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Author: engineering

Optimizing WebGL Shaders by Reading D3D Shader Assembly

We are optimizing WebGL shaders for the Intel GMA 950 chipset, which is basically the slowest WebGL-capable device we care about. Unfortunately, it’s a fairly common chipset too. On the plus side, if we run well on the GMA 950, we should basically run well anywhere. 🙂 When you’re writing GLSL in WebGL on Windows, your code is three layers of abstraction away from what actually runs on the GPU. First, ANGLE translates your GLSL into HLSL. Then, D3DX compiles…

How IMVU Builds Web Services : Part 2

In this 3-part series, IMVU senior engineer Bill Welden describes the means and technology behind IMVU’s web services. Part 2: Nodes and Edges The Uniform Contract constraint of the REST discipline means that IMVU web applications are able to provide functionality to many different web applications in a robust and reusable manner. There are, of course, many different ways of implementing a uniform contract. At IMVU, we have chosen a structured network model – a graph consisting of nodes, which represent…

Reader Mailbag: ECT vs Burst, where is the data?

Reader Mailbag: Chainalytics Packaging Engineers Answer Your Questions! Dan writes: We came across your previous blog article and hoped that you might be able to help us out with a data question. Our product is shipped in a double-wall, corrugated box for the secondary protective packaging. We’ve seen a hundred versions of the following table comparing the bursting test and edge crush test standards: We’re familiar with the two types of testing, and we’re sure that the table is accurate. What we…

Moving Code Forward – Yammer Engineering – Medium

Everybody loves a good rewrite. It feels great to throw away a crusty, years-old codebase and replace it with something shiny and new. Rewrites come with some serious tradeoffs though, and in a lot of cases, the decision to start again from scratch is not the right call at all. In the seven-year history of yammer.com’s Frontend codebase, we’ve never thrown the whole thing away and started over. Why? Well, let’s take a quick look at the characteristics of Yammer’s…

How to Setup the NPR App Template for You and Your News Org

Just a few of the apps we have made with the app template. Photo by Emily Bogle. On the NPR Visuals Team, we make a point to open source and publish as much of the code we write as we can. That includes open sourcing code like the app template, which we use every day to build the individual projects we make as a team. However, we tend to optimize for ourselves rather than for the public, which means it…

A reusable data processing workflow

Correction (September 2, 2014 8:55pm EDT): We originally stated that the script should combine data from multiple American Community Survey population estimates. This methodology is not valid. This post and the accompanying source code have been updated accordingly. Thanks to census expert Ryan Pitts for catching the mistake. This is why we open source our code! The NPR Visuals team was recently tasked with analysing data from the Pentagon’s program to disperse surplus military gear to law enforcement agencies around…

Work In Public! (Or, why you really should consider being NPR’s Knight-Mozilla fellow!)

Visual journalism experts. David Sweeney/NPR. It’s joy to work in public media. Folks here do amazing journalism, and are awesome to work with. Why? The non-commercial relationship between us and our audience. We’re not selling them anything. We do sell sponsorship, but have you heard an ad on NPR? They’re the nicest, dullest ads you’ve ever heard, and they aren’t our primary source of income. No, public media exists because, for more than 40 years, our audience has sent us…

Everything our app template does: July 2014 edition

The NPR News Apps team, before its merger with the Multimedia team to form Visuals, made an early commitment to building client-side news applications, or static sites. The team made this choice for many reasons — performance, reliability and cost among them — but such a decision meant we needed our own template to start from so that we could easily build production-ready static sites. Over the past two years, the team has iterated on our app template, our “opinionated…

Chemical Engineering World Featured in Web Technology USA

For a small chemical engineering blog like this, it is a great pleasure and recognition when another website, Web Technology USA, feature us as their content. WEB TECHNOLOGY USA is a directory of technology websites. This directory is a good place to start when looking for a list of the top technology websites, blogs and forums. Promising websites are selected from the listing to be the featured websites of the week. The website also posts Press Releases from leading technology…

How to be a Professional Engineer (PE) with IR Status?

I have been asked several times the steps and how to be a professional engineer having an IR status in Malaysia. Due to that, I thought it is better for me to write a special guide explaining step by step what should be done. I’ll try to make this guide as compact and short possible (but still resourceful) so that it won’t waste any of your time. 1. Register with BEM If you just graduate from university in Malaysia or…