knowuh 8 months ago

Orca is amazing, and it's creator Devine Lu Linvega is inspiring too.

Listen to this future of coding podcast where he is interviewed about Orca: and about making your own tools:

The Future of Coding podcast is a treasure.

Edit: excerpt from the Devine Lu Linvega's intro:

Devine Lu Linvega and his partner Rekka live on a sailboat. He makes art, music, software, and other cultural artifacts. When Photoshop’s DRM required that he maintain a connection to the internet, he wrote his own creative suite. When his MacBook died in the middle of the ocean, he switched to Linux with hardware he could service. His electricity comes from solar panels, and every joule counts — so that’s out with Chrome and Electron and in with Scheme, C, assembly, and maybe someday Forth.

  • hutzlibu 8 months ago

    "His electricity comes from solar panels, and every joule counts — so that’s out with Chrome and Electron and in with Scheme, C, assembly, and maybe someday Forth."

    I used to live and program off grid, too. With a setup, I could carry all in my backpack ... so I can say, it mainly depends on the hard- and firmware in use. So my pure linux laptop did not last very long. Even with allmost only texteditor use

    But my optimized rugged chromebook does last a long time, and with only modest sunshine -> unlimited worktime - with extensive use of chrome and electron.

    • NackerHughes 8 months ago

      What rugged chromebook do you use?

      • hutzlibu 8 months ago

        Acer C201.

        But it might be not avaiable anymore but I think the successor is similar.

        I put it in dev mode and worked mainly with chrome dev tools as IDE and a simple texteditor for node scripts. That worked well and I did not needed more.

        There is in theory a linux vm, but last time I tried, it was buggy and performance intense, so no option for my days work, but good to have the opportunity to have more powerful tools at hand at times, like inkscape, because chromeOS as itself is not so nice to use and very limited in every way, but what works, works.

        • CRConrad 7 months ago

          Think I've read somewhere that those can be reloaded with pure Linux to replace Chrome OS. Not saying you should, only nothing that one probably could.

  • raffomania 8 months ago

    Most recently, he's actually rewriting all his tools in a forth-inspired language he's designed himself:

    • metasyn 8 months ago

      I made an online environment for UXN programming, assembling, and emulating the CLI environment using emscripten

      check it out if you're learning uxn or just want to try loading a rom and seeing the source or modifying it to learn

  • kragen 8 months ago

    I'd like to point out that Rekka is also a creator of Orca.

  • 0xdeadbeefbabe 8 months ago

    Heh, Forth isn't a write only language if it can be recognized. Happy accidents.

metasyn 8 months ago

I made a livecoding site for playing around with Orca, alongside a tutorial of sorts. It's already patched to a synthesizer so it's ready to go, and has examples/tutorials you can load.

  • TOMDM 8 months ago

    Oh this is absolutely gorgeous, deserving a post of its own if ORCA weren't already on the front page.

    I love ORCA, but sharing that passion with other people is difficult due to the effort needed to get started with it. Now I can just direct people to a website.

    Thank you so much for making and sharing it.

    • metasyn 8 months ago

      glad others enjoy it! checkout as well, a similar, fun project that includes MULTIPLAYER

  • sabellito 8 months ago

    I wish this existed the first time I came across orca. Awesome stuff, thanks for making it.

Shared404 8 months ago

Orca, and all of Devine's work, is some of the most inspiring content on the internet imho.

Check out his personal site[0] as well, it's a work of art.


  • 0_gravitas 8 months ago

    Can echo how absolutely impressive (and in some ways trippy) their site(/personal wiki) is. I go back to it once every few weeks or months and just wander around a little bit.

kall 8 months ago

I absolutely adore orca.

Data and instructions are just the same thing (single characters), and can go from being one to being the other. Combine that with the fact that the program "executes" on the same surface that you write it, like the editor is at the same time your 2D canvas and the program modifies itself by 2D animation.

Maybe these ideas exist elsewhere but it just completely blows my mind and I feel like i haven‘t even fully "got" it yet. Would recommend it to anyone interested in programming, even if you‘re not interested in music making. Also, where else are you gonna get to use base36?

anchpop 8 months ago

Orca is amazing. It inspired me to start writing my own version as final project for a final project for my Serious Games class in college. I'd highly recommend anyone checking it out

birchb 8 months ago

Orca is great fun. I was inspired to start write a derivative application - A live-coding logic simulator using the same TUI ideas. I've just got past the prototype-hackery stage and am using it to model a real piece of hardware.

Kudos to Devine Lu Linvega

slmjkdbtl 8 months ago

It shares a lot of traits with Game of Life. 2D grid, ruleset, emergency.

briansteffens 8 months ago

> where lowercase letters operate on bang, uppercase letters operate each frame.

Anyone know what a 'bang' means in this context? Not sure if it's an Orca-specific thing or more general.

  • harrylove 8 months ago

    I'm not familiar with Orca but I am familiar with the use of bang in Max/MSP[0], in which it's used as a generic event trigger for attached objects. Objects receiving a bang message will execute their main method. The context feels similar here.


  • Hemospectrum 8 months ago

    It seems like a general-purpose message that nodes can send to neighboring nodes, so they can be activated in response to input events, clock cycles, and so on. In other contexts you might call it a "pulse" or a "tick."

  • piinbinary 8 months ago

    It means the ! character

    edit: at least, that's what I normally see it meaning. I'm also confused about what it means here

    • Shared404 8 months ago

      It's Orca specific.

      A bang in this context triggers the character one coordinate down and the one coordinate right of the bang character - which is '*' - and deletes itself after one tick.

      I may have remembered some details wrong, it's been a while.

  • sprkwd 8 months ago

    A bang is normally a name for a !

    • TOMDM 8 months ago

      In the case of ORCA a bang is an activation

      So a clock periodically emits a bang that can be used to trigger the synth for a simple example.

wly_cdgr 8 months ago

The me that first moved to Bushwick about twelve years ago would have thought they are super cool