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Jamie Balfour'sPersonal blog

I want to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas for 2021! 

Tools like highlight.js are fantastic, until you need to add your own language as I did when I developed ZPE/YASS. highlight.js is also quite heavy and also, it's not developed by me! 

All of these reasons are why I chose to write my own syntax highlighter and I immediately thought to myself, it cannot be that hard since I've written a language parser myself. How right I was! 

Introducing Zippidydoda (it will probably get a new name soon). Zippidydoda gets its name from the fact it was designed to work originally with ZPE (pronounced Zippy, the nickname for my brother's hamster Henry) which was also a nickname for Henry. It's fast, it's customisable from JSON, it works in tandem with PHP which makes it ideal for me and it also allows for such easy customisation.

You can see Zippidydoda in action on my ZPE Online which you can find here

Based on the performance of the Zippidydoda parser, I will drawing inspiration for the Zenith Parsing Engine v1.5 as well as my DASH Boost parser since it is so unbelievably fast as well as lightweight and very manageable.

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in General

I have recently made a big decision that DASH v2 will now be hosted on GitHub. For the first time ever, I will be making DASH's source code available on GitHub. This will allow me to invite others to assist in the development of DASH v2. It is currently private with plans to make it available to the public by February.

Further to DASH v2 being hosted here, I am also going to be removing the ZPE UI feature from the main runtime and making a separate object which will be more manageable and easier to update, which will also be open source and available from GitHub. 

Posted by jamiebalfour04 in General

A couple of days back from now, I received an email from the contact form on my website. This email enquired about when DASH 2.0 would be released. At that point, I had no way of directly answering this person since I was in the middle of fixing a bug that has been bugging me since I switched my own install of DASH to using a symbolic link (DASH 2.0 works with symblinks no problem now). The issue was resolved by moving image uploads from the tmp folder to the assets folder of the install (I will post more later). Since this bug is fixed, DASH 2.0 is once again ready for release. However, I have yet to decide just how to release it.

I want your thoughts on this. Should I release it on GitHub or similar, or should I release it through my website? Use the get in touch or comments below to let me know what you think. 

The following is a short video on why desktop Linux distrubtions suck. It's very true as well.

I found in 2017 this whilst clearing out my old 1TB hard drive in my computer in a folder named Blog Posts - 2009 and thought I'd post it on the date it was written. I'm actually amazed at my writing skills back then too!

I'm almost at the end of my time at Ross High School, I thought I'd look back on my last few years here. I've had a great time here and want to point out a few of the great teachers that have inspired and helped me on my journey.

I'd like to start off with my Computing Studies teacher, Mr Tennent. Mr Tennent has been an inspiration to me throughout the time I've been a pupil here. He allowed me to take on in-class support with his S1 class last period on a Friday which gave me an opportunity to be a teacher which as you may know, I've always wanted to do. Mr Tennent was there for me when I was locked out of my school account during my Advanced Higher Computing project that I could have failed had it not been for him. He's one of those teachers who is easy to get on with, can chat with me about geeky things and is also good at what he does. He's a real people person. I really want to stay in touch with him.

Mr Laird cannot be forgotten. He was inspirational beyond any other teacher and will always remain as my joint favourite teacher with Mr Tennent. He was brilliant and he and I were both in tears when he left. He taught History to S1s and then he was a Modern Studies teacher. I'd have probably picked Modern Studies if he was still here. I'll never forget him.

Then there's Mr Stanfield, who has been truly brilliant for me this year. The man is an absolute legend. I'd be failing Physics as my own teacher Mr Laud isn't a very good teacher and doesn't really seem to teach us anything in Higher Physics! In fact, I failed the first NAB but Mr Stanfield helped me revise and I ended up passing it on my second attempt. Mr Stanfield has been my Physics teacher before after the amazing Mr Morrison left us in Standard Grade Physics. He helped me get a strong 1 for Physics back then. Now he's giving me extra tuition period 6 on a Thursday which is so great. I cannot thank him enough for the help he has given me this year.

Then there's Mrs Barbour who has always been a really nice caring person. Before becoming my teacher, she was the one who ran the History Club which I really enjoyed going to in my first year. As my History teacher in S3 and S4 and then the second part of S5 and now all of S6, I've known Mrs Barbour for a long time and she's always been supportive of me. She was also a fantastic History teacher and has been the best of the four English teachers I have had this year (well Ms Edmonds is utterly useless and very unfair too - don't get me started on that)

And then there's my favourite English teacher, Miss Gould. Miss Gould has been my English teacher from S3 to the end of S5 and she's always been one of the nicest teachers to me. We always had a great laugh and I'll never forget the way she said hostel instead of hospital last year. I also will always remember the day when I kept telling her she needs to type faster and she turned to me and said "Jamie, will you just do the typing?" and I was commissioned to do the typing of the stuff that was going on to the board. Everyone in the class, including Miss Gould, mouths were wide open at the speed of my typing. Haha

My Business Management teacher for S4 and S5, Mr Potter is also fantastic. He's such a cool guy and also one of those teachers I feel like I'll stay in contact with after I leave school. I also really hope he comes to my leaver's party as he'd be great fun to have then! JP as I have always referred to him as is one of my favourite teachers of all time.

There's also Mr Punton, my Maths teacher in S2 and for Int 2 Maths last year. He helped me get an A for a course I did one year prior and didn't manage to get anything from. Int 2 Maths was so easy this year because of him (and I actually got a very strong A, like 98%). He was also a very cool guy. He was an amazing teacher and taught things in such a good way.

My final mention is Mrs Collins. Mrs Collins was my ICT teacher only S1 and S2 but she was a great teacher. She also was very supportive of my brother when he was in S3 and has helped him in Computing Studies. I always really liked Mrs Collins.

A few more teachers who I also should mention who were an inspiration to me:

  • Mr Murdoch
  • Mr Gill
  • Miss Hird
  • Miss Williamson
  • Mrs McNaughton
  • Mr Carrol
  • Mr Falconer
  • Mr McCallum
  • Miss Philp
  • Mrs Wheeler
  • Mrs McKinnley
  • Miss Woodhead
  • Mr Morrison
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