I am a computer science student who is in their Masters year at the University of Hull. I started out teaching myself about various web technologies, and then I managed to get a place at University, where I am now. I've done a year in industry too, which I found to be particuarly helpful in learning about the workplace and the world.

I currently know C# + Monogame / XNA (+ WPF), HTML5, CSS3, Javascript (ES6 + Node.js), PHP, C / C++ (mainly for Arduino), and a bit of Python. Oh yeah, and I can use XSLT too.

I love to experiment and learn about new things on a regular basis. You can find some of the things that I've done in the labs and code sections of this website, or on GitHub. My current projects are Pepperminty Wiki, an entire wiki engine in a single file (the source code is spread across multiple files - don't worry!), and Nibriboard (a multi-user real-time infinite whiteboard), although the latter is in its very early stages.

I can also be found in a number of other different places around the web. I've compiled a list of the places that I can remember below.

I can be contacted at the email address webmaster at starbeamrainbowlabs dot com. Suggestions, bug reports and constructive criticism are always welcome.


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Thinking about coding style

After upgrading my blog to support view counting, it got me thinking about programming styles. Do you put your braces on a separate line or the same one as your if statements? What about whitespace and new lines? And then there's even casing of variable names to consider, such as snake_case, PascalCase, or camelCase.

As if to add to the confusion, there are also paradigms to worry about. Object-oriented, functional, procedural?

Personally, I think it depends on the project you're working on as to what programming style you use. Depending on the project, I end up formatting my code completely differently - taking into account various factors such as the style of any pre-existing code, the language it's written in, and other things.

When I first implemented this blog, I used a fairly procedural programming style with snake_case variable naming. While I would certainly write it very differently if I implemented ti now, when I add to it I try to ensure that the code I add follows a similar style, whilst simultaneously modernising the codebase little by little to make it easier to maintain.

However, when I work on Air Quality Web (I blogged about it here), I adopt a very different style. I write object-oriented code, with a combination of PascalCase for class names andsnake_case` for variables.

While it's important to remember that certain design patterns and code formatting decisions work better than others, I'm firmly of the opinion that there isn't way single 'right' way to program. While some people have tried to standardise code formatting, I'm not so sure that it's really worth the extra effort. After all, if you can read it and others can read and understand it too, does it really matter if all the whitespacing in the entire project is completely uniform?

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I find useful tools on the internet occasionally. I will list them here.

Art by Mythdael