Saturday, January 22, 2011

Review of "The Nexus" book

The Nexus by Richard Fazio
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Nexus was my first GoodReads "FirstRead" free book. It's a science-fiction novel set in contemporary New York, speckled with bits of metaphysics, conspiracy, and danger.

The main character, Balthazar Sykes, embarks on a personal quest to discover what is going on with his mind, leading him to discover how he became the way he his while building stronger relationships. The quest is experienced through the eyes of many characters. The antagonists' point-of-view is revealed in a few segments, quite effectively giving the shadowy insights that tease the reader until resolved later.

A few of the characters such as Sykes's love interest, Alex, and co-worker Madge, develop to be well-rounded. Others do not get quite the same development time out of necessity: helpful side-characters for lack of importance; antagonists to avoid ruining the suspense.

The story's epilogue works quite well in closing the few open ends left. It is just the right length of story, both in terms of book size and timelines. You get just enough in terms of introducing characters as events begin to unfold, and not too much after the resolution, just bits of closure regarding relationships.

View all my GoodReads reviews

Thursday, January 20, 2011

LuaJSON Roadmap

My LuaJSON project (hosted at GitHub) has slowed down in development over time as new features are hard to implement when the problem is so well defined. I do have a few plans for LuaJSON, however.

First priorities:

  • Figure out how to do nil round-tripping safely
  • Create validation tests for the enhanced error output in the latest-and-greatest code
  • Make sure it works with Lua 5.2
Future items:
  • Prepare LuaJSON for inclusion in the Gentoo package database
  • Construct small C Lua extension to offer faster encoding options
  • Construct small C Lua extension to offer faster decoding options 
If there are any ideas for enhancements or new-found-bugs, please don't hesitate to post them on my LuaJSON issue-tracker or here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lumina and the Future of luaevent

My long-term goal of producing the luaevent replacement, Lumina (part of the "ehrCom" parent project), has been put off for quite some time. Given my recent time constraints for projects, I estimate that my time available to work on this re-engineering project will make it take quite a while. Given the vastness of the project and the intention to document the design before implementation make it far from usable in the near-term.

In the mean-time, luaevent is currently a great way to get fast event-based socket programming in Lua right now. Matthew Wild of the Prosody team had constructed a fork of luaevent a while back with patches he applied to luaevent when I didn't have the time to review and apply them to the main tree. I recently reviewed and applied the changes to produce new 0.3.0 and 0.3.1 releases. The 0.3.0 was missing some of the latest updates, so a 0.3.1 bugfix release was made.

I intend to keep luaevent up-to-date with any provided patches and review them in a reasonable period. That way the need for the forked version can go away and the original tree can be used.

The next major enhancements that I foresee luaevent having are:

  • Enhanced build tool integration
    • Autotools for Linux
    • CMake for Linux and Windows
  • Review of implementation to see if it can be better managed using new techniques learned from other Lua projects
  • Mirrored API using libev