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The Communion With Bahamut

So in the plot of the 8th and final story, to boil it down, Hades invokes his last right, having the armies of Gallik Baal'a declare war on the rest of the world whilst he awaits his prize, the FInal Reckoning. The people of Gallik Baal'a are the descendants of mortals of various races (Black Mages not included) who were directly manipulated by Hades. Long ago, when Hades forged his legendary 6 relics and bestowed them upon mortals, they swore a binding oath to him and his last right, the right to fight for his cause and existence.   The prize he awaits, is his shot at the one who has kept him imprisoned for thousands of years; Bahamut.   I had planned a scene where Kierkess Aventola and Seto meet for the Final Reckoning. Kierkess summons Hades, arrogantly and maliciously spiking Wedge's spear in the ground before him, but when Seto reluctantly summons Bahamut, something special happens. Seto actually shares a brief communion with Bahamut himself. The god takes the form of a Dragoon ancestor (I had always liked the idea of his appearance being based on Hironobu Sakaguchi) to make it easier for him to process and participate in the conversation. They talk about a few things, mainly about how Seto is unsure if Ana would want him to fight at all. Bahamut tells him Ana would want him to defend what they had built; her ideals. Seto tells him he is afraid of what will happen if Hades kills him, and Bahamut tells him that even if Hades put an end to his physical form, he would exist in spirit forever. He continues, telling him (more or less) that he mustn't be a slave to his fear of what ifs anymore.   Seto had already received closure surrounding Ana when he met her in her Knights of Round form, but the Bahamut scene to me was essential to the history of his people going back to the first story. I felt like the conversation with Bahamut (the parts not mentioned here, when Seto asks him questions about what he is, what the 'summons' are, who his people are, etc), were very important and what he really needed at this point in his journey, as the Chief of Dragoon people, a husband and father.     But now, as I sit here refining the plot outline, I'm wondering if I should keep that in, or take it out.     Thoughts on this???
 

dvcs How DVCS Can Be Used Outside Of Software Engineering

Most seasoned professional software engineering teams probably understand the immense value of DVCS in their jobs, but it seems to me that the concepts of DVCS isn't used much outside of software engineering, even when DVCS has existed for way more than a decade already, which is quite a pity for me. So how DVCS can be used outside of software engineering? Let's show it using the following example: You've a front-line customer service job(sitting on a booth with the customer on the other side while you're using a computer to do the work) which demands you to strictly follow a SOP covering hundreds of cases(each of your cases will be checked by a different supervisor but no one knows who that supervisor will be beforehand), and the most severe SOP breach can cause you to end up going to jail(because of unintentionally violating serious legal regulations) You've to know what cases should be handled by yourselves and what have to be escalated to your supervisors(but no one knows which supervisor will handle your escalation beforehand), because escalating too many cases that could've been handled by yourselves will be treated as incompetent and get yourselves fired, while handling cases yourselves that should've been escalated is like asking to be fired immediately As the SOP is constantly revised by the upper management, it'll change quite a bit every several weeks on average, so the daily verbal briefing at the start of the working day is always exercised, to ensure all of you will have the updated SOP, as well as reminding what mistakes are made recently(but not mentioning who of course) Clearly, a SOP of this scale with this frequency and amount of changes won't be fully written in a black and white manner(it'd cost hundreds of A4 papers per copy), otherwise the company would've to hire staffs that are dedicated to keep the SOP up to date, in which the company will of course treat this as ineffective and inefficient(and wasting tons of papers), so the company expects EVERYONE(including the supervisors themselves) to ALWAYS have ABSOLUTELY accurate memory when working according to the SOP As newcomer joins, they've about 2 months to master the SOP, and senior staff of the same ranks will accompany these newcomers during this period, meaning that the seniors will verbally teach the newcomers the SOP, using the memory of the former and assuming that the latter will remember correctly Needless to say, the whole workflow is just asking for trouble, because: Obviously, no one can have absolutely accurate memory, especially when it's a SOP covering hundreds of cases, so it's just incredibly insane to assume that EVERYONE ALWAYS have ABSOLUTELY accurate memory on that, but that's what the whole workflow's based on As time passes, one's memory will start to become more and more inaccurate gradually(since human's memory isn't lossless), so eventually someone will make a mistake, and the briefing on the upcoming several days will try to correct that, meaning that the whole briefing thing is just an ad-hoc, rather than systematic, way to correct the staff's memories Similarly, as newcomers are taught by the seniors using the latter's memory, and human communications aren't lossless either, it's actually unreasonable to expect the newcomers to completely capture the SOP this way(because of the memory loss of the seniors, the information loss in the communication, and the memory loss of the newcomers, which is essentially the phenomenon revealed by Chinese whipsers), even when they've about 2 months to do so As each of your cases will be checked by a different supervisor and no one knows who that supervisor will be beforehand, and supervisors will also have memory losses(even though they'll usually deny that), eventually you'll have to face memory conflicts among supervisors, without those supervisors themselves even realizing that such conflicts among them do exist(the same problem will eventually manifest when you escalate cases to them, and this includes whether the cases should actually be escalated) Therefore, overtime, the memories on the SOP among the staff will become more and more different from each other gradually, eventually to the point that you won't know what to do as the memory conflicts among the supervisors become mutually exclusive at some parts of the SOP, meaning that you'll effectively have to gamble on which supervisor will handle your escalation and/or check your case, because there's no way you can know which supervisor will be beforehand Traditionally, the solution would be either enforcing the ridiculously wrong assumption that EVERYONE must ALWAYS have ABSOLUTELY accurate memory on a SOP worth hundreds of A4 papers even harder and more ruthlessly, or hiring staff dedicated to keep the written version of the SOP up to date, but even the written version will still have problems(albeit much smaller ones), because: As mentioned, while it does eliminate the issue of gradually increasing memory conflicts among staff overtime, having a written version per staff member would be far too ineffective and inefficient(not to mention that it's a serious waste of resources) When a written version of the SOP has hundreds of A4 papers and just a small parts of the SOP change, those staff dedicated to keep the SOP up to date will have to reprint the involved pages per copy and rearrange those copies before giving them back to the other staff, and possibly highlight the changed parts(and when they're changed) so the others won't have to reread the whole abomination again, and this will constantly put a very heavy burden on the former Because now the staff will rely on their own copies of the written version of the SOP, if there are difference among those written versions, the conflicts among the SOP implementations will still occur, even though now it'd be obvious that those staff dedicated to keep the SOP up to date will take the blame instead(but that'd mean they'll ALWAYS have to keep every copy up to date IMMEDIATELY, which is indeed an extremely harsh requirement for them) As it'd only be natural and beneficial for the staff to add their own notes onto their own copies of the written version of the SOP, when those written versions get updated, some of their notes there can be gone because those involved pages will be replaced, so now those staff might have to rewrite those notes, regardless of whether they've taken photos on those pages with their notes beforehand(but taking such photos would risk leaking the SOP), which still adds excessive burden on those staff As you're supposed to face customers at the other side of the booth while you're using a computer to do the work, it'd be detrimental on the customer service quality(and sometimes this can lead to the customer filing formal complaints, which are very major troubles) if you've to take out the written version of the SOP in front of the customer when you're not sure what to do in this case, even though it's still way, way better than screwing up the cases Combining all the above, that's where DVCS for the SOP can come into play: Because now the written version of the SOP is a soft copy instead(although it still works for soft copies without DVCS), this can be placed inside the system and the staff can just view it on the computer without much trouble, since the computer screen isn't facing the customer(and this largely mitigates the risk of having the staff leak out the written version of the SOP) Because the written version of the SOP's now in a DVCS, each staff will have its own branch or fork of the SOP, which can be used to drop their own private notes there as file changes(this assumes that the SOP is broken down into several or even dozens of files but this should be a given), and their notes can be easily added back to the updated versions of the files having those notes previously added, by simply viewing the diff of those files(or better yet, those notes can also be completely separate files, although it'd mean the staff have to know which note files corresponds to which SOP files, which can be solved by carefully naming all those files and/or using well-named folders) Because the written version of the SOP's now centralized in the system(the master branch), every staff should've the same latest version, thus virtually eliminating the problems caused by conflicts among different written versions from different staff members, and the need of the dedicated manual work to ensure they'll remain consistent Clearly, the extra cost induced from this DVCS application is its initial system setup and the introduction to newcomers of using DVCS at work, which are all one time costs instead of long-term ones, and compared to the troubles caused by other workflows, these one time costs are really trivial Leveraging the issues and pull requests features(but using blames as well might be just too much) in any decent DVCS, any staff can raise concerns on the SOP, and they'll either be solved, or at least the problems will become clear for everyone involved, so this should be more effective and efficient than just verbal reflections towards any particular colleagues and/or supervisors on difficulties faced(if called for, anonymous issues and pull requests can even be used, although it'd seem to be gone overboard) So the detailed implementation of the new workflow can be something like this: The briefing before starting the work of the day should still take place, as it can be used to emphasize the most important SOP changes and/or the recent mistakes made by colleagues(as blames not pointing to anyone specific) in the DVCS, so the staff don't have to check all the recent diffs themselves Whenever you're free, you can make use of the time to check the parts in the SOP of your concern from the computer in your booth, including parts being unclear to you, recent changes, and even submit an anonymous issue for difficulties you faced on trying to follow those parts of the SOP(or you can try to answer some issues in the DVCS made by the others as a means of helping them without having to leave your booth or explicitly voice out to avoid disturbing the others) When you're facing a customer right in front of you and you're unsure what to do next, you can simply ask the customer to wait for a while and check the involved parts of the SOP without the customer even noticing(you can even use issues to ask for help and hope there are colleagues that are free and will help you quickly), thus minimizing the damages caused to the customer service quality To prevent the DVCS from being abused by some staff members as a poor man's chat room at work, the supervisors can periodically check a small portions of the issues, blames and pull requests there as samples to see if they're just essentially conversations unrelated to work, and the feature of anonymity can be suspended for a while if those abusers abuse this as well(if they don't use anonymity when making those conversations, then the supervisors can apply disciplinary actions towards them directly), but don't always check all of them or those supervisors would be exhausted to death due to the potentially sheer number of such things Of course, you still have to try to master the SOP yourselves, as the presence of this DVCS, which is just meant to be an AUXILIARY of your memory, doesn't mean you don't have to remember anything, otherwise you'd end up constantly asking the customer to have unnecessary waits(to check the SOP) and asking colleagues redundant questions(even with minimal disruptions), causing you to become so ineffective and inefficient all the time that you'll still end up being fired in no time Of course, it's easier said than be done in the real world, because while setting up a DVCS and training new comers to use it are both easy, simple and small tasks, the real key that makes things complicated and convoluted is the willingness for the majority to adopt this totally new way of doing things, because it's such a grand paradigm shift that's wholeheartedly alien to most of those not being software engineers(when even quite some software engineers still reject DVCS in situations clearly needing it, just think about the resistance imposed by the outsiders). Also, there are places where DVCS just isn't suitable at all, like emergency units having to strictly follow SOPs, because the situations would be too urgent for them to check the SOP in DVCS even if they could use their mobile phones under such circumstances, and these are some cases where they do have to ALWAYS have ABSOLUTELY ACCURATE memories, as it's already the least evil we've known so far(bear in mind that they'd already have received extensive rigorous training for months or even years before being put into actions) Nevertheless, I still believe that, if some big companies having nothing to do with software engineering are brave enough to use some short-term projects as pilot schemes on using DVCS to manage their SOPs of their staffs, eventually more and more companies will realize the true value of this new ways of doing things, thus causing more and more companies to follow, eventually to the point that this becomes the norm across multiple industries, just like a clerk using MS Office in their daily works. To conclude, I think that DVCS can at least be applied to manage some SOPs of some businesses outside of software engineering, and maybe it can be used for many other aspects of those industries as well, it's just that SOP management is the one that I've personally felt the enormous pain of lacking DVCS when it's obviously needed the most.

DoubleX

DoubleX

 

FAE Part 1: History of Fae

FAE is one of the better stories I've ever created, in my personal opinion. It is now in it's fifth year of development, but I have done almost no work on it in the last two years aside from trying to finish the first volume on a few different occasions. It all started in 2016 when I began to watch Stranger Things for the first time. It left a huge welt of inspiration and muse across my face and I had no earthy idea what to do with it. This was very new to me, very refreshing and exhilarating, but still new. I wasn't accustomed to writing pre-teens, or even teens as main characters of any kind in most of my role plays, let alone my solo projects. It brought me back to Earthbound in a way that really resonated with me. Then you toss in elements of controlled cosmic horror?       So I came up with a little something different using some of the themes and influences that had inspired me.     FAE is a story about a town, the families that live there, and the knots their destinies form over generations. It's also a tale of two worlds apart. The Realm of Terra, and the Realm of Fae. One world young and dying but brimming with potential. One world ancient and decayed. But most importantly, it's the story of a being caught between those worlds, and the beings who stranded him there. FAE starts off in 2020, in the quiet, unremarkable town of White River Valley. It follows the lives of several local families living ordinary, boring American lives free from compelling drama or super powers. But like an iceberg afloat in the ocean, a mountain of history and lore hides just beneath the surface.     History of Fae   Ruled by the Prime Fae of the three houses Order, Wisdom, and Chaos, the Realm of Fae was a majestic world much like our own. It was a planet teeming with Fae cultures and nations. At the center of those cultures was Yaggdrasil. The Tree of Life. A towering, enchanted tree resembling an American sycamore with leaves the size of a trampoline canvas. The tree is revered as a deity-like figure, and the source of all lifeforce. It is known by the Primes that Yaggdrasil is a conduit between the realms. For eons the Realm of Fae was a happy, healthy, stable realm, but the conflict between Order and Chaos seemed inevitable.   The flame and ruin of a Fae war ripped the realm to shreds, and the House of Chaos was emerging as the clear victor. The Primes of Order and Wisdom so feared the Prime of Chaos they devised a way to exile him through Yaggdrasil into the Realm of Terra.   Even after the war subsides, Yaggdrasil is decaying in the Realm of Fae. Fae no longer possess their gifts, and have become mortal. Capable of aging and dying, the entire population wither away, leaving only the Primes of Order and Wisdom. Before this process is complete, remaining Fae embark on a pilgrimage through Yaggdrasil and into Terra, hoping to survive the death of their world by seeking asylum here.   Inevitably, they are met by the Prime of Chaos, who has been trying to get back to his own Realm for over two thousand years. He has been playing God with a young Earth, creating war and chaos from one continent to another. Their conflict with him ends in his once again being tricked and cheated. They trapped him outside his prime vessel (body), and seal it away in a temple beneath the White River forest. This seal is performed by a Fae of Order, and only a descendant of their bloodline can break the seal. Without his prime vessel, he is like any other Fae and significantly less powerful.   That takes us into the modern age.      
 

