Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday night stuff

Much of the work outstanding work on the star system generator that I discussed in yesterday's post is now finished.  Some data is simply not generated for gas worlds - you'll see NaN (not a number) showing up in those cases.

The moon count is still low for the gas giants, but that's because the method in the simulation by which planetesimal's become moons makes it unlikely for large numbers to accrue around any planet.  I may need to add some code to specifically generate additional moons for the larger gas worlds.  A few bits and pieces remain to be taken care of - there's a bug that can result in negative mass(!?) for small planets around very massive stars.

There's more work to be done. The orbital data for the moons is incorrect/incomplete. The GUI and the simulation core need to be separated out into an application and a library, as I have every intention of reusing the simulation core with the planet program in the future, and with other things.  The GUI needs an export capability.  It also needs an option to restrict the star selection to a smaller selection of spectral types; currently it will randomly select from any main sequence type.  Another option should be to keep creating star systems until one is found with a habitable world - that'll make it easier for authors, game masters, game designers, etc. who might try to use this to generate a star system with a habitable world for a story or game.

Code cleanup will probably require a couple days - the original examples I ported from and/or used as a template were in multiple computer languages with different naming conventions, indent styles, bracketing styles, comment styles, etc.  Where I copy-and-pasted I need to go back and achieve consistency.

On other matters, I ran across an interesting agent-based language evolution simulator. Its implemented in JavaScript and runs in the browser, so just visit the link if you want to take it for a spin. I've included a screenshot below.  At first glance, it appears to add words from language A to language B when individuals from A and B interact, with possible mutations.  In and of itself, merely interesting, but when combined with some other techniques it could be useful.  I'll have to take a more in-depth look again when I jump back to language synthesis at some point.  On a  related note, I should probably finish cleanup of my C# port of LangGen and put that up on GitHub sometime soon.

Last night I found out that a new novel in Alma T. C. Boykin's Colplatschki Chronicles series had been released.  I purchased Forcing the Spring from Amazon and read it on my aging Nook.  I quite enjoyed it, and will likely write up a review at some point in the near future.  I eagerly await the next book in the series.

Currently I am reading Paul Lendvai's The Hungarians: A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat.  I ran across this book in downtown Cincinnati late Friday afternoon, when I stopped in at the main branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.  Alas, I had arrived via streetcar, and had to cart the book and two others I checked out through much of downtown Cincinnati, including a stop at crowded Findlay Market, before I could finally drop them at my vehicle.

There was a bizarre bit of convergence after I left the library and hopped the streetcar.  I was reading the book on the streetcar, and from early on Lendvai makes mention of German settlements within Hungary.  I look up from my reading at one of the stops, and there are people in old-timey German attire boarding.  I was puzzled for a few seconds, and then remembered - Oktoberfest!  Cincinnati's Oktoberfest, the largest in America, was starting in an hour or so, and people were boarding the streetcar to reach it.

Between the weather on Friday and Saturday, the crowds, not being a big beer drinker, and the fact that most food booths were from area restaurants I can get the same food from anytime, I wasn't really inspired to go to Oktoberfest.  It was still rather neat seeing so many people getting into it and dressing up for event.

And that's it for this Sunday.  I'll probably have more to write about come tomorrow.

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