulkan specifically. I looked at all the notes I gathered the past couple years and realized I had all the material I wished I had when I started learning something new. I estimate it's about one third written, about 40,000 words or a bit over 100 pages so far, leaving out diagramming, proofing and editing. I never say anything about what I'm doing until I'm sure I'm committing to it, so I'm publicly committed to finishing it.
It's a slog writing a book full time. There's bursts of activity and then I have to take a break and focus my mind on something else. I've felt confident lately on my graphics programming and low level programming skills so I attempted something ambitious.
Working within Ruby environments exasperates the disparate component issue. Ruby as a language takes strong influences from the Smalltalk language. Like a Smalltalk environment the only definitive state of a Ruby environment is the state of the VM as it's running. Anyone who's worked with Ruby knows the normal edit file -> run in Ruby VM loop has a fundamental problem. What you write in a separate file may not be what actually runs in the VM at runtime.
So my current side project is exploring a question. Is it possible to build a Ruby environment like a Smalltalk environment?
Here's an example of about three full time days of work without knowing anything in advance about MRuby. Here I have an GUI and MRuby VM connected. Right now it's brittle and will crash easily with the right Ruby incantation. Still, this is a live MRuby VM wrapped in a GUI and the GUI is (currently partially) driven by the Ruby VM. Here you can see using the GUI modifies the state of the Ruby environment and then the GUI reflects the change back since the GUI reads the Ruby environment. Even though it's super hacked together it already feels astonishingly similar to the Squeak or Pharo Smalltalk environments.
This is becoming a really, really cool project I'm surprised nobody did yet from all my research. It's been keeping me up at night with the possibilities.
I still have a book to write though.
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