Anyway, I recently discovered ComputerCraftEdu which is a mod for Minecraft that has both a drag and drop and text mode code editor to program turtles that do anything the player can do. It’s a different beast to ScriptCraft and necessarily more limited but I think it’ll make it easier to teach the basics of programming to my eight year old son. Loops, conditions and functions are all possible here and will hopefully give him a taste for what’s possible. He’s already hooked on command blocks but that single line interface is awful!
Installing ComputerCraftEdu is fairly easy, but we experienced some odd problems:
- Minecraft would crash as soon as we started a map saying it was “shutting down internal server”. The problem was the draw distance. Set that to 16 blocks and it fixes it.
- One of our machines had weird graphical glitches. Blocks were see through, or corrupted, the icons of the drag and drop editor disappeared but showed the text hint when the mouse hovered over them. Setting Mip Mapping to 2 (from 4) fixed that.
There are a whole series of tutorial videos and a programming section on their wiki to explain the commands available. There are example maps, guidance for parents and tools for teachers available so it’s definitely worth looking into.
Thanks Alex for telling me about this mod. Here’s what r/FTB had to say about it. They’re enthusiastic too! 🙂
One for the programmers.. WAT (via, RT by SimoRoth)
Destroy web pages with the simple bookmarklet from this page. Clicking the button on that page will launch a small Asteroids-like ship you can fly around a web pages shooting at the page elements and blowing them up. Fun.
Thaya Kareeson has written an excellent article for plugin developers. It goes through how to make plugins work with WP Super Cache by using dynamic AJAX calls.
WP Super Cache can make static html copies of pages served by WordPress which is great for performance. Unfortunately that means some plugins don’t work because they rely on executing PHP on each request. The plugins need to be rewritten to use AJAX calls by the visitor’s browser. There’s a FAQ in the readme.txt all about it!
I previously wrote about adding AJAX to WordPress plugins but Thaya has worked through a simple example that will work perfectly with WP Super Cache. It’s a good foundation for plugin developers start from.
He also has versions of WP Postviews and Popularity Contest that have been rewritten to support static caching. I haven’t tried either plugin so leave a comment on his blog if you need help!
- AJAX in Plugins is a must-read starting point for developers.
The vast majority of plugins work just fine with WP Super Cache, but some of the ones that don’t are quite popular. If your favourite plugin doesn’t work, why don’t you help the author out and fix it? You have all the source code after all and you’ll be helping everyone else who uses the plugin!
You’ve seen it plenty of times before. A website loads but only the sidebar appears. The loading graphic in your browser is still spinning and there’s that “contacting …” or “loading …” message at the bottom of your window. Why?
I just noticed this happening on Pro Blogger a few minutes ago. Darren’s c2.gostats.com stats are loaded just below the sidebar and because that site was responding slowly the main content part of his blog didn’t display immediately. This may be a storm in a teacup because the next time I refreshed it loaded fine but remember, first impressions count. You don’t want to keep a new visitor to your site waiting.