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No gods, no kings, only NOPE - or divining the future with options flows. [Part 2: A Random Walk and Price Decoherence]
tl;dr - 1) Stock prices move continuously because different market participants end up having different ideas of the future value of a stock. 2) This difference in valuations is part of the reason we have volatility. 3) IV crush happens as a consequence of future possibilities being extinguished at a binary catalyst like earnings very rapidly, as opposed to the normal slow way. I promise I'm getting to the good parts, but I'm also writing these as a guidebook which I can use later so people never have to talk to me again. In this part I'm going to start veering a bit into the speculation territory (e.g. ideas I believe or have investigated, but aren't necessary well known) but I'm going to make sure those sections are properly marked as speculative (and you can feel free to ignore/dismiss them). Marked as [Lily's Speculation]. As some commenters have pointed out in prior posts, I do not have formal training in mathematical finance/finance (my background is computer science, discrete math, and biology), so often times I may use terms that I've invented which have analogous/existing terms (e.g. the law of surprise is actually the first law of asset pricing applied to derivatives under risk neutral measure, but I didn't know that until I read the papers later). If I mention something wrong, please do feel free to either PM me (not chat) or post a comment, and we can discuss/I can correct it! As always, buyer beware. This is the first section also where you do need to be familiar with the topics I've previously discussed, which I'll add links to shortly (my previous posts: 1) https://www.reddit.com/thecorporation/comments/jck2q6/no_gods_no_kings_only_nope_or_divining_the_future/ 2) https://www.reddit.com/thecorporation/comments/jbzzq4/why_options_trading_sucks_or_the_law_of_surprise/ --- A Random Walk Down Bankruptcy A lot of us have probably seen the term random walk, maybe in the context of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, which seems like a great book I'll add to my list of things to read once I figure out how to control my ADD. It seems obvious, then, what a random walk means - when something is moving, it basically means that the next move is random. So if my stock price is $1 and I can move in $0.01 increments, if the stock price is truly randomly walking, there should be roughly a 50% chance it moves up in the next second (to $1.01) or down (to $0.99). If you've traded for more than a hot minute, this concept should seem obvious, because especially on the intraday, it usually isn't clear why price moves the way it does (despite what chartists want to believe, and I'm sure a ton of people in the comments will tell me why fettucini lines and Batman doji tell them things). For a simple example, we can look at SPY's chart from Friday, Oct 16, 2020: https://preview.redd.it/jgg3kup9dpt51.png?width=1368&format=png&auto=webp&s=bf8e08402ccef20832c96203126b60c23277ccc2 I'm sure again 7 different people can tell me 7 different things about why the chart shape looks the way it does, or how if I delve deeply enough into it I can find out which man I'm going to marry in 2024, but to a rationalist it isn't exactly apparent at why SPY's price declined from 349 to ~348.5 at around 12:30 PM, or why it picked up until about 3 PM and then went into precipitous decline (although I do have theories why it declined EOD, but that's for another post). An extremely clever or bored reader from my previous posts could say, "Is this the price formation you mentioned in the law of surprise post?" and the answer is yes. If we relate it back to the individual buyer or seller, we can explain the concept of a stock price's random walk as such:
Most market participants have an idea of an asset's truevalue (an idealized concept of what an asset is actually worth), which they can derive using models or possibly enough brain damage. However, an asset's value at any given time is not worth one value (usually*), but a spectrum of possible values, usually representing what the asset should be worth in the future. A naive way we can represent this without delving into to much math (because let's face it, most of us fucking hate math) is: Current value of an asset = sum over all (future possible value multiplied by the likelihood of that value)
In actuality, most models aren't that simple, but it does generalize to a ton of more complicated models which you need more than 7th grade math to understand (Black-Scholes, DCF, blah blah blah). While in many cases the first term - future possible value - is well defined (Tesla is worth exactly $420.69 billion in 2021, and maybe we all can agree on that by looking at car sales and Musk tweets), where it gets more interesting is the second term - the likelihood of that value occurring. [In actuality, the price of a stock for instance is way more complicated, because a stock can be sold at any point in the future (versus in my example, just the value in 2021), and needs to account for all values of Tesla at any given point in the future.] How do we estimate the second term - the likelihood of that value occurring? For this class, it actually doesn't matter, because the key concept is this idea: even with all market participants having the same information, we do anticipate that every participant will have a slightly different view of future likelihoods. Why is that? There's many reasons. Some participants may undervalue risk (aka WSB FD/yolos) and therefore weight probabilities of gaining lots of money much more heavily than going bankrupt. Some participants may have alternative data which improves their understanding of what the future values should be, therefore letting them see opportunity. Some participants might overvalue liquidity, and just want to GTFO and thereby accept a haircut on their asset's value to quickly unload it (especially in markets with low liquidity). Some participants may just be yoloing and not even know what Fastly does before putting their account all in weekly puts (god bless you). In the end, it doesn't matter either the why, but the what: because of these diverging interpretations, over time, we can expect the price of an asset to drift from the current value even with no new information added. In most cases, the calculations that market participants use (which I will, as a Lily-ism, call the future expected payoff function, or FEPF) ends up being quite similar in aggregate, and this is why asset prices likely tend to move slightly up and down for no reason (or rather, this is one interpretation of why). At this point, I expect the 20% of you who know what I'm talking about or have a finance background to say, "Oh but blah blah efficient market hypothesis contradicts random walk blah blah blah" and you're correct, but it also legitimately doesn't matter here. In the long run, stock prices are clearly not a random walk, because a stock's value is obviously tied to the company's fundamentals (knock on wood I don't regret saying this in the 2020s). However, intraday, in the absence of new, public information, it becomes a close enough approximation. Also, some of you might wonder what happens when the future expected payoff function (FEPF) I mentioned before ends up wildly diverging for a stock between participants. This could happen because all of us try to short Nikola because it's quite obviously a joke (so our FEPF for Nikola could, let's say, be 0), while the 20 or so remaining bagholders at NikolaCorporation decide that their FEPF of Nikola is $10,000,000 a share). One of the interesting things which intuitively makes sense, is for nearly all stocks, the amount of divergence among market participants in their FEPF increases substantially as you get farther into the future. This intuitively makes sense, even if you've already quit trying to understand what I'm saying. It's quite easy to say, if at 12:51 PM SPY is worth 350.21 that likely at 12:52 PM SPY will be worth 350.10 or 350.30 in all likelihood. Obviously there are cases this doesn't hold, but more likely than not, prices tend to follow each other, and don't gap up/down hard intraday. However, what if I asked you - given SPY is worth 350.21 at 12:51 PM today, what will it be worth in 2022? Many people will then try to half ass some DD about interest rates and Trump fleeing to Ecuador to value SPY at 150, while others will assume bull markets will continue indefinitely and SPY will obviously be 7000 by then. The truth is -- no one actually knows, because if you did, you wouldn't be reading a reddit post on this at 2 AM in your jammies. In fact, if you could somehow figure out the FEPF of all market participants at any given time, assuming no new information occurs, you should be able to roughly predict the true value of an asset infinitely far into the future (hint: this doesn't exactly hold, but again don't @ me). Now if you do have a finance background, I expect gears will have clicked for some of you, and you may see strong analogies between the FEPF divergence I mentioned, and a concept we're all at least partially familiar with - volatility. Volatility and Price Decoherence ("IV Crush") Volatility, just like the Greeks, isn't exactly a real thing. Most of us have some familiarity with implied volatility on options, mostly when we get IV crushed the first time and realize we just lost $3000 on Tesla calls. If we assume that the current price should represent the weighted likelihoods of all future prices (the random walk), volatility implies the following two things:
Volatility reflects the uncertainty of the current price
Volatility reflects the uncertainty of the future price for every point in the future where the asset has value (up to expiry for options)
