August has already been a big month for the Handmade community! The biggest news, of course, was:
Handmade Boston was the first of two Handmade Cities conferences this year and the first ever held outside of Seattle. I have to say, despite it being the first conference in a new city, in a new venue, the event was a huge success. There were dozens of in-person attendees and hundreds more online, and six fantastic long-form talks. I’ve been working through the homework and thoroughly enjoying my time.
I also had the pleasure of meeting many people in person whom I had only ever met online. For many of them, Boston was the first Handmade conference they had ever attended. It warms my heart that so many people were willing to take a chance on this scrappy first-year conference.
Abner tells me he will be publishing a recap of the conference soon, so if you’d like to hear more from him (and buy your tickets to Handmade Seattle!) then head over to https://handmadecities.com/.
Orca is nearly ready…
We’ve been hard at work on Orca, our new stack for cross-platform WebAssembly apps. Think of it like Handmade Electron - a runtime that lets you ship the same app on multiple platforms. Unlike Electron, however, we’re throwing away the worst parts of the web stack and keeping the best ones. We’re building all the systems from the ground up to make app development delightful while still giving you the same cross-platform benefits of the web. And we’re doing everything we can to give you freedom and flexibility, so you don’t have to use the parts you don’t need.
We intend for Orca to be completely free and open source. For now, the codebase is still private - but this will be changing soon! We’ve kept the codebase closed since the project is at such an early stage - everything is getting renamed, build tooling is changing, git submodules are being imported and everything is breaking as a result. But we’re stabilizing it as fast as we can, because of this goal:
Orca will be available for use during the Wheel Reinvention Jam in September. It will be very MVP, a “vertical slice” of all the functionality we eventually intend for Orca to have. It will also certainly have bugs. But it will have enough to give you a real taste of our vision for the project. If you’re interested, we’d love to have you give Orca a try.
For more information and updates, and to be notified when the codebase is open, make sure to visit https://orca-app.dev and sign up for the newsletter. It won’t be long until the next one, and in the meantime, you can listen to the latest episode of Allen Webster’s podcast, which is an interview with Martin about Orca: https://conversations.mr4th.com/2204443/13420302-orca-with-martin-fouilleul
The Wheel Reinvention Jam is a month away!
As mentioned in previous newsletters, our third Wheel Reinvention Jam will be held from September 25 to October 1. Now is the time to start brainstorming project ideas! No idea is too big or too small. Whether you build a clone of another app for educational purposes, or you try to reinvent programming itself, you have a week to play with new ideas and stretch yourself as a programmer.
More details will be published next month. Stay tuned, start thinking of projects, and consider joining the Discord so you can find others to collaborate with.
Around the community
Finally, I just wanted to highlight a few fun and noteworthy things that have happened in the community over the past month:
- We had a whopping 100 updates shared in our #project-showcase channel on Discord in the last month alone. And these are some high-quality updates! NeGate got an NES emulator to build using his new C compiler Cuik and backend Tilde, which is now being integrated into the Odin compiler. Saalty also got an NES emulator up and running, but on bare metal using his own custom bootloader and kernel. And after years of work, torogadude released a demo of his game Puppetmaster on Steam, and you can go try the demo and wishlist it now!
- Programming YouTuber Tsoding published a video delving into the GDB frontend gf, made by our very own nakst, the creator of the Essence operating system. It’s a very entertaining watch - Tsoding crashes the debugger while debugging his own program, and in just an hour is able to debug the debugger using the debugger, isolate the issue, and submit a pull request to fix it. It’s a testament to the quality of nakst’s code that someone entirely new to the project is able to dive in and immediately fix their issue!
- WhiteBox continues to receive amazing updates, now with concurrency support, and a disassembly view that gives you rich information about control flow at a glance. I love to see new ways of visualizing low-level programming concepts - programmers have deserved better UI for a long, long time.
Until next time…
…we’ll be working hard on Orca, jams, education, and other projects I can’t wait to tell you about. This community is going stronger than ever, and I’m so glad to be a part of it!
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