Control variables in reproducible fair tests might not be as simple as you think

Let's say that there's a reproducible fair test with the following specifications: The variable to be tested is A All the other variables as a set B is controlled to be K When A is set as X, the test result is P When A is set as Y, the test result is Q Then can you always safely claim that, X and Y must universally lead to P and Q respectively, and A is solely responsible for the difference between P and Q universally? If you think it's a definite yes, then you're probably oversimplifying control variables, because the real answer is this: When the control variables are set as K, then X and Y must lead to P and Q respectively.   Let's show you an example using software engineering(Test 1) : Let's say that there's a reproducible fair test about the difference of impacts between procedural, object oriented and functional programming paradigms on the performance of the software engineering teams, with the other variables, like project requirements, available budgets, software engineer competence and experience, software engineering team synergy, etc, controlled to be the same specified constants, and the performance measured as the amount and the importance of the conditions and constraints fulfilled in the project requirements, the budget spent(mainly time), the amount and the severity of unfixed bugs, etc. The result is that, procedural programming always performs the best in all the project requirement fulfillment, budget consumption, with the least amount of bugs, all being the least severe, and the result is reproducible, and this result seems to be scientific right? So can we safely claim that procedural programming always universally performs the best in all those regards? Of course it's absurd to the extreme, but those experiments are indeed reproducible fair tests, so what's really going on? The answer is simple - The project requirements are always(knowingly or unknowingly) controlled to be those inherently suited for procedural programming, like writing the front end of an easy, simple and small website just for the clients to conveniently fill in some basic forms online(like back when way before things like Google form became a real thing), and the project has to be finished within a very tight time scope. In this case, it's obvious that both object oriented and functional programming would be overkill, because the complexity is tiny enough to be handled by procedural programming directly, and the benefits of both of the former need time to materialize, whereas the tight time scope of the project means that such up front investments are probably not worth it. If the project's changed to write a 3A game, or a complicated and convoluted full stack cashier and inventory management software for supermarkets, then I'm quite sure that procedural programming won't perform the best, because procedural programming just isn't suitable for writing such software(actually, in reality, the vast majority of practical projects should be solved using the optimal mix of different paradigms, but that's beyond the scope of this example). This example aims to show that, even a reproducible fair test isn't always accurate when it comes to drawing universal conclusions, because the contexts of that test, which are the control variables, also influence the end results, so the contexts should always be clearly stated when drawing the conclusions, to ensure that those conclusions won't be applied to situations where those conclusions no longer hold.   Another example can be a reproducible fair test examining whether proper up front architectural designs(but that doesn't mean it must be waterfall) are more productive than counterproductive, or visa versa(Test 2) : If the test results are that it's more productive than counterproductive, then it still doesn't mean that it's universally applicable, because those project requirements as parts of the control variables can be well-established and being well-known problems with well-known solutions, and there has never been abrupt nor absurd changes to the specifications. Similarly, if the test results are that it's more counterproductive than productive, then it still doesn't mean that it's universally applicable, because those project requirements as parts of the control variables can be highly experimental, incomplete and unclear in nature, meaning that the software engineering team must first quickly explore some possible directions towards the final solution, and perhaps each direction demands a PoC or even a MVP to be properly evaluated, so proper architectural designs can only be gradually emerged and refined in such cases, especially when the project requirements are constantly adjusted drastically.   If an universally applicable conclusion has to be reached, then one way to solve this is to make even more fair tests, but with the control variables set to be different constants, and/or with different variables to be tested, to avoid conclusions that actually just apply to some unstated contexts. For instance, in Test 2, the project nature as the major part of the control variables can be changed, then one can check if the following new reproducible fair tests testing the productivity of proper up front architectural designs will have changed results; Or in Test 1, the programming paradigm to be used can become a part of the control variables, whereas the project nature can become the variable to be tested in the following new reproducible fair tests. Of course, that'd mean a hell lot of reproducible fair tests to be done(and all those results must be properly integrated, which is itself a very complicated and convoluted matter), and the difficulties and costs involved likely make the whole thing too infeasible to be done within a realistic budget in the foreseeable future, but it's still better than making some incomplete tests and falsely draw universal conclusions from them, when those conclusions can only be applied to some contexts(and those contexts should be clearly stated). Therefore, to be practical while still respectful to the truth, until the software engineering industry can finally perform complete tests that can reliably draw actually universal conclusions, it's better for the practitioners to accept that many of the conclusions there are still just contextual, and it's vital for us to carefully and thoroughly examine our circumstances before applying those situational test results.   For example, JavaScript(and sometimes even TypeScript), is said to suck very hard, partly because there are simply too many insane quirks, and writing JavaScript is like driving without any traffic rules at all, so it's only natural that we should avoid JavaScript as much as we can right? However, to a highly devoted, diligent and disciplined JavaScript programmer, JavaScript is one of the few languages that provide the amount of control and freedom that are simply unthinkable in many other programming languages, and such programmers can use them extremely effectively and efficiently, all without causing too much technical debts that can't be repaid on time(of course, it's only possible when such programmers are very experienced in JavaScript and care a great deal about code qualities and architectural designs). The difference here is again the underlying context, because those blaming JavaScript might be usually working on large projects(like those way beyond the 10M LoC scale) with large teams(like way beyond 50 members), and it'd be rather hard to have a team with all members being highly devoted, diligent and disciplined, so the amount of control and freedom offered by JavaScript will most likely lead to chaos; Whereas those praising JavaScript might be usually working alone or with a small team(like way less than 10 members) on small projects(like those way less than the 100k LoC scale), and the strict rules imposed by many statically strong typed languages(especially Java with checked exceptions) may just be getting in their way, because those restrictions lead to up front investments, which need time and project scale to manifest their returns, and such time and project scale are usually lacking in small projects worked by small teams, where short-term effectiveness and efficiency is generally more important. Do note that these opinions, when combined, can also be regarded as reproducible fair tests, because the amount of coherent and consistent opinions on each side is huge, and many of them won't have the same complaint or compliment when only the languages are changed. Therefore, it's normally pointless to totally agree or disagree on a so-called universal conclusion about some aspects on software engineering, and what's truly meaningful instead is to try to figure out the contexts behind those conclusions, assuming that they're not already stated clearly, so we can better know when to apply those conclusions and when to apply some others.   Actually, similar phenomenons exist outside of software engineering. For instance, let's say there's a test on the relations between the number of observers of a knowingly immoral wrongdoing, and the percentage of them going to help the victims and stop the culprits, with the entire scenes under the watch of surveillance cameras, so those recordings are sampled in large amounts to form reproducible fair tests. Now, some researchers claim that the results from those samplings are that, the more the observers are out there, the higher the percentage of them going to help the victims and stop the culprits, so can we safely conclude that the bystander effect is actually wrong? It at least depends on whether those bystanders knew that those surveillance cameras did exist, because if they did know, then it's possible that those results are affected by hawthorne effect, meaning that the percentage of them going to help the victims and stop the culprits could be much, much lower if there were no surveillance cameras, or they didn't know those surveillance cameras did exist(but that still doesn't mean the bystander effect is right, because the truth could be that the percentage of bystanders going to help the victims has little to do with the number of bystanders). In this case, the existence of those surveillance cameras is actually a major part of the control variables in those reproducible fair tests, and this can be regarded as an example of the observer's paradox(whether this can justify the more and more numbers of surveillance cameras everywhere are beyond the scope of this article). Of course, this can be rectified, like trying to conceal those surveillance cameras, or finding some highly trained researchers to regularly record places that are likely to have culprits openly hurting victims with a varying number of observers, without those observers knowing the existence of those researchers, but needless to say, these alternatives are just so unpragmatic that no one will really do it, and they'll also pose even greater problems, like serious privacy issues, even if they could be actually implemented.   Another example is that, when I was still a child, I volunteered into a research of the sleep quality of children in my city, and I was asked to sleep in a research center, meaning that my sleeping behaviors will be monitored. I can still vaguely recall that I ended up sleeping quite poorly at that night, despite the fact that both the facilities(especially the bed and the room) and the personnel there are really nice, while I sleep well most of the time back when I was a child, so such a seemingly strange result was probably because I failed to quickly adapt to a vastly different sleeping environment, regardless of how good that bed in that research center was. While I can vaguely recall that the full results of the entire study of all children volunteered was far from ideal, the changes of the sleeping environment still played as a main part of the control variables in those reproducible fair tests, so I still wonder whether the sleep qualities the children in my city back then were really that subpar. To mitigate this, those children could have been slept in the research center of many, instead of just 1, nights, in order to eliminate the factor of having to adapt to a new sleeping environment, but of course the cost of such researches to both the researchers and the volunteers(as well as their families) would be prohibitive, and the sleep quality results still might not hold when those child go back to their original sleeping environment. Another way might be to let parents buy some instruments, with some training, to monitor the sleep qualities of their children in their original sleeping environment, but again, the feasibility of such researches and the willingness of the parents to carry them out would be really great issues.   The last example is the famous Milgram experiment, does it really mean most people are so submissive to their perceived authorities when it comes to immoral wrongdoings? There are some problems to be asked, at least including the following: Did they really think the researchers would just let those victims die or have irreversible injuries due to electric shocks? After all, such experiments would likely be highly illegal, or at least highly prone to severe civil claims, meaning that it's only natural for those being researched to doubt the true nature of the experiment. Did those fake electric shocks and fake victims act convincing enough to make the experiment look real? If those being researched figured out that those are just fakes, then the meaning of the whole experiment would be completed changed. Did those being researched(the "teachers") really don't know they're actually the ones being researched? Because if those "students" were really the ones being researched, why would the researchers need extra participants to carry out the experiments(meaning that the participants would wonder the necessity of some of them being "teachers", and why not just make them all "students" instead)? Assuming that the whole "teachers" and "students" things, as well as the electric shocks are real, did those "students" sign some kind of private but legally valid consents proving that they knew they were going to receive real electric shocks when giving wrong answers, and they were willing to face them for the research? If those "teachers" had reasons to believe that this were the case, their behaviors would be really different from those in their real lives. In this case, the majority of the control variables in those reproducible fair tests are the test setups themselves, because such experiments would be immoral to the extreme if those being researched truly did immoral wrongdoings, meaning that it'd be inherently hard to properly establish a concrete and strong causation between immoral wrongdoings and some other fixed factors, like the submissions to the authorities. Some may say that those being researched did believe that they were performing immoral wrongdoings because of their reactions during the test and the interview afterwards, and those reactions will also manifest when someone does do some knowingly immoral wrongdoings, so the Milgram experiment, which is already reproduced, still largely holds. But let's consider this thought experiment - You're asked to play an extremely gore, sadistic and violent VR game with the state of the art audios, immersions and visuals, with some authorities ordering you to kill the most innocent characters with the most brutal means possible in that game, and I'm quite certain that many of you would have many of the reactions manifested by those being researched in the Milgram experiment, but that doesn't mean many of you will knowingly perform immoral wrongdoings when being submissive to the authority, because no matter how realistic those actions seem to be, it's still just a game after all. The same might hold for Milgram experiment as well, where those being researched did know that the whole thing's just a great fake on one hand, but still manifested reactions that are the same as someone knowingly doing some immoral wrongdoings on the other, because the fake felt so real that their brains got cheated and showed some real emotions to some extent despite them knowing that it's still just a fake after all, just like real immense emotions being evoked when watching some immensely emotional movies. It doesn't mean the Milgram experiment is pointless though, because it at least proves that being submissive to the perceived or real authorities will make many people do many actions that the latter wouldn't normally do otherwise, but whether such actions include knowingly immoral wrongdoings might remain inconclusive from the results of that experiment(even if authorities do cause someone to do immoral wrongdoings that won't be done otherwise, it could still be because that someone really doesn't know that they're immoral wrongdoings due to the key information being obscured by the authorities, rather than being submissive to those authorities even though that someone knows that they're immoral wrongdoings). Therefore, to properly establish a concrete and strong causation between knowingly immoral wrongdoings and submissions to the perceived or real authorities, we might have to investigate actual immoral wrongdoings in real life, and what parts of the perceived or real authorities were playing in those incidents.   To conclude, those making reproducible fair tests should clearly state their underlying control variables when drawing conclusions when feasible, and those trying to apply those conclusions should be clear on their circumstances to determine whether those conclusions do apply under those situations they're facing, as long as the time needed for such assessments are still practical enough in those cases.

DoubleX

DoubleX

 

Entry 016: Novara; Rachel.

Novara.
Rachel. I've seen/heard these names a few times in sleep visions I've recently had. The former is written on a trader's map, written in a font different from any of the other scratchings on it, as if it were part of the original map from before the trader acquired it. In my native tongue, Novara has a few meanings, most often referring to 'beginning and end', and as a name, feminine, rarely used because it has the same connotations. Not sure, if the name on the map is the cartographer, name of the region, or name of the planet, but the map in question is of my homeland and in part, surrounding areas. The scratchings on the map indicated that my hometown is a favorite of this particular trader. I came across the map early one sleepless morning, just as some of the people that barter their goods in the market square were setting up their shops. Likely, the map wasn't discarded purposely, but I never found the owner. Yeah; I know not, the name of my home world, or the names of many areas. I in fact do not know much about the geography of my home world, as I've never actually studied it. Of course, if I did want to travel abroad for a living I'd have to, or would need a navigator who is in the trade. --- Rachel. (Rah-shell) I've heard this person's name a few times in my sleep visions. I've come to realize that, the person who this mortal flesh belongs to, goes by that name. Beyond that, I know nothing else, not even he/she/they/ana-kata. What it means, though, is that, the person who this mortal flesh belongs to, also does not go by what it says on any 'legal' document. Of course, we all know that #LegalIdentityIsSuperficial.

Legacy Frontier Characters

This is a work in progress, so I'm going to be adding the other characters and fleshing out their profiles over time.     Acosta   Native Region: Andromeda Galaxy Occupation: Smuggler Class Concept: Ballistic expert  Primary Weapon: Firearms Age: 25 Motives: Survive | Find a way out of the smuggler's life | Adapt to the planet she has crashed on Profile: Acosta is an interplanetary smuggler from the Angora star system who operates on her own, out of her small space ship. Her job requires hard work, lots of risk, and a clean conscience. It’s not easy for her deep down most days, but her exterior is like titanium. She makes her living trading weapons, medical supplies, food, and technology between planets and star systems. She leads a lonely life on the razor's edge. We find her on a space station in the middle of a financial quarrel with a crew of fellow smugglers. Acosta has an outstanding debt and it's finally caught up to her. Betrayed and set up by her current employer, she makes a hasty escape. Her foes give chase and just as a deep space dogfight is about to ensue, Acosta's ship is sucked into an anomalous void of energy. When she reemerges from the void, her tiny ship is cutting through the atmosphere of Terra, a small planet with cultures ranging from  late medieval,  to post-industrial, to post-modern. As her ship careens toward the surface, so too does a meteor of unknown origin. Distance between them is created during descent, but they both land in Hedoras Region, a quiet, post-industrial area of the Karakus Nation.     Faris  Native Region: Hedoras Occupation: Unemployed Class Concept: Free Form Primary Weapon: Free Form Age: 22 Motives: Find his path in life Profile: WIP     Jean Native Region: Hedoras Occupation: Unemployed Class Concept: Bowman Primary Weapon: Crossbow Age: 27 Motives: Find work and money | Help Faris spread his fledgling wings Profile: WIP     Sierra Petrova Native Region: Karakus Occupation: Special Agent, Karakus Investigation Bureau Class Concept: Ballistic expert  Primary Weapon: Pistol Age: 30 Motives: Figure out what happened in Hedoras Region | Protect her cousin, Sasha Profile: WIP     Edwin Nash Native Region: Karakus Occupation: Freelance Inspector Class Concept: Ballistic expert Primary Weapon: Pistol Age: 42 Motives: Track down and arrest Vasher, a notorious criminal and murderer | Discover the mysteries behind Vasher's latest plan Profile: WIP     Goodwin Nash Native Region: Karakus Occupation: Businessman, Black Market dealer Class Concept: Fighter/item user Primary Weapon: Hand to hand Age: 47 Motives: Maintain his wealth and power Profile: WIP     Colton Grady Native Region: Laughlin Occupation: Law Keeper Class Concept: Gunslinger Primary Weapon: Revolvers Age: 33 Motives: Uphold the law in Laughlin Region Profile: WIP     Sasha Petrova Native Region: Karakus Occupation: Agent, Karakus Investigation Bureau Class Concept: Ballistic specialist Primary Weapon: Pistol Age: 23 Motives: Improve her position in the agency | Make her cousin proud Profile: WIP     Luna Ta'Or Native Region: Midas Occupation: Princess Class Concept: Healer/Mage Primary Weapon: Magic Age: 21 Motives: Protect her kingdom from the outside, modernized world Profile: WIP     Yashi Native Region: Sikage Occupation: Swordsmanship Instructor Class Concept: Samurai Primary Weapon: Katanas/hand to hand Age: 48 Motives: Spread virtue and enlightenment | teach swordsmanship to a new generation of students | protect Sikage Region from all forgein threats Profile: WIP     Markus Vitelius Native Region: Meridia Occupation: Former Knight Class Concept: Warrior Primary Weapon: Longword Age: 28 Motives: Rematch Percius and kill him Profile: WIP     Amilia Vitelius Native Region: Meridia Occupation: Cadet In Arms (Junior Knight) Class Concept: Tank Primary Weapon: Sword & Shield Age: 18 Motives: Protect Meridia Region | Become a knight Profile: WIP     Rin Mortis   Native Region: Underworld Occupation: Succubus Class Concept: Demon Primary Weapon: Magic  Age: Unknown Motives: Unknown Profile: WIP     Naomi  Native Region: Taros Occupation: Mercenary Class Concept: Spellblade Primary Weapon: Sword/Magic Age: 26 Motives: Stop Percius from bringing ruin upon Taros in the name of his overlords Profile: WIP       There are some main antagonists that have been developed so far.     Percius Maximilian  Native Region: Taros Occupation: General Primary Weapon: Longsword  Age: 35 Motives: Conquer Meridia Region | Pave the road for Taros to become a new world power Profile: WIP     Vasher Native Region: Karakus Occupation: Outlaw Primary Weapon: Firearms Age: 52 Motives: ??? Profile: WIP       There are some recurring characters that will appear more than once, and provide some comic relief as well as some good plot-work each and every time.     Mr. Pugsworth Native Region: Midas Occupation: Street urchin, con artist, Mayor of Midas City, Boss of Pugsworth Crime Family Age: 10 Motives: Gain ultimate wealth and power Profile: WIP   Randal Native Region: Perth Occupation: Con artist, Vice Mayor of Midas City, Pugsworth Crime Family Capo Age: 21 Motives: Serve and protect Mr. Pugsworth | Disassociate from his brother, Randy Profile: WIP     Randy Native Region: Perth Occupation: Grifter Age: 21 Motives: Pull the ultimate grift and retire to Costa Del Vista Region Profile: WIP     WIP Native Region: Tanis Occupation: Operative (Spy) Age: 32 Motives: Unknown Profile: WIP      

That One NPC

That One NPC

 

encrypt Using Abel-Ruffini theorem on encryptions

The complete microsoft word file can be downloaded here(as a raw file)   Summary   The whole password setup/change process is as follows: 1. The client inputs the user ID and its password in plaintext 2. A salt for hashing the password in plaintexts will be randomly generated 3. The password will be combined with a fixed pepper in the client software source code and the aforementioned salt, to be hashed in the client terminal by SHA3-512 afterwards 4. The hashed password as a hexadecimal number with 128 digits will be converted to a base 256 number with 64 digits, which will be repeated 8 times in a special manner, and then broken down into a list of 512 literals, each being either numeric literals 1 to 100 or any of the 156 named constants 5. Each of those 512 numeric literals or named constants will be attached with existing numeric literals and named constants via different ways and combinations of additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions, and the whole attachment process is determined by the fixed pepper in the client software source code 6. The same attachment process will be repeated, except that this time it’s determined by a randomly generated salt in the client terminal 7. That list of 512 distinct roots, with the ordering among all roots and all their literal expressions preserved, will produce the resultant polynomial equation of degree 512 8. The resultant polynomial equation will be encoded into numbers and number separators in the client terminal 9. The encoded version will be encrypted by RSA-4096 on the client terminal with a public key there before being sent to the server, which has the private key 10. The server decrypts the encrypted polynomial equation from the client with its RSA-4096 private key, then decode the decrypted version in the server to recover the original polynomial equation, which will finally be stored there 11. The 2 aforementioned different salts will be encrypted by 2 different AES-256 keys in the client software source code, and their encrypted versions will be sent to the server to be stored there 12. The time complexity of the whole process, except the SHA3-512, RSA-4096 and AES-256, should be controlled to quadratic time   The whole login process is as follows: 1. The client inputs the user ID and its password in plaintext 2. The client terminal will send the user ID to the server, which will send its corresponding salts for hashing the password in plaintexts and forming distinct roots respectively, already encrypted in AES-256 back to the client terminal, assuming that the user ID from the client does exist in the server(otherwise the login fails and nothing will be sent back from the server) 3. The password will be combined with a fixed pepper in the client software source code, and the aforementioned salt that is decrypted in the client terminal using the AES-256 key in the client software source code, to be hashed in the client terminal by SHA3-512 afterwards 4. The hashed password as a hexadecimal number with 128 digits will be converted to a base 256 number with 64 digits, which will be repeated 8 times in a special manner, and then broken down into a list of 512 literals, each being either numeric literals 1 to 100 or any of the 156 named constants 5. Each of those 512 numeric literals or named constants will be attached with existing numeric literals and named constants via different ways and combinations of additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions, and the whole attachment process is determined by the fixed pepper in the client software source code 6. The same attachment process will be repeated, except that this time it’s determined by the corresponding salt sent from the server that is decrypted in the client terminal using a different AES-256 key in the client software source code 7. That list of 512 distinct roots, with the ordering among all roots and all their literal expressions preserved, will produce the resultant polynomial equation of degree 512 8. The resultant polynomial equation will be encoded into numbers and number separators in the client terminal 9. The encoded version will be encrypted by RSA-4096 on the client terminal with a public key there before being sent to the server, which has the private key 10. The server decrypts the encrypted polynomial equation from the client with its RSA-4096 private key, then decode the decrypted version in the server to recover the original polynomial equation 11. Whether the login will succeed depends on if the literal expression of the polynomial equation from the client exactly matches the expected counterpart already stored in the server 12. The time complexity of the whole process, except the SHA3-512, RSA-4096 and AES-256, should be controlled to quadratic time   For an attacker trying to get the raw password in plaintext: 1. If the attacker can only sniff the transmission from the client to the server to get the encoded then encrypted version(which is then encrypted by RSA-4096) of the polynomial equation, the salt of its roots, and the counterpart for the password in plaintext, the attacker first have to break RSA-4096, then the attacker has to figure out the highly secret and obfuscated algorithm to decode those numbers and number separators into the resultant polynomial equation and the way its roots are attached by existing numeric literals and named constants
2. If the attacker has the resultant polynomial equation of degree 512, its roots must be found, but there’s no direct formula to do so analytically due to Abel-Ruffini theorem, and factoring such a polynomial with 156 different named constants efficiently is very, very complicated and convoluted 3. If the attacker has direct access to the server, the expected polynomial equation can be retrieved, but the attacker still has to solve that polynomial equation of degree 512 to find all its roots with the right ordering among them and all their correct literal expressions 4. If the attacker has direct access to the client software source codes, the pepper for hashing the password in plaintext, the pepper used on the polynomial equation roots, and the highly secret and obfuscated algorithm for using them with the salt counterparts can be retrieved, but it’s still far from being able to find all the roots of the expected polynomial equation of degree 512 5. If the attacker has all those roots, the right ordering among them and all their correct literal expressions still have to be figured out, and the salts and peppers for those roots has to be properly removed as well 6. If the attacker has all those roots with the right ordering among them, all their correct literal expressions, and salts and peppers on them removed, the attacker has effectively recovered the hashed password, which is mixed with salts and peppers in plaintext 7. The attacker then has to figure out the password in plaintext even with the hashing function, salt, pepper, and the highly secret and obfuscated algorithm that combines them known 8. Unless there are really efficient algorithms for every step involved, the time complexity of the whole process can be as high as factorial time 9. As users are still inputting passwords in plaintexts, dictionary attacks still work to some extent, but if the users are careless with their password strengths, then no amount of cryptography will be safe enough 10. Using numerical methods to find all the roots won’t work in most cases, because such methods are unlikely to find those roots analytically, let alone with the right ordering among them and all their right literal expressions, which are needed to produce the resultant polynomial equation with literal expressions exactly matching the expected one 11. Using rainbow tables won’t work well either, because such table would be way too large to be used in practice, due to the number of polynomial equations with degree 512 being unlimited in theory 12. Strictly speaking, the whole password encryption scheme isn’t a one-way function, but the time complexity needed for encryption compared to that for decryption is so trivial that this scheme can act like such a function   Areas demanding further researches: 1. The time complexity for factoring a polynomial of degree n with named constants into n factors analytically 2. Possibilities of collisions from the ordering among all roots and all their different literal expressions 3. Existence of efficient algorithms on finding the right ordering among all roots and all their right literal expressions 4. Strategies on setting up the fixed peppers and generating random salts to form roots with maximum encryption strength   Essentially, the whole approach on using polynomial equations for encryptions is to exploit equations that are easily formed by their analytical solution sets but very hard to solve analytically, especially when exact literal matches, rather than just mathematical identity, are needed to match the expected equations. So it’s not strictly restricted to polynomial equations with a very high degree, but maybe very high order partial differential equations with many variables, complex coefficients and functions accepting complex numbers can also work, because there are no known analytical algorithm on solving such equations yet, but analytical solutions are demanded to reproduce the same partial differential equations with exact literal matches, as long as performing partial differentiations analytically can be efficient enough.

