Richard Jones' Log: Interview

Fri, 27 May 2005

I asked Toby to interview me. Responses are below. Instructions for furthering the meme:

  1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
  2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
  3. You will update your weblog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1) What's the most important thing you've learned from competing in 48h game programming contests?

It reminded me that programming can be a helluva lot of fun. Programming in the day job can get pretty dull when you're worked on the same thing for more than a year (my current position is a record at over 2 years). Even my hobby programming is getting a little tired -- I've been working on Roundup for over 4 years now.

The game competition gives me something totally new to work on for exactly 48 hours, no more. At the end it's tools-down and move on.

The competition also reinforces for me that it's easier to write a game (or a novel) when there's external motivation, reasonable constraints and a reasonable timeframe. But we all know that.

2) Have you ever taken a good photo with a flash? How!?

Nope. I've only ever used built-in flashes though, not any sort of fancy-pants clip-on directional flash. I guess I'm far too much of a reflex photographer to start thinking about flash setup, which is why I've never invested in a decent one.

This means I've tended to err towards natural lighting, and it's just a habit now. When we went to Europe we took a single, very fast lens for the SLR (50mm 1.5) which we took all our photos with. Being 50mm meant less fiddling with zooming and stuff too. It was also really light and compact (for an SLR) which helped. I was even snapping shots in a poorly-lit restaurant at one point.

When I finally came to buy a digital camera, the ability to take natural-lighting photos was high on the list of required features (right next to AA batteries and cheap storage.)

3) What do you remember most about Europe? If you were to take a holiday like that again, where would you go?

The coolest part was seeing and touching history. It was a similar feeling to seeing the Aboriginal art up in the Northern Territory. We just don't get the same sense of history in Melbourne - the place is just too young.

I also remember that it was very relaxed; we could decide to stay the night in some little village called Newland which we picked entirely because we know someone whose surname is Newland.

I was struck by how familiar Europe was (in contrast, my recent trip to Washington was a bit of a culture-shock).

And a bazillion other little things, of course.

I want to go back, and I want to take Abbey. I want to see the UK again, and actually see more of the countryside that we didn't get to see last time. I want to go to the Deutsches Museum and spend a week there. I'd love to see some more Nordic countries.

4) What's the best thing, so far, about being a father?

Abbey constantly surprising me. Watching her growing up and learning new stuff is pretty damn cool. And having her clown around because she knows she's being funny.

5) Does lambda really deserve to die?

Not yet. I find it's still useful for, amongst other things, sort() functions and "switch" mappings. I use it in both situations on a semi-regular basis.

Now, if you were talking about the built-in functions "map", "reduce" and "filter". Yes, they can die. Or at a minimum be moved out of the builtin namespace. Haven't used any of them for a long time.

Comment by Rachel on Fri, 27 May 2005

Nordic countries, eh? That's like snow 'n' stuff. Why?

oh, and Interview Me! Hahahaha!

Comment by Richard Jones on Fri, 27 May 2005

I just have this desire to see a fjord. Might be a Slartibartfast thing.

Comment by Iain Lowe on Fri, 27 May 2005

What a great meme! Interview me, please.

Comment by Richard on Sat, 28 May 2005


  1. You recently attended a series of seminars. Have they affected your thinking about any issues?
  2. How cool is Continuum going to be?
  3. What project should Tim Burton do next, and how should it involve Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder?
  4. What's something that has been truly timeless for you?
  5. What would you do to encourage sustainable living?


  1. Why do you write a weblog.
  2. What's the coolest online community enabling system right now?
  3. What on Earth is WOD?
  4. What's your favourite Python hack?
  5. Blogs vs. Usenet, fight to the death. Who wins?

Comment by Andy Todd on Sat, 28 May 2005

Go on then, if you're not tired of it yet, interview me.

Comment by Alan Green on Wed, 01 Jun 2005

Neat interview. Please interview me, too.

Comment by Richard on Thu, 02 Jun 2005


  1. Why is Dexter Pinion so cool?
  2. Sydney or London?
  3. How would you describe Python's current relationship with RDBMSes?
  4. Are you coming to OSDC this year?
  5. What excites you about programming?


  1. Java or Python? I jest. Done any Python coding lately?
  2. How neat are your children?
  3. What's the coolest sci-fi you've seen or read recently?
  4. Are you coming OSDC this year?
  5. What excites you about programming?

Yes, giving you both the same final two questions is a cop-out, sorry :)

Comment by Alan Green on Thu, 02 Jun 2005

OK. My interview answers are up on