[Ignore this section if you aren't pedantic] There's obviously more complex mathematics, because I'm sure some of you will argue in the comments that IV doesn't go up monotonically as option expiry date goes longer and longer into the future, and you're correct (this is because asset pricing reflects drift rate and other factors, as well as certain assets like the VIX end up having cost of carry). Volatility in options is interesting as well, because in actuality, it isn't something that can be exactly computed -- it arises as a plug between the idealized value of an option (the modeled price) and the real, market value of an option (the spot price). Additionally, because the makeup of market participants in an asset's market changes over time, and new information also comes in (thereby increasing likelihood of some possibilities and reducing it for others), volatility does not remain constant over time, either. Conceptually, volatility also is pretty easy to understand. But what about our friend, IV crush? I'm sure some of you have bought options to play events, the most common one being earnings reports, which happen quarterly for every company due to regulations. For the more savvy, you might know of expected move, which is a calculation that uses the volatility (and therefore price) increase of at-the-money options about a month out to calculate how much the options market forecasts the underlying stock price to move as a response to ER. Binary Catalyst Events and Price Decoherence Remember what I said about price formation being a gradual, continuous process? In the face of special circumstances, in particularly binary catalyst events - events where the outcome is one of two choices, good (1) or bad (0) - the gradual part gets thrown out the window. Earnings in particular is a common and notable case of a binary event, because the price will go down (assuming the company did not meet the market's expectations) or up (assuming the company exceeded the market's expectations) (it will rarely stay flat, so I'm not going to address that case). Earnings especially is interesting, because unlike other catalytic events, they're pre-scheduled (so the whole market expects them at a certain date/time) and usually have publicly released pre-estimations (guidance, analyst predictions). This separates them from other binary catalysts (e.g. FSLY dipping 30% on guidance update) because the market has ample time to anticipate the event, and participants therefore have time to speculate and hedge on the event. In most binary catalyst events, we see rapid fluctuations in price, usually called a gap up or gap down, which is caused by participants rapidly intaking new information and changing their FEPF accordingly. This is for the most part an anticipated adjustment to the FEPF based on the expectation that earnings is a Very Big Deal (TM), and is the reason why volatility and therefore option premiums increase so dramatically before earnings. What makes earnings so interesting in particular is the dramatic effect it can have on all market participants FEPF, as opposed to let's say a Trump tweet, or more people dying of coronavirus. In lots of cases, especially the FEPF of the short term (3-6 months) rapidly changes in response to updated guidance about a company, causing large portions of the future possibility spectrum to rapidly and spectacularly go to zero. In an instant, your Tesla 10/30 800Cs go from "some value" to "not worth the electrons they're printed on". [Lily's Speculation] This phenomena, I like to call price decoherence, mostly as an analogy to quantum mechanical processes which produce similar results (the collapse of a wavefunction on observation). Price decoherence occurs at a widespread but minor scale continuously, which we normally call price formation (and explains portions of the random walk derivation explained above), but hits a special limit in the face of binary catalyst events, as in an instant rapid portions of the future expected payoff function are extinguished, versus a more gradual process which occurs over time (as an option nears expiration). Price decoherence, mathematically, ends up being a more generalizable case of the phenomenon we all love to hate - IV crush. Price decoherence during earnings collapses the future expected payoff function of a ticker, leading large portions of the option chain to be effectively worthless (IV crush). It has interesting implications, especially in the case of hedged option sellers, our dear Market Makers. This is because given the expectation that they maintain delta-gamma neutral, and now many of the options they have written are now worthless and have 0 delta, what do they now have to do? They have to unwind. [/Lily's Speculation] - Lily
Bug Fables is Paper Mario TTYD but a little better AND a little worse - and that's high praise!
Lil intro: So Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling is an indie game, put together by Panamanian dev duo Moonsprout Games, to follow the legacy of the original two Paper Mario games. Now as someone who would name Paper Mario 2 in my top 5 games since it came out in 2004, I'm happy to report Bug Fables is an excellent successor to that legacy and the few negative comparisons that can be made seem to me to be the result of the difference in scale of available resources between Nintendo and Moonsprout. The prologue and first chapter introduce the explorers league and the three main characters who enlist together to further their own goals, which are given time to gestate while the world and characters are established. The player characters, a standard trio of an honour-bound knight, a feisty rogue, and a dry humoured, aloof mage, are tasked with adventuring across the lands of Bugaria to collect MacGuffins by the Ant Queen's royal blade Maki. This typical plotline is interrupted and diverted in interesting ways, and the trio of different attitudes keep the dialogue fresh. It's especially nice to see the trio's dynamic shifting as they grow closer. All this to say the writing is about on par with Paper Mario 2, what it lacks in (comparative!) charm it makes up with in coherence. The better: There's a lot in this game that could be pulled pretty directly from its inspirations, but in many cases those ideas have been reinterpreted to suit Bug Fable's setting, characters, and unique aspects. This starts with the three main characters allowing a good amount of customization via levelups and badges, which in turn allows for a large variety of strategies to be employed in combat. This is improved by Bug Fables excellent badge selection; very few (often expensive) badges only add power and most badges include trade-offs or otherwise incentivize normally unusual strategies. This deeply strengthens the customization by eliminating the obvious choices for all situations that the Paper Mario games had. Another large improvement was the use of the trio with the Tattle function, allowing every NPC, enemy, and room to be an opportunity for optional characterization between the teammates. Comparatively, in the Paper Mario games this characterization was limited to Goombario and Goombella, with cutscenes being the only chance other partners could be characters at all - often interchangeably. Often in Bug Fables I would extend a boss fight just so I could hear each of the trio's reaction to the enemy. Beyond that, many features just seem so much more streamlined than in the Paper Marios: the transit systems fit better into the world and were available sooner though money-gated early on to preserve difficulty, the game economy was balanced to allow for resource scarcity or exploitation without either being tedious as well as having purchases worth saving up for, and a lot of freedom in where and how to travel is given remarkably early on which allows for certain items or badges to be rushed. Best of all, a lot of the lore, world building, and characterization is optional, allowing for uninterested players, replayers, or speedrunners to bypass many walls of text. So many features like these struck me as something a dev would include in a post-release patch, and they make the game much smoother to play. Lastly, the biggest improvement for me was the difficulty: after the first battle a zero cost Hard Mode badge becomes an option, which keeps the battles threatening til lategame. This is such an important improvement as it turns the early game into a resource balancing act, which encourages thoughtful battling, using the cooking system, and creating badge builds. Unlike in Paper Mario, items are relevant all game long with the best items being simple, if expensive, cooked items that won't win fights on their own. Also, superblocking reduces damage by 1 more than blocking, removing the binary "all or nothing" aspect of superguarding. The only times combat felt unfair was when one enemy had an unpreventable, single target status effect which twice caused me to lose by unluckily targeting my buffed bug, and another when a rapid shot status ailment attack one-shot my tank after a marathon of battling. Additional difficulty options are also available, tho I haven't play around with them yet. The worse: The "in the field" controls are somewhat finicky, especially when the camera angle in large or curved rooms adjusts as you move. Additionally, most field skills are usable 360 degrees around the leading character, as opposed to Mario skills which usually are restricted to Mario's direct left or right. This can lead to some spatial confusion, as positioning 2D character models to use 2D animations in a 3D environment can be frustrating - dodging enemy shots while trying to engage in combat comes to mind. This is also true of several platforming puzzles; solving the puzzle was frequently much easier than executing the solution. While this was barely an issue that took longer than a minute, I could see how it could be frustrating, especially without certain badges. I also felt that a lot of the decorations in areas could have questionable physics models. Poking around behind foreground or midground items could feel awkward, as their meshes sometimes didn't feel like what the graphics reflected - especially when the item was large enough for the backside of the object to have to be assumed. Lastly, some of the side content felt unfleshed-out: interesting characters used for a single fetch quest or function, cool side areas with a single purpose, or just unused potential like a sea with two islands. Add to this that the enemy variety was good for the story (exactly one instance of palate swaps, and one area of mostly reused enemies) but lacking for side areas, and my biggest problem with the game is there isn't slightly more of it. Also: The music is consistently great, with very few songs not memorably contributing to an area/event's mood. Midway thru the game, the battle music changes to reflect the upped stakes and that's just great. Snakemouth Den and several boss tracks being standouts for me. Conclusion: With Bug Fables being an indie dev game as well as a first release its possible the 1.1 patch and/or DLC could change some of the rougher parts, but even besides this it is a solidly great game within the genre. With a bit of sequel baiting sprinkled into the endgame, I'm very impressed by Moonsprout and I may actually change my Sticker Star created rule to never, ever preorder once Bug Fables 2 is announced. If the improvement between this game and its sequel is as big as between the Paper Marios, it could easily be my favourite game of all time.
