I don’t know what I had originally planned to say here once I returned, but I’ve got two little things to talk about now:
A short bit about hacker-y things.
Finding what I was C-king
I’ve been trying to learn the C programming language over my break. I’ve got it down enough that I can understand it, but I wouldn’t say that I
know it, y’know? I decided that I wanted to write a small SNES game in C, because the best way to learn something is to just get right in there.
I was going to use the WDC 65816 C compiler because it has settings and options for making SNES games, but I kept running into issues. Everything from the optimizer creating loads of empty temp files to tools refusing to output files only in the nintendo format to the manual talking about files that didn’t come with the compiler. Well, actually, it came with pre-compiled versions of that file. When I could get the compiler to play nice I’d mess around with writing to I/O registers. I realized that pretty much all of the hard work would be wrestling with the SNES itself and I’d probably want to just write ASM for all of the hardware things, so I gave up on writing a game.
Now, I mentioned before hat I didn’t have a file that the compiler manual talked about, but I did have a pre-compiled version. The compiler also came with a set of pre-compiled library stuff, some examples for supported processors, and a bunch of header files. Hidden in these header files was one that described the file format output by the compiler. I had a new idea: I’d learn C by writing a tool that read the pre-compiled objects and libraries by using that file to figure out their format.
It’s been going alright but I keep getting distracted. Memory management and file I/O is really weird and clunky, dealing with strings is odd, and there are curly braces everywhere. Oh, and it’s all on fire. I’m really glad to have things like compiler explorer and the
-Wall option to help me.
Another bit on personal things with a bit about hacker-y things.
Maintenance and Maintenance
Words are hard and I’d like to word-vomit thoughts but let’s be a little bit classier, I guess.
I felt like I needed some self-maintenance, but how much of it I got is hard to say. In an effort to stave off stagnation and gain something useful I’ve been working on learning C, as mentioned above. And, while that’s all well and good, secluding myself from my friends was probably a bad call. My brain is unkind when left alone.
There’s a lot that I worry about with regards to the things that I work on. Back when I started hacking I had no idea of where I’d end up and now (not to toot my own horn too much) I feel like I’m one of the experts on hacking FE5. There are plenty of shortcomings in my hacking tools, methods, and code that make me feel self-conscious, especially knowing that thousands of people have seen them (unless one of you is just, iunno, clicking links on repeat). I know that worrying about what other people think is something that I need to work on myself but I wanted to ask:
What’re all of your thoughts on publishing and maintaining things like hacks, tools, doc, etc.?