DoubleX

DoubleX

 

[WIP] Final Fantasy (Plot Summary)

This is a very skimpy, poorly written and organized summary of the plot to the first set of stories. Part of the challenge was figuring out how to fit all of this into game format without breaking it up into a few titles (YUCK! -.-'). I'm dropping it here because no one looks at my blog, and I'm overly nervous and antsy about getting content off of that older site and over here for safe keeping. I don't even trust my own google docs to not lose data anymore. It's all about redundancy.   I will edit these soon, and try not to let it spoil anything for you if you find it interesting. You don't have to read all the way to end yet.   Note:         Final Fantasy I
Zenobia is a massive, technologically advanced desert metropolis. An empire seeking to conquer and erase the old world. Using their far superior technology they sweep the vast continent committing genocide, establishing new Zenobian cities atop the ruins and corpses. The desert city is divided in two. The core of the city is awe inspiring. Buildings that tower into the sky. Wealth and luxury for every man and woman. Highly advanced technology engrained into daily life. Outside the core, beyond the walls and defenses, the people of the slums suffer in poverty and oppression, living in crudely built structures under horrible conditions.

Anastasia Maria Grace is a resident of the slums. She is an everyday twenty-three year old girl who believes so strongly in the ideals of equality, freedom, and world peace that she is willing to stand against an entity so powerful that any hope of a world free of it has been lost. She and three of her friends (Jin, Willow, Kato) plan an attack on Zenobia Prime HQ, a technology corporation owned by Prince Sarovoc Ducrinus and the sole provider of energy to the entire city. The plan fails and Ana's friends are killed by the faulty explosive timers. She is rescued by a mysterious outsider who calls himself Edge. He parts ways to protect her (as he is being hunted by Zenobian troops), instructing her to meet him at Odessa Inn. With her best friends dead she goes to the only place she can think of. Stryker is ex-Zenobian Special Forces, the owner/operator of*"Rebel Radio", and mentor to Jin. He volunteers to escort her to Odessa.

Leaving Zenobia for the very first time, Ana accidentally embarks on an epic journey that takes her across the world to crusade against the Zenobian Empire.

She meets Juakeem Mohinder, a bedouin warrior and chocobo breeder, and his war bird Shae'elle. He gives her a young, unremarkable chocobo named Boko who is determined to become a worthy war bird.

The group meets Edge and Commander Bastian Fairheart at Odessa Inn. The Inn is a front for a rebel base located beneath the ground. The base is compromised by Zenobian forces and Bastian leads the group out of the desert and into the wilderness. Along their journey they meet Casius Magnus, a nomadic Black Mage who saved Ana from capture back on the road to Odessa. They also meet Lillian Nobunaga, a Swordstress, traveling warrior and the last of her ancient race.

When they reach the coast, they meet Cideon Armstrong, Captain of the Free Airship Valiant and his nephews Biggs and Wedge. Cid reluctantly grants them sanctuary aboard his ship. Ana inspires Cid to stop hiding underwater instead of living and fighting

While helping rebel forces defend a city from Zenobian assault, the group has an encounter with Marrick Cross, a White Mage and exiled Paladin of Whiteguard. They also square off with the Agents of the Chimera Initiative. Victor Chimera, ex-Zenobian Special Forces, ex-Imperial Operative, and war hero. Leo and Lyra Stratta, lethal killing machines trained by the legendary brute Hogo Marks. Tallis "Tank" Cortez, heavy weapons and demolition expert. Callixta "Raven" Ravana, deadly sniper and ace pilot. Marrick attempts to commandeer the Valiant, but is thwarted by the crew. The Zenobian attack fails.

Bastian (through his belief in Ana's ability to inspire otherwise defeated men) suggests that she be taken to Tessafe's Mirror of Fate. A standing mirror with decorative silver framework said to have belonged to Queen Tessafe of Whiteguard. This mystical, enchanted mirror shows any who gaze into it an image of importance. What it shows you varies, and it's not always easy to understand.

One by one the group enters the temple to behold the mirror's message.

(In order, identifying what they saw, and whether it was shown or later revealed)

Biggs (shown): A man in a white mask (Leo Stratta and the man who kills him. He did not encounter Leo at the previous battle, so he does not recognize him)

Wedge (revealed): A knight clad in black armour holding a bloody sword (Kierkess Aventola, and the man who kills him in VIII)

 Seto (shown): A Dragon's eye opening (the awakening of Bahamut)

 Lilly (revealed): A flaming bird (Phoenix)

Bastian (revealed): A soaring white dove (symbolizing Ana, freedom, and hope)

Stryker (revealed): Ana

Casius (revealed): Ana

Ana (revealed): It shows her key fragments of future events taking place within the stories.       Final Fantasy II   Prince Sarovoc Ducrinus assassinates his own brother in order to take the throne as Emperor of Zenobia.

Ana emerges from the temple after hours of the group waiting. The journey continues as Ana drags Cid across the globe, spreading her message and ideals.

The Valiant visits the eastern plains of Turra where Zenobia is burning villages and temples to the ground as they expand into the territory. They meet Banion Warbear, a warrior Monk and hero of Turra. Together they drive Zenobia from the lands of Turra. Banion agrees to travel with Ana in order to learn more about his enemy.

Stryker confronts Edge about using the name Edge Widowmaker telling him he knew the man and he was older than Stryker is. Edge reveals his true identity to be Seto Bobaloo Sobral. He assumed the name and persona after witnessing the ex-Zeno soldier die in a gunfight in the slums of Zenobia.

Marrick Cross springs himself from the Valiant's holding cells, determined to commandeer the ship and kill its charming Captain. When he is clearly outgunned and outnumbered, he surrenders. As he is being escorted to cells, he levels with Cid about why he wants his ship so much. He has a tip about a Zenobian plan to take the city of Kiratoma, one of the largest rebel holds in the world. He is trying to reach the city before it falls. Cid locks him up and heads for Kiratoma. When this plan is confirmed, Marrick is released under a close watch.

The men of Kiratoma are defeated, tired, scared and pissed off. They see no point in fighting an impossible battle. Command struggles to keep morale at a reasonable level. The majority of the soldiers are pushing for a surrender. Stryker dresses Ana in full combat gear, as if she were actually going to fight. He marches a terrified Ana past hundreds of soldiers. The point is a strong one: If you cowards won't fight, the women and children will, because someone has to defend this city.

His plan works, and only a few hundred of thousands refuse to fight. With the help of the heroes, Kiratoma is barely defended for the moment and Marrick has become an ally of the group.

Zenobian forces muster again as reinforcements arrive on both sides. The second battle is brutal and rebel forces have no choice but to retreat or die. But not before Stryker shoots Leo in the shoulder with a pistol, dropping him instantly. The group escapes to The Valiant, but Casius has chosen to stay behind and fight the pursuing troops. Ana and Seto strongly protest leaving him but Cid makes a tough call, assuring them he can handle himself.

Using his native martial art combined with fire and ice magic, he begins to fend off the soldiers, casting reflect to neutralize their bullets. But more and more soldiers pile into the clearing...       Final Fantasy III   The group has taken on refugees from the Kiratoma Army and must take them to Andora, the Rebel Capitol.

Cid and Stryker confront Marrick about his White Mage heritage, the reason he wanted to defend Kiratoma being that it's dense, harsh territory was the last defense between Zenobian lines and Whiteguard territory. Marrick is honest about his being born a Paladin of Whiteguard, devoting his life to the crown and being exiled by the Arch Mage for falling in love with his granddaughter. Stryker confesses to Cid and Marrick that he used to be Special Forces, army before that. Devoted his life to helping slaughter the people he's trying to help now. Cid accepts them both as them men they are today.

Andora brings a new hope. Several outlying pro-Andora Nations have mustered their armies and are preparing to attack a Zenobian fortress alongside Andorans. They capture the fortress. During the battle a mysterious man (Havyian Solaris) saves Seto's life, disappearing afterward. Casius arrives during the battle (he was told to go to Andora as the group was leaving).

But Sarovoc Ducrinus approaches from above with Callixta in a helicopter. He takes careful aim with Raven's long range rifle. Seto sees the chopper and moves to reach Ana, yelling her name. A mysterious man (Simeon Ortega) grapples his torso, holding him back. Sarovoc pulls the trigger and a high powered round rips through Ana's chest killing her instantly. The rebel heroine and domestic terrorist is dead...

The group looks on helplessly and in horror. Seto rushes to her side. As this intense, profound emotional maelstrom ignites within Seto, a void of energy forms high above him. A massive sapphire dragon emerges head-first, rotating as it comes forth before extending his wings. Bahamut!

Callixta and Sarovoc hightail it out of there, narrowly dodging Tri Flare attacks from the forgotten Deity. He looms in the sky, circling around and around as Seto holds Ana's body in his arms.
The group captures the mysterious man.

By now Ana has travelled across the world, meeting and inspiring hundreds of thousands of lives. She taught people that strength isn't determined by one's skill with a blade, but by the quality of their character. She also started a world-wide feminine movement, inspiring millions of women and girls to be what they want to be, not what's expected of them.       Final Fantasy IV   A moving funeral is held for Ana at the Mana Tree (a place the group visited together, and where Ana made everyone promise to keep fighting, always, no matter what happens) where she wanted to be buried when she died. Hundreds of rebel vessels and thousands of pilgrims attend the emotional ceremony.

Distant, emotionally void and still covered in Ana's blood, Seto heads home. The group reluctantly follows him deep into the wilderness (after bringing him aboard The Valiant when he collapsed in the wilderness). When they arrive, they are met by Henato Junior, eldest brother of Seto. His father (Henato Senior) tells him that the essence of Bahamut resides in the sapphire pendant around his neck. When he ran away at fifteen, he missed out of his right of passage as a Dragoon prince when he would have been told this and taught how to command him. Henato Senior tells the group that there are other forces in the world similar to Bahamut.

Seto makes it clear to his family that his guests are no longer welcome and the group is forced to leave.

Meanwhile, the arrival of Bahamut has Sarovoc researching this phenomena, and Leo is healed up from his wound.

Without Ana, the group falls apart. Casius returns to his travels. Banion returns to his people, Bastian has long since left, Juakeem and Shae'elle have returned to the Zenobian desert. Having nowhere to go, Marrick and Lilly remain with Cid, Stryker, Biggs, and Wedge. There is a lot of personal struggle and grieving. Characters swapping memories and stories.

*Simeon Ortega**is interrogated extensively but he reveals nothing. Only that the other mystery man is the real bad guy, despite what it all may look like.

They decide to gut up and get back to fighting the Empire. They plan an attack on a Zenobian outpost with some rebel forces. The plan fails and as a sniper, Stryker reluctantly escapes after watching the team captured through the crosshairs of his empty rifle. Marrick unloads both pistols three times before throwing them down and surrendering. The Valiant is ceased and it's crew jailed along with the group.       Final Fantasy V   Lyra Stratta and a company of Special Forces soldiers close in on a frosty stone altar. Lyra closes her eyes, touching the cold surface slowly. She comes out of the remote temple eager to test her new prize. She summons Shiva, the beautiful Goddess of ice, and in a fit of rage and grief, she kills everyone but Lyra using Diamond Dust. (This stems back to the Great War when the Gods were still free)

Cid, Biggs, Wedge, Lilly, and Marrick are in a Zenobian prison.

Stryker travels far and wide searching for Casius. He gets him up to speed, and they head directly for Sobral territory. They manage to be taken prisoner and Seto speaks to them. Stryker tells him the gang is locked up and Seto begins preparing for the journey.

He talks to his father, and brothers Henato and Sedato. He tells them everything. That an entity so evil that they would destroy everything to rebuild in their own image threatens the lives of every free man the world over, and he must leave again to fight it. His father is moved to tears, telling Seto he is proud of him. Seto is the runt, he always lived in the shadow of Henato, a hero of the tribe, and Sedato, now a hero to. Henato Sr. loves all of his sons, but he recognized that Seto is special from birth, that's why he has Bahamut. Even though Neo and ZERO are more powerful, Bahamut is the father of all Gods, the one true God. It's been the duty and destiny of his kin to protect the world and long have they neglected it.

They free their friends (and a lot of rebel soldiers and Andoran civilians) with the help of local rebel factions. Casius goes 0 to 100 particularly quick and with considerable force. He leaves a trail of victims through the prison. He finds Boko, who has been chained and beaten but he is freed after Casius kills his tormentors. The Valiant is located and taken back.

The Time Mage Elder Kirin visits Seto aboard The Valiant. He tells him he must release Ortega immediately, speaks to him about the Gods, and tips him off about the location of Ifrit.

The gang arrives at the cave and Leo has been perched like a predator staking for prey. He squares off with Wedge (two spear enthusiasts). Casius has hung back to make sure Wedge is alright, and he can see that Leo is toying with him like a cat with a mouse pinned to the floor. He interferes, disarming Leo, breaking his nose, left wrist, and right arm at the elbow before throwing him over a cliff into water below.

The group retrieves Ifrit and Phoenix successfully. Meanwhile Members of the Chimera Initiative recover Siren and Leviathan.

While searching for the resting place of Titan, the group encounters a behemoth and together they kill the beast in an intense battle. Everyone survives but Casius is worn out and beat up. (Titan and Golem are retrieved)

Seto heads for Gallik Baal'a, a small continent to the far north (a place Ana made him promise not to go before she died) to search a legendary cursed shrine.

Stryker has Cid head for Juakeem and Shae'elle, and Banion afterward. Stryker brings the rest of the group together again.     Final Fantasy VI
Seto searches an ancient ruin with a torch, coming upon an ebony skull in a pool of water. He recovers Diablos and Doomtrain.

The gang encounter the Chimera Initiative in an ancient temple compound and fight there way out with Sylph and Typhoon.

The gang reunites with Seto. Elder Kirin summons him by teleporting him to Mount Ramuh in front of the members of his high council. The oldest and most powerful of Time Mages; thousands of years old. His back is to them with Kirin before him. He cannot see or hear them, but he can feel their eyes on him, their presence and judgement. It brings him to tears, dropping to his knees. Kirin tells him the recently acquired deities are dangerous and must be returned to Gallik Baal'a immediately. He takes him to a secluded area of the wilderness, comforting him, but telling him that the Time Stream was broken by a curious young Time Mage after reading a book from the library of world culture and history. He stole a very specific ring and used it to travel back in time in an attempt to change the course of events. He saved Seto's life, hoping he would save Ana's. A man was sent to capture him and return him to his own place the Time Stream. During the process, he stopped Seto from potentially altering the natural course of events. He gives him eight enchanted rings that cast protect on their wearer. He asks him what he thinks the Mirror showed Ana. Why she changed from that moment forward. Seto begins to put all the little clues together. Kirin says simply, "Keep fighting," and tells him to find The Tomb of Alexander.

Seto is returned to the group and he emotionally reveals to the group that the Mirror showed Ana the future, even after her death. They gather to deal with the summons; who will be charged with what deities.

Leo has uncovered Cerberus and unleashes it on a village of fisherman.

Tybin and Sabin Marks are hired by Sarovoc to deal with Cid and his band of misfit strays. Sabin Marks shoots The Valiant out of the sky. Leo unleashes Cerberus and engages himself. His hellhound devours crew members as they evacuate the grounded vessel and Biggs engages Leo having Titan occupy Cerberus. Leo kills Biggs, mutilating and disgracing his corpse, kicking it around. Using wind magic from Sylph and Typhoon and his Qiang training, Wedge clashes with Leo in a heated duel. The heroes gain control and drive off the Initiative and the Marks brothers.

Reinforcements arrive and the ship is fixed up. Biggs is buried next to Ana at the Mana Tree.

The group heads for The Tomb of Alexander. But Seto rushes ahead of the party while they take twenty to prepare. While entering the musty stairwell he is ambushed by Sarovoc and shot three times in the torso. Priestess Talla has had a vision of Sarovoc obtaining Alexander & Crusader, and through it, Seto's death. She rushes by chocobo to his aid, reviving him before it's too late.

Zenobia invades Whiteguard with force. Sarovoc marches into the High Temple and cuts Talla's throat when she tells him that Seto will come for him.

Marrick betrays the gang, snatching Seto's pendant and Bahamut along with it. He's cut a deal with Sarovoc to spare his people.       Final Fantasy VII   Marrick serves Sarovoc in attempting to use Bahamut to create a weapon capable of protecting Zenobia from the Gods by killing them. The pendant remains useless to them and Sarovoc grows angry with Marrick.

Kirin once again visits Seto aboard the Valiant. He tells him of one who may be able to defeat Alexander. Odin and Gilgamesh become the group's next move. He also gives him Shoat, an odd Lesser Diety giving him access to low level Time Magic.

At High Rock Plateau, the group retrieves Odin & Gilgamesh and Lilly squares off with Leo, telling Cid to go and meet her at a nearby rebel base. She kills Leo in a fierce, intense battle. As he lays bleeding out, she hesitantly removes his mask revealing a baby faced young man. A single tear rolls down his cheek and she realizes they were not so different. The last of their kind, victims of Zenobia.

Seto forces Cid to go back for Lilly.

When Lyra finds out Leo was killed, she goes on a war path.

She hunts the heroes down at a rebel base, and Zenobians hit it hard. Lyra faces off with Lilly in a blind rage, shooting her in the stomach before using her scimitar to have fun with her. Lilly digs deep and kills Lyra, freeing her from her torment, and putting an end to the Shinjan race.

Sarovoc uses Alexander to influence the people of Whiteguard, claiming to be a child of the Gods and their chosen ruler. He aims to ensure the easy allegiance of Whiteguard to Zenobia and the Ducrinus name forever. Marrick discovers this and tries to kill Sarovoc. He fails and Sarovoc kills him.

A movement begins to muster forces from around the world to attack the city of Zenobia. Banion gathers warrior monks by the hundreds. Juakeem summons his brethren and their war birds. Bastian and the resistance amass the largest rebel force ever assembled. Men and women from all corners of the world answer the call. Casius Magnus returns to The Veldt and does his best to sway the council, but they send him away, refusing to involve themselves. Word spreads and a group of several hundred follow Casius, becoming exiles to fight the Empire.

The forces muster around Zenobia. Casius leads a preemptive strike with a savage blitz. He summons Doomtrain, which runs through Zenobia repeatedly, leaving devastation and rusted railroad tracks in its wake. He summons a flurry of meteors that ravage the core of the metropolis. Ifrit scorches hundreds of men, cooking them alive as Casius and his warriors unleash upon the masses. Casius casts himself dry, his reflect spell falling as hundreds of bullets rip through him...

The organized forces stand in anticipation, watching the show from afar. Sarovoc is enraged by the devastation and unleashes his summons upon the opposing masses. The heroes respond and the rebel forces charge the Zenobian lines. A titanic duel of Gods is unfolding in the sand around, sky above, and in the streets of Zenobia as an epic, bloody conflict plays out in the sands outside the city.

Seto rides Boko into the battle alongside Juakeem and Shae'elle. Sarovoc releases Alexander upon the rebel soldiers. He obliterates masses of men before Seto sends Gilgamesh to keep him busy. An epic fight ensues between the two. Seto finds Sarovoc and squares off with him. He kills him, ending the fight between Alexander and Gilgamesh before either would claim victory.

Far away in the wilderness of the Sobral territory, Henato Jr seeks advice from his father. He tells him that he holds a terrible responsibility. Fighting back tears, he tells him he will never know how sorry he is that it had to be him, but only he can summon Bahamut ZERO.

Henato Jr is torn. He understands that Zenobia must be defeated, but he also understands the weight of what it will mean.

As Sarovoc lays dying, the cloudy sky rips open as a massive onyx dragon penetrates the atmosphere. It hits the core of Zenobia with a Tetra Flare roughly equivalent to a 50 megaton nuclear warhead.Zenobia is levelled, only portions of the outermost slums left intact. Seto pulls his pendant from around Sarovoc's neck in the foggy aftermath. Zenobians lay down their arms as word of the unholy event spreads and soldiers return to behold the ruins of their Capitol.

