Thursday, January 3, 2008


Everyone needs a coding project over winter vacation, right? Mine started out as a Facebook game called Sentences, where you'd get a random set of words, try to make a sentence out of them, and then vote for your favorite of the ones you friends wrote. I spent a bunch of time collecting word frequency lists and trying to pick words with different frequencies, but in the end the game actually didn't seem like it would be fun. You can try playing against your self here. Anyway, I got talked into writing a simple Acrophobia clone, which actually let me reuse a lot of the code. It still took longer than I'd expected, mostly because PHP is a terrible, terrible language - a lot of weird silent failures, odd object-copying semantics, etc. Anyway, Acrophobe's done! It hasn't been played that many times, so you may encounter some bugs. There's also a notebook with notes from my wanderings, including various word and letter frequency lists. (It was actually hard to find a numeric list of initial letter frequency, so the numbers I'm using for Acrophobe are sort of inferred from the few sources I found.) The app is even hosted by Joyent's free hosting, which was relatively easy to set up and probably more reliable than the server for this blog is. ;-)