On Software Entropy

I know, I know. I’ve been claiming that I’m going to start blogging regularly again for several years now and it hasn’t happened. With the death of Google Reader, I probably lost what few RSS subscribers I had left. If any of you are still following this blog, here is an article that I recently wrote for work (more info) on the subject of software entropy:

This is such an important topic; I encourage you to share the article with your peers and fire up some dialogue in the context of your current project(s). If you have any questions, thoughts, or feedback, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Keep it baller.

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I’m Going Going Back Back To Cali Cali

Wow, it’s been a really long time since I last posted. The past two years have been quite the roller coaster. After leaving Schematic, I worked on a super cool Nike project for about six months and then accepted a leadership position at Sapient where I was fortunate enough to work on a variety of interesting projects, my favorite of which being a buttonless, fully touch-screen-powered vending machine for Coca-Cola, as well as try my hand at management. Eventually towards the end of 2010, I relocated from Atlanta to Boston and worked on establishing a dev team for Sapient’s office up there. I met some really great people during my time in the Boston office, but ended up parting ways with Sapient in July 2011.

So what’s next? In two days a moving truck is going to show up to get all of my stuff, then I am taking a road trip across the country to my new home in…San Francisco! I haven’t been this excited (or happy) in a very long time. It’s the heart of the tech revolution and is the start of what I have coined “Career 2.0″ for myself. My first gig out there is porting “a modern, hugely popular console first person shooter” (I can’t disclose which at this time) to the web using Flash Player 11′s wonderful hardware-accelerated goodness. I’m going to be heavily contributing to the development of an esoteric 3D engine that will be powering the game, as well as working on many other aspects (AI, gameplay, menus, etc). This is the next chapter of the Flash Platform on the web and I am extremely excited to be working with all of the latest new features as they are released over the next year.

So with that in mind, I plan to share lots of tutorials, tips, and gotchas on Stage3D, AGAL, automation, and, of course, general architecture as I work through the many challenges of building a large, complex game. Something of this caliber used to only be available on a disc for your computer or console…it’s amazing how quickly that is changing.

As I mentioned before, I will be pretty busy the next week or two driving out there and getting all settled in to my new place, but after that I plan to start posting away as the project progresses. So that’s the latest with me. With how long it’s been since my last post, I probably lost quite a few feed subscribers, but if you’re still out there – thanks for sticking around and stay tuned for some really great stuff in the near future!


Flex/Flash Builder + OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) SWT Carbon Errors

If you are a big user of Ant like I am, then you have probably encountered some problems with some of your Ant scripts when launching them from within Flex or Flash Builder under OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). In a nutshell, the problem is due to OS X 10.6 defaulting to 64-bit VMs, no longer supporting older Carbon apps. If you see an error in your Eclipse console complaining about missing ‘swt-carbon’ or incompatibility with the 64-bit VM – read on for a simple fix.

In the Eclipse file menu, browse to Window > Preferences… > Java > Installed JREs. If JVM 1.6.0 is not selected as the default, go ahead and select it. Next, highlight JVM 1.6.0 and click the ‘Edit…’ button. In the window that appears, there should be an input box for ‘Default VM Arguments’. Enter the following argument (without the quotation marks): ‘-d32′. Press ‘OK’ to save the changes and then go ahead and restart the application.

If you followed the instructions correctly, you should no longer encounter these types of errors when running your Ant script(s).


I’m Back

Long story short, it has been a busy summer. Four months without a blog post is pretty hardcore. More updates to come shortly.


FITC Mobile 2009 – Discount Code

If you are interested in attending FITC Mobile this year, I have a special discount code for you listed below.

FITC Mobile 10% discount code: taylor

It is shaping up to be a great mobile conference. Hope to see you there!

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Speaking @ FITC Mobile 2009

I will be speaking at FITC Mobile in Toronto this September on OpenGL ES.

Intro to OpenGL ES

OpenGL ES is the 3D graphics API of choice for the iPhone, Android, and Symbian platforms. Getting started with OpenGL development can be a little intimidating, but Ryan’s presentation introduces the core concepts in an approachable fashion. Demonstrations include drawing primitives, texture mapping, and handling interactions.

I will also be teaching a three hour workshop on the same topic. More info:

Intro to OpenGL ES

OpenGL ES 101 – Workshop

Hope to see you there!

