Programming updates

As well as revisiting my WTF dreams, the extra time I'm getting out of the information diet has allowed me to revisit some old hobbies and projects of mine and get around to doing some things that I've always wanted to do.

Many of the programming-related projects I've since shared on GitHub (to go with the Java Servlet Filter projects I mentioned a while ago) and you can check those out by visiting my GitHub profile page. One project in particular has gained a bit of traction in the relevant community, and that is my Thymeleaf Layout Dialect - an extension to the Thymeleaf templating engine that allows you to reuse your Thymeleaf and HTML code with common layout pages. For anybody who has worked with JSF + Facelets before, the Thymeleaf Layout Dialect brings Thymeleaf's page composition features almost on-par with Facelets.

Another project I've had some time to look at again is my old Red Horizon project - the over-ambitious game thing that I started years ago and haven't done too much work on due to real-life and inconsistent levels of motivation. A month ago I took a look at the project, saw the list of things I wanted to improve with it, and got straight into working at it again.

This all came at a good time because around then some e-mails landed in my inbox, asking about the Utilities sub-project of Red Horizon. The first e-mail came from a Spanish-speaking person, asking how to use the program (it is a command-line utility, so there isn't a GUI that you can use to feel your way through the program). The second came from a modder of the old Dune 2 game who has been using the previous versions of my conversion utilities to convert common file types to the lesser-known ones used specifically by the game.

I managed to get a solution together for the latter and have an updated version of the utilities project which can be downloaded from the Red Horizon >> Downloads, page. (Note to self: I really need to update the content of those pages). As for the former, I'm now working towards creating a GUI for the utilities project to help a newer generation of users, ie: those who didn't grow-up using the command line when they were learning to use a computer :)

I'm now in the process of finalizing the project structure so I can share it on GitHub as well. I'd really like to be able to get the code out there since I've found that putting my programming projects out in the public arena has made me feel more motivated to do a better job with them: adding documentation, utilizing proper dependency management, using better build tools, and so on.