Multilingual (DOG EAR)

Multilingual (DOG EAR)

s I always start off these blogs, “XXX simply another way to communicate, so i is covered in this blog”. I write about ways humans communicate. And one way they communicate is through software code. So now you know what “XXX” means in this context.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m writing a game named Pathfinder, an epic adventure of exploration, exploitation, starship crew management, aging and death. It’s a lot of work since Squiffy (the gamebook generator I prefer) has its own language. But to make it sit up and bark, you also need JavaScript knowledge. Both of these I’ve forced myself to learn. Work on the game is ongoing.

While all this is going on, I’ve taken on another task, that of developing a financial program for my model train club. This one will be in Excel, and will require use of Excel-level formulas and Visual Basic (for the heavy-lifting). In a way, Squiffy and Excel are the base levels and JavaScript and VBA are the under-the-cover processors.

Which, I’ve found out, can cause havoc when switching, day to day and hour to hour, between the two projects. That’s four different languages. So is it really different? Let’s look at testing equivalencies for seeing if A is equal to 1….

Squiffy: {if A=1: ….}

Javascript: If (A=1){ … }

Excel: =if(A=1,TRUE,FALSE….)

VBA: if (A=1) then…endif

It’s very easy (too easy) to accidentally switch coding language while writing code. I can’t tell you how many compiler errors I get because if this (worse, squiffy/Javascript in the squiffy editor doesn’t give line numbers for failure – I make sure I only add a handful of lines before compiling again). It’s a real Tower of Babel, I’m telling you.

Add to this that I’ve not worked in Excel for a while, so two of my languages are rusty. Lots of google time.

The odd thing is, I was so wrapped up in Pathfinder that it was a major effort to enthuse myself enough to start the financial work. And now that I’ve reached a good stopping point in the financials, I am reluctant to put it down and swap back over to my game.

I had the same issue years ago when I had two cars, a 280-Z and a neo-VW. While I liked them both, I would drive one for weeks and have to literally force myself to swap over the keys for the other set. Tough to switch over.

I’m hoping to have another update in the game in a week or so, just as I think I might have the financials wrapped up in a few weeks. But knowing myself, I’ll keep swapping back and fourth, making myself crazy as I change coding enviroments.

I thought retirement was supposed to be easy and tranquil!