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No Longer With Schematic

My career at Schematic has come to an end, though fortunately on my own terms. I have decided to slow things down a bit so that I can regain focus on the things that have truly boosted my career, such as my blog, speaking engagements, and book opportunities. When was the last time that I produced any experimental work or wrote a long blog post? Why don’t I have any iPhone apps for sale in the app store? These are the types of things that I hope to fix now that I am flying solo.

Looking back on my time at Schematic, the biggest disappointment is that the company had one of the best Flash teams on the planet when I first joined the staff. Over the course of the past two years, I have watched as they let people such as Robert Reinhardt, Danny Patterson, Joey Lott, Geoff Stearns, Drew Cummins, Todd Anderson, Josh Noble, Mims Wright, Roger Braunstein, Ash Atkins, Jeff Yamada, and Alan Queen slip away. It is really a shame more than anything. The most recent incident that really upset me was when they laid off John Lindquist. I really value working with top-notch people, so all of this played a huge role in my decision to move on. Enough said about that.

I don’t really have much of a plan for what my next steps are going to be. I am open to opportunities of all types, so feel free to contact me if you are interested in collaborating on a project, bringing me in to do some in-house training, or offering a full-time position. Contract work seems to be the most appealing option to me at the moment, but I am definitely willing to explore other paths. The bottom line is – I want to work on great projects with great people. If that is you, then get in touch!

Here is a brand new copy of my résumé in PDF format.

Contact me via electronic mail: ryan (-at-)

Cheers to a fresh start and a new future!


Speaking @ AFUG, May 27th: Practical Pixel Bender

I will be speaking at the Atlanta Flex User Group on May 27th. The presentation is going to make all of your wildest dreams come true and probably overheat my MacBook Pro in the process. Thank goodness for the magic PRAM resetting technique!

In all seriousness though, this is the natural evolution of the presentation that I gave last year at both Adobe MAX and the Schematic Technology Summit. I’m reserving a lot of my new, off-the-chain demos for MAX 2009 in favor of doing some really practical stuff with Pixel Bender and Flex. I think you will enjoy it.

Practical Pixel Bender

Venture into the world of Pixel Bender, Adobe’s powerful pixel shader technology. Ryan introduces the language and its core concepts, as well as the toolkit used for development. He then presents practical Flash Player implementations in the form of filters, fills, and blend modes. Ryan closes with the use of Pixel Bender kernels as generic number crunchers.

If you are interested in attending, RSVP and meeting details are available on the official Meetup page. Hope to see you there!

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AFPUG: Refactoring Yourself As A Developer Presentation Files

Thanks again to everyone that attended my AFPUG presentation this evening. I had a really great time catching up with people that I haven’t seen in awhile and making some new acquaintances as well. As promised, here is the presentation in PDF format:

Download ‘rtaylor_afpug_20090428.pdf’

BTW – I mentioned this verbally, but for those of you that were not present, I owe a big thanks to my friend Danny Patterson for inspiring me to do a presentation of this type. A lot of the material covered is from classic programming texts which really don’t get enough visibility in our community. Danny’s presentation at our tech summit last year is ultimately what drove me to produce this presentation, so thanks Danny; you continue to be a huge inspiration of mine!

Looking forward to Alan and Kenny’s presentations tomorrow evening at the Atlanta Flex UG!

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Just Launched: NBA Game Time for Android and iPhone

You’ve probably noticed that, once again, my blog has been a little slow the past month or so. I have a pretty good excuse though – I have been working away on an exciting new mobile project at Schematic. We once again joined forces with the fine people at Turner Sports (the same group that we worked with on PGA Tour Shot Tracker), this time to be the first team ever to launch the same application for both the Android and iPhone platforms on the same day.

NBA Game Time

The application I am speaking of is NBA Game Time; it has already begun receiving some great reviews less than 24 hours after launch.

This time around I wasn’t leading up the iPhone development, but rather the Android development – a big first for me. I learned a ton along the way and will definitely be sharing my thoughts and findings in a thorough blog post sometime in the near future. The credits for the two applications are as follows:

Concept/Design: Turner Sports
iPhone Development: Turner Sports
Android Development: Schematic

Coordinating the development of the same application on two completely different platforms was certainly a bit challenging, but the end result was definitely worth the effort. Both applications are free downloads from the Android Market and iTunes App Store, respectively.

We’ll be rolling out some updates in the weeks to come for supporting playoffs. In the meantime, if you happen to try one of the apps out, I would love to hear your feedback!


NBA Game Time is Gizmodo’s Android App of the Week!

New featured article on Mobile Marketer: Mobile apps are all about offering good customer service: Schematic.


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