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This is the next in a series of articles about Finite State Machines (FSMs) and a new notation called Frame to specify and code them.

Early in my career as a developer, I built a feature for a product that received a patent for Microsoft. The process of working with lawyers to document the system in a way that would be defensible in court was arcane but interesting. This article will tease apart that experience and explain how the system was documented for the patent using state machines in a very natural and accurate way.

At the time I was a development lead at Microsoft on a new product for teaching foreign languages. The product was going to and did compete with Rosetta Stone, which then, as now, leads the market in that space. The feature was a scheduling tool for building “study plans” that would keep the language learner on task and moving forward on his or her goals. …


Time Lord vs Timex

On one end of the spectrum, British time machines can travel the universe and traverse epochs.

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https://www.textualtees.com/products/police-box-tardis-blueprint-tee-shirt?variant=928165365

On the other end, American time machines can, well, let you know you need to flip a burger.

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https://www.amazon.com/Timex-T78582-Silver-Tone-Extra-Long-Stainless/dp/B00020J1BC

This article is another in a series on Frame Machine Notation (FMN) and it’s about time to show some working code. Time-pressed Time Lords can check out this codepen for the implementation of the final example in this article (it’s super exciting). Here’s a preview:

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Leisurely humans, however, can work towards that magnum opus with a warm-up example of a very simple time machine that is just going to delay you getting to the end. …


According to the website statista.com the global video game market was worth $104.57 billion (US) in 2017 and will be worth $131.23 billion in 2020. Needless to say — video games are a massive business.

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http://ai.berkeley.edu/project_overview.html

One of the most famous and successful video games ever is Pac-Man. Introduced to the world in 1980, it had earned $2.5 billion by the end of the 1990s. Key to its success was the maddening behavior of the ghosts that chased Pac-Man. For the unskilled, escaping the ghosts was a difficult, addictive and (in the arcade days) expensive undertaking.

Surprisingly for such a successful game, this ghostly behavior is straightforward to understand using Finite State Machines (FSMs). Let’s take a look at just how ghosts think about life in the Pac-Man…

About

Mark Truluck

A professional software developer and manager. I believe Agile planning is a real thing.

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