Published on 2 January 2024.
This is what I’ve been up to in December 2023:
This month I’ve been all consumed by Advent of Code. This year was the first year that I tried to solve all puzzles from beginning to end. At the time of this writing, I have completely solved day 1-20 and part 1 of day 21.
I solved all puzzles in my experimental programming language. One reason I did that was to see how good a fit the language was and also get feedback on how the language could be improved to be a better fit for a broader range of problems.
The Advent of Code experience has been as expected: fun, challenging, frustrating, and stressful. The most fun thing I learned was an algorithm for filling polygons. It was useful for two problems, but only fast enough for one.
The experience of developing my language at the same time has also been fun, but the pressure of completing the puzzles has given me less focus on the language itself. But I managed to add some features to the language that were direct needs that came up when solving the puzzles. One was a simple, built-in test framework. Another was nicer syntax. Most of the time though, it was not limitations in the language that made solving the puzzles hard. However, sometimes the solution would have been more straightforward in a better suited language.
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