Cryptocurrencies, today’s biggest investment fad is dominating the headlines. Take Bitcoin, the most famous (and perhaps the most notorious) cryptocurrency has exploded in popularity over the last calendar year, despite the fact that it has been around for nearly a decade. Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard of bitcoin, however, most do not know about the details behind the enigmatic cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is a type of digital currency that was created by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2008. However, the name Nakamoto is really an alias for an unidentified person, or group of people, who developed Bitcoin. Although there are numerous cryptocurrencies accessible now, Bitcoin has become the most popular one for investors. Bitcoin was developed is such a way to evade tight government control on currencies while making online transactions simpler. The primary technology behind Bitcoin is a blockchain, a digital ledger in which public transactions made in cryptocurrencies are documented in a universal network of computers.
An ICO not an IPO
An ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is an unregulated fundraising mechanism that is used for a new cryptocurrency undertaking. Here’s how it works: Say a company is trying to streamline a car service payment system so that it can be digital and encrypted. Sounds like a good idea. Let’s name it CarCoin. The company will then produce a document basically specifying exactly how the process will work (generally called a white paper). Additionally, they will create an eye-catching website and describe why CarCoin is a great idea that could be very beneficial. Then, the company will ask for people to send them money (typically Bitcoin or Ether, but they’ll also take fiat). In return, the company will send them back some CarCoin. The “investors” hope that CarCoin will be used a lot and be high in circulation, which could potentially raise the value of the currency. This is sort of like an initial public offering (IPO), where investors buy shares of a company. However, unlike an IPO investing in an ICO doesn’t award you an ownership stake in the company or startup you’re giving money to. You are hoping that in this instance, CarCoin currently a worthless currency, will ultimately increase in value down the line and make you money.
Oh, what a scam!
Unfortunately, whenever there is money to be made the swindlers are never far behind. This is especially true at the ICO stage. Anyone can launch an ICO as there is very little regulation in most countries such as the United States. This means that as long as you got the tech aspect set up you can get yourself funded. This obviously can result in one of two things: potential profit for an investor or massive scams. The cryptocurrency market is perfect for scammers because it’s relatively new, backed by tons of hype, and comprises of complex technology. It’s easier to sucker someone into investing in your ICO in 2018 than your bogus real estate business—and unfortunately, plenty of people have.
Fake bitcoin brokers
Unfortunately, whenever a new investment opportunity pops up there are plenty of fake brokers to go along with it and cryptocurrency is no different. Take Bitcoinopts for example. This “broker” does not allow you to buy and sell bitcoins or let you “watch your profit grow as we trade daily”. Rather they profit off of your deposit and never allow you to withdraw. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Many of these cryptocurrency brokers are the same fraudulent binary options brokers operating under a different brand. It has become so rampant that Facebook has instituted a blanket ban for all ads pertaining to Bitcoin, ICO’s and other cryptocurrencies
A list of suggested improvements and updates for ACNH
So this is an adaptation of a recent post I made elsewhere, but the gaming community on that site is basically dead so I figured it might get more interaction here. I've played ACNH every day since release, and I think we can all agree that parts of it feel frustratingly unfinished. Several features are inexplicably a step down from New Leaf, or lack obvious improvements that someone surely could have thought of in the past 7-8 years. Many mechanics are totally arbitrary and add unnecessary tedium. The UI has been kept mostly traditional to the series, without taking into account that the new crafting elements are a massive departure and create new problems to solve. All this stuff creates a friction between the player and game that's almost certainly going to make people get bored and stop playing prematurely, and in a multiplayer game, active players are themselves game content. You need the extra polish in this genre. I've gotten tired of whining about these things individually on various platforms so I decided to just smash them all into a big list and chuck it out into the void. Disclaimers: I am not a professional game designer, just an enthusiast. I recognize that this is unlikely to end up on a CEO's desk or whatever so… consider this just me venting, if that's what blows your skirt up. There is of course also a nonzero chance that all of this has been in the works for months and will suddenly drop into the game next update, who knows. Also, while I kept wanting to derail and spend six hours talking about theoretical shiny new features, I tried to edit it down to either basic quality-of-life stuff, things that have precedence somewhere in the series, or things that are so standard in other games that they really should have been obvious to include at launch. Feel free to discuss, dispute, or add on. Inventory management: - To get the obvious one out of the way: craft multiple items at once, using a counter or number input. Crafting beyond inventory limits should send the extras to your storage. I'm still astounded that this wasn't in the base game on release. - Wood, bamboo, stone, etc. should be picked up automatically when in range of the player. Only if it has been previously dropped by the player should it require manual pickup. Enable or disable with a toggle in the settings menu. Nearly all crafting games have this. - MUCH higher stack limits for fruit, turnips, tickets, and crafting materials. All duplicate items should stack, including critters, furniture, clothing, and recipe cards. I wouldn't complain if tools stacked as well. Add a "place 1", "drop 1", and "split" option on stacks. - ADD A QUICK SORT BUTTON IN THE INVENTORY. Lines up your tools in the last remembered configuration, stacks and sorts items, and puts away bells. - Boom, Nookphone now has a handy payment app and we can pay from and get paid to our bank account instead of having to carry cash around (obviously still with the option to carry cash for planting money trees, etc.) Dear God, what year is it? Is Daisy Mae allergic to technology? You wanna tell me Flick doesn't have cashapp? They're gen Z! - Ability to pay bells to increase home storage. Make the price scale with each purchase if you like. - In storage, add a “special” category for limited edition furniture, Saharah items, etc.. Give us the ability to tag items as special, in case we decide that random shirt is a keepsake or whatever. - All items should be compatible with storage. Why can I fit an entire T-rex skeleton in my closet, but not a single solitary little turnip? Or a 3x5 index card with a recipe scribbled on it? - The wardrobe functionality is cool, but every container shouldn't be a wardrobe. Give us usable, separate containers to stash and sort our stuff. Players could put a crate full of fish bait by the shore, make a drop-off for fossils until they're ready to get them appraised, make a tool shed, keep their seeds by garden areas… - Select multiple items from inventory in any context, not just during sales. Drop up to 9 items simultaneously, release multiple fish/bugs, store multiple items at once. - The wetsuit shouldn't have to sit in the inventory when it's off. There are unused buttons, which is a shame--just let it sit in the apparel window and let us toggle it on and off with a button press. If we want it in our inventory we can remove it from the apparel window. - Give us a separate bar for tools that doesn't eat into regular inventory space. Sell it for nook miles as a toolbelt, if you like. - CRAFT DIRECTLY FROM STORAGE. If you have 758 wood stashed away, the game shouldn’t act like you have zero just because none of them are in your pockets. Nearly all crafting games have some support for this, because having to move items around may be logical, but it's also boring busywork and should be abbreviated. (Disabling this on other islands and NMT islands is fine.) - ASSUMING THE ABOVE IS IMPLEMENTED: Auto-sort items at the moment they are obtained. If all your stone is in your storage at home, then picking up a stone should send it to your storage at home--where, again, it should still be accessible for crafting. (Disabling this on other islands or NMT islands is fine.) - Let us just buy a nook ticket for immediate use at the airport counter. ("Oh, you don't have a NMT? Would you like to purchase one for 2000 nook miles?" Boom.) Shopping UI: - Again, getting the obvious one out of the way: fitting room allows purchase of more items at once, including duplicates if desired. It's already integrated with home storage--why shouldn't I be allowed to buy ten of everything in one go? - Similarly, Kicks, Leif and Nooklings should allow multiple purchases at once. Highlight this, that and the other, then buy--done. Give Sahara a real shop window instead of an annoying dialogue branch too. No vendor should have her weird text-based interface, it's soooo clunky. - Names of items not yet in your catalogue should be displayed in different font color, and they should be marked on the shelf via a visual indicator, like a small placard. - Bring back carpet/wallpaper previews in the shop. - When entering the fitting room, the wetsuit comes off automatically. - Bulk purchase items (e.g. plants, wrapping paper) should have a counter or number input, not just a binary choice between one and five. Allow more items to be bought in bulk, such as nook tickets. - The Gamecube release included a player shop feature--using your house gyroid, you could set out items for sale to other players for any price you wanted. The feature never appeared again, even as multiplayer and vastly increased networking capabilities made it more and more of a useful feature to have. Bring this back! Maybe an item-trade function too! Decorating and Landscaping: - Ability to move a building only a short distance, overlapping with the old location. It shouldn't freak out over collision with itself. - Bigger and more house rooms. Why on earth have houses gotten smaller since New Leaf? Layout control would be awesome too (so I could