Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On The Usefulness Of The Web

Sorry for the long silence, but I had to redirect most of my Krakatoa-related musings to the official Thinkblog on our company website. It only makes sense since that place gets a lot more traffic.

As you probably remember from my previous post, I am now employed as Product Specialist by Thinkbox Software. As result, I can now enjoy doing full-time what I used to do half of my time at Frantic Films and Prime Focus - co-develop Krakatoa and other products like Frost and XMesh, write documentation and tutorials, record videos, demo at expos and even travel the world! All from my new home in Vancouver!

In the last couple of months, I had to use the Internet and the Powers Of Google to teach myself a lot of things like MEL scripting, Python and basic Maya and Houdini skills. I must say it went pretty well and I solved most problems I had to deal with. I didn't even have to post questions, most of the FAQs were already posted and answered by others long ago. Oh joy!

But here comes the funny bit. The other day I had to do some development which involved the recreation of a certain 3ds Max modifier as a script. In 3ds Max. I wasn't exactly sure where to start and I felt lazy.  Checking the 3ds Max SDK felt like too much work. Having the routine of checking the Web for my answers about the other applications, I decided to google it to see how others might have solved this.

And then I found it. A thread on CGTalk with the exact question I had. And several answers. And code. And more code, going deeper and deeper. I read the answers - they were clear, the examples worked. Just what I needed.

So what's so funny about this, you might ask? Well, guess who wrote that code...

I had absolutely no recollection of solving the problem before, but reading that thread clearly showed I must be getting old. It was my code, my explanations, and they read like something somebody else had written. I was in awe. This was the first time I felt like Young Me knew more than Old Me knows...

The Internet appears to be a good extension of our brains. In addition to Google and Wikipedia that provide access to other people's knowledge, it turns out it is a good way to store our own knowledge just in case we start forgetting stuff... ;)