Blog of Rob Galanakis (@robgalanakis)

How to Understand the User

If you haven’t read Robert L Read’s How to be a Programmer: A Short, Comprehensive, and Personal Summary, do yourself a favor and read it. I want to highlight one sections in particular that illustrates my belief about what makes an effective technical artist/tools programmer: How to Understand the...

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Education vs. Technology

I was listening to NPR a couple weeks ago and there was a story about this school in Tanzania that had lots of speeding traffic in front of it and a dozen or two children were being hit every year. Apparently, the government had repaved the road in front...

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Lack of updates

I am already breaking my more frequent blogging promise. I have a few posts mostly typed up but unfinished, and a few more that are just ideas. I should have time to post more after this week- I’m about to finish a big project, and my job is also...

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All About Documentation

There is a recent article on Gamasutra: Game Dev Collaboration: Google Docs Style. Every developer has his own story about the failures of documentation. I would have hoped that those thinking about this the most have already moved past the ‘silver bullet’ naiveté Chris shows in that article (well,...

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What’s wrong with Autodesk? Part I, Feedback Mechanisms

In the past month, I was part of a conference call with Autodesk and industry technical artists about integrating .NET into Maya (and how we use it in game development), and a couple weeks later we also had a couple Autodesk reps visit BioWare Austin to talk about their...

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The Development Isolation Layer

Joel Spolsky over at Joel on Software has an excellent article from 2006, called “The Development Abstraction Layer.” The gist of it is that, developers must be abstracted from the distractions of business. Management’s primary responsibility to create the illusion that a software company can be run by writing...

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Generic Interfaces/Abstract Base Classes

I want to show a really useful pattern I’ve been taking advantage of recently. public interface IXElementSerializable where T : IXElementSerializable { T Deserialize(XElement element); XElement Serialize(); } public class MyType : IXElementSerializable { public MyType Deserialize(XElement element) { … } public XElement Serialize() { … } } I...

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Math Libraries

.NET 3d math libraries are a bit strange. There are a few options available- arguably the best one, XNA, only works for 32 bit. If you want an x64 math library, your pickings are slim. So, after having been through a number of the public offerings available, and having...

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Against Serialization with XmlSerialization

There’s a terrible monster in .NET’s closest, and its name is XmlSerialization. I love serialization to XML (or whatever your node-based text format of choice is), and I love XML in .NET and C#, but XmlSerialization is a horror. Let’s look at the requirements for XML serialization with the...

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Extending LinqToXml for better XML interaction

Many tools programmers or tech artists work with XML on a daily basis.  For .NET developers, there are three ways to work with XML.  You can use XML serialization (built in or custom), the System.Xml namespace, or LinqToXml (System.Xml.Linq).  I usually advocate XML serialization (with custom serialization routines!), but...

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