Friday, August 31, 2018

NSW Volunteer of the Year Award

I was delighted to receive a NSW Volunteer of the Year Award from the Centre for Volunteering, for my contributions both teaching and coordinating Primary Ethics at my local primary school. Primary Ethics is a volunteer-based organisation that teaches philosophical ethics to primary school children across NSW.

My thanks to the Centre for Volunteering for organising the event, and for their recognition.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Eclipse hangs during: Publishing to WildFly 0%

One of our developers just lost a couple of days productivity (even going so far as to reinstall Windows) to a very elusive Eclipse bug. After working fine for months, his Eclipse suddenly starting experiencing significant delays (up to a couple of minutes) when trying to publish changes. Eclipse would just sit there, stuck at 0%, saying Publishing to WildFly. It did the same with other applications servers we tried (such as the Deploy Only Basic Connector).

We eventually managed to resolve this as being an issue with m2e-wtp. We found the mappings it uses under .settings/org.eclipse.wst.common.component. We then modified these mappings to copy individual webapp folders one-at-a-time. Specifically, we avoided copying very large, nested folders such as node_modules.

After editing the file and refreshing the Eclipse project, the publishing pause is gone! The developer will have to be careful that future changes (such as doing Maven > Update Project) do not override the .settings/org.eclipse.wst.common.component file, but if they do he'll just need to revert changes (we've checked the file into version control).

I'm posting this blog because we couldn't find any reference to this issue anywhere on the Internet. I can only assume it may happen for others who use Eclipse, Java EE and Node Modules together.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Virtual Reality Financial Planning

We're continuing to explore ways to apply Virtual Reality to non-gaming applications. Our latest prototype is to expand Wealth Projector's Adviser Interface using a complementary Virtual Reality module for client-facing meetings.

The idea is to replace the 'let me turn my monitor around' or the 'let me sketch this on some paper' moment into a richly graphical, engaging Virtual Reality experience.

Check out video of the prototype below:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Virtual Reality Art Show

For the past six years, I've helped out at our community Art and Craft Festival. The logistics behind such a show are surprisingly daunting - hundreds of pieces of art have to be delivered, catalogued, tracked and (ideally) sold over the course of one weekend.

A couple of years ago I built a mobile website to help with this process. The website allows show coordinators to invite artists; artists to photograph (using their camera phone) and upload their art; the gallery team to arrange the paintings on walls using a drag-and-drop UI; and finally the sales team to track sales.

Another requested feature was to allow people to buy art online, before the show. But how to give people a good impression of how that art will look in their home? How to give a feel for the size of the art, and what colour walls it suits?

In previous years I solved this using stock photos of lounge rooms overlayed with simple CSS perspective transforms - to 'hang' the art on the wall.

However for the 2017 show I've upgraded the site to use the new A-Frame framework. I think this presents a great case study of using Virtual Reality for non-gaming. Virtual Reality excels at giving people a sense of scale, which (hopefully) will really help in deciding to buy art online. Art galleries are also a great application for Web VR, as paintings use only simple geometry which is easy for lower-end devices to handle.

Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/owps-art or see the screenshow below:

As a bonus, I've also Open Sourced the A-Frame collision detection component I developed to prevent the user walking through walls.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Metawidget Ported to Angular 2

Metawidget development has slowed lately, thanks to two factors: the framework itself is very mature; and I've been consumed by my startup.

However, thanks to the Open Source community others have taken up the mantle. I look forward to integrating their work into the main branch in the future! For now, keep an eye on:

In addition, I'm still doing small changes and fixes as they come up.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Metawidget and React

Congratulations to the University of Technology, Sydney's Metawidget Team.

For their first semester Software Development Studio project, they prototyped a React version of Metawidget and demonstrated retrofitting it into an existing application to deliver significant reductions in error-prone, boilerplate code.

Monday, July 18, 2016

500 on Air

I was interviewed on ABC Radio 612 Brisbane about our online 500 card game website.

Here's a link to the audio from the show.