link up the ground floor rooms in a different way instead of being stuck with four doors in my main room, etc.) and is pretty typical of games where you can build and customize a house or homestead. - Faster animations during construction, and while scooting and rotating furniture. Quicker movement of furniture is especially a must outside, where we don't have the advantage of decorating mode. - Ability to put more items on tables. I want to put my wands on display! There's no reason they should have to sit on the floor. Same for instruments. - Let me put fences inside, and put wall-mounted items on my cliff faces. - "There's no room to put anything here"--well there WOULD be if you would interpret what I'm trying to do and push me back two pixels. Work with me here. Other: - SAVE. FILE. BACKUP. Let me copy to SD card, let me keep six months of backups, let me roll my town back as I please. There's already been one game-breaking bug that forced people to delete their five-hundred-hour towns; there's no telling when there'll be another. "But people will hack and sell save files and"--bad news, Buttercup, they already do. They probably also do naughty things with their joy-cons. Whose business is it? - Multiple towns per switch. As many as I can stuff into the memory. There is absolutely no reason not to do this. - More color options for hair and eyes. Many games have had RGB sliders for this for years, but at minimum the addition of a decent purple and another shade of green wouldn't go amiss. And where are my wacky colored contacts?? - Built in island-hopping. Finish up on one island, talk to the dodo, say "New island please", spend a nook ticket and go directly to your next destination. - I know people adore Isabelle but if she doesn't have anything to say, I don't really wanna hear about her exciting life every single morning. Maybe if it was about her fun weekend slaying demons with Doomguy, but not so much her extended thoughts on the sad decline of the Discovery channel. Sorry. - Optional “silent” bug-catching, fossil collection, etc., controlled with a toggle in the settings. You know how when you pull a weed or dig up a flower, it just goes into your inventory with no fanfare? Do it like that--after your first ever unidentified fossil, or first critter of a given species, your character just nabs 'em and pockets 'em. - Likewise, "silent" tool breakage. Give the full heads-up the first time it happens, but from then on just show the break animation and move on. Yeah someone might miss it when a tool breaks, but presumably they'll intuit what happened when they later realize it's gone--it's not rocket surgery. - How many times is Sahara going to introduce herself to me? How long does Gulliver really need to realize his phone is broken again? Edit visitor dialogue WAY down after first encounter. "EEK A GHOST! Oh no I explosively shat my immortal soul in all directions again, you know the drill" - And on the flipside, edit and expand normal villager dialogue. I'm not sure if I'm imagining it, but Lazies and Normals in particular seem to say the same things to me constantly. Normals' dialogue is also so bland that it feels like it was churned out last-minute for a Nick Jr. show to teach your toddler vocabulary words. "Today is fun" OK Savannah. Grow a personality. - Individual control over sfx and music volume in the settings menu. Actually, the settings menu in general is so bare I'm not sure why it's there at all honestly. How about giving us some settings? Y'know, in the settings menu, where you're supposed to be able to set the settings... those things you can set? - More pattern space, with separate space for separate player characters. A new tab specifically for shared patterns would be fine. - Let me order more items, and receive them with faster turnover via two daily mail deliveries instead of just one, as in ALL previous games. - If my pockets are full, I don't need a sloowwwww text box about it. Just jump straight to the inventory so I can drop-or-swap. - Nix the phone call every time I use the drop-off box. A quick ka-ching noise and a ticker showing my bank balance for a second is fine. - Balloon presents shouldn't just disappear when they fall into a flower bed. Finding the nearest empty square and bouncing it there is really easy. - Build in island-hopping. Go to a NMT island, talk to the dodo when finished, say "New island please", and go directly to your next destination. Either pull the ticket from inventory or storage, or pay for a new one on the spot. - And finally: TOUCH/STYLUS SUPPORT, especially for item menus! Let me touch and drag items, let me select menu options with a stylus! This is one of the reasons that NL feels so much better to play, it's a very basic accessibility feature, and besides, you're paying extra manufacturing costs to have a touch screen. Why wouldn't you use it?? I feel like this is one of the things they skimped on to get the game out in March, because some contexts allow touch and others don't, seemingly at random. Woooooof I think that's it for my megathread of kvetching. If you're still here, thanks for reading and have a cookie!
ASLAproject - a new empire in the decentralized environment of the cryptocurrency world
Our experts are capable of providing any advises and help to anyone who wants to join the project. We promise that our projects are not only profitable but also breathtaking. We are developing every day, do not miss the opportunity to be part of a grand project with a great future. https://preview.redd.it/82fpaaolx2p51.png?width=977&format=png&auto=webp&s=80e78b1b89549ec3b6dbd60b0a6903c28bb49519 ASLAproject is A decentralized ecosystem of products based on smart contracts of the Tron blockchain project for earning profit and further investing. We, the development team, are working to improve the ecosystem and develop its products. Our main task today is to create the best environment for the users to acquire money. At the same time, we do not conduct ICO and crowdfunding. The goal is to create and implement an ecosystem with constantly updated products for your earnings, develop and implement tools for business and beyond. Much has already been done, but more still needs to be done. Today, tokens cost less than what you want, but prices are already rising due to new product releases and community / project partners that form a solid foundation for future achievements. Tokens and products Our project is based on two coins that focus on all ecosystem products: ASLA and ASLAgame (Aga). 1. ASLAtrade is a binary options trading platform. https://preview.redd.it/ga3pf8cnx2p51.png?width=978&format=png&auto=webp&s=25beb4b77b7ce0a87b9e58cd0f068f9536b6da14 ASLA is a token attached to the ASLAtrade platform, which is extracted through a unique mining system through binary options trading. In the image below, you can see the required amount of TRX spent to get a single token. Every day this amount is increasing. Below is the menu for determining the freezing/withdrawal of tokens:
When decent amount of tokens is frozen, it pays back with dividends that are collected in 40% from the platform's total pool.
By withdrawing tokens to your wallet, the user receives dividends in the form of Aga tokens, which are linked to our products such as messenger, games, etc.
ASLA holders have implemented a feature that allows them to mine Aga tokens when in frozen state: - Purchased ASLA in frozen state gives 20% of Aga tokens; - Mined ASLA on the platform gives 25% of Aga tokens. https://preview.redd.it/d3b543nox2p51.png?width=978&format=png&auto=webp&s=f9045017ce52341529c3b8945c4f5bf170b85135 • Trading on three cryptocurrency pairs: BTC, ETH, BTH with a choice of different transaction duration • Freeze ASLA to receive dividends in the form of TRX/Aga of the total pool platform • Withdrawal of ASLA for trading on exchanges, or receiving dividends in the form of Aga tokens for storing tokens on the wallet https://preview.redd.it/707goinpx2p51.png?width=978&format=png&auto=webp&s=42cebafced5c987417408da564aae35abc72b05c ASLAtrade: https://aslaproject.com/trading?lang=ru 2. ASLAbet is the first cryptocurrency tote with a wide range of functions based on smart contracts. https://preview.redd.it/1gx7p62rx2p51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=bc94767f6223e15b25e84d00242684ca1110c1ec Our team is working on the ecosystem for maximum benefit to the project users. We present the ASLAbet cryptocurrency tote based on betting against people, not against the company! Bets on popular matches and favorite teams, winning percentages are formed automatically depending on the size of the bet and the number of players. We do not limit ourselves to one direction, but also understand the interests of users. For this case, everyone will have the opportunity to create their own event, for which they will eventually receive a reward if it passes a vote among the community. On the example of the recent match between Alexander Emelianenko and Magomed Ismailov, all those who put their bets on Alexander's victory completely lost their funds. With our platform, you would start returning your lost funds the next day, thanks to the Aga coin you received. • Reward for each bet in the form of Aga tokens with an initial turnover of 100 TRX = 1 Aga. The mining difficulty will increase daily by 1 TRX. • Even if you lose your bet when you freeze Aga coins, you will receive 30% of the profit from commissions. • Referral system 15% of the system's profit. Link: aslabet.comOfficial channel:t.me/aslabet 3. ASLA Messenger is a messenger with functionality for earning project tokens. https://preview.redd.it/a6xghlktx2p51.png?width=655&format=png&auto=webp&s=3921b6be7d7f4bda454e1926b46cff91124e2c7d Literally everyone uses messengers and communicates with their loved ones on a regular basis. We have made sure that you get paid for this. Communicate and earn - the perfect combination for the user. At this stage, an alpha version of the app has been released for use with the earnings feature already available. The beta version is expected to include audio and video calls, a more functional interface, chats and channels, and much more. • Complete tasks inside the messenger to get rewards in the form of Aga tokens. • The most convenient and modern design of the app. • Withdrawal of earned tokens to your wallet. Play Market:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aslaproject.messenger&hl=en_US App Store:https://apps.apple.com/ru/app/asla-messengeid1527990589 4. Games based on blockchain technology for earning cryptocurrency https://preview.redd.it/7o74tpoux2p51.png?width=977&format=png&auto=webp&s=83305e57fdca9c312d3d271e35d5a88e08a705f2 Today, games are of great importance, this is a new way of gaming, in which we want to participate. Our main goal is to implement a gaming platform with games for earning money. Play with your friends, compete against the best players and earn cryptocurrency for winning your favorite games. Currently in development are games such as "Heads and Tails", "Rock, paper, scissors", Dice, backgammon, chess, and larger projects – shooters with maximum gameplay, etc. • A set of games of various genres with earnings • Competitions, tournaments and other events with rewards in case of winnings • Maximum decentralization and the ability to view all smart contracts Earn money with us just playing, it's really easy! 5. ASLAbank - is a cryptocurrency bank for users with broad functionality. The project team is developing a unique cryptocurrency bank for the community. The product's idea is that users will be able to borrow cryptocurrency with different priority from ASLA token holders. The user's reputation will grow with the number of completed applications. All permits, lawyers, consulting. Everything is in the legal field of Russia. We aim to cooperate on a long-term basis within the framework of current legislation on the territory of the Russian Federation. 