Monthly Archives: September 2007

Project announcement: Hitori

It's announcement time! I'd like to announce a little game I've been working on for a week or so (on and off), written because I found this amazing puzzle in a newspaper called Hitori.

A screenshot of Hitori.

Hitori is quite similar in style to Sudoku; probably because both are published by Nikoli. The objective is to remove cells from the grid so that only one of each digit remains in each column and row. However, you can't shade two touching cells, and all the unshaded cells must be connected.

I wrote an application to let you play Hitori on the computer, called – funnily enough – Hitori. At the moment, it supports board generation (algorithm courtesy of a mathematical friend of mine), full validation of solutions against the three rules, hint support, undo/redo, and two different ways of "tagging" cells as you work out the puzzle, to make it a little easier.

Version 0.1 is available as a source download, or you can pull the latest revision from the Bazaar repository at by executing the following commands:

mkdir hitori
cd hitori
bzr init --dirstate-tags
bzr pull

I've updated the commands to reflect the fact that the repository needs tag support.

If anybody's got any suggestions for features, the only things I'm thinking of adding at the moment are:

  • A shiny icon, if somebody could help me out with it!
  • Support for different board sizes.
  • Looking into themeable colours (or at least making sure the way they're done is HIG-compliant, because at the moment the RGB values are hardcoded).

That's it! If you've got any feedback, comment below, or contact me. :)

Hello Planet!

Hello Planet GNOME!

I'm Philip, 16-year-old programmer and GNOME user from England. Although I've been using GNOME for a while, I think it's only been a year I've been helping out. I've mostly been dealing with Totem bugs, and doing various other things to Totem; probably the most notable things I've done is adding Python and Vala support to Totem's plugin system, and convert the whole of Totem to use GtkBuilder, both of which are changes debuting in 2.20. :D

Some of you may have seen me at GUADEC; I was the lost-looking one without a laptop. ;) I was there for the full duration of the event, and enjoyed it a lot, even if I didn't manage to take full opportunity to make more friends.

As far as personal life goes, I do a lot of web development (probably evident if you look at my previous posts. I've just finished the compulsory part of my education, gaining these grades, and I've now got two more years in full-time education before I hopefully go off to university, probably to study computer science. Away from school and computers I'm into hockey and model making.

Finally, if anybody manages to break anything on this site, please tell me, as I've only just upgraded the site, so there are probably still a few kinks to work out (Jeff noticed my feeds were slightly broken when he added me to planet, for example). :)

Exam results

I got hold of my exam results for this year over the summer, both for all of my GCSEs, and for the three AS-levels I took early.

I'll cut to the chase: I got 8 A*s and 2 As at GCSE, and three As at AS-level. The two As at GCSE were in electronics and music; I was expecting a lower grade for music, but the one for electronics was a bit of a let-down. However, that isn't to say it isn't fair — while I don't agree with the exam (there was hardly any electronics in it), I think I chose a coursework project which was a bit too ambitious, and the grade reflects the fact that it didn't work.

Regardless, I'm pleased with my results, and happy for everyone else who did well. :)

Website update

I've finally updated the website, with a new layout, vastly improved backend, and hopefully some new content.

It took a while, but the new version of the website is up. Quite a bit has happened since I last posted; I've been to a nuclear engineering course at Manchester university, got my GCSE and AS-level results, been on holiday, written my first proper GNOME program, and now I'm back at school. While I won't cover all of this in future posts, I hope to cover the interesting parts.