Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sisyphus table software...

Sisyphus table software...  I've beaten this stuff into good enough shape that I've released it for public consumption.  I'm calling it “JSisyphus”, following the common Java practice of stuffing a “J” in front of the descriptive name to imply that it's written in Java.  It's in a public repository on GitHub, and licensed with the very permissive MIT license.  If you're a Java-head, and you have a Sisyphus table, go take a look!

The photo at right is a track that I made.  I call it “NestedBubbles”.  It's an example of the sort of recursive pattern that I built JSisyphus to be able to do.  Such patterns are typically very difficult with graphical tools, but easy in software – once you have some sort of framework in place that allows it.  That what JSisyphus does, and that track is the proof of the pudding...

As I've been developing this, I've been in communication with some of the folks at Sisyphus Industries (the makers of the Sisyphus table).  They've offered some help, but much more encouragement, as they're hoping to build a community of Sisyphus table users.  To that end, they've started a subreddit and asked me to contribute on it (which I have).  In the meantime before they get their online community software going, I'm also hosting a repository for Sisyphus table “tracks”, again on GitHub.

This morning I had something quite satisfying happen: an email out of the blue from a programmer who heard about JSisyphus.  He downloaded it and was having trouble making it work.  I answered a few of his questions, and a little while later I got an email from him letting me know that he had succeeded!  So just a couple of days after I let the world know about JSisyphus, it's already being used by someone.  Very cool!

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