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Raison D'etre.

Early last year, after about a year of working for Bohemia Interactive on VBS2, mainly travelling around on airplanes running training courses for military simulations folks, I finally embarked on a project that had been buzzing around in my head for over twenty years.

I'm fairly sure it was the catalyst of working in the simulations field that helped me realize that the time had actually come, and I actually could pull it off, but it had been a long road. When I wrote my first novel, which I started when I was nineteen (it shows its age!), I needed five years of research, which included joining the army and becoming an infantryman, before I could say I had the needed spark to finish it. The relative quality of these projects notwithstanding, no-one can ever say I don't take my research seriously.

The spark for this one came in the form of the Simulation Hypothesis.

I've heard it called a number of things. Theory, argument, hypothesis. It's an old idea, and the Matrix got a good deal of mileage out of it. As a narrative device, you can see it in works like The Truman Show and Dark City, among many others (Source Code and eXistenZ come to mind).

My favourite exploration of it is Nick Bostrom's. Do yourself a favour and read it, if you get the chance (or haven't already). He assigns three propositions equal weight.

Native Apps vs. HTML5: The Smoking Gun

On DROdio

I've moderated and participated on a bunch of panels where the topic was something like "HTML5 vs. Native apps, which will win?" And I've always said that native apps aren't going away, and my co-founder Sean has often pointed out that HTML5 won't be replacing complied apps so long as mobile hardware is changing drastically every 6 months (HTML is a trailing standard that can't keep up with innovation on the hardware side).

But here's the real smoking gun:

The Facebook engineering team, in a blog post, writes, "we realized that when it comes to platforms like iOS, people expect a fast, reliable experience and our iOS app [that was heaving leveraging HTML5] was falling short."

This is really significant. Facebook has a lot of incredibly good reasons not to rebuild its app natively. Facebook doesn't want to be beholden to Apple for its distribution channel and access to its users. Facebook doesn't want to have to create and maintain completely different and incompatible codebases for various distribution channels. Facebook arguably has the very best web engineers on the planet. And yet they've moved away from a heavily dependent HTML5 strategy in mobile.

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