Sky Distribution Equations 18 Dec, 2018
A number of people have asked me for more information about a comment I made in the CIE Sky app description about using the "latest" sky distribution equations. Basically, whilst trying to work out why the numbers I was getting from my implementation of the CIE Standard General Sky were slightly different to those from other popular daylight tools, I noticed that all of them appeared to be based on code that implemented the original Perez All-Weather Sky equations published in 1993, rather than the CIE Standard General Sky equations from 2003. The differences between the two are relatively small, but certainly enough to confound any direct numerical comparison.
Architects and the R-Codes 04 Dec, 2018
Having recently submitted some planning applications in Western Australia, I have had to get pretty familiar with the local Residential Design Codes (R-Codes) that apply there. Not just the codes themselves, but also how they are interpreted and dealt with by local councils. At first take, the R-Codes really do appear quite progressive and thoughtfully written. However, they have been evolving and changing over many years and there is still a lot of legacy in their implementation that can make life particularly hard for an architect.
Recent Service Interruption 26 Nov, 2018
As you may have noticed, my blog has had quite a few outages lately which hopefully have now been sorted out. However, after some long-running issues with the occasional html file simply disappearing, my web hosting service provider has recently upgraded their infrastructure and, in the process, blown up most of my other Drupal-based sites.
New Schedule Editor 09 Jun, 2018
I have finally finished my online annual hourly schedule editor, which took several iterations and quite some time to get working the way I wanted. It's of interest because hopefully its relatively easy to use and can read and write schedules in a range of different formats, including EnergyPlus (IDF and epJSON), OpenStudio (OSM), DIVA/DaySim (.OCC.CSV) and some other CSV layouts.
Why Educational Tools 12 Nov, 2017
A common question I get, both directly and indirectly, is why do I spend so much time on what seem to be pretty limited educational apps rather than doing a full-on building analysis tool that can handle real projects. I documented this at the start of a recent research paper , but figured that I should probably summarise my reasons here as well.
JSON Settings 08 Nov, 2017
Quite a few people have asked lately about the settings editor in my web apps and how to use it. Actually most of the questions were more along the lines of 'why on earth do you use JSON for storing settings in your apps, and what’s with that weird editor?'. Well I have one or two good reasons for both, which I shall endeavour to explain.
Two New Web Experiments 01 Nov, 2017
As part of adding support for scriptable tutorials, I had to create my own 3D vector font and annotation libraries. Both are intended to be highly dynamic and customisable so I wrote a couple of apps that interactively control their properties to thoroughly test them. As a bonus, these apps also serve as font and annotation designers, allowing you to do visual customisations and then copy/paste the code required to create that text or annotation in a script.
Long Time, No Blog 30 Oct, 2017
Whilst I have actually been writing a bunch of stuff for my blog, nothing has seemed sufficiently insightful or complete enough to post for quite a while. However, I've reached a bit of tipping point now and desperately want to get some of it out there, but just don't have time to polish it into anything other than what it is. Thus I've decided that I am just going to put it up regardless, so apologies in advance...
Moving From Drupal to Hugo 08 Feb, 2016
My content management system of choice is Drupal. It has served me pretty well and allowed me to do a lot of things I probably could never have done without it. However, it has become such an attention seeker these days; with security issues, module upgrades, heavy comment spam and database blowouts seemingly weekly events. Also, upgrading to the newest version is never as smooth as promised. Thus, instead of upgrading my blog to Drupal 8, I have dumped it entirely and moved to a completely static site using Hugo.
Understanding WebGL 05 Jan, 2016
My biggest issue with WebGL, and actually all non-immediate-mode OpenGL, is constantly fighting with the requirements of vertex buffers and attributes. I seem to be always looking for ways to minimise and optimise memory whereas vertex buffer objects always seem to want me to waste large amounts of it with duplicate attributes. However, reconciling that requirement in my own mind has actually given me a bit of insight into potentially alternate uses for the WebGL render pipeline.
BIM and NatHERS Headaches 21 Nov, 2015
Given that my blog doesn't get updated much and there is no other obvious output, lots of people ask me what exactly I am working on at the moment and why it seems to be taking forever. Usually I just mutter the odd platitude, but today I thought I would combine a bit of a rant with an actual example of the kind of problems I am currently and seemingly constantly wrestling with. This one involves the ideal of determining NatHERS compliance directly from a fully integrated building information model (BIM).
Web Experiments 30 Sep, 2015
PerformativeDesign.com has gone into a short code-freeze for some external testing now so I have finally got a bit of time to catch my breath. As part of that work, I have had to do quite a few small experiments and proofs-of-concept, just as a way of seeing what was possible and then working out the best ways to do various things. Some of these were a bit interesting and often a lot of fun so I thought I'd polish up a few and make them available as a small taster of things to come, hopefully quite soon.
Earth/Sun Relationship Update 12 Jun, 2014
I've been doing a fair bit of low-level optimisation work on my solar calculations code recently and, whilst I have a reasonably extensive test suite for it, nothing beats being able to actually see things in action and interactively put them through their paces. Also, I've been wanting to update my old Earth/Sun Relationship app for a while now with some new ideas and graphics, so the synthesis seemed pretty logical. Thus, I just finished a brand new version with lots of new features as a way of both examining and visualising the relationships involved and letting me test and validate the core code.
Processing Libraries - Where are They? 26 May, 2014
As I've mentioned in previous posts, I have been working on a graphical user interface and 3D modelling library in Processing for some time now. I originally chose Processing because it was truly cross-platform and the only tool that also supported embedded web applets. I got to a reasonably advanced state in v1.5.1 and then, of course, everything changed. Processing 2 moved entirely to OpenGL and completely abandoned web applets.
Dynamic Charts in WPF 02 Aug, 2013
There are a plethora of WPF charting solutions out there, both commercial and open source. I have tried quite a few but have yet to find one that is capable of handling highly dynamic data whilst also providing useful customisations such as centered axis or generating polar diagrams. I do most of my dynamic charts in OpenGL but labelling axis and data points using textured fonts lacks some of the polish I have seen in many WPF-based solutions. Thus I thought that, for my Windows apps, I would try porting my OpenGL chart library to WPF.