6. ASLAforum - is a project forum for discussing Internet industry projects. There are many developing projects in the digital world that have a place to be known to their users, and these are Russian-language projects. To do this, a forum for reviews, analyses and discussions of these projects will soon be implemented, where users will earn cryptocurrency for this. The main goal of the forum is to provide the community with visibility of all worthy projects, both those that have just started their existence and those that have years of work behind them. Consulting, assistance, training, as well as personal webinars from the project on the topic of earnings will be in one area. Users will be able to discuss, review, and share their thoughts about a particular project so that it can get a well-deserved reputation. Etc: Today, you can buy ASLA coins on two exchanges: Poloni Dex: poloniex.org/exchange?id=392 Nolex:nolex.org/main/ASLATRX.html Our project is open for suggestions and cooperation. If you wish, you can become a partner of ASLAproject and get mutually beneficial opportunities for your goals. To contact us: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) Our plans for the future are reflected in the roadmap. Subscribe to our social networks to keep up to date with all the project news, as well as not to miss important information, live broadcasts and interviews with project representatives. Ask the team a question or contact support: https://t.me/aslasprojectrus Official website: aslaproject.com Whitepaper: aslaproject.com/public/white-paper-ru.pdf
Extons || Let's get familiar with its tools and features
crypto is well known for its volatility and unpredictable nature. Many projects show good improvement when they first launched but at the end of the campaign, they failed to deliver a promising product to its community. This is a crypto and it gave us a lot of good and useful projects. Binance doesn't become binance in one day. It takes time to build up a quality exchnage. Though crypto is a very unpredictable sector of finance still there are some qualities that we can judge to know about the project merits. Today I am going to talk about an upcoming exchange that offers so much good tools and service. The name of that exchange is Extons. For those who are already with me for quite a few days, you all must have known about my previous article about Extons. Today I am going to talk about its service, tools, and potential in the market. Then let's jump into it. https://preview.redd.it/4lcgkmj17co51.jpg?width=3319&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d5fe887e3de8a277f1559217ae2ad76fe3e9cfd8 Quick introduction: Before we jump into details about that exchange I want to give you guys a quick introduction about the exchange. Extons is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange that is a part of the thisoption ecosystem. Extons offers multiple payment gateways and a wide variety of crypto trading pairs for its users. They also have some amazing programs for users that can give them an opportunity to make some passive income. Let's talk about different tab of Extons exchange and their use. Markets: The very first tab a user will see in that exchange when they log in is the market tab. By clicking this tab users will see an interface where they will see various market pair and their annual return based on their investment products. This is a very basic and common tab that every other exchange has. Trade: In this tab, the user will see the 3 subcategory tab. They are accordingly Basic, Classic, Advanced. Basic one offers the simplest way of trading. The user just needs to select the coin he wants to convert and the coin he wants to receive in return. The conversion rate will be in the current market price and current market price details will be shown right below. In classic trading, users will get old charts and tools but in advanced trade, users will get the most advanced tools and charts for trading. Finance: In this tab, there are two options available for the user. One is saving and another is staking. Both of them give users a chance to make some passive income by putting their assets into saving program or staking program. The saving program is pretty unique in the Extons platform. Ecosystem: In this tab, there are 5 components. At first, came white paper. In this project whitepaper, users will be able to know about project details, roadmap, and other project related information. By clicking the Binary option tab it will redirect users to another website called thisoption where users can take a part in options trading. It is also a product of the Thisoption company. By clicking the Forex trading tab user will be able to see the Thisoption company's forex trading website. Forex is also a form of trading where cryptocurrency and fiat currency can be traded with each other. https://preview.redd.it/p43fb2797co51.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=eebc0c39fd27e0001d6a55f34ae975df4f48f4f0 The payment gateway tab will take the user to a page where they will be able to use different payment options offered by the Extons platform. There are traditional and crypto payments system. The communication portal will help traders to keep in touch with other traders in the extons community. They can talk and share with each other will news, trading experience, and opinion. More: This tab contains News and support. Users can contact support for any help or know about project developments. Fund: In the fund's tab users will be able to know about their overall portfolio and they can deposit or withdraw their funds from this tab. Also, users will be able to check their deposit and withdraw history from here. Orders: In the orders, tab users can check their current order status and old order history. They will be able to cancel their current order or modify them as they can. My savings: In this tab users can see the currently active saving packages they are in. They can join different saving packages based on their portfolio. Also, they can check their income form their savings packages. I.B Program: In this tab users will be able to check their invitation record and their commission from their referrals. Also, they can find their referral link here that they can share with others to get more referrals commissions. Profile tab: In this tab, users will get to know about their profile information, security settings, and Address management. They can change their profile information, profile security, and also be able to change their withdrawal address for a different cryptocurrency. Also, they can log out from the platform by clicking log out from this tab. Wrap up: Extons doing a massive bounty program for their community. They are super active in social media and keep updating their community about new listing and partnership. I am very impressed with the project and its dedication.
Q: What does the C++ committee need to do to fix large swaths of ABI problems?
A: Absolutely nothing
On current implementations, std::unique_ptr's calling convention causes some inefficiencies compared to raw pointers. The standard doesn't dictate the calling convention of std::unique_ptr, so implementers could change that if they chose to. On current implementations, std::hash will return the same result for the same input, even across program invocations. This makes it vulnerable to cache poisoning attacks. Nothing in the standard requires that different instances of a program produce the same output. An implementation could choose to have a global variable with a per-program-instance seed in it, and have std::hash mix that in. On current implementations, std::regex is extremely slow. Allegedly, this could be improved substantially without changing the API of std::regex, though most implementations don't change std::regex due to ABI concerns. An implementation could change if it wanted to though. However, very few people have waded into the guts of std::regex and provided a faster implementation, ABI breaking or otherwise. Declaring an ABI break won't make such an implementation appear. None of these issues are things that the C++ committee claims to have any control over. They are dictated by vendors and by the customers of the vendors. A new vendor could come along and have a better implementation. For customers that prioritize QoI over ABI stability, they could switch and recompile everything. Even better, the most common standard library implementations are all open source now. You could fork the standard library, tweak the mangling, and be your own vendor. You can then be in control of your own destiny ABI, and without taking the large up-front cost of reinventing the parts of the standard library that you are satisfied with. libc++ has a LIBCXX_ABI_UNSTABLE configuration flag, so that you always get the latest and greatest optimizations. libstdc++ has a --enable-symvers=gnu-versioned-namespace configuration flag that is ABI unstable, and it goes a long way towards allowing multiple libstdc++ instances coexist simultaneously. Currently the libc++ and libstdc++ unstable ABI branches don't have many new optimizations because there aren't many contributions and few people use it. I will choose to be optimistic, and assume that they are unused because people were not aware of them. If your only concern is ABI, and not API, then vendors and developers can fix this on their own without negatively affecting code portability or conformance. If the QoI gains from an ABI break are worth a few days / weeks to you, then that option is available today.
Q: What aspects of ABI makes things difficult for the C++ committee.
A: API and semantic changes that would require changes to the ABI are difficult for the C++ committee to deal with.
