Setting up colourised svn diffs

This is mundane, but something I will no doubt forget, and so for my own posterity:

The svn diff is monochrome by default. Let’s install colordiff and change that.

sudo apt-get install colordiff
vi ~/.subversion/config

In the [helpers] section set the diff command to /usr/bin/colordiff

To ensure that when you do svn diff | less the control characters for the colours are rendered correctly you’ll need to set the default options for less:

Edit ~/.bash_profile and add

export LESS=R

Then run source ~/.bash_profile. Done!

Replay of the Wild

It’s not often I want to replay a computer game, but Breath of the Wild is one of those games. I completed it in 2017 after around 160 hours of playtime on the Wii U, and was so exhausted with it I remember clearly thinking that this was a game that had been a wonderful experience but couldn’t be replayed.

18 months later and I was given a copy of the game for the Switch and it took me a few months before I put it in, but as soon I did I was excited to explore the vast open spaces of the Kingdom of Hyrule once again.

The game is pretty much identical to the version I’d already played on the Wii U, with maybe a slightly longer draw distance, but even when playing in handheld mode you still get an incredible sense of exploration and space. Despite winning multiple “Game of the Year” awards, one of the main criticisms with it has been that the world you explore is just too empty; although I agree with this, it’s the absence of other characters which gives you such a sense of freedom in the game and gives you the space to experiment and play with the world without feeling a sense of pressure to complete the next step in the story or the next side quest (and heaven knows there are enough of them!).

Basically, this game is not only beautiful but a joy to play, and I’m loving running, flying and swimming through it all over again. I’m 60 hours in, and I can only hope it doesn’t end too soon.

Art detail

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the best film I’ve seen in the last six months. It’s imaginative, exciting, funny and constantly visually inventive.

If that wasn’t enough, the artists have posted a slew of content about little details in the film (which Simon Willison has gathered in a twitter thread), and interviewed the team about the processes they used to create such great results. They used and abused their pre-existing in-house tools which allowed them to write custom Python code and use procedural generation to prototype and create detailed CG effects that looked and felt hand-drawn, which is incredible.

And hey, if you want, you can even read the screenplay! Excelsior!

Beautiful world history

Twitter is mostly a cesspit of wailing and existential despair and so I avoid it, but the one beacon of light which does call me back in on a regular basis is Ticia Verveer’s account.

Ticia is an archaeologist who regularly posts photos and articles of incredible discoveries from around the world, from a display of noses once used to “repair” Roman and Greek marble statues in the 19th century to Iron Age mudbricks with 3,000 year old finger impressions.

There’s a constant stream of something to learn and wonder at, and isn’t that what we really want from the internet?