Round-up of 2019, and plans for 2020

In 2019, we achieved our dream of sailing to Japan. We released a handful of free and open-source software that grew to considerable popularity, and ended the year by giving a talk at XOXO in Portland. We travelled back to Canada for the holidays, to spend time with family, and to figure out what we wanted to do next.

Our plan for 2020 is to keep sailing, to make our way north and up the coast of Japan, port-hopping until we reach Hokkaido, our last stop in the country.  From there, we'll sail east to either Alaska or Vancouver Island — we haven't decided which yet. If all goes well, Pino and crew should be back in Canada at the end of August 2020

The sailing won't stop there, because there is plenty of waters and beautiful anchorages to explore in Western Canada. We spent too little time there back in 2016, and are now eager to return.

Sailing plans aside, we've got a lot of ideas for projects.

RESILIENT HARDWARE

We started learning assembly.

Why? Because we want to produce lasting versions of our tools and games. Using simpler and more basic tools, makes for more resilient software from their lack of dependencies, also making support for older hardware possible. 

As it stands today, our impression is that most software is not built for long term in mind, and designed to be run on disposable electronics, all-in-all a very resource-intensive way of doing things. If we hope to survive as a species we have to build things for tomorrow, not just for today. 

"As a general trend, we’re not getting faster software with more features. We’re getting faster hardware that runs slower software with the same features" - Nikita, Software Disenchantment 

STATIC WEBSITES  

The size of the average web page increased 3 times from 2010 to 2018. Online content is becoming increasingly resource-intensive, and this results in an increase in energy use in the network infrastructure.  

This is why we are phasing out from the Javascript ecosystem, and are focusing on building tools in either C99 or assembly. We have begun migrating all of our web presence to statically built websites, and the applications will follow —  You can see the work that has already begun with the C port of Orca, and the upcoming NES(6502asm) version of Donsol.

Lean static websites require less processing and allow for better caching, and ultimately take less energy. Another reason for us not using Javascript, is that an over reliance on it has made websites unavailable to screen-readers (parsers for the visually impaired), and has created a bloated expensive browsing experience that feels awful for people like us with slow or unreliable internet connection.

GrimGrains was the first project on our list. We rebuilt it in entirely in C99, and plan to do the same for 100R, Kokorobot and XXIIVV.  

This year is going to be busy!  

As always, thank you for your constant support. If you've got any questions don't hesitate to ask, here or on Mastodon @neauoire & @rek 

 Rek & Dev  

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