Advanced weapons of any kind are outlawed and destroyed all over Zenobia's reach and rebel holds and cultures. Universal peace is an ideal adopted by the major nations and enforced harshly. New Zenobia is established out of the ruins, and a new government and ideology based on Ana's beliefs is adopted. Stryker is pivotal in the rebuilding of Zenobia, and afterward travels the world spreading Ana's messages as he writes a book titled The Epic of Anastasia chronicling her journey and the resulting revolution and defeat of the Empire. He becomes an ambassador of peace, equality, and New Zenobia.

Casius and Marrick are buried with Ana and Biggs at the Mana Tree...    

That One NPC

That One NPC

 

Bahamir

Bahamir     After the Great War the Bahamir Dynasty had been decimated. The Essences had been gathered, but the Bahamuts were permitted to remain in he hands of the Bahamir people. Simply "hiding" them anywhere was too risky. Rather than establish a kingdom to rebuild, they chose to once again become tribal, retreating deep into the highland wilderness near the base of Mount Ramuh. They would remain hidden away, protecting the Essences of the three Bahamuts. They divided into three core tribes. The central tribe would house the old royal family, and a portion of the nobles and common classes. But it would also house the Bahamuts, kept in the possession of the royal bloodline. They have remained in the highlands for two long eras.        Henato Senior   King of the Bahamir people, Henato grows old, and must prepare his sons to inherit his kingdom. Henato Jr, Sedato and Seto are his three boys from oldest to youngest.   Henato Jr. is the ideal Bahamir Prince. Strong, hearty, honorable and humane. He is a folk hero of the people and somewhat of a celebrity among young boys and females of all ages. He possesses the pendant containing the essence of Bahamut ZERO.   Sedato remains close behind Henato Jr., following in his footsteps, led by his example and influence. He and his older brother live like rock stars of the Dragoon Kingdom, doing their best to retain their honor and dignity all the while. Sedato possess the pendant containing the essence of Neo Bahamut.
Seto is the runt of the litter. He struggles to conform to the pressures and expectations of a young Dragoon Prince. He's not overly strong, smart, brave, or wise. He develops anxiety and insecurities by the time he reaches his teen years as a result of being a member of the royal family. Unsure of himself, his life, or his ability to be a Prince, Seto leaves his people, fleeing into the wilderness to escape the weight of an entire kingdom resting on his shoulders. With him travels the pendant containing the essence of Bahamut.     Seto    A young Seto travels the world, never finding a place he could fit in. A place he could call home. He learns to become a phantom, never staying in one place for too long. But still, he cannot resist the ways of his people, lending a hand to help anywhere he can. By his early twenties, he has an understanding of the realm of Odinspawn and what makes their cultures tick. He blends into their routines, but remains as a ghost. During his time spent in the Slums of Zenobia, he meets a man by the name of Edge Widowmaker. An ex-Zenobian soldier and renowned outlaw criminal. Seto draws strength from his persona, taking the name Edge in place of his own after witnessing the renegade's death during a gun fight. Using the name Edge garners fear and respect beyond the sands of Zenobia, where the name holds weight, but few knew the man personally.   Seto continues to use the moniker during his travels. Through the use of said moniker, Seto is introduced to the Peoples Rebelion of Zenobia. An underground network of anti-Zenobian cells stretching across the Empire's reach. It is here that Seto finally finds a cause he call his own. Something to fight for.   During a lone wolf attempt to confront and kill Sarovoc, Seto has a chance encounter with a young, independent freedom fighter by the name of Anastasia Maria Grace.

That One NPC

That One NPC

 

Loose Leaf Sprinting Template (Male)

Some of you may recall the sprinting template I was working on for Mack's Loose Leaf sprite generating resources. It is now complete, and it's looking good when tested at running speeds. At walking speed it looks very choppy as one would expect it to.   Here is a sample of a sprite I took and made a sprint sheet for. I'm not to sit here and tell you it's a quick cut & paste job. It takes some work to adjust certain parts to match the new limb positioning, but I have some tips to make it much smoother.       This is the template. On the left you have the standard walking sheet, on the right is the sprinting edit.   I suggest assembling your walking sprite as you normally would using any image editor like Paint.net, for example. Keep the project file with all layers separated. You'll use this to transfer layers one by one to the sprint template to edit and position them to your liking, retaining all edits and color selections during this process. So the clothing that you apply to your sprint template, is the exact same as the clothing on your walking template.   This makes it much easier to create the running version of your sprite. I suggest starting with the pants and feet, working up to the body. I actually separated the sleeves from the body of my sprites undershirt to make that process easier and a bit more painless.   Credit only to Mack. I don't share my edits for personal credit.    Enjoy! Don't be shy reporting in errors/bugs.

That One NPC

That One NPC

 

FF8-Based Triad Deck

New year. New deck.     Credits: Raizen CLOSET Kas Enterbrain   All card values are based on the deck from Final Fantasy VIII.     Card Back   Icons     Rarity 1 Common         Rarity 2 Uncommon         Rarity 3 Rare       Rarity 4 Epic         Rarity 5 Legendary             Credits: Raizen CLOSET Kas Enterbrain     All card values are based on the deck from Final Fantasy VIII.     The Card Settings file will be ready soon. I have to hammer some bugs out of my demo before I can even test it properly. My card album as well as pretty much all triad scenes won't work at present, and I'm not sure why. I will be working on getting those settings tested this weekend. The file is drafted, but yet to be checked for errors.      

That One NPC

That One NPC

 

tutorial TUTORIAL: Moving background for trains and trams

In this tutorial, I'll be teaching you how to make a moving train/tram/other vehicle/etc. without much work! This is NOT the same as a vehicle event. This is to get the effect of movement in the background.   This is something I decided to do in my remake of the first Half-Life game, for the first chapter, Black Mesa Inbound.   WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
RPG Maker (I use VX Ace, but I'm sure it works in any of them, given you have access to something like the below script.)
HimeWorks' Map Screenshot script (or similar)   First, make your train or tram.
  The blank background behind it is extremely important.   Next, you need to make the scenery you want to have the appearance of moving - I.E: another map. A really, really long map. Once you make it, use the script to take a mapshot.
Copy your mapshot into this folder in the Graphics folder of your project...:
  ...And then go back to your tram/train map and put your mapshot as a Parallax Background in your Map Properties. For Black Mesa Inbound, I don't need it to move very fast, so I have it on these settings: Then time it, calculate the time in frames and have the map change to the "dropoff location" (Parallel Process event). In the case of my Half-Life remake, that would be a still map where a guard walks over and lets you out, then leads you to the next chapter.   What if you have to use multiple tilesets to get the effect you want? (I.E - simulating going through numerous locations) I had that same question for myself and it was an easy enough answer - make multiple maps, take multiple mapshots and splice them all together into one image. I'm having to do this for Black Mesa Inbound.   What if I want background characters to move on the background instead of standing in one place? I don't have an answer for this one. I considered having the characters all be set to "Below" and "Through" and sort of shimmy in place before being set to Transparent, but that didn't quite work. In the end, having them standing there looks populated enough for my taste. If anybody has an answer to this, please comment it down below!     Anyway, I hope you find this tutorial useful in your development endeavours!

AutumnAbsinthe

AutumnAbsinthe

New Deck

I sat down last week and decided to finally fix my broken, messy CLOSET Triad deck. I had made my own deck and the card values were just a total mess. This time I copied the values from all 110 of FF8's cards, and made a replica deck that is guaranteed to be playable. I still need to program and test the card settings file, but that should be done by the new year.     New booster icon edits.   Common   Uncommon   Rare   Epic   Legendary       Some new cards have been added, some old ones were removed. The values of two cards were slightly altered, but it shouldn't impact the balancing of the deck.  

That One NPC

That One NPC

 

Why deciding when to refactor can be complicated and convoluted

Let's imagine that the job of a harvester is to use an axe to harvest trees, and the axe will deteriorate over time. Assuming that the following's the expected performance of the axe: Fully sharp axe(extremely excellent effectiveness and efficiency; ideal defect rates) - 1 tree cut / hour 1 / 20 chance for the tree being cut to be defective(with 0 extra decent tree to be cut for compensation as compensating trees due to negligible damages caused by defects) Expected number of normal trees / tree cut = (20 - 1 = 19) / 20 Becomes a somehow sharp axe after 20 trees cut(a fully sharp axe will become a somehow sharp axe rather quickly) Somehow sharp axe(reasonably high effectiveness and efficiency; acceptable defect rates) - 1 tree cut / 2 hours 1 / 15 chance for the tree being cut to be defective(with 1 extra decent tree to be cut for compensation as compensating trees due to nontrivial but small damages caused by defects) Expected number of normal trees / tree cut = (15 - 1 - 1 = 13) / 15 Becomes a somehow dull axe after 80 trees cut(a somehow sharp axe will usually be much more resistant on having its sharpness reduced per tree cut than that of a fully sharp axe) Needs 36 hours of sharpening to become a fully sharp axe(no trees cut during the atomic process) Somehow dull axe(barely tolerable effectiveness and efficiency; alarming defect rates) - 1 tree cut / 4 hours 1 / 10 chance for the tree being cut to be defective(with 2 extra decent trees to be cut for compensation as compensating trees due to moderate but manageable damages caused by defects) Expected number of normal trees / tree cut = (10 - 1 - 2 = 7) / 10 Becomes a fully dull axe after 40 trees cut(a somehow dull axe is just ineffective and inefficient but a fully dull axe is significantly dangerous to use when cutting trees) Needs 12 hours of sharpening to become a somehow sharp axe(no trees cut during the atomic process) Fully dull axe(ridiculously poor effectiveness and efficiency; obscene defect rates) - 1 tree cut / 8 hours 1 / 5 chance for the tree being cut to be defective(with 3 extra decent trees to be cut for compensation as compensating trees due to severe but partially recoverable damages caused by defects) Expected number of normal trees / tree cut = (5 - 1 - 3 = 1) / 5 Becomes an irreversibly broken axe(way beyond repair) after 160 trees cut The harvester will resign if the axe keep being fully dull for 320 hours(no one will be willing to work that dangerously forever) Needs 24 hours of sharpening to become a somehow dull axe(no trees cut during the atomic process)   Now, let's try to come up with some possible work schedules: Sharpens the axe to be fully sharp as soon as it becomes somehow sharp - Expected to have 19 normal trees and 1 defective tree cut after 1 * (19 + 1) = 20 hours(simplifying "1 / 20 chance for the tree being cut to be defective" to be "1 defective tree / 20 trees cut") Expected the axe to become somehow sharp now, and become fully sharp again after 36 hours Expected long term throughput to be 19 normal trees / (20 + 36 = 56) hours(around 33.9%) Sharpens the axe to be somehow sharp as soon as it becomes somehow dull - The initial phase of having the axe being fully sharp's skipped as it won't be repeated Expected to have 68 normal trees, 6 defective trees, and 6 compensating trees cut after 2 * (68 + 6 + 6) = 160 hours(simplifying "1 / 15 chance for the tree being cut to be defective" to be "1 defective tree / 15 trees cut" and using the worst case) Expected the axe to become somehow dull now, and become somehow sharp again after 12 hours Expected long term throughput to be 68 normal trees / (160 + 12 = 172) hours(around 39.5%) Sharpens the axe to be somehow dull as soon as it becomes fully dull - The initial phase of having the axe being fully or somehow sharp's skipped as it won't be repeated Expected to have 28 normal trees, 4 defective trees, and 8 compensating trees cut after 4 * (28 + 4 + 😎 = 160 hours(simplifying "1 / 10 chance for the tree being cut to be defective" to be "1 defective tree / 10 trees cut") Expected the axe to become fully dull now, and become somehow dull again after 24 hours Expected long term throughput to be 28 normal trees / (160 + 24 = 184) hours(around 15.2%) Sharpens the axe to be somehow dull right before the harvester will resign - The initial phase of having the axe being fully or somehow sharp's skipped as it won't be repeated Expected to have 28 normal trees, 4 defective trees, and 8 compensating trees cut after 4 * (28 + 4 + 😎 = 160 hours(simplifying "1 / 10 chance for the tree being cut to be defective" to be "1 defective tree / 10 trees cut") when the axe's somehow dull Expected the axe to become fully dull now, and expected to have 4 normal trees, 8 defective trees, and 24 compensating trees but after 8 * (4 + 8 + 24) = 288 hours(simplifying "1 / 5 chance for the tree being cut to be defective" to be "1 defective tree / 5 trees cut" and using the worst case) when the axe's fully dull Expected total number of normal trees to be 28 + 4 = 32 Expected the axe to become somehow dull again after 24 hours(so the axe remained fully dull for 288 + 24 = 312 hours, which is the maximum before the harvester will resign) Expected long term throughput to be 32 normal trees / (160 + 312 = 472) hours(around 6.7%) Sharpens the axe to be fully sharp as soon as it becomes somehow dull - Expected total number of normal trees to be 19 + 68 = 87 Expected total number of hours to be 56 + 172 = 228 hours Expected long term throughput to be 87 normal trees / 228 hours(around 38.2%) Sharpens the axe to be fully sharp as soon as it becomes fully dull - Expected total number of normal trees to be 19 + 68 + 28 = 115 Expected total number of hours to be 56 + 172 + 184 = 412 hours Expected long term throughput to be 115 normal trees / 412 hours(around 27.9%) Sharpens the axe to be fully sharp right before the harvester will resign - Expected total number of normal trees to be 19 + 68 + 32 = 119 Expected total number of hours to be 56 + 172 + 472 = 700 hours Expected long term throughput to be 119 normal trees / 700 hours(17%) Sharpens the axe to be somehow sharp as soon as it becomes fully dull - Expected total number of normal trees to be 68 + 28 = 96 Expected total number of hours to be 172 + 184 = 356 hours Expected long term throughput to be 96 normal trees / 356 hours(around 26.9%) Sharpens the axe to be somehow sharp right before the harvester will resign - Expected total number of normal trees to be 68 + 32 = 100 Expected total number of hours to be 172 + 472 = 644 hours Expected long term throughput to be 100 normal trees / 644 hours(around 15.5%)   So, while these work schedules clearly show that sharpening the axe's important to maintain effective and efficient long term throughput, trying to keep it to be always fully sharp is certainly going overboard(33.9% throughput), when being somehow sharp is already enough(39.5% throughput). Then why some bosses don't let the harvester sharpen the axe even when it's somehow or even fully dull? Because sometimes, a certain amount of normal trees have to be acquired within a set amount of time. Let's say that the axe has become from fully sharp to just somehow dull, so there should be 87 normal trees cut after 180 hours, netting the short term throughput of 48.3%. But then some emergencies just come, and 3 extra normal trees need to be delivered within 16 hours no matter what, whereas compensating trees can be delivered later in the case of having defective trees. In this case, there won't be enough time to sharpen the axe to be even just somehow sharp, because even in the best case, it'd cost 12 + 2 * 3 = 18 hours. On the other hand, even if there's 1 defective tree from using the somehow dull axe within that 16 hours, the harvester will still barely make it on time, because the chance of having 2 defective trees is (1 / 10) ^ 2 = 1 / 100, which is low enough to be neglected for now, and as compensatory trees can be delivered later even if there's 1 defective tree, the harvester will be able to deliver 3 normal trees. In reality, crunch modes like this will happen occasionally, and most harvesters will likely understand that it's probably inevitable eventually, so as long as these crunch modes won't last for too long, it's still practical to work under such circumstances once in a while, because it's just being reasonably pragmatic.   However, in supposedly exceptional cases, the situation's so extreme that, when the harvester's about to sharpen the axe, the boss constantly requests that another tree must be acquired as soon as possible, causing the harvester to never have time to sharpen the axe for a long time, thus having to work more and more ineffectively and inefficiently in the long term. In the case of a somehow dull axe, 12 hours are needed to sharpen it to be somehow sharp, whereas another tree's expected to be acquired within 4 hours, because the chance of having a defective tree cut is 1 / 10, which can be considered small enough to take the risk, and the expected number of normal trees over all trees being cut is 7 of out 10 for a somehow dull axe, whereas 12 hours is enough to cut 3 trees by using such an axe, so at least 2 normal trees can be expected within this period. If this continues, eventually the axe will become fully dull, and 24 hours will be needed to sharpen it to be somehow dull, whereas another tree's expected to be acquired within 8 hours, because the chance of having a defective tree is 1 / 5, which can still be considered controllable to take the risk, especially with an optimistic estimation. While the expected number of normal trees over all trees being cut is 1 of out 5 for a fully dull axe, whereas 24 hours is just enough to cut 3 trees by using such an axe, meaning that the harvester's not expected to make it normally, in practice, the boss will usually unknowingly apply optimism bias(at least until it no longer works) by thinking that there will be no defective trees when just another tree's to be cut, so the harvester will still be forced to continue cutting trees, despite the fact that the axe should be sharpened as soon as possible even when just considering the short term. Also, if the boss can readily replace the current harvester with a new one immediately, the boss will rather let the current harvester resign than letting that harvester sharpening the axe to be at least somehow dull, because to the boss, it's always emergencies after emergencies, meaning that the short term's constantly so dire that there's just no room to even consider the long term at all. But why such an undesirable situation will be reached? Other than extreme and rare misfortunes, it's usually due to overly optimistic work schedules not seriously taking the existence of defective and compensatory trees, and the importance of the sharpness of the axe and the need of sharpening the axe into the account, meaning that such unrealistic work schedules are essentially linear(e.g.: if one can cut 10 trees on day one, then he/she can cut 1000 trees on day 100), which is obviously simplistic to the extreme. Occasionally, it can also be because of the inherent risks of sharpening the axe - Sometimes the axe won't be actually sharpened after spending 12, 24 or 36 hours, and while it's extraordinary, the axe might be actually even more dull than before, and most importantly, usually the boss can't directly judge the sharpness of the axe, meaning that it's generally hard for that boss to judge the ROI of sharpening the axe with various sharpness before sharpening, and it's only normal for the boss to distrust what can't be measured objectively by him/herself(on the other hand, normal, defective and compensatory trees are objectively measurable, so the boss will of course emphasize on these KPIs), especially for those having been opting for linear thinking.   Of course, the whole axe cutting tree model is highly simplified, at least because: The axe sharpness deterioration isn't a step-wise function(an axe becomes from having a discrete level of sharpness to another such level after cutting a set number of trees), but rather a continuous one(gradual degrading over time) with some variations on the number of trees cut, meaning that when to sharpen the axe in the real world isn't as clear cut as that in the aforementioned model(usually it's when the harvester starts feeling the pain, ineffectiveness and inefficiency of using the axe due to unsatisfactory sharpness, and these feeling has last for a while) Not all normal trees are equal, not all defective trees are equal, and not all compensatory trees are equal(these complications are intentionally simplified in this model because these complexities are hardly measurable) The whole model doesn't take the morale of the harvester into account, except the obvious one that that harvester will resign for using a fully dull axe for too long(but the importance of sharpening the axe will only increase if morale has to be considered as well) In some cases, even when the axe's not fully dull, it's already impossible to sharpen it to be fully or even just somehow sharp(and in really extreme cases, the whole axe can just suddenly break altogether for no apparent reason) Nevertheless, this model should still serve its purpose of making this point across - There's isn't always an universal answer to when to sharpen the axe to reach which level of sharpness, because these questions involve calculations of concrete details(including those critical parts that can't be quantified) on a case-by-case basis, but the point remains that the importance of sharpening the axe should never be underestimated.   When it comes to professional software engineering: The normal trees are like needed features that work well enough The defective trees are like nontrivial bugs that must be fixed as soon as possible(In general, the worse the code quality of the codebase is, the higher the chance to produce more bugs, produce bugs being more severe, and the more the time's needed to fix each bug with the same severity - More severe bugs generally cost more efforts to fix in the same codebase) The compensatory trees are like extra outputs for fixing those bugs and repairing the damages caused by them The axe is like the codebase that's supposed to deliver the needed features(actually, the axe can also be like those software engineers themselves, when the topic involved is software engineering team management rather than just refactoring) Sharpening the axe is like refactoring(or in the case of the axe referring to software engineers, sharpening the axe can be like letting them to have some vacations to recover from burnouts) A fully sharp axe is like a codebase suffering from the gold plating anti pattern on the code quality aspect(diminishing returns applies to code qualities as well), as if those professional software engineers can't even withstand a tiny amount of technical debt. On the good side, such an ideal codebase is the most unlikely to produce nontrivial bugs, and even when it does, they're most likely fixed with almost no extra efforts needed, because they're usually found way before going into production, and the test suite will point straight to their root causes. A somehow sharp axe is like a codebase with more than satisfactory code qualities, but not to the point of investing too much on this regard(and the technical debt is still doing more good than harm due to its amount under moderation). Such a practically good codebase is still a bit unlikely to produce nontrivial bugs regularly, but it does have a small chance to let some of them leak into production, causing a mild amount of extra efforts to be needed to fix the bugs and repair the damages caused by them. A somehow dull axe is like a codebase with undesirable code qualities, but it's still an indeed workable codebase(although it's still quite painful to work with) with a worrying yet payable amount of technical debt. Undesirable yet working codebases like this probably has a significant chance to produce nontrivial bugs frequently, and a significant chance for quite some of them to leak into production, causing a rather significant amount of extra efforts to be needed to fix the bugs and repair the damages caused by them. A fully dull axe is like a unworkable codebase where it must be refactored as soon as possible, because even senior professional software engineers can easily create more severe bugs than needed features with such a codebase(actually they'll be more and more inclined to rewrite the codebase the longer it's not refactored), causing their productivity to be even negative in the worst cases. An effectively broken codebase like this is guaranteed to has a huge chance to produce nontrivial bugs all the time, and nearly all of them will leak into production, causing an insane amount of extra efforts to be needed to fix the bugs and repair the damages caused by them(so the professionals will be always fixing bugs instead of delivering features), provided that these recovery moves can be successful at all. A broken axe is like a codebase being totally technical bankrupt, where the only way out is to completely rewrite the whole thing from scratch, because no one can fathom a thing in that codebase at that point, and sticking to such a codebase is undoubtedly a sunk cost fallacy. While a codebase with overly ideal code qualities can deliver the needed features in the most effective and efficient ways possible as long as the codebase remains in this state, in practice the codebase will quickly degrade from such an ideal state to a more practical state where the code qualities are still high(on the other hand, going back to this state is very costly in general no matter how effective and efficient the refactoring is), because this state is essentially mysophobia in terms of code qualities. On the other hand, a codebase with reasonably high code qualities can be rather resistant from code quality deterioration(but far from 100% resistant of course), especially when the professional software engineers are disciplined, experienced and qualified, because degrading code qualities for such codebases are normally due to quick but dirty hacks, which shouldn't be frequently needed for senior professional software engineers. To summarize, a senior professional software engineer should strive to keep the codebase to have a reasonably high code quality, but not to the point of not even having good technical debts, and when the codebase has eventually degraded to have just barely tolerable code quality, it's time to refactor it to become having very satisfactory, but not overly ideal, code quality again, except in the case of occasional crunch modes, where even a disciplined, experienced and qualified expert will have to get the hands dirty once in a while on the still workable codebase but with temporarily unacceptable code quality, just that such crunch modes should be ended as soon as possible, which should be feasible with a well-established work schedule.

