NOBLE APE MAILOUT - DECEMBER 2005
I found some interesting download statistics over the past three months. The average downloads for the Simulation per month are;
These are interesting numbers when you factor in that the numbers remain relatively consistent per release with an average of two releases per month. The Mac downloads per release are always around 750 with a tolerance of about 50.
We you look at the shift in documentation information online over the past months and also the addition of the example movies, it is interesting that these numbers have remained so static.
The example movies have been the run-away success over the past couple of months. Each release shows a new group viewing the movies and with little change over the past couple of months, they continue to get good viewing numbers.
ADDING SENSE WHILST REMOVING ADSENSE
I've started removing the Google AdSense sections from the site. In the process, I've begun to look at the less active sections of the site as points where the information and the physical number of pages can be condensed.
I wrote last mailout about integrating components of the various simulations together. Within a day or so of releasing the mailout, I had condensed the pages and removed AdSense creating the Other Simulations page;
From that, I rewrote the weather simulation and included it in the Noble Ape Simulation.
I also rewrote the planet simulation so it was up to pace on both Mac and Windows. I reworked the ApeScript code in the Simulation to make it easier to put ApeScript into the iON development.
There seems to be a direct correlation between changing sections of the site - reducing the site - and also further integrating sections of the development. Progressively I want to change more of the site to reduce the use of AdSense and increase the logical structure of the Noble Ape site.
GENES and TSHIRTS
I was corresponding with Noble Ape's farmer/philosopher Malek Qtaish recently and I made the point that Noble Ape has followed the ethos of the places I have lived throughout its development. Noble Ape has experienced a relatively idiomatic development with reference to the US technology development experience. Following this cultural struggle, I have found the answer. I develop Noble Ape to create humorous tshirts and other related artefacts;
I am particularly pleased with the 190 page soft cover version of the original manuals.
My plan is to update the items about once every three months which should serve as incentive to those who want to support the development, have more physically tangible items associated with the development and also discuss the development with folks in their day-to-day lives.
I'm committed to keep the price of every item on the site at or under USD15. Coming from Australia, I know how steep the US conversion rate can be.
NOBLE APE 0.676 - 0.677
The main addition to 0.676 was the weather simulation. As I have written, the inclusion of this code came through combining the developments other simulations into a single page. The weather simulation requires a couple of additional tweaks for long-term movement of cloud formations and other desired weather effects.
Following a major new feature release 0.677 was released with a couple of fixes and speed optimisations. I recently updated my backup site that contains all the development's source code up to version 0.677;
0.677 was the start of the autonomous ApeScript work. This set of changes, spread over two version releases, is designed to make ApeScript something that can be easily removed from the Simulation and easily adapted to other applications.
Creating a modular version of ApeScript helps the Simulation two-fold. ApeScript is a very powerful tool. The modularisation would allow other applications to use ApeScript. Users of ApeScript may find the Simulation through their use of ApeScript and the more applications that use it, the better. Also, any changed out of the Simulation made to the ApeScript code - improvements, bug fixes and additional optimisations - would be contributed back into the ApeScript code that the Simulation would use.
Two example uses of ApeScript that interest me other than the iON use are an educational implementation of ApeScript comparable to an updated version of the LOGO programming language that would allow simplified geometric and point based drawing with a mouse and keyboard interface, and in stark contrast Noble Warfare. Scripting the combatants in Noble Warfare would improve the diversity fighting methods each type of combatant could use.
These two examples together with the iON example given in the last mailout are a clear justification for the modularisation of ApeScript.
Next year, Noble Ape celebrates ten years of development. It poses the question, how should the decade be remembered?
I have been thinking of a number of ways to celebrate the decade anniversary of Noble Ape. These included a short documentary on the development interviewing a number of the contributors and users from 1996 to the present. This process would take about three months minimum and I suspect involve tens of thousands of dollars of travel on my part. The cut-down version of this is tracking down and contacting these folks and getting a set of email interviews online for the anniversary. This is certainly more do-able but will probably require additional energy actually soliciting responses.
Another idea was to publish the original Noble Ape manuals. Thanks to CafePress, the original manuals are now available in a paperback book.
The third idea was to write a new book about Noble Ape. This still could be done. The year is still approaching, but I think any book written next year may not see interest until the following year. So this may not be the best celebration of the decade of Noble Ape.
There were a number of additional ideas, but these three represent the most interesting.
Hope all is well with you all and Happy New Year,
Tom Barbalet, 28 December 2005.