Make Smarter: Game Mechanics for User Engagement, Media Queries, Pure CSS 3D City, 20th Century Fox in Blender, DOD FOSS Lessons Learned

First up in this month’s Make Smarter is a fascinating talk by Nadya Direkova titled Game On: 16 Design Patterns for User Engagement. We GISers do a lot of things well; user experience design (UX) isn’t one of them. If you only have time for one thing in this month’s Make Smarter, this is it.

Next up is a slide show called Viewport and Media Queries: The Complete Idiot’s Guide, brought to you by the HTML5 Boilerplate folks. Media queries and reactive design for mobile devices hurt my brain for a long time. I really wish I would have run into this slide show sooner.

If you’re running a modern browser, check out these two 3D city views: CityEngine Model Viewer, which uses Three.js, and Building a Pure CSS 3D city, which uses CSS rather than canvas. Seeing these two demos led me to this inexorable conclusion: I am not very smart.

If you want to wow your friends, check out Make your own 20th Century Fox Intro with Blender 2.5. Grab the template, follow the simple instructions, and then test your PC’s cooling capabilities for several hours. The resulting ~30 second clip will make your jaw drop.

Finally, Julia Harrell clued me in to some DOD documents on open source, including one release in May called Open Technology Development (OTD): Lessons Learned and Best Practices for Military Software (pdf). It’s 73 pages and it was written by the DOD, so I’m not going to tell you it’s a page-turner (check out this gem of a sentence: The SOO should make statements about OTD, such as defining OTD, noting that it is the intended “software maintenance philosophy” (the DFARS allows specifying the software maintenance philosophy as justification for these kinds of activities), and requesting offerors explain how they will implement OTD.). But there is a lot of interesting material in there. Just bring a cup of coffee or your preferred accelerant.