DoubleX

DoubleX

 

My Predictions Of The Future Multiplayer Game Architectures

Descriptions The following image briefly outlines the core structure of this whole idea, which is based on the idea of applying purely server-side rendering on games: https://github.com/Double-X/Image-List/blob/master/Future%20MP%20Games%20Architecture.png Note that the client side should have next to no game state or data, nor audio/visual assets, as they're supposed to never leave the server side. The following's the general flow of games using this architecture(all these happen per frame): 1. The players start running the game with the client IO 2. The players setup input configurations(keyboard mapping, mouse sensitivity, mouse acceleration, etc), graphics configurations(resolution, fps, gamma, etc), client configurations(player name, player skin, other preferences not impacting gameplay, etc), and anything that only the players can have information of 3. The players connect to servers 4. The players send all those configurations and settings to the servers(those details will be sent again if players changed them during the game within the same servers) 5. The players makes raw inputs(like keyboard presses, mouse clicks, etc) as they play the game 6. The client IO captures those raw player inputs and sends them to the server IO(but there's never any game data/state synchronization among them) 7. The server IO combines those raw player inputs and the player input configurations for each player to form commands that the game can understand 8. Those game commands generated by all players in the server will update the current game state set 9. The game polls the updated current game state set to form the new camera data for each player 10. The game combines the camera data with the player graphics configurations to generate the rendered graphics markups(with all relevant audio/visual assets used entirely in this step) which are highly compressed and obfuscated and have the least amount of game state information possible 11. The server IO captures the rendered graphics markups and send them to the client IO of each player(and nothing else will ever be sent in this direction) 12. The client IO draws the fully rendered graphics markups(without needing nor knowing any audio/visual asset) on the game screen visible by each player The aforementioned flow can also be represented this way: https://github.com/Double-X/Image-List/blob/master/Future%20MP%20Games%20Architecture%20Flow.png   Differences From Cloud Gaming Do note that it's different from cloud gaming in the case of multiplayer(although it's effectively the same in the case of single player), because cloud gaming doesn't demand the games to be specifically designed for that, while this architecture does, and the difference means that: 1. In cloud gaming, different players rent different remote machines, each hosting the traditional client side of the game, which communicates with the traditional server side of the game in the same real server that's distinct from those middlemen devices, meaning that there will be at most 2 round trips per frame(between the client and the remote machine, and between the remote machine and the real server), so if the remote machines isn't physically close to the real server, and the players aren't physically close to the remote machines, the latency can raise to an absurd level 2. This architecture forces games complying with it to be designed differently from the traditional counterparts right from the start, so it can install the client version(having minimal contents) directly into the device for each player, which directly communicates with the server side of the game in the same server(which has almost everything), thus removing the need of a remote machine per player as the middleman, and hence the problems created by it(latency and the setup/maintenance cost from those remote machines) 3. The full cycle of the communications in cloud gaming is the following:     - The player machines send the raw input commands to the remote machines     - The remote machines convert those commands into new game states of the client side of the game there     - The client side of the game in those remote machines synchronize with the server side of the game in the real server     - The remote machines draw new visuals on their screens and play new audios based on the latest game states on the client side of the game there     - The remote machines send those audio and visual information to the player machines     - The player machines redraw those new audios and visuals there 4. The full cycle of the communications of this architecture is the following:     - The player machines send the raw input commands directly to the real server     - The real server convert those commands into the new game states of the server side of the game there     - The real server send new audio and visual information to the player machines based on the involved parts of the latest game states on the server side of the game there     - The player machines draw those new audios and visuals there 3 + 4 means the rendering actually happens 2 times in cloud gaming - 1 in the remote machines and 1 in the player machines, while the same happens just once in this architecture - just the player machines directly, and the redundant rendering in cloud gaming can contribute quite a lot to the end latency experienced by players, so this is another advantage of this architecture over cloud gaming. In short, cloud gaming supports games not having cloud gaming in mind(and is thus backward compatible) but can suffer from insane latency and increased business costs(which will be transferred to players), while this architecture only supports games targeting it specifically(and is thus not backward compatible) but removes quite some pains from the remote machine in cloud gaming(this architecture also has some other advantages over cloud gaming, but they’ll be covered in the next section). On a side note: If some cloud gaming platforms don't let their players to join servers outside of them, while it'd remove the issue of having 3 entities instead of just 2 in the connection, it'd also be more restrictive than this architecture, because the latter only restricts all players to same the same game using it.   Advantages The advantages of this architecture at least include the following: 1. The game requirements on the client side can be a lot lower than the traditional architecture(although cloud gaming also has this advantage), as now all the client side does is sending the captured raw player inputs(keyboard presses, mouse clicks, etc) to the server side, and draws the received rendered graphics markup(without using any audio/visual assets in this step and the client side doesn't have any of them anyway) on the game screen visible by each player 2. Cheating will become next to impossible(cloud gaming may or may not have this advantage), as all cheats are based on game information, and even the state of the art machine vision still can't retrieve all the information needed for cheating within a frame(even if it just needs 0.5 seconds to do so, it's already too late in the case of professional FPS E-Sports, not to mention that the rendered graphics markup can change per frame, making machine vision even harder to work well there), and it'd be a epoch-making breakthrough on machine vision if the cheats can indeed generate the correct raw player inputs per frame(especially when the rendered graphics markups are highly obfuscated), which is definitely doing way more good than harm to the mankind, so games using this architecture can actually help pushing the machine vision researches 3. Game piracy and plagiarisms will become a lot more costly and difficult(cloud gaming may or may not have this advantage), as the majority of the game contents and files never leave the servers, meaning that those servers will have to be hacked first before those pirates can crack those games, and hacking a server with the very top-notch security(perhaps monitored by network and server security experts as well) is a very serious business that not many will even have a chance 4. Game data and state synchronization should no longer be an issue(while cloud gaming won't have this advantage), because the client side should've nearly no game data and state, meaning that there's should be nothing to synchronize with, thus this setup not only removes tons of game data/state integrity troubles and network issues, but also deliberate or accidental exploits like lag switching(so servers no longer has to kick players with legitimately high latency because those players won't have any advantage anymore, due to the fact that such exploits would just cause the users to become inactive for a very short time per lag in the server, thus they'd be the only ones being under disadvantages)   Disadvantages The disadvantages of this architecture at least include the following: 1. The game requirements and the maintenance cost on the server side will become ridiculous - perhaps a supercomputer, computer cluster, or a computer cloud will be needed for each server, and I just don't know how it'll even be feasible for MMO to use this architecture in the foreseeable future 2. The network traffic in this architecture will be absurdly high, because all players are sending raw input to the same server, which sends back the rendered graphics markup to each player(even though it's already highly compressed), all happening per frame, meaning that this can lead to serious connection issues with servers having low capacity and/or players with low connection speed/limited network data usage 3. The rendered graphics markup needs to be totally lossless in terms of visual qualities on one hand, otherwise it'd be a bane for games needing the state of the art graphics; It also needs to be highly compressed and obfuscated on the other, because the network traffic must be minimized and the markup needs to defend against cheats. These mean it'd be extremely hard to properly implement the rendered graphics markup, let alone without creating new problems 4. The inherent network latency due to the physical distance between the clients and the servers will be even more severe, because now the client has to communicate with the server per frame, meaning that the servers must be physically located nearby the players, and thus many servers across many different cities will be needed   How Disadvantages Diminish Over Time Clearly, the advantages from this architecture will be unprecedented if the architecture itself can ever be realized, while its disadvantages are all hardware and technical limitations that will become less and less significant, and will eventually become trivial. So while this architecture won't be the reality in the foreseeable future(at least several years from now), I still believe that it'll be the distant future(probably in terms of decades). For instance, let's say a player joins a server being 300km away from his/her device(which is a bit far away already) to play a game with a 1080p@120Hz setup using this architecture, and the full latency would have to meet the following requirements in order to have everything done within around 9ms, which is a bit more than the maximum time allowed in 120 FPS: The client will take around 1ms to capture and start sending the raw input commands from the player The minimum ping, which is limited by the speed of light, will be 2 * 300km / 300,000km per second = around 2ms The server will take around 1ms to receive and combine all raw input commands from all players The server will take around 1ms to convert the current game state set with those raw input commands to form the new game state set The server will take around 1ms to generate all rendered graphics markups(which are lossless, highly compressed and highly obfuscated) from the new camera state of all players The server will take around 1ms to start sending those rendered graphics markups to all players The client will take around 1ms to receive and decompress the rendered graphics markup of the corresponding player The client will take around 1ms to render the decompressed rendered graphics markup as the end result being perceived by the player directly Do note that hardware limitations, like mouse and keyboard polling rate, as well as monitor response time, are ignored, because they'll always be there regardless of how a multiplayer game is designed and played. Of course, the above numbers are just outright impossible within years, especially when there are dozens of players in the same server, but they should become something very real after a decade or 2, because by then the hardware we've should be much, much more powerful than those right now. Similarly, for a 1080p@120Hz setup, if the rendering is lossless but isn't compressed at all, it'd need (1920 * 1080) pixels * 32 bit * 120 FPS + little bandwidth from raw inputting commands sent to the server = Around 1GB/s per player, which is of course insane to the extreme right now, and the numbers for 4K@240Hz and 8K@480Hz(assuming that it'll or is always a real thing) setups will be around 8GB/s and 64GB/s per player respectively, which are just incredibly ridiculous in the foreseeable future. However, as the rendering markups sent to the client should be highly compressed, the actual numbers shouldn't be this large, and even if the rendering isn't compressed at all, in the distinct future, when 6G, or even newer generations, become the new norm, these numbers, while will still be quite something, should become practical enough in everyday gaming, and not just for enthusiasts. Nevertheless, there might be an absolute limit on the screen resolution and/or FPS that can be supported by this architecture no matter how powerful the hardware is, so while I think this architecture will be the distinct future(like after a decade or 2), it probably won't be the only way multiplayer games being written and played, because the other models still have their values even by then.   Future Implications If this architecture becomes the practical mainstream, the following will be at least some of the implications: 1. The direct one time price of the games, and also the indirect one(the need to upgrade the client machine to play those games) will be noticeably lower, as the games are much less demanding on the client side(drawing an already rendered graphics markup, especially without needing any audio nor visual assets, is generally a much, much easier, simpler and smaller task than generating that markup itself, and the client side hosts almost no game data nor state so the hard disk space and memory required will also be a lot lower) 2. The periodic subscription fee will exist in more and more games, and those already having such fee will likely increase the fee, in order to compensate for the increasing game maintenance cost from upgraded servers(these maintenance cost increments will eventually be cancelled out by hardware improvements causing the same hardware to become cheaper and cheaper) 3. The focus of companies previously making high end client CPU, GPU, RAM, hard disk, motherboard, etc will gradually shift their business into making server counterparts, because the demands of high end hardware will be relatively smaller and smaller on the client side, but will be relatively larger and larger on the server side 4. The demands of high end servers will be higher and higher, not just from game companies, but also for some players investing a lot into those games, because they'd have the incentive to build some such servers themselves, then either use them to host some games, or rent those servers to others who do   Anti-Cheating In the case of highly competitive E-Sports, the server can even implement some kind of fuzzy logic, which is fine-tuned with a deep learning AI, to help report suspicious raw player input sets(consisted of keyboard presses, mouse clicks, etc) with a rating on how suspicious it is, which can be further broken down to more detailed components on why they're that suspicious. This can only be done effectively and efficiently if the server has direct access to the raw player input set, which is one of the cornerstones of this very architecture. Combining this with traditional anti cheat measures, like having a server with the highest security level, an in-game admin having server level access to monitor all players in the server(now with the aid of the AI reporting suspicious raw player input sets for each player), another admin for each team/side to monitor player activities, a camera for each player, and thoroughly inspected player hardware, it'll not only make cheating next to impossible in major LAN events(also being cut off from external connections), but also so obviously infeasible and unrealistic that almost everyone will agree that cheating is indeed nearly impossible there, thus drastically increasing their confidence on the match fairness.   Hybrid Models Of course, games can also use a hybrid model, and this especially applies to multiplayer games also having single player modes. If the games support single player, of course the client side needs to have everything(and the piracy/plagiarism issues will be back), it's just that most of them won't be used in multiplayer if this architecture's used. If the games runs on the multiplayer, the hosting server can choose(before hosting the game) whether this architecture's used(of course, only players with the full client side package can join servers using the traditional counterpart, and only players with the server side subscription can join servers using this architecture). Alternatively, players can choose to play single player modes with a server for each player, and those servers are provided by the game company, causing players to be able to play otherwise extremely demanding games with a low-end machine(of course the players will need to apply for the periodic subscriptions to have access of this kind of single player modes). On the business side, it means such games will have a client side package, with a one time price for everything in the client side, and a server side package, with a periodic subscription for being able to play multiplayer, and single player with a dedicated server provided, then the players can buy either one, or both, depending on their needs and wants. This hybrid model, if both technically and economically feasible, is perhaps the best model I can think of.

DoubleX

DoubleX

 

