m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...


Gentlebeings, start your novels!

NB: The NaNoWriMo forums have moved to Discourse, which seems to be mostly an improvement in speed and usability.

Myrmex 1.3.3

My JavaScript implementation of the Decktet solitaire game Myrmex suffered a relapse of the jitters in iOS 13. My “fix” was reverting my previous fix for the iOS 11 scrolling bug, while preserving my original fix for the jitter bug. Old hardware appears to be a factor, so you may not notice a problem if your device is new or non-Apple, while I may have rebroken things in iOS 11 and 12 if you do have an older iDevice (and also re-fixed the even older browsers).

I also noticed that iOS 13 has gotten more aggressive in selecting “text” that you never wanted to select, so I had to extend my use of -webkit-user-select:none and add a generous helping of -webkit-touch-callout:none to the css. This affects my other JavaScript implementations of Decktet solitaire games as well (but isn’t as annoying there as they’re click-based rather than drag-and-drop based) and I’ll need to update them at some point.

Also in iOS 13, there seems to be some cache sharing among home screen apps that makes it difficult to update them without deleting all old versions. Caveat clickor.

While I was mucking about I noticed an entirely unrelated bug report for Myrmex involving bad Windows behavior that I’ve seen but never really grokked before: when a Windows browser wants to scroll, it adds the scrollbars to your element, pushing your stuff out of the way. It would have been nice of GitHub to tell me about the bug way back when it was filed, but fortunately it was still reproducable and fixable with CSS: scrollbar-width:none.

If you need an older version of Myrmex hosted somewhere, let me know and I’ll put one up. You can also download it from GitHub and open up the web page—no building or web-serving required.

A Cosmic Epilogue

In Part I, I covered the fictional, meta-choicemaps shown in Bandersnatch. In Part II, I covered some of the earlier and more popular actual maps of the show as played (and frequently mapped) by the viewers. In Part III, I surveyed the later and less noted maps of the show, in roughly chronological order. Here as an epilogue I tack on the map to end all maps:

educational portion of Bandersnatch choicemap by Vladimir Panteleev closeup educational portion of Bandersnatch choicemap by Vladimir Panteleev

In an enterprise he calls datamining but that sounds a lot like decompiling, Vladimir Panteleev has derived the One True Choicemap of Bandersnatch from the Netflix files themselves. The map style itself is not novel (yet another flowchart, with a questionable representation of variables as nodes), but the semi-automated effort led to some interesting problems of scale not faced by previous choicemappers.

The existential horror of the process and its redundancies is hidden behind links to massive images of earlier versions of the map. Here’s a chunk of the initial “disaster” layout, plus a tiny piece of the already partially “optimized” version:

educational portion of Bandersnatch choicemap, disaster version, by Vladimir Panteleev educational portion of Bandersnatch choicemap, partially optimized version, by Vladimir Panteleev

The data is also available in non-map formats. The summary deserves a read; it reveals unreachable nodes, unused variable and unreachable variable states, other bugs, and what looks like an abandoned or test interface for revisiting choices. This moves the choicemap from a superficial accounting of how the story plays out into a twilight realm of what the authors intended to write.

I’ve added links to this Bandersnatch subseries to my History of Choice Mapping, along with another timely choicemap from this year (for the board game version of House of Danger). I have high hopes for more choice fiction in these “new” media (streaming TV, board games, etc.), and more choicemaps to come.


Another recently-leaked map to end all maps is the official poster of all the paths:

educational portion of Bandersnatch poster

Market Bucket 2.2.2

I’ve upped Market Bucket, my formerly App.net-based grocery list app, to version 2.2.2 after this weekend’s pnut.io hackathon. I fixed a couple of bugs that were bugging me, then went shopping to test it out and found some new things to bother me.

Entwee/Enscree 1.1.1

I’ve bumped Entwee and Enscree, my Twee and Multimarkdown exporters for Twine (respectively), with a bug fix for buggy brackets (reported by AnotherRPGEnthusiast in the Discord). Unfortunately, bigger Twine bugs exist in proofing formats than the one I fixed, which make my changes rather academic at this point.

On the bright side, there’s a beta/preview of DotGraph as a Service that got rolled along with the above changes. The corresponding version of DotGraph isn’t out yet, but enterprising graphers can build it themselves off the dgaas branch in BitBucket, if they can’t wait.