There are a lot of things that you can do to a type or function to make it ABI incompatible with the old type. The C++ committee is reluctant to make these kinds of changes, as they have a substantially higher cost. Changing the layout of a type, adding virtual methods to an existing class, and changing template parameters are the most common operations that run afoul of ABI.
Q: Are ABI changes difficult for toolchain vendors to deal with?
A1: For major vendors, they difficulty varies depending on the magnitude of the break.
Since GCC 5 dealt with the std::string ABI break, GCC has broken the language ABI 6 other times, and most people didn't even notice. There were several library ABI breaks (notably return type changes for std::complex and associative container erase) that went smoothly as well. Quite a few people noticed the GCC 5 std::string ABI changes though. In some cases, there are compiler heroics that can be done to mitigate an library ABI change. You will get varying responses as to whether this is a worthwhile thing to do, depending on the vendor and the change. If the language ABI changes in a large way, then it can cause substantially more pain. GCC had a major language ABI change in GCC 3.4, and that rippled out into the library. Dealing with libstdc++.so.5 and libstdc++.so.6 was a major hassle for many people, myself included.
A2: For smaller vendors, the difficulty of an ABI break depends on their customer base.
These days, it's easier than ever to be your own toolchain vendor. That makes you a vendor with excellent insight into how difficult an ABI change would be.
Q: Why don't you just rebuild after an ABI change?
A1: Are you rebuilding the standard library too?
Many people will recommend not passing standard library types around, and not throwing exceptions across shared library boundaries. They often forget that at least one very commonly used shared library does exactly that... your C++ standard library. On many platforms, there is usually a system C++ standard library. If you want to use that, then you need to deal with standard library types and exceptions going across shared library boundaries. If OS version N+1 breaks ABI in the system C++ standard library, the program you shipped and tested with for OS version N will not work on the upgraded OS until you rebuild.
A2: Sometimes, rebuilding isn't enough
Suppose your company distributes pre-built programs to customers, and this program supports plugins (e.g. Wireshark dissector plugins). If the plugin ABI changes, in the pre-built program, then all of the plugins need to rebuild. The customer that upgrades the program is unlikely to be the one that does the rebuilding, but they will be responsible for upgrading all the plugins as well. The customer cannot effectively upgrade until the entire ecosystem has responded to the ABI break. At best, that takes a lot of time. More likely, some parts of the ecosystem have become unresponsive, and won't ever upgrade. This also requires upgrading large swaths of a system at once. In certain industries, it is very difficult to convince a customer to upgrade anything at all, and upgrading an entire system would be right out. Imagine breaking ABI on a system library on a phone. Just getting all of the apps that your company owns upgraded and deployed at the same time as the system library would be a herculean effort, much less getting all the third party apps to upgrade as well. There are things you can do to mitigate these problems, at least for library and C++ language breaks on Windows, but it's hard to mitigate this if you are relying on a system C++ standard library. Also, these mitigations usually involve writing more error prone code that is less expressive and less efficient than if you just passed around C++ standard library types.
A3: Sometimes you can't rebuild everything.
Sometimes, business models revolve around selling pre-built binaries to other people. It is difficult to coordinate ABI changes across these businesses. Sometimes, there is a pre-built binary, and the company that provided that binary is no longer able to provide updates, possibly because the company no longer exists. Sometimes, there is a pre-built binary that is a shared dependency among many companies (e.g. OpenSSL). Breaking ABI on an upgrade of such a binary will cause substantial issues.
Q: What tools do we have for managing ABI changes?
A: Several, but they all have substantial trade-offs.
The most direct tool is to just make a new thing and leave the old one alone. Don't like std::unordered_map? Then make std::open_addressed_hash_map. This technique allows new and old worlds to intermix, but the translations between new and old must be done explicitly. You don't get to just rebuild your program and get the benefits of the new type. Naming the new things becomes increasingly difficult, at least if you decide to not do the "lazy" thing and just name the new class std::unordered_map2 or std2::unordered_map. Personally, I'm fine with slapping a version number on most of these classes, as it gives a strong clue to users that we may need to revise this thing again in the future, and it would mean we might get an incrementally better hash map without needing to wait for hashing research to cease. inline namespaces are another tool that can be used, but they solve far fewer ABI problems than many think. Upgrading a type like std::string or std::unordered_map via inline namespaces generally wouldn't work, as user types holding the upgraded types would also change, breaking those ABIs. inline namespaces can probably help add / change parameters to functions, and may even extend to updating empty callable objects, but neither of those are issues that have caused many problems in the C++ committee in the past. Adding a layer of indirection, similar to COM, does a lot to address stability and extensibility, at a large cost to performance. However, one area that the C++ committee hasn't explored much in the past is to look at the places where we already have a layer of indirection, and using COM-like techniques to allow us to add methods in the future. Right now, I don't have a good understanding of the performance trade-offs between the different plug-in / indirect call techniques that we could use for things like std::pmr::memory_resource and std::error_category.
Q: What can I do if I don't want to pay the costs for ABI stability?
A: Be your own toolchain vendor, using the existing open-source libraries and tools.
If you are able to rebuild all your source, then you can point all your builds at a custom standard library, and turn on (or even make your own) ABI breaking changes. You now have a competitive advantage, and you didn't even need to amend an international treaty (the C++ standard) to make it happen! If your changes were only ABI breaking and not API breaking, then you haven't even given up on code portability. Note that libc++ didn't need to get libstdc++'s permission in order to coexist on Linux. You can have multiple standard libraries at the same time, though there are some technical challenges created when you do that.
Q: What can I do if I want to change the standard in a way that is ABI breaking?
A1: Consider doing things in a non-breaking way.
A2: Talk to compiler vendors and the ABI Review Group (ARG) to see if there is a way to mitigate the ABI break.
A3: Demonstrate that your change is so valuable that the benefit outweighs the cost, or that the cost isn't necessarily that high.
Assorted points to make before people in the comments get them wrong
I'm neither advocating to freeze ABI, nor am I advocating to break ABI. In fact, I think those questions are too broad to even be useful.
Fixing std::unordered_map's performance woes would require an API break, as well as an ABI break.
I have my doubts that std::vector could be made substantially faster with only an ABI break. I can believe it if it is also coupled with an API break in the form of different exception safety guarantees. Others are free to prove me wrong though.
Making constexpr will probably be fine. The ABI issues were raised and addressed for constexpr , and that paper is waiting in LWG.
Filters on recursive_directory_iterators had additional concerns beyond ABI, and there wasn't consensus to pursue, even if we chose a different name.
Making destructors implicitly virtual in polymorphic classes would be a massive cross-language ABI break, and not just a C++ ABI break, thanks to COM. You'd be breaking the entire Windows ecosystem. At a minimum, you'd need a way to opt out of virtual destructors.
Are you sure that you are arguing against ABI stability? Maybe you are arguing against backwards compatibility in general.