How Information Density And Volume Affect Codebase Readability

Abbreviations HID - High Information Density LID - Low Information Density HIV - High Information Volume LIV - Low Information Volume HID/HIV - Those who can handle both HID and HIV well HID/LIV - Those who can handle HID well but can only handle LIV well LID/HIV - Those who can only handle LID well but can handle HIV well LID/LIV - Those who can only handle LID and LIV well   TL;DR(The Whole Article Takes About 30 Minutes To Read In Full Depth) Information Density A small piece of information representation referring to a large piece of information content has HID, whereas a large piece of information representation referring to a small piece of information content has LID. Unfortunately, different programmers have different capacities on facing information density. In general, those who can handle very HID well will prefer very terse codes, as it'll be more effective and efficient to both write and read them that way for such software engineers, while writing and reading verbose codes are just wasting their time in their perspectives; Those who can only handle very LID well will prefer very verbose codes, as it'll be easier and simpler to both write and read them that way for such software engineers, while writing and reading terse codes are just too complicated and convoluted in their perspectives. Ideally, we should be able to handle very HID well while still being very tolerant towards LID, so we'd be able to work well with codes having all kinds of information density. Unfortunately, very effective and efficient software engineers are generally very intolerant towards extreme ineffectiveness or inefficiencies, so all we can do is to try hard. Information Volume A code chunk having a large piece of information content that aren't abstracted away from that code chunk has HIV, whereas a code chunk having only a small piece of information content that aren't abstracted away from that code chunk has LIV. Unfortunately, different software engineers have different capacities on facing information volume, so it seems that the best way's to find a happy medium that can break a very long function into fathomable chunks on one hand, while still keeping the function call stack manageable on the other. In general, those who can handle very HIV well will prefer very long functions, as it'll be more effective and efficient to draw the full picture without missing any nontrivial relevant detail that way for such software engineers, while writing and reading very short functions are just going the opposite directions in their perspectives; Those who can only handle very LIV well will prefer very short functions, as it'll be easier and simpler to reason about well-defined abstractions(as long as they don't leak in nontrivial ways) that way for such software engineers, while writing and reading long functions are just going the opposite directions in their perspectives. Ideally, we should be able to handle very HIV well while still being very tolerant towards LIV, so we'd be able to work well with codes having all kinds of information volume. Unfortunately, very effective and efficient software engineers are generally very intolerant towards extreme ineffectiveness or inefficiencies(especially when those small function abstractions do leak in nontrivial ways), so all we can do is to try hard. Combining Information Density With Information Volume While information density and volume are closely related, there's no strict implications from one to the other, meaning that there are different combinations of these 2 factors and the resultant style can be very different from each other. For instance, HID doesn't imply LIV nor vice versa, as it's possible to write a very terse long function and a very verbose short function; LID doesn't imply HIV nor vice versa for the very same reasons. In general, the following largely applies to most codebases, even when there are exceptions: Very HID + HIV = Massive Ball Of Complicated And Convoluted Spaghetti Legacy Very HID + LIV = Otherwise High Quality Codes That Are Hard To Fathom At First Very LID + HIV = Excessively Verbose Codes With Tons Of Redundant Boilerplate Very LID + LIV = Too Many Small Functions With The Call Stacks Being Too Deep Teams With Programmers Having Different Styles It seems to me that many coding standard/style conflicts can be somehow explained by the conflicts between HID and LID, and those between HIV and LIV, especially when both sides are being more and more extreme. The combinations of these conflicts may be: Very HID/HIV + HID/LIV = Too Little Architecture vs Too Weak To Fathom Codes Very HID/HIV + LID/HIV = Being Way Too Complex vs Doing Too Little Things Very HID/HIV + LID/LIV = Over-Optimization Freak vs Over-Engineering Freak Very HID/LIV + LID/HIV = Too Concise/Organized vs Too Messy/Verbose Very HID/LIV + LID/LIV = Too Hard To Read At First vs Too Ineffective/Inefficient Very LID/HIV + LID/LIV = Too Beginner Friendly vs Too Flexible For Impossibles Conclusions Of course, one doesn't have to go for the HID, LID, HIV or LIV extremes, as there's quite some middle grounds to play with. In fact, I think the best of the best software engineers should deal with all these extremes well while still being able to play with the middle grounds well, provided that such an exceptional software engineer can even exist at all. Nevertheless, it's rather common to work with at least some of the software engineers falling into at least 1 extremes, so we should still know how to work well with them. After all, nowadays most of the real life business codebase are about teamwork but not lone wolves. By exploring the importance of information density, information volume and their relationships, I hope that this article can help us think of some aspects behind codebase readability and the nature of conflicts about it, and that we can be more able to deal with more different kinds of codebase and software engineers better. I think that it's more feasible for us to be able to read codebase with different information density and volume than asking others and the codebase to accommodate with our information density/volume limitations. Also, this article actually implies that readability's probably a complicated and convoluted concept, as it's partially objective at large(e.g.: the existence of consistent formatting and meaningful naming) and partially subjective at large(e.g.: the ability to handle different kinds of information density and volume for different software engineers). Maybe many avoidable conflicts involving readability stems from the tendency that many software engineers treat readability as easy, simple and small concept that are entirely objective.   Information Density A Math Analogy Consider the following math formula that are likely learnt in high school(Euler's Formula): https://github.com/Double-X/Image-List/blob/master/1590658698206.png Most of those who've studied high school math well should immediately fathom this, but for those who don't, you may want to try to fathom this text equivalent, which is more verbose: I hope that those who can't fathom the above formula can at least fathom the above text This brings the importance of information density: A small piece of information representation referring to a large piece of information content has HID, whereas a large piece of information representation referring to a small piece of information content has LID. For instance, the above formula has HID whereas the above text has LID. In this example, those who're good at math in general and high school math in particular will likely prefer the formula over the text equivalent as they can probably fathom the former instantly while feeling that the latter's just wasting their time; Those who're bad at math in general and high school math in particular will likely prefer the text equivalent over the formula as they might not even know the fact that cisx is the short form of cosx + isinx. For those who can handle HID well, even if they don't know what Euler number is at all, they should still be able to deduce these corollaries within minutes if they know what cisx is: https://github.com/Double-X/Image-List/blob/master/1590660502890.png But for those who can only handle LID well, they'll unlikely be able to know what's going on at all, even if they know how to use the binomial theorem and the truncation operator. Now let's try to fathom this math formula that can be fathomed using just high school math: https://github.com/Double-X/Image-List/blob/master/1590661116897.png While it doesn't involve as much math knowledge nor concepts as those in the Euler's Formula, I'd guess that only those who're really, really exceptional in high school math and math in general can fathom this within seconds, let alone instantly, all because of this formula having such a ridiculously HID. If you can really fathom this instantly, then I'd think that you can really handle very HID very well, especially when it comes to math So what if we try to explain this by text? I'd come up with the following try: Maybe you can finally fathom what this formula is, but still probably not what it really means nor how to use it meaningfully, let alone deducing any useful corollary. However, with the text version, at least we can clearly see just how high the information density is in that formula, as even the information density for the text version isn't actually anything low. These 2 math examples aim to show that, HID, as long as being kept in moderation, is generally preferred over the LID counterparts. But once the information density becomes too unnecessarily and unreasonably high, the much more verbose versions seeming to be too verbose is actually preferred in general, especially when their information density isn't low. Some Examples Showing HID vs LID There are programming parallels to the above math analogy: terse and verbose codes. Unfortunately, different programmers have different capacities on facing information density, just like different people have different capacities on fathoming math. For instance, the ternary operator is a very obvious terse example on this(Javascript ES5): var x = condition1 ? value1 : condition2 ? value2 : value3; Whereas a verbose if/else if/else equivalent can be something like this: var x; if (condition1 === true) { x = value1; } else if (condition2 === true) { x = value2; } else { x = value3; } Those who're used to read and write terse codes will likely like the ternary operator version as the if/else if/else version will likely be just too verbose for them; Those who're used to read and write verbose codes will likely like the if/else if/else version as the ternary operator version will likely be just too terse for them(I've seen production codes with if (variable === true), so don't think that the if/else if/else version can only be totally made up examples). In this case, I've worked with both styles, and I guess that most programmers can handle both. Similarly, Javascript and some other languages support short circuit evaluation, which is also a terse style. For instance, the || and && operators can be short circuited this way: return isValid && (array || []).concat(object || canUseDefault && default); Where a verbose equivalent can be something like this(it's probably too verbose anyway): var returnedValue; if (isValid === true) { var returnedArray; var isValidArray = (array !== null) && (array !== undefined); if (isValidArray === true) { returnedArray = array; } else { returnedArray = []; } var pushedObject; var isValidObject = (object !== null) && (object !== undefined); if (isValidObject === true) { pushedObject = object; } else if (canUseDefault === true) { pushedObject = default; } else { pushedObject = canUseDefault; } if (Array.isArray(pushedObject) === true) { returnedArray = returnedArray.concat(pushedObject); } else { returnedArray = returnedArray.concat([pushedObject]); } returnedValue = returnedArray; } else { returnedValue = isValid; } return returnedValue; Clearly the terse version has very HID while the verbose version has very LID. Those who can handle HID well will likely fathom the terse version instantly while needing minutes just to fathom what the verbose version's really trying to achieve and why it's not written in the terse version to avoid wasting time to read so much code doing so little meaningful things; Those who can only handle LID well will likely fathom the verbose version within minutes while probably giving up after trying to fathom the terse version for seconds and wonder what's the point of being concise when it's doing just so many things in just 1 line. In this case, I seriously suspect whether anyone fathoming Javascript will ever write in the verbose version at all, when the terse version is actually one of the popular idiomatic styles. Now let's try to fathom this really, really terse codes(I hope you won't face this in real life): for (var texts = [], num = min; num <= max; num += increment) {     var primeMods = primes.map(function(prime) { return num % prime; }); texts.push(primeMods.reduce(function(text, mod, i) { return (text + (mod || words[i])).replace(mod, ""); }, "") || num); } return texts.join(textSeparator); If you can fathom this within seconds or even instantly, then I'd admit that you can really handle ridiculously HID exceptionally well. However, adding these lines will make it clear: var min = 1, max = 100, increment = 1; var primes = [3, 5], words = ["Fizz", "Buzz"], textSeparator = "\n"; So all it's trying to do is the very, very popular Fizz Buzz programming test in a ridiculously terse way. So let's try this much more verbose version of this Fizz Buzz programming test: var texts = []; for (var num = min; num <= max; num = num + increment) {     var text = ""; var primeCount = primes.length; for (var i = 0; i < primeCount; i = i + 1) { var prime = primes[i]; var mod = num % prime; if (mod === 0) { var word = words[i]; text = text + word; } } if (text === "") { texts.push(num); } else { texts.push(text); } } return texts.join(textSeparator); Even those who can handle very HID well should still be able to fathom this verbose version within seconds, so do those who can only handle very LID well. Also, considering the inherent complexity of this generalized Fizz Buzz, the verbose version doesn't have much boilerplate, even when compared to the terse version, so I don't think those who can handle very HID well will complain about the verbose version much. On the other hand, I doubt whether those who can only handle very LID well can even fathom the terse version, let alone in a reasonable amount of time(like minutes), if I didn't tell that it's just Fizz Buzz. In this case, I really doubt what's the point of writing in the terse version when I don't see any nontrivial issue in the verbose version(while the terse version's likely harder to fathom). Back To The Math Analogy Imagine that a mathematician and math professor who's used to teach postdoc math now have to teach high school math to elementary math students(I've heard that a very small amount of parents are so ridiculous to want their elementary children to learn high school math even when those children aren't interested in nor good at math). That's almost mission impossible, but all that teacher can do is to first consolidate the elementary math foundation of those students while fostering their interest in math, then gradually progress to middle school math, and finally high school math once those students are good at middle school math. All those students can do is to work extremely hard to catch up such great hurdles. Unfortunately, it seems to me that it'd take far too much resources, especially time, when those who can handle very HID well try to teach those who can only handle very LID well to handle HID. Even when those who can only handle very LID well can eventually be nurtured to meet the needs imposed by the codebase, it's still unlikely to be worth it, especially for software teams with very tight budgets, no matter how well intentioned it is. So should those who can only handle very LID well train up themselves to be able to handle HID? I hope so, but I doubt that it's similar to asking a high school student to fathom postdoc math. While it's possible, I still guess that most of us will think that it's so costly and disproportional just to apply actually basic math formulae that are just written in terse styles; Should those who can handle very HID well learn how to deal with LID well as well? I hope so, but I doubt that's similar to asking mathematicians to abandon their mother tongue when it comes to math(using words instead of symbols to express math). While it's possible, I still guess that most of us will think that it's so excessively ineffective and inefficient just to communicate with those who're very poor at math when discussing about advanced math. So it seems that maybe those who can handle HID well and those who can only handle LID well should avoid working with each other as much as possible. But that'd mean all these: The current software team must identify whether the majority can handle HID well or can only handle LIV well, which isn't easy to do and most often totally ignored The software engineering job requirement must state that whether being able to deal with HID well will be prioritized or even required, which is an uncommon statement All applicants must know whether they can handle HID well, which is overlooked The candidate screening process must be able to tell who can handle HID well Most importantly, the team must be able to hire enough candidates who can handle HID well, and it's obvious that many software teams just won't be able to do that Therefore, I don't think it's an ideal or even reasonable solution, even though it's possible. Alternatively, those who can handle very HID well should try their best to only touch the HID part of the codebase, while those who can only handle very LID well should try their best to only touch the LID part of the codebase. But needless to say, that's way easier said than done, especially when the team's large and the codebase can't be really that modular. A Considerable Solution With an IDE supporting collapsing comments, one can try something like this: /* var returnedValue; if (isValid === true) { var returnedArray; var isValidArray = (array !== null) && (array !== undefined); if (isValidArray === true) { returnedArray = array; } else { returnedArray = []; } var pushedObject; var isValidObject = (object !== null) && (object !== undefined); if (isValidObject === true) { pushedObject = object; } else if (canUseDefault === true) { pushedObject = default; } else { pushedObject = canUseDefault; } if (Array.isArray(pushedObject) === true) { returnedArray = returnedArray.concat(pushedObject); } else { returnedArray = returnedArray.concat([pushedObject]); } returnedValue = returnedArray; } else { returnedValue = isValid; } return returnedValue; */ return isValid && (array || []).concat(object || canUseDefault && default); Of course it's not practical when the majority of the codebase's so terse that those who can only handle very LID well will struggle most of the time, but those who can handle very HID well can try to do the former some favors when there aren't lots of terse codes for them. The point of this comment's to be a working compromise between the needs of reading codes effectively and efficiently for those who can handle very HID well, and the needs of fathoming code easily and simply for those who can only handle very LID well. Summary In general, those who can handle very HID well will prefer very terse codes, as it'll be more effective and efficient to both write and read them that way for such software engineers, while writing and reading verbose codes are just wasting their time in their perspectives; Those who can only handle very LID well will prefer very verbose codes, as it'll be easier and simpler to both write and read them that way for such software engineers, while writing and reading terse codes are just too complicated and convoluted in their perspectives. Ideally, we should be able to handle very HID well while still being very tolerant towards LID, so we'd be able to work well with codes having all kinds of information density. Unfortunately, very effective and efficient software engineers are generally very intolerant towards extreme ineffectiveness or inefficiencies, so all we can do is to try hard.   Information Volume An Eating Analogy Let's say we're ridiculously big eaters who can eat 1kg of meat per meal. But can we eat all that 1kg of meat in just 1 chunk? Probably not, as our mouth just won't be big enough, so we'll have to cut it into digestible chunks. However, can we eat it if it becomes a 1kg of very fine-grained meat powder? Maybe, but that's likely daunting or even dangerous(extremely high risk of severe choking) for most of us. So it seems that the best way's to find a happy medium that works for us, like cutting it into chunks that are just small enough for our mouth to digest. There might still be many chunks but at least they'll be manageable enough. The same can be largely applied to fathoming codes, even though there are still differences. Let's say you're reading a well-documented function with 100k lines and none of its business logic are duplicated in the entire codebase(so breaking this function won't help code reuse right now). Unless we're so good at fathoming big functions that we can keep all these 100k lines of implementation details in our head as a whole, reading such a function will likely be daunting or even dangerous(extremely high risk of fathom it all wrong) for most of us, assuming that we can indeed fathom it within a feasible amount of time(like within hours). On the other hand, if we break that 100k line function into extremely small functions so that the function call stack can be as deep as 100 calls, we'll probably be in really big trouble when we've to debug these functions having bugs that don't have apparently obvious causes nor caught by the current test suite(no test suite can catch all bugs after all). After all, traversing such a deep call stack without getting lost and having to start all over again is like eating tons of very fine-grained meat powders without ever choking severely. Even if we can eventually fix all those bugs with the test suite updated, it'll still unlikely to be done within a reasonable amount of time(talking about days or even weeks when the time budget is tight). This brings the importance of information volume: A code chunk having a large piece of information content that aren't abstracted away from that code chunk has HIV, whereas a code chunk having only a small piece of information content that aren't abstracted away from that code chunk has LIV. For instance, the above 100k line function has HIV whereas the above small functions with deep call stack has LIV. So it seems that the best way's to find a happy medium that can break that 100k line function into fathomable chunks on one hand, while still keeping the call stack manageable on the other. For instance, if possible, breaking that 100k line function into those in which the largest ones are 1k line functions and the ones with the deepest call stack is 10 calls can be a good enough balance. While fathoming a 1k line function is still hard for most of us, it's at least practical; While debugging functions having call stacks with 10 calls is still time-consuming for most of us, it's at least realistic to be done within a tight budget. A Small Example Showing HIV vs LIV Unfortunately, different software engineers have different capacities on facing information volume, just like different people have different mouth size. Consider the following small example(Some of my Javascript ES5 codes with comments removed): LIV Version(17 methods with the largest being 4 lines and the deepest call stack being 11) - $.result = function(note, argObj_) {     if (!$gameSystem.satbParam("_isCached")) {         return this._uncachedResult(note, argObj_, "WithoutCache");     }     return this._updatedResult(note, argObj_); }; $._updatedResult = function(note, argObj_) { var cache = this._cache.result_(note, argObj_);     if (_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT(cache)) return cache;     return this._updatedResultWithCache(note, argObj_); }; $._updatedResultWithCache = function(note, argObj_) {     var result = this._uncachedResult(note, argObj_, "WithCache");     this._cache.updateResult(note, argObj_, result);     return result; }; $._uncachedResult = function(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix) {     if (this._rules.isAssociative(note)) {         return this._associativeResult(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix);     }     return this._nonAssociativeResult(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix); }; $._associativeResult = function(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix) {     var partResults = this._partResults(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix);     var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); return this._rules.chainedResult( partResults, note, argObj_, defaultResult); }; $._partResults = function(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix) {     var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);     var funcName = "_partResult" + funcNameSuffix + "_";     var resultFunc = this[funcName].bind(this, note, argObj_);     return priorities.map(resultFunc).filter(_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT); }; $._partResultWithoutCache_ = function(note, argObj_, part) {     return this._uncachedPartResult_(note, argObj_, part, "WithoutCache"); }; $._partResultWithCache_ = function(note, argObj_, part) {     var cache = this._cache.partResult_(note, argObj_, part);     if (_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT(cache)) return cache;     return this._updatedPartResultWithCache_(note, argObj_, part); }; $._updatedPartResultWithCache_ = function(note, argObj_, part) {     var result =             this._uncachedPartResult_(note, argObj_, part, "WithCache");     this._cache.updatePartResult(note, argObj_, part, result);     return result; }; $._uncachedPartResult_ = function(note, argObj_, part, funcNameSuffix) {     var list = this["_pairFuncListPart" + funcNameSuffix](note, part);     if (list.length <= 0) return undefined; return this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_); }; $._nonAssociativeResult = function(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix) {     var list = this["_pairFuncList" + funcNameSuffix](note);     var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); return this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_, defaultResult); }; $._pairFuncListWithoutCache = function(note) {     return this._uncachedPairFuncList(note, "WithoutCache"); }; $._pairFuncListWithCache = function(note) {     var cache = this._cache.pairFuncList_(note);     return cache || this._updatedPairFuncListWithCache(note); }; $._updatedPairFuncListWithCache = function(note) {     var list = this._uncachedPairFuncList(note, "WithCache");     this._cache.updatePairFuncList(note, list);     return list; }; $._uncachedPairFuncList = function(note, funcNameSuffix) {     var funcName = "_pairFuncListPart" + funcNameSuffix;     return this._rules.priorities(note).reduce(function(list, part) {         return list.concat(this[funcName](note, part));     }.bind(this), []); }; $._pairFuncListPartWithCache = function(note, part) {     var cache = this._cache.pairFuncListPart_(note, part);     return cache || this._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache(note, part); }; $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache = function(note, part) {     var list = this._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache(note, part);     this._cache.updatePairFuncListPart(note, part, list);     return list; }; $._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache = function(note, part) {     var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);     return this._cache.partListData(part, this._battler).map(func); }; HIV Version(10 methods with the largest being 12 lines and the deepest call stack being 5) - $.result = function(note, argObj_) {     if (!$gameSystem.satbParam("_isCached")) {         return this._uncachedResult(note, argObj_, "WithoutCache");     }     var cache = this._cache.result_(note, argObj_);     if (_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT(cache)) return cache;     // $._updatedResultWithCache START     var result = this._uncachedResult(note, argObj_, "WithCache");     this._cache.updateResult(note, argObj_, result);     return result;     // $._updatedResultWithCache END }; $._uncachedResult = function(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix) {     if (this._rules.isAssociative(note)) {         // $._associativeResult START             // $._partResults START         var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);         var funcName = "_partResult" + funcNameSuffix + "_";         var resultFunc = this[funcName].bind(this, note, argObj_);         var partResults =                  priorities.map(resultFunc).filter(_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT);             // $._partResults END         var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); return this._rules.chainedResult( partResults, note, argObj_, defaultResult);         // $._associativeResult START     }     // $._nonAssociativeResult START     var list = this["_pairFuncList" + funcNameSuffix](note);     var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); return this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_, defaultResult);     // $._nonAssociativeResult END }; $._partResultWithoutCache_ = function(note, argObj_, part) {     return this._uncachedPartResult_(note, argObj_, part, "WithoutCache"); }; $._partResultWithCache_ = function(note, argObj_, part) {     var cache = this._cache.partResult_(note, argObj_, part);     if (_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT(cache)) return cache;     // $._updatedPartResultWithCache_ START     var result =             this._uncachedPartResult_(note, argObj_, part, "WithCache");     this._cache.updatePartResult(note, argObj_, part, result);     return result;     // $._updatedPartResultWithCache_ END }; $._uncachedPartResult_ = function(note, argObj_, part, funcNameSuffix) {     var list = this["_pairFuncListPart" + funcNameSuffix](note, part);     if (list.length <= 0) return undefined; return this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_); }; $._pairFuncListWithoutCache = function(note) {     return this._uncachedPairFuncList(note, "WithoutCache"); }; $._pairFuncListWithCache = function(note) {     var cache = this._cache.pairFuncList_(note);     if (cache) return cache;     // $._updatedPairFuncListWithCache START     var list = this._uncachedPairFuncList(note, "WithCache");     this._cache.updatePairFuncList(note, list);     return list;     // $._updatedPairFuncListWithCache END }; $._uncachedPairFuncList = function(note, funcNameSuffix) {     var funcName = "_pairFuncListPart" + funcNameSuffix;     return this._rules.priorities(note).reduce(function(list, part) {         return list.concat(this[funcName](note, part));     }.bind(this), []); }; $._pairFuncListPartWithCache = function(note, part) {     var cache = this._cache.pairFuncListPart_(note, part);     if (cache) return cache;     // $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache START     var list = this._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache(note, part);     this._cache.updatePairFuncListPart(note, part, list);     return list;     // $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache END }; $._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache = function(note, part) {     var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);     return this._cache.partListData(part, this._battler).map(func); }; In case you can't fathom what this example's about, you can read this simple flow chart(It doesn't mention the fact that the actual codes also handle whether the cache will be used): Even though the underlying business logic's easy to fathom, different people will likely react to the HIV and LIV Version differently. Those who can handle very HIV well will likely find the LIV version less readable due to having to unnecessarily traverse all these excessively small methods(the smallest ones being 1 liners) and enduring the highest call stack of 11 calls(from $.result to $._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache); Those who can only handle very LIV well will likely find the HIV version less readable due to having to unnecessarily fathom all these excessively mixed implementation details as a single unit in one go from the biggest method with 12 lines and enduring the presence of 3 different levels of abstractions combined just in the biggest and most complex method($._uncachedResult). Bear in mind that it's just a small example which is easy to fathom and simple to explain, so the differences between the HIV and LIV styles and the potential conflicts between those who can handle very HIV well and those who can only handle very LIV well will only be even larger and harder to resolve when it comes to massive real life production codebases. Back To The Eating Analogy Imagine that the size of the mouth of various people can vary so much that the largest digestible chunk of those with the smallest mouth are as small as a very fine-grained powder in the eyes of those with the largest mouth. Let's say that these 2 extremes are going to eat together sharing the same meal set. How should these meals be prepared? An obvious way's to give them different tools to break these meals into digestible chunks of sizes suiting their needs so they'll respectively use the tools that are appropriate for them, meaning that the meal provider won't try to do these jobs themselves at all. It's possible that those with the smallest mouth will happily break those meals into very fine-grained powders, while those with the largest mouth will just eat each individual food as a whole without much trouble. Unfortunately, it seems to me that there's still no well battle-tested automatic tools that can effectively and efficiently break a large code chunk into well-defined smaller digestible code chunks with configurable size and complexity without nontrivial side effects, so those who can only handle very LIV well will have to do it manually when having to fathom large functions. Also, even when there's such a tool, such automatic work's still effectively refactoring that function, thus probably irritating colleagues who can handle very HIV well. So should those who can only handle very LIV well train up themselves to be able to deal with HIV? I hope so, but I doubt that's similar to asking those with very small mouths to increase their mouth size. While it's possible, I still guess that most of us will think that it's so costly and disproportional just to eat foods in chunks that are too large for them; Should those who can handle very HIV well learn how to deal with LIV well as well? I hope so, but I doubt that's similar to asking those with very large mouths to force themselves to eat very fine-grained meat powders without ever choking severely(getting lost when traversing a very deep call stack). While it's possible, I still guess that most of us will think that it's so risky and unreasonable just to eat foods as very fine-grained powders unless they really have no other choices at all(meaning that they should actually avoid these as much as possible). So it seems that maybe those who can handle HIV well and those who can only handle LIV well should avoid working with each other as much as possible. But that'd mean all these: The current software team must identify whether the majority can handle HIV well or can only handle LIV well, which isn't easy to do and most often totally ignored The software engineering job requirement must state that whether being able to deal with HIV well will be prioritized or even required, which is an uncommon statement All applicants must know whether they can handle HIV well, which is overlooked The candidate screening process must be able to tell who can handle HIV well Most importantly, the team must be able to hire enough candidates who can handle HIV well, and it's obvious that many software teams just won't be able to do that Therefore, I don't think it's an ideal or even reasonable solution, even though it's possible. Alternatively, those who can handle very HIV well should try their best to only touch the HIV part of the codebase, while those who can only handle very LIV well should try their best to only touch the LIV part of the codebase. But needless to say, that's way easier said than done, especially when the team's large and the codebase can't be really that modular. An Imagined Solution Let's say there's an IDE which can display the function calls in the inlined form, like from: $.result = function(note, argObj_) {     if (!$gameSystem.satbParam("_isCached")) {         return this._uncachedResult(note, argObj_, "WithoutCache");     }     return this._updatedResult(note, argObj_); }; $._updatedResult = function(note, argObj_) { var cache = this._cache.result_(note, argObj_);     if (_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT(cache)) return cache;     return this._updatedResultWithCache(note, argObj_); }; $._updatedResultWithCache = function(note, argObj_) {     var result = this._uncachedResult(note, argObj_, "WithCache");     this._cache.updateResult(note, argObj_, result);     return result; }; $._uncachedResult = function(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix) {     if (this._rules.isAssociative(note)) {         return this._associativeResult(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix);     }     return this._nonAssociativeResult(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix); }; $._associativeResult = function(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix) {     var partResults = this._partResults(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix);     var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); return this._rules.chainedResult( partResults, note, argObj_, defaultResult); }; $._partResults = function(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix) {     var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);     var funcName = "_partResult" + funcNameSuffix + "_";     var resultFunc = this[funcName].bind(this, note, argObj_);     return priorities.map(resultFunc).filter(_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT); }; $._partResultWithoutCache_ = function(note, argObj_, part) {     return this._uncachedPartResult_(note, argObj_, part, "WithoutCache"); }; $._partResultWithCache_ = function(note, argObj_, part) {     var cache = this._cache.partResult_(note, argObj_, part);     if (_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT(cache)) return cache;     return this._updatedPartResultWithCache_(note, argObj_, part); }; $._updatedPartResultWithCache_ = function(note, argObj_, part) {     var result =             this._uncachedPartResult_(note, argObj_, part, "WithCache");     this._cache.updatePartResult(note, argObj_, part, result);     return result; }; $._uncachedPartResult_ = function(note, argObj_, part, funcNameSuffix) {     var list = this["_pairFuncListPart" + funcNameSuffix](note, part);     if (list.length <= 0) return undefined; return this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_); }; $._nonAssociativeResult = function(note, argObj_, funcNameSuffix) {     var list = this["_pairFuncList" + funcNameSuffix](note);     var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); return this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_, defaultResult); }; $._pairFuncListWithoutCache = function(note) {     return this._uncachedPairFuncList(note, "WithoutCache"); }; $._pairFuncListWithCache = function(note) {     var cache = this._cache.pairFuncList_(note);     return cache || this._updatedPairFuncListWithCache(note); }; $._updatedPairFuncListWithCache = function(note) {     var list = this._uncachedPairFuncList(note, "WithCache");     this._cache.updatePairFuncList(note, list);     return list; }; $._uncachedPairFuncList = function(note, funcNameSuffix) {     var funcName = "_pairFuncListPart" + funcNameSuffix;     return this._rules.priorities(note).reduce(function(list, part) {         return list.concat(this[funcName](note, part));     }.bind(this), []); }; $._pairFuncListPartWithCache = function(note, part) {     var cache = this._cache.pairFuncListPart_(note, part);     return cache || this._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache(note, part); }; $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache = function(note, part) {     var list = this._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache(note, part);     this._cache.updatePairFuncListPart(note, part, list);     return list; }; $._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache = function(note, part) {     var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);     return this._cache.partListData(part, this._battler).map(func); }; To be displayed as something like this: $.result = function(note, argObj_) {     if (!$gameSystem.satbParam("_isCached")) {         // $._uncachedResult START         if (this._rules.isAssociative(note)) {             // $._associativeResult START                 // $._partResults START             var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);             var partResults = priorities.map(function(part) {                     // $._partResultWithoutCache START                         // $._uncachedPartResult_ START                             // $._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache START                 var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);                 var list = this._cache.partListData( part, this._battler).map(func);                             // $._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache END                 if (list.length <= 0) return undefined; return this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_);                         // $._uncachedPartResult_ END                     // $._partResultWithoutCache END             }).filter(_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT);                 // $._partResults END             var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); return this._rules.chainedResult( partResults, note, argObj_, defaultResult);             // $._associativeResult START         }             // $._nonAssociativeResult START                 // $._pairFuncListWithoutCache START                     // $._uncachedPairFuncList START var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);         var list = priorities.reduce(function(list, part) {                         // $._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache START             var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);             var l = this._cache.partListData( part, this._battler).map(func);                         // $._pairFuncListPartWithoutCache END             return list.concat(l);         }.bind(this), []);                     // $._uncachedPairFuncList END                 // $._pairFuncListWithoutCache END         var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); return this._rules.chainedResult( list, note, argObj_, defaultResult);             // $._nonAssociativeResult END         // $._uncachedResult END     }     var cache = this._cache.result_(note, argObj_);     if (_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT(cache)) return cache;     // $._updatedResultWithCache START         // $._uncachedResult START     var result;     if (this._rules.isAssociative(note)) {             // $._associativeResult START                 // $._partResults START         var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);         var partResults = priorities.map(function(part) {                     // $._partResultWithCache START             var cache = this._cache.partResult_(note, argObj_, part);             if (_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT(cache)) return cache;                         // $._updatedPartResultWithCache_ START                             // $._uncachedPartResult_ START                                 // $._pairFuncListPartWithCache START             var c = this._cache.pairFuncListPart_(note, part);             var list;             if (c) {                 list = c;             } else {                                     // $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache START                                         // $._uncachedPairFuncListPart START                 var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);                 list = this._cache.partListData( part, this._battler).map(func);                                         // $._uncachedPairFuncListPart END                 this._cache.updatePairFuncListPart(note, part, list);                                     // $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache END             }                                 // $._pairFuncListPartWithCache END             var result = undefined;             if (list.length > 0) { result = this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_);             }                             // $._uncachedPartResult_ END             this._cache.updatePartResult(note, argObj_, part, result);             return result;                         // $._updatedPartResultWithCache_ END                     // $._partResultWithCache END         }).filter(_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT);                 // $._partResults END         var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); result = this._rules.chainedResult( partResults, note, argObj_, defaultResult);             // $._associativeResult START     }             // $._nonAssociativeResult START                 // $._pairFuncListWithCache START     var cache = this._cache.pairFuncList_(note), list;     if (cache) {         list = cache;     } else {                     // $._updatedPairFuncListWithCache START                         // $._uncachedPairFuncList START var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);         var list = priorities.reduce(function(list, part) {                             // $._pairFuncListPartWithCache START             var cache = this._cache.pairFuncListPart_(note, part);             var l;             if (cache) {                 l = cache;             } else {                                 // $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache START                                     // $._uncachedPairFuncListPart START                 var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);                 l = this._cache.partListData( part, this._battler).map(func);                                     // $._uncachedPairFuncListPart END                 this._cache.updatePairFuncListPart(note, part, l);                                 // $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache END             }             return list.concat(l);                 // $._pairFuncListPartWithCache END         }.bind(this), []);                         // $._uncachedPairFuncList END         this._cache.updatePairFuncList(note, list);                     // $._updatedPairFuncListWithCache END     }                 // $._pairFuncListWithCache END     var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); result = this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_, defaultResult);             // $._nonAssociativeResult END         // $._uncachedResult END     this._cache.updateResult(note, argObj_, result);     return result;     // $._updatedResultWithCache END }; Or this one without comments indicating the starts and ends of the inlined functions: $.result = function(note, argObj_) {     if (!$gameSystem.satbParam("_isCached")) {         if (this._rules.isAssociative(note)) {             var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);             var partResults = priorities.map(function(part) {                 var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);                 var list = this._cache.partListData( part, this._battler).map(func);                 if (list.length <= 0) return undefined; return this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_);             }).filter(_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT);             var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); return this._rules.chainedResult( partResults, note, argObj_, defaultResult);         } var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);         var list = priorities.reduce(function(list, part) {             var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);             var l = this._cache.partListData( part, this._battler).map(func);             return list.concat(l);         }.bind(this), []);         var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); return this._rules.chainedResult( list, note, argObj_, defaultResult);     }     var cache = this._cache.result_(note, argObj_);     if (_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT(cache)) return cache;     var result;     if (this._rules.isAssociative(note)) {         var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);         var partResults = priorities.map(function(part) {             var cache = this._cache.partResult_(note, argObj_, part);             if (_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT(cache)) return cache;             var c = this._cache.pairFuncListPart_(note, part);             var list;             if (c) {                 list = c;             } else {                 var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);                 list = this._cache.partListData( part, this._battler).map(func);                 this._cache.updatePairFuncListPart(note, part, list);             }             var result = undefined;             if (list.length > 0) { result = this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_);             }             this._cache.updatePartResult(note, argObj_, part, result);             return result;         }).filter(_SATB.IS_VALID_RESULT);         var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); result = this._rules.chainedResult( partResults, note, argObj_, defaultResult);     }     var cache = this._cache.pairFuncList_(note), list;     if (cache) {         list = cache;     } else { var priorities = this._rules.priorities(note);         var list = priorities.reduce(function(list, part) {             var cache = this._cache.pairFuncListPart_(note, part);             var l;             if (cache) {                 l = cache;             } else {                 var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);                 l = this._cache.partListData( part, this._battler).map(func);                 this._cache.updatePairFuncListPart(note, part, l);             }             return list.concat(l);         }.bind(this), []);         this._cache.updatePairFuncList(note, list);     }     var defaultResult = this._pairs.default(note, argObj_); result = this._rules.chainedResult(list, note, argObj_, defaultResult);     this._cache.updateResult(note, argObj_, result);     return result; }; With just 1 click on $.result. Bear in mind that the actual codebase hasn't changed one bit, it's just that the IDE will display the codes from the original LIV form to the new HIV form. The goal this feature's to keep the codebase in the LIV form, while still letting those who can handle HIV well to be able to read the codebase displayed in the HIV version. It's very unlikely for those who can only handle very LIV well to be able to fathom such a complicated and convoluted method with 73 lines and so many different levels of varying abstractions and implementation details all mixed up together, not to mention the really vast amount of completely needless code duplication that aren't even easy nor simple to spot fast; Those who can handle very HIV well, however, may feel that a 73 line method is so small that they can hold everything inside in their head as a whole very quickly without a hassle. Of course, one doesn't have to show everything at once, so besides the aforementioned feature that inlines everything in the reading mode with just 1 click, the IDE should also support inlining a function at a time. Let's say we're to reveal _uncachedPairFuncListPart: $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache = function(note, part) {     var list = this._uncachedPairFuncListPart(note, part);     this._cache.updatePairFuncListPart(note, part, list);     return list; }; Clicking that method name in the above method should lead to something like this: $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache = function(note, part) { // $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache START var func = this._pairs.pairFuncs.bind(this._pairs, note);     var list = this._cache.partListData( part, this._battler).map(func); // $._updatedPairFuncListPartWithCache END     this._cache.updatePairFuncListPart(note, part, list);     return list; }; Similarly, clicking the method name updatePairFuncListPart should reveal the implemention details of that method of this._cache, provided that the IDE can access the code of that class. Such an IDE, if even possible in the foreseeable future, should at least reduce the severity of traversing a deep call stack with tons of small functions for those who can handle very HIV well, if not removing the problem entirely, without forcing those who can only handle very LIV well to deal with HIV, and without the issue of fighting for refactoring in this regard. Summary In general, those who can handle very HIV well will prefer very long functions, as it'll be more effective and efficient to draw the full picture without missing any nontrivial relevant detail that way for such software engineers, while writing and reading very short functions are just going the opposite directions in their perspectives; Those who can only handle very LIV well will prefer very short functions, as it'll be easier and simpler to reason about well-defined abstractions(as long as they don't leak in nontrivial ways) that way for such software engineers, while writing and reading long functions are just going the opposite directions in their perspectives. Ideally, we should be able to handle very HIV well while still being very tolerant towards LIV, so we'd be able to work well with codes having all kinds of information volume. Unfortunately, very effective and efficient software engineers are generally very intolerant towards extreme ineffectiveness or inefficiencies(especially when those small function abstractions do leak in nontrivial ways), so all we can do is to try hard.   Combining Information Density With Information Volume Very HID + HIV = Massive Ball Of Complicated And Convoluted Spaghetti Legacy Imagine that you're reading a well-documented 100k line function where almost every line's written like some of the most complex math formulae. I'd guess that even the best of the best software engineers will never ever want to touch this perverted beast again in their lives. Usually such codebase are considered dead and will thus be probably rewritten from scratch. Of course, HID + HIV isn't always this extreme, as the aforementioned 73 line version of $.result also falls into this category. Even though it'd still be a hellish nightmare for most software engineers to work with if many functions in the codebase are written this way, it's still feasible to refactor them into very high quality code within a reasonably tight budget if we've the highest devotions, diligence and disciplines possible. While such an iron fist approach should only be the last resort, sometimes the it's called for so we should be ready. Nevertheless, try to avoid HID + HIV as much as possible, unless the situation really, really calls for it, like optimizing a massive production codebase to death(e.g.: gameplay codes), or when the problem domain's so chaotic and unstable that no sane nor sensible architecture will survive for even just a short time(pathetic architectures can be way worse than none). If you still want to use this style even when it's clearly unnecessary, you should have the most solid reasons and evidence possible to prove that it's indeed doing more good than harm. Very HID + LIV = Otherwise High Quality Codes That Are Hard To Fathom At First For instance, the below codes falls into this category: return isValid && (array || []).concat(object || canUseDefault && default); Imagine that you're reading a codebase having mostly well-defined and well-documented small functions(but far from being mostly 1 liners) but most of those small functions are written like some the most complex math formulae. While fathoming such codes at first will be very difficult, because the functions are well-documented, those functions will be easy to edit once you've fathomed it with the help of those comments; Because the functions are small enough and well-defined, those functions will be easy to use once you've fathomed how they're being called with the help of those callers who're themselves high quality codes. Of course, HID + LIV doesn't always mean small short term pains with large long term pleasures, as it's impossible to ensure that none of those abstractions will ever leak in nontrivial ways. While the codebase will be easy to work with when it only ever has bugs that are either caught by the test suite or have at least some obvious causes, such codebase can still be daunting to work with once it produces rare bugs that are hard to even reproduce, all because of the fact that it's very hard to form the full pictures with every last bit of nontrivial relevant detail of massive codebases having mostly small but very terse functions. Nevertheless, as long as all things are kept in moderation(one can always try in this regard), HID + LIV is generally advantageous as long as the codebase's large enough to warrant large scale software architectures and designs(the lifespan of the codebase should also be long enough), but not so large that no one can form the full picture anymore, as the long term pleasures will likely be large and long enough to outweigh short term pains a lot here. Very LID + HIV = Excessively Verbose Codes With Tons Of Redundant Boilerplate Think of an extremely verbose codebase having full of boilerplate and exceptionally long functions. Maybe those functions are long because of the verbosity, but you usually can't tell before actually reading them all. Anyway, you'll probably feel that the codebase's just wasting lots of your time once you realize that most of those long functions aren't actually doing much. Think of the aforementioned 28 line verbose Javascript examples having an extremely easy, simple and small terse 1 line counterpart, and think of the former being ubiquitous in the codebase. I guess that even the most verbose software engineers will want to refactor it all, as working with it'd just be way too ineffective and inefficient otherwise. Of course, LID + HIV isn't always that bad, especially when things are kept in moderation. At least, it'd be nice for most newcomers to fathom the codebase, so codebases written in this style can actually be very beginner-friendly, which is especially important for software teams having very high turnover rates. Even though it's unlikely to be able to work with such codebase effectively nor efficiently no matter how much you've fathomed it due to the heavy verbosity and loads of boilerplate, the problem will be less severe if it's short-lived. Also, writing codes in this style can be extremely fast at first, even though it'll gradually become slower and slower, so this style's very useful in at least prototyping/making PoCs. Nevertheless, LID + HIV shouldn't be used on codebases that'd already be very large without the extra verbosity nor boilerplate, especially when it's going to have a very long life span. Just think of a codebase that can be controlled into the 100k scale all with very terse codes(but still readable), but reaching the 10M scale because of complete refactoring of all those terse codes into tons of verbose codes with boilerplate. Needless to say, almost no one will continue on this road if he/she knows that the codebase will become that large that way. Very LID + LIV = Too Many Small Functions With The Call Stacks Being Too Deep For instance, the below codes fall into this category: /* This is the original codes $._chainedResult = function(list, note, argObj_, initVal_) {     var chainedResultFunc = this._rules.chainResultFunc(note); return chainedResultFunc(list, note, argObj_, initVal_);    }; */ // This is the refactored codes $._chainedResult = function(list, note, argObj_, initVal_) {     var chainedResultFunc = this._chainedResultFunc(note); return this._runChainedResult( list, note, argObj_, initVal_, chainedResultFunc); }; $._chainedResultFunc = function(note) {     return this._rules.chainResultFunc(note); }; $._runChainedResult = function(list, note, argObj_, initVal_, resultFunc) { return resultFunc(list, note, argObj_, initVal_); }; // Think of a codebase with less than 100k lines but with already way more than 1k classes/interfaces and 10k functions/methods. It's almost a given that the deepest call stack in the codebase will be so deep that it can even approach the 100 call mark. It's because the only way for very small functions to be very verbose with tons of boilerplate is that most of those small functions aren't actually doing anything meaningful. We're talking about deeply nested delegates/forwarding functions which are all indeed doing very easy, simple and small jobs, and tons of interfaces or explicit dependencies having only 1 implementation or concrete dependency(configurable options with only 1 option ever used also has this issue). Of course, LID + LIV does have its places, especially when the business requirements always change so abruptly, frequently and unpredicably that even the most reasonable assumptions can be suddenly violated without any reason at all(I've worked with 1 such project). As long as there can still be sane and sensible architectures that can last very long, if the codebase isn't flexible in almost every direction, the software teams won't be able to make it when they've to implement absurd changes with ridiculously tight budgets and schedules. And the only way for the codebase to be possible to be so flexible is to have as many well-defined interfaces and seams as possible, as long as everything else is still in moderation. For the newcomers, the codebase will seem to be overengineered over nothing already happened, but that's what you'd likely do when you can never know what's invariant. Nevertheless, LID + LIV should still be refactored once there are solid reasons and evidences to prove that the codebase can begin to stablize, or the hidden technical debt incurred from excessive overengineering can quickly accumulate to the point of no return. At that point, even understanding the most common call stack can be almost impossible. Of course, if the codebase can really never stablize, then one can only hope for the best and be prepared for the worst, as such projects are likely death marches, or slowly becoming one. Rare exceptions are that, some codebases have to be this way, like the default RPG Maker MV codebase, due to the business model that any RPG Maker MV user can have any feature request and any RPG Maker MV plugin developer can develop any plugin with any feature. Summary While information density and volume are closely related, there's no strict implications from one to the other, meaning that there are different combinations of these 2 factors and the resultant style can be very different from each other. For instance, HID doesn't imply LIV nor vice versa, as it's possible to write a very terse long function and a very verbose short function; LID doesn't imply HIV nor vice versa for the very same reasons. In general, the following largely applies to most codebases, even when there are exceptions: Very HID + HIV = Massive Ball Of Complicated And Convoluted Spaghetti Legacy Very HID + LIV = Otherwise High Quality Codes That Are Hard To Fathom At First Very LID + HIV = Excessively Verbose Codes With Tons Of Redundant Boilerplate Very LID + LIV = Too Many Small Functions With The Call Stacks Being Too Deep   Teams With Programmers Having Different Styles Very HID/HIV + HID/LIV = Too Little Architecture vs Too Weak To Fathom Codes While both can work with very HID well, their different capacities and takes on information volume can still cause them to have ongoing significant conflicts. The latter values codebase quality over software engineer mental capacity due to their limits on taking information volume, while the former values the opposite due to their exceptionally strong mental power. Thus the former will likely think of the latter as being too weak to fathom the codes and they're thus the ones to blame, while the latter will probably think of the former as having too little architecture in mind and they're thus the ones to blame, as architectures that are beneficial or even necessary for the latter will probably be severe obstacles for the former. Very HID/HIV + LID/HIV = Being Way Too Complex vs Doing Too Little Things While both can work with very HIV well, their different capacities and takes on information density can still cause them to have ongoing significant conflicts. The latter values function simplicity over function capabilities due to their limits on taking information density, while the former values the opposite due to their extremely strong information density decoding. Thus the former will likely think of the latter as doing too little things that actually matter in terms of important business logic as simplicity for the latter means time wasted for the former, while the latter will probably think of the former as being too needlessly complex when it comes to implementing important business logic, as development speed for the former means complexity that are just too high for the latter(no matter how hard they try). Very HID/HIV + LID/LIV = Over-Optimization Freak vs Over-Engineering Freak It's clear that these 2 groups are at the complete opposites - The former preferring massive balls of complicated and convoluted spaghetti legacy over too many small functions with the call stacks being too deep due to the heavy need of optimizing the codebase to death, while the latter preferring the opposite due to the heavy need of making the codebase very flexible. Thus the former will likely think of the latter as over-engineering freaks while the latter will probably think of the former as over-optimization freaks, as codebase optimization and flexibility are often somehow at odds with each other, especially when one is heavily done. Very HID/LIV + LID/HIV = Too Concise/Organized vs Too Messy/Verbose It's clear that these 2 groups are at the complete opposites - The former preferring otherwise high quality codes that are hard to fathom at first over excessively verbose codes with tons of redundant boilerplate due to the heavy emphasis on the large long term pleasures, while the latter preferring the opposite due to the heavy emphasis on the small short term pains. Thus the former will likely think of the latter as being too messy and verbose while the latter will probably think of the former as being too concise and organized, as long term pleasures from the high codebase qualities are often at odds with short term pains of the newcomers fathoming the codebase at first, especially when one is heavily emphasized over the other. Very HID/LIV + LID/LIV = Too Hard To Read At First vs Too Ineffective/Inefficient While both can only work with very LIV well, their different capacities and takes on information density can still cause them to have ongoing significant conflicts. The latter values the learning cost over maintenance cost(the cost of reading already fathomed codes during maintenance) due to their limits on taking information density, while the former values the opposite due to their good information density skill and reading speed demands. Thus the former will likely think of the latter as being too ineffective and inefficient when writing codes that are easy to fathom in the short term but time-consuming to read in the long term, while the latter will likely think of the former as being too harsh to newcomers when writing codes that are fast to read in the long term but hard to fathom in the short term. Very LID/HIV + LID/LIV = Too Beginner Friendly vs Too Flexible For Impossibles While both can only work with very LID well, their different capacities and takes on information volume can still cause them to have ongoing significant conflicts. The former values codebase beginner friendliness over software flexibility due to their generally lower tolerance on very small functions, while the latter values the opposite due to their limited information volume capacity and high familiarity with very small and flexible functions. Thus the former will likely think of the latter as being too flexible towards cases that are almost impossible to happen under the current business requirements due to such codebases being generally harder for newcomers to fathom, while the latter will likely think of the former as being too friendly towards beginners at the expense of writing too rigid codes due to codebases being beginner friendly are usually those just thinking about the present needs. Summary It seems to me that many coding standard/style conflicts can be somehow explained by the conflicts between HID and LID, and those between HIV and LIV, especially when both sides are being more and more extreme. The combinations of these conflicts may be: Very HID/HIV + HID/LIV = Too Little Architecture vs Too Weak To Fathom Codes Very HID/HIV + LID/HIV = Being Way Too Complex vs Doing Too Little Things Very HID/HIV + LID/LIV = Over-Optimization Freak vs Over-Engineering Freak Very HID/LIV + LID/HIV = Too Concise/Organized vs Too Messy/Verbose Very HID/LIV + LID/LIV = Too Hard To Read At First vs Too Ineffective/Inefficient Very LID/HIV + LID/LIV = Too Beginner Friendly vs Too Flexible For Impossibles   Conclusions Of course, one doesn't have to go for the HID, LID, HIV or LIV extremes, as there's quite some middle grounds to play with. In fact, I think the best of the best software engineers should deal with all these extremes well while still being able to play with the middle grounds well, provided that such an exceptional software engineer can even exist at all. Nevertheless, it's rather common to work with at least some of the software engineers falling into at least 1 extremes, so we should still know how to work well with them. After all, nowadays most of the real life business codebase are about teamwork but not lone wolves. By exploring the importance of information density, information volume and their relationships, I hope that this article can help us think of some aspects behind codebase readability and the nature of conflicts about it, and that we can be more able to deal with more different kinds of codebase and software engineers better. I think that it's more feasible for us to be able to read codebase with different information density and volume than asking others and the codebase to accommodate with our information density/volume limitations. Also, this article actually implies that readability's probably a complicated and convoluted concept, as it's partially objective at large(e.g.: the existence of consistent formatting and meaningful naming) and partially subjective at large(e.g.: the ability to handle different kinds of information density and volume for different software engineers). Maybe many avoidable conflicts involving readability stems from the tendency that many software engineers treat readability as easy, simple and small concept that are entirely objective.  