Hey there Modern people, For those that have never seen me around before, I love budget Magic. Over on the Pioneer sub, I have this series that I do where I develop budget lists and run them through some games to report back there. For a couple weeks now, i’ve been getting more and more interested in Modern, so I figured that you guys could do with some of that budget goodness as well, and that’s what i’m here for today. If you didn’t catch it, last week I posted up a link to my Incomplete Compendium of Budget Modern Decks. (You can find that [HERE]) I’ve been updating that list since posting it, and it’s getting to the point where it’s almost finished. I’m going to take a couple of decks from this list and run them through some games so we can talk about how the decks perform. All of these decks are around a $100 budget in paper, and typically significantly less expensive online. One thing that I see very frequently when discussing budget modern decks is that Midrange strategies are basically completely unplayable because “YoU cAn’T tUrN a GoOdStUfF dEcK iNtO a BuDgEt DeCk”. While this is a little true (You just can’t fit 4x thoughtseize 4x Liliana of the Veil into a budget list unfortunately), it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility that you can play Midrange on a budget. Here, i’ve got three lists (Featuring some newly cheapened Double Masters cards!) that I think are totally viable as budget midrange options. Without anymore fanfare, let’s just jump in! --- Skred The first up for this one, we’ve got the first midrange archetype that I ever played in a tournament setting - Skred Red. For those that weren’t around in the stone age when this deck was popular, Skred Red is a snow based red midrange deck that looks to take advantage of its namesake as an extremely powerful removal spell, jam out a blood moon to lock out greedy manabases, and take over the game with difficult to deal with threats such as Koth or some Dragons. For this build in particular, i’ve decided to go for a suite of creatures that all provide Two for Ones (which will hereby be known as 2-4-1s) in some fashion, as well as going heavy handed on the card advantage spells that are within the budget range. One thing that i’ve learned is that Mazemind Tome is an amazing card, and if you’re playing a grindy deck that isn’t in blue you should definitely consider playing it. It helps to recover and stabilize in a color that otherwise doesn’t have access to lifegain, and drawing up to 4 cards is no joke. Other key synergies here include the combo of Eternal Scourge and main deck Relic of Progenitus to provide us with an “infinite” amount of 3/3 blockers or attackers while offering lines of disruption that most decks don’t have until sideboarding. Koth of the Hammer plus Mountains is also a very solid strategy for ending a game quickly, as the emblem is essentially unbeatable for the large percentage of the metagame. The main game plan here is to keep the board clear of creatures by any means necessary so as to not die, then jam out a threat that a creature deck won’t be able to deal with. This deck is basically the creature deck killer. Against non-creature decks, we’re really just hopeful that a blood moon or relic of progenitus is enough to slow them down so we can burn them out. Anyway, after playing some games, I ended up with a respectable 3-3. Modern is a lot more varied than it was in Skred’s heyday, which means that there’s a much smaller percent chance that you’ll go up against one of the deck’s stellar matchups. However, with astrolabe banned again Blood moon is definitely back on the menu as a real threat that people need to be concerned about. People pretty frequently seem to forget that blood moon is legal in the format; either that or they just don’t care enough about it and are willing to lose whenever it shows up. Janking people out with some stupid card that they aren’t prepared for is one of the cornerstones of building a deck on a budget, and Blood moon gives the Skred deck some major power. Overall, this seems more like a deck you take to an in-person event where you know that you’ll be facing up against creature decks and decks with greedy mana bases all night. I don’t think i’d take it to a large scale tournament with an unknown meta right now, but with some tuning it is certainly capable of pulling out wins. --- Hatebears Many people will look at a Death and Taxes or Hatebears list and think “Hey, this is an Aggro deck!”. While yes, on the surface this archetype definitely looks the way of a strictly aggressive creature beatdown deck, once you start reading the abilites and thinking about how they might play out over your typical game against any other random deck in the format, you’ll see that Hatebears is actually much more flexible, and able to adapt to become the control role in a large number of matchups. Hatebears was originally developed as a “Meta crusher” deck to beat up on jund decks by dropping a Loxodon Smiter on them when they went to play their discard effects. Since, it has existed in various forms, often being named interchangeably with Death and Taxes as they perform very similar roles in the modern metagame. The point of a Hatebears deck is to use efficient green mana dorks to jump ahead slightly into your powerful disruptive GW creature suite, and grind away at the opponent by having some kind of answer to anything that they’re doing while getting in for chip damage turn after turn. For my version, i’ve decided to supplement the removal suite with the combo of Containment Priest plus flicker effects to be able to exile any creature at will and keep them gone for good. This is supported by a small cat-tribal subtheme, as well as the typical litany of Taxes creatures whose job it is to throw the opponent off axis. The matches for this one went surprisingly well, ending on a 4-2 record. I played against a couple of combo decks who were completely hosed by the main deck hate cards I was packing, and I was also able to grind it out against a bant uro pile, keeping up with their creature threats as they struggled to answer my own. I’m pretty impressed with the deck in this small showing, and would love to see where this archetype can go in the hands of someone who really dedicates time to mastering it. The deck really rewards format knowledge, even in this budgeted incarnation, as it’s a deck that runs on very thin margins and making a wrong play somewhere can have devastating side effects a few turns down the road. Hatebears or Death and Taxes are in the category of decks where you grow as you play the deck, you tune the deck to perfectly fit against the overall metagame, and you’re rewarded for your dedication to the archetype. This isn’t a deck i’d expect to just pick up and start winning games with, there aren’t very many free wins here. If you like working for your glory, then Hatebears is definitely a deck for you. --- Delirium And now for the one we’ve all been waiting for. I promised midrange decks, and this is by far the most midrange-y of them all. Budget Son of Jund, the mac daddy itself, GB Delirium is here to kick tail and chew bubblegum…. And it’s all out of bubblegum. If i’m honest, I have no idea what that reference is even from. What I do know is that yes, GBx Midrange is in fact possible on a budget. For almost a decade, i’ve seen people ask “How do I play Jund on a budget in modern?”. It’s the most widely requested budget deck, and one of the most beloved playstyles. Magic as Richard Garfield intended, trading your resources with your opponent 1-4-1 in a true test of pilot skill and preparation. The deck with a 50/50 matchup against any other deck in the field not accounting for pilot skill. The deck that every man wants to be, every woman wants to be with, and every non-binary or asexual person looks at with the familiar fondness of a lifelong friend. The deck was just kinda fine. Another 3-3 record, I actually had much higher expectations for this one. I want to focus in on what the deck does well first, and that is approximate on a budget the playstyle and patterns of a non-budget GBx midrange deck. The choices feel almost the same, even though the card-for-card value is much less on our end. The deck offers an excellent stepping stone into GB Midrange decks in modern, and I feel as though if you’re looking for a first step into the format that this is one of the best ways to do it without playing aggro. Now, to what the deck does poorly. In building on a budget, we are limited severely by what we have access to, namely that we can’t build a “goodstuff” deck because all of the good stuff is heckin expensive. This means that we need to shift our focus onto synergy, because synergies exist at all levels in Magic. When we look for synergies in the GB colors, the most common theme we find is graveyard interaction, or playing around with our dead stuff. Going this route in modern without going all in on it means that we’re left weak to all the various graveyard hate that exists in the format without netting much of the benefit. While this means that we still get to play with some of the best cards we have access to, we’re left in a more vulnerable spot than if we were a non-budget build. Another area where we face difficulty is in the overall popularity of GBx as an archetype, meaning that we’re fighting against ourselves when trying to join in because anything of use to us is naturally going to be more expensive. While GB isn’t very pressed when it comes to making a mana base, we are pretty pressed in terms of removal as all of our best options are either $7+ or 3+ mana. We should also talk about timing in the metagame and what you should expect when taking a budget list for a spin. Right now, modern is dominated by Uro midrange piles, combo decks, highly efficient aggro decks, and prison style control decks. Not very many of these are excellent matchups for us when we’re not equipped with our strongest answers. Our small discard suite can keep the combo decks at bay long enough to sneak in some damage with our cheap creatures, and our removal can dispatch the early threats from opposing aggro decks, but when it comes to having better card for card quality than our opponents we’re just a little lacking. It doesn’t matter how solid your list is, budget or not, if the strategy overall just folds to an uro, and not all of your losses will be chalked up to your deck being cheaper than your opponents. It’s very easy to become discouraged when taking a budget list to an event and flopping, blaming your lack of investment for your lack of results. But sometimes its just a matter of your deck choice too, and that you picked the wrong deck to bring to an event. One thing that i’ve learned over my years of brewing with budget lists is that any deck, well enough tuned and piloted, can take down any tournament at any time. GB Delirium does a fantastic approximation of a midrange game plan in the modern format. It won’t net you the results that a full no-budget list might, but that isn’t the point of playing a budget deck. You don’t play budget decks to spike tournaments. You play them to get into formats, to learn, to get better, and to grow as a player. You’re meant to toss your budget deck to the wayside when you’re done with it, if you want. If you like the strategy, a majority of the time you can also use it as a base to build into the no-budget version of the archetype you wanted to play in the first place. If you take two players, both brand new to Modern UWx Control, and run them through series of tournaments with the only difference between the two players being that the first was playing a budget UW control deck for a year and the second is going in blind, the first will come out with a better record almost every time. They put in the time to learn the deck even before they could get their hands on it in full, and that practice will pay off. Moving 'round to the finisher, I just want to say that playing a budget deck doesn’t make you a bad player, it makes you someone who’s going to be a great player someday, and someone who recognises the value in investing time and learning. If you’re forced into playing on a budget, that’s alright. There’s options for you to play as competitively as possible. If you’re just unsure about whether you’d like the format you’re jumping into or not, that’s also alright, there’s room for you to grow. Budget deck building is a real passion of mine. I hope that you got something out of this, or at the very least had a bit of fun along the way. I have plans to make a whole bunch more content for budget modern, so stay tuned for that. If you’re curious and want to look through my whole catalogue of budget lists that i’ve made so far, you can do that [HERE] as well. Until next time, stay safe, stay smart, and thanks for reading!