DoubleX

DoubleX

 

Even if numbers don't lie, they can still be easily misinterpreted

Let's start with an obvious example(example 1): Virus A has the average fatality rate of 10%(1 death per 10 infections on average) Virus B has the average fatality rate of 1%(1 death per 100 infections on average) Which virus is more dangerous towards the majority? If you think that the answer must be always virus A, then you're probably very prone to misinterpreting the numbers, because you're effectively passing judgments with too little information in this case. What if I give you their infection rates as well? Virus A has the average infection rate of 2 every week(every infected individual infects 2 previously uninfected ones per week on average) Virus B has the average infection rate of 5 every week(every infected individual infects 5 previously uninfected ones per week on average) First, let's do some math on the estimated death numbers after 4 weeks: Virus A death numbers = 2 ^ 4 * 0.1 = 1.6 Virus B death numbers = 5 ^ 4 * 0.01 = 6.25 The counterparts after 8 weeks: Virus A death numbers = 2 ^ 8 * 0.1 = 25.6 Virus B death numbers = 5 ^ 8 * 0.01 = 3906.25 I think it's now clear enough that, as time progresses, the death numbers by virus B over that of virus A will only be larger and larger, so this case shows that, the importance of infection rates can easily outclass that of the death rates when it comes to evaluating the danger of a virus towards the majority. Of course, this alone doesn't mean that virus B must be more dangerous towards the majority, but this is just an easy, simple and small example showing that how numbers can be misinterpreted, because in this case, judging from a single metric alone is normally dangerous.   Now let's move on to a more complicated and convoluted example(example 2): Country A, having 1B people, has 1k confirmed infection cases of virus C after 10 months of the 1st confirmed infection case of that virus in that country Country B, having 100M people, has 100k confirmed infection cases of virus C after 1 month of the 1st confirmed infection case of that virus in that country Which country performed better in controlling the infections of virus C so far? Now there are 3 different yet interrelated metrics for each country, so the problems of judging from a single metric is gone in this example, therefore this time you may think that it's safe to assume that country A must have performed better in controlling the infections of virus C so far. Unfortunately, you're likely being fooled again, especially when I give you the numbers of tests over virus C performed by each country on that country: Country A - 10k tests performed over virus C on that country Country B - 10M tests performed over virus C on that country This metric on both country, combined with the other metrics, reveal 2 new facts that point to the opposite judgment: Country A has just performed 10k / 10 / 1B = 0.0001% number of tests over virus C on that country over its populations per month on average, while country B has performed 10M / 100M = 10% on that regard 1k / 10k = 1 case out of 10 tested ones is infected in country A on average, while that in country B is 100k / 10M = 1 out of 100 So, while it still doesn't certainly imply that country B must have performed better in controlling the infections of virus C so far, this example aims to show that, even using a set of different yet interrelated metrics isn't always safe from misinterpreting them all.   So, why numbers can be misinterpreted so easily? At the very least, because numbers without contexts are usually ambiguous or even meaningless, and realizing the existence of the missing contexts generally demands relevant knowledge. For instance, in example 2, if you don't know the importance of the number of tests, it'd be hard for you to realize that even the other 3 metrics combined still don't form a complete context, and if most people around the world don't know that, some countries can simply minimize the number of tests performed over virus C on those countries, so their numbers will make them look like that they've been performing incredibly well in controlling the infections of virus C so far, meaning that numbers without contexts can also lead to cheating by being misleading rather than outright lying. Sometimes, contexts will always be incomplete even when you've all the relevant numbers, because some contexts contain some important details that are very hard to be quantified, so when it comes to relevant knowledge, knowing those details are crucial as well.   Let's consider this example(example 3) of a team of 5 employees who are supposed to handle the same set of support tickets every day, and none of them will receive any overtime compensations(actually having overtime will be perceived as incompetence there): Employee A, B, C and D actually work on the supposed 40 hour work week every week, and each of them handles 20 support tickets(all handled properly) per day on average Employee E actually works on 80 hour work week on average instead of the supposed 40, and he/she handles 10 support tickets(all handled properly) per day on average Does this mean employee E is far from being on par with the rest of the team? If you think the answer must be always yes, then I'm afraid that, you've yet again misused those KPIs, because in this case, the missing contexts at least include the average difficulty of the support tickets handled by those employees, and such difficulty is generally very hard to quantify. You may think that, as all those 5 employees are supposed to handle the same set of support tickets, the difficulty difference among the support tickets alone shouldn't cause such a big difference among the apparent productivity between employee A, B, C and D, and employee E. But what if I tell you that, it's because the former 4 employees have been only taking the easiest support tickets since day 1, and all the hardest ones are always taken by employee E, which is due to the effectively dysfunctional internal reporting mechanisms against such workplace bullying, and employee E is especially vulnerable to such abuses? Again, whether that team is really that toxic is also very hard to be quantified, so in this case, even if you've all the relevant KPIs on the employee performance, those KPIs as a single set can still be very misleading when it's used on its own to judge their performance.   Of course, example 3 is most likely an edge case that shouldn't happen, but that doesn't mean such edge cases will never appear. Unfortunately, many of those using the KPIs to pass judgment do act as if those edge cases won't ever exist under their management, and even if they do exist, those guys will still behave like it's those edge case themselves that are to be blamed, possibly all for the illusory effectiveness and efficiencies. To be blunt, this kind of "effectiveness and efficiency" is indeed just pushing the complexities that should be at least partially handled by those managers to those edge case themselves, causing the latter to suffer way more than what they've been already suffering even without those extra complexities that are just forced onto them. While such use of KPIs do make managers and the common cases much more effective and efficient, they're at the cost of sacrificing the edge cases, and the most dangerous part of all is that, too often, many of those managers and common cases don't even know that's what they've been doing for ages. Of course, this world's not capable to be that ideal yet, so sometimes misinterpreting the numbers might be a necessary or lesser evil, because occasionally, the absolute minimum required effectiveness and efficiencies can only be achieved by somehow sacrificing a small amount of edge cases, but at the very least, those using the KPIs that way should really know what they're truly doing, and make sure they make such sacrifices only when they've to.   So, on one hand, judging by numbers alone can easily lead to utterly wrong judgments without knowing, while on the other hand, judging only with the full context isn't always feasible, practical nor realistic, therefore a working compromise between these 2 extremes should be found on a case-by case basis. For instance, you can first form a set of educated hypotheses based on the numbers, then try to further prove and disprove(both sides must be worked on) those hypotheses on one hand, and act upon them(but always keep in mind that those hypotheses can be all dead wrong) if you've to on the other, as long as those hypotheses haven't been proven to be all wrong yet(and contingencies should be planned for so you can fix the problems immediately). With such a compromise, effectiveness and efficiency can be largely preserved when those hypotheses work because you're still not delaying too much when passing judgments, and the damages caused by those hypotheses when they're wrong can also be largely controlled and contained because you'll be able to realize and correct your mistakes as quickly as possible. For instance, in example 3, while it’s reasonable to form the hypothesis that employee E is indeed far from being on par with the rest of the team, you should, instead of just acting on those numbers directly, also try to have a personal meeting with that employee as soon as possible, so you can express your concerns on those metrics to him/her, and hear his/her side of the story, which can be very useful on proving or disproving your hypothesis, causing both of you to be able to solve the problem together in a more informed manner.

DoubleX

DoubleX

 

reCreations

I've been coding in RM for a while now, specifically MV. I've gotten pretty good at it, too XD   As time went on, the things I was coding changed, from things that were trivial and honestly didn't need to be coded, into things that were a bit smarter, more focused.  One of the earliest examples was a Utility script.  It had silly little shortcut calls for things like Game Variables and Game Switches. It also had an awful implementation of a well intentioned idea - saved Show Picture Settings. I found the Show Picture script call to be quite argument heavy, and Move Picture was no less so. I wanted to only supply the arguments I was changing for the Move Picture command. The idea was great, implementation was a JOKE!    Nowadays, I do much better. I follow conventions, I comment, I plan, I do a lot that I should do. However, with coding, you're always learning. You always find something new, or pick up a new trick, or realize you've been doing something wrong, etc.  Refactoring is a huge......factor, in scripting. Doing it too often could actually make compatibility nightmares and headaches where they don't need to be.    Right now, I'm actually going through a lot of old plugins, and rewriting them completely with either the same name, or a new one, prefixed with 're'   reAction is my redo of my animation script rEvent is my redo of my event copier/spawner reTool is my most current utility script reStorage is my redo of an old storage system   All of them except reStorage are complete.  I also remade my image cache, calling it 'reCache', but even since then, I've remade it again! Right now, though, it's fantastic.   So then, for this blog entry, that's what I've been doin :) Time for sleep    

Arrpeegeemaker

Arrpeegeemaker

 

Entry 015: 'Cuties' (Twatties)

I've not seen the movie (Netflix is and will always be a wealth-based privilege), but I did watch the review by SidAlpha, and from what I gathered, it is less about 'coming of age' than it is about twats being rebellious, something I can relate to but nothing like that. Apart from this, I really don't have much to say.

I don't think that the intent of the creator was malicious, but in the end, it's not about intent, but about content; the content is trash/poorly cobbled together storytelling.

Yes; twat and brat are the same thing. Brat is 'MuRiCaN' terminology, but all the same, all the same, English is such an odd language.


Anyway, arbitrary age and maturity do not go hand-in-hand; one only need to see what Donald Trump is tweeting for one prime example of many, of how immature 'adults' almost always are. I used to know one person, who at the time, was 'underage' but also homeless and no one cared otherwise. She performed sex work for money, and last I knew, had been victimized by thugs with badges and guns because her client's arbitrary age was much higher. If not a victim of theft because I don't know if she got paid beforehand (the thugs were lying in wait), at the very least, they only went after the client and didn't provide her with any aid at all. I've not seen or heard from her in a long time. Maybe she found a way out, maybe she's buried six feet under, or incarcerated, Odinn only knows... I do know one thing. She knew, and understood. She understood the potential domino effect, and to me, that's more than mature enough.

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

 

dwimmerdelve Yay, Did some more work on Dwimmerdelve stuff.

Yay, I have actually been doing stuff related to my game for once! For example. made a basic sprite for a character I have been thinking about adding to my game for a while. I present to you, "The Azure Demon":     She's the owner of one of the dungeon areas in my game, a mansion near a misty lake I called "The Azure Demon Mansion". I know, I know, a color themed 'evil creature' girl who owns a mansion, never been done before! She also has an army of ninja maids! 'Original character do not steal'. Maybe I should populate the mansion with more wholly original characters! Like a lazy gatekeeper, a sickly librarian with a cute imp assistant, a head maid that can stop time, and a sister she keeps locked away in the basement because she's too wild. Woah there maybe I should spread some of that originality around a bit!   Thinking of having her actual name be something like Lapidea Lazul Lājevard.   ... Though I could imagine her fairy name being Lazzy Lass Glasgeamchloch if she was a fairy. Personally I think that name is muuuuch cooler. Maybe I will use that as a pet name! Think it would annoy her?   Edit: Oh! Almost forgot to say what her roll in my game is! Looking like she is going to be the second major boss in my game, and probably going to be the leading character in what I have called before the 'demon subplot'. She's also cute as a button. That's a very important plot point that needs to be addressed up front. So be warned, I intend to make this demon super duper cute.

Kayzee

Kayzee

 

Entry 00D: RPG Maker MZ

Well, there's not a whole lot I can say as of now, but from what I have seen, MZ looks very promising, and I love seeing coders dropping their code projects here (if only graphic artists would do so as well lolz), but until I get a fair chance to try it for myself (is there a demo version?), I cannot really commentate on it.

I mean, four mapping layers plus the 'auto' option does make it sound like mapping will be very dynamic potentially, which that alone has caught my interest enough to wanna see more, but though I own MV, the cost is still far too high and way more than I ever have in my Steam Wallet. So, I will wait...

It may be five, six years before I see MZ, if ever, but, that's how being underprivileged goes.

PhoenixSoul

PhoenixSoul

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