The world is shaking of disaster and virus-like COVID-19. So our financial limits make it difficult to help those people who are in need. So We need a borderless universal currency that will be used by people worldwide. This can not be done with fiat currency and many experts are saying the age of paper cash is going away. Even with fiat, we are now using online payments for regular e-commerce. So in this situation technology became the key element for every sector of our life even with financial sectors too. We need to adopt this situation and use it as our advantage. Worlds are being decentralized day by day and its becoming trend and peoples are using it because of its transparency and fastness. Also, upgrade and security is also very easy and can be done at a low cost. Thats why world finance is going towards digital currency which can also be called cryptocurrency. what is cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrency is digital assets that use blockchain technology to run through a big chain of computer networks. This currency can be mined and sell through the various exchanges. Cryptocurrency is just like fiat currency and can be used in the same way. The difference is fiat is run and protect by a central authority but cryptocurrency is a decentralized network run by the node. Its greatly popular for its transparent, secure, lower cost and fast transactions. Also, this technology is highly scalable. What challenges does it face? The major challenge that cryptocurrency is facing is its global adoption. There are many reasons behind these problems like govt restrictions, lack of community support, lack of knowledge among the people, lack of reliable cryptocurrency exchange platform. One of the most key elements for global adoption is a good amount of exchange platforms all over the world. We are still heavily dependent on fiat currency and still, we need some reliable place where we can exchange our own cryptocurrency with any currency as our desire. So in these sectors, we are still behind and lack of good exchange. https://preview.redd.it/auod1ql1nuh51.jpg?width=2048&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b027ac8f92996ef29c024a022cd369212963937a EXTON.IO can be reliable? EXTON.IO is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange platform that is a product of the Thisoption ecosystem. This exchange is created to provide support in the crypto world so that traders can have a reliable platform where they can trade their coins at ease. This is a platform thats aim is to be an exchange for global mass and it is designed in such a way that it is very adaptable and secure. EXTON.IO offer a wide range of cryptocurrency which is around 250 crypto assets and they are offering numerous features and service for everyone. This platform is a great place for professional traders along with newbie who doesn't know how to use complex interfaces. The user interface of EXTON.IO is very simple and user-friendly so that every type of traders can use it. EXTON.IO features and service with multi-layer security protocol EXTON.IO is the best secure platform for traders. With its top-notch security and various service and features, it will be a major crypto exchnage platform. Best customer support and user-friendly UI: This is the most important service that a top-quality exchnage provides to its customers. Also for a new trader, it also needs to be easy and user friendly so that they won't be lost when using this platform. For the best user experience, EXTON.IO builds a system that anyone can be used without any problem. Its a platform where 24/7 support is ready to help any users for any kind of platform or trading relation problems. Access to a wide range of market:EXTON.IO is providing over 250 cryptocurrency market pairs. For the first time, it will be fewer but I time they will add more crypto assets for trading so that traders can choose any crypto assets as their desire. This multi-currency trading pair will bring more liquidity to the markets that will make trade more profitable and quick for traders. https://preview.redd.it/7vfyy3f3nuh51.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=62b916aa168c8e67d23fa8243501b9f49399ef20 Token economics:EXTON.IO issued its own native cryptocurrency based on TRON blockchain. This token has many uses in the platform as well as in the saving program for users. It will be used as a stable token for the platform and that is in their roadmap. Trading fees discounts and payments will be carried out using the TONS token. Conclusion EXTON.IO already shown good improvements in its platform. They also support mobile apps which is great for mobile users and hope they will release DTA very soon. This is another exchange that has some uniqueness about it They support binary options trading. I see good potential in this project and ready to grab my share in the project.
Cover | First chapter | Previous | Patreon | Published Books | Website | Discord “Sarah said you wanted to speak with me?” I strode into Zafir’s office and closed the door behind me. He looked mildly surprised to see me at first, but a welcoming smile took over soon after. “Yes…we have much to discuss.” Zafir watched me carefully as I sat across from him. “First and foremost, I should inform you of Abel’s lie and the steps I took to fix what he’d done.” “Oh lovely. I can’t wait.” I leaned against the armrest. “Do tell me of your noble deeds, o’ great hero.” A short laugh escaped Zafir before he settled back in his seat, hands steepled in his lap, and his voice becoming all business. “To the point it is. Abel, contrary to his reports to me and what he told you, had you fitted with the manner of brain chip that can be detonated. The military recently began investigating Abel’s activities due to his sudden—classified—disappearance. As much of his misconduct was in relation to the other survivors, I took the liberty of ordering additional scans when you were rendered unconscious.” I gave him an impatient look when he paused for a swig of water. “Which showed the chip. And?” “I took the liberty of replacing it. After some discussions with our bosses, I educated them on the nuances of survivors such as yourself and acquired permission to use a Syldrari-made chip.” Zafir gave me that mysterious ‘I know you’re overthinking every word I say’ smile of his. “The survivors, and especially you, require more processing power than the empire’s chips provide. Luckily for us, the empire has no qualms about stealing technology from others and refitting it to suit their own purposes.” “Why Syldrari specifically?” I raised an eyebrow. “There’s plenty of races more advanced than us.” “Because the Syldrari are the most advanced species we’ve encountered, and because a Syldrari chip was the only one you showed compatibility with. I imagine it must have something to do with the Resonance Incident and your Syldrari suit.” Zafir shrugged, seemingly unbothered by my suspicion. “With that explained, we come to the primary reason I sent for you: I want your permission to run further tests. I’m not confident that Abel didn’t fake more information. Specifically, I would like to run blood tests.” “I mean…fine?” I glanced around, then back at Zafir. “Here, or one of the labs?” “Here will suffice.” Zafir motioned for me to roll up my sleeves. He stood and began rummaging around in the nearby cabinets. “How is training progressing?” “It’s…going. There’s not really much to say on that front until they can start actually going out to do…whatever it is we do.” I shook my head. “I’m still waiting to hear back from our bosses, but I did send in my request that Calder, Nikolai, and Maelor begin working.” Zafir pulled a chair up next to me and rolled a tray over, motioning for me to give him my arm. “Speaking of which, they want you to resume patrolling the Syldrari Sector during the day. They believe we’ve given enough time—” “I’m not so sure about that,” I interjected, thinking back to the letter Sarah had brought to me from Rel. “From what I understand, the Syldrari are worryingly convinced that I’m Lethe, and it may be dangerous for me there because of it.” “And you have this on good authority?” Zafir inquired as he gently prodded at my arm, sanitizing it before strapping a thin black band around the crook of my elbow. I grimaced. It was too late not to elaborate. “Rel sent a letter along with our meal the other week. He warned that I should stay away because multiple clans, including the R’selkti, are looking for me due to these rumors.” “Of course…” Zafir sighed, his expression falling. “I’m afraid there’s nothing I can say at this point to make them reconsider…without putting you at greater risk. Tomorrow you will begin your patrols again. I will see if I can convince our superiors to permit one of your colleagues to join you. Either way, I am planning to have one of them act as our ‘vigilante’ in the sector for a time, while you work elsewhere. Who would you say is the most stable?” “Nikolai for sure.” I raised an eyebrow as Zafir took the band off me. “Done already?” “Indeed. It’s much more efficient than a needle.” Zafir tilted a black glass vial, peering into it briefly before capping it off. The other three were quickly sealed as well. If there was anything off about my blood, he didn’t comment or show it. A pity, that. I was curious to know if there were still traces of blue like I’d seen while fighting the odd Syldrari. “Now then, I recommend you rest for the remainder of the day. I want you at your best when dealing with the Syldrari. Perhaps you can do some reading on their culture while you relax?” * * * I arrived in the Syldrari Sector early in the morning as shops were starting to open and people were beginning to walk the streets. Though it was early, there seemed to be an unusual number of people out and about. They were all so distracted that I managed to make it all the way to Rel’s cafe without anyone acknowledging my presence. “Elara? You shouldn’t…” Rel released an aggravated sigh. “You don’t have a choice and that’s why you’re here. Of course. What can I do for you, then? Are you feeling better?” “Better…ish?” I shrugged and gave him a small smile. “What can I say? It’s one thing after another. I’m just trying to roll with the punches at this point.” “Understandable.” Rel nodded and gave me a tired smile. “Will I be surprising you again today?” “Can you stop spoiling the graekstidat fodder for one second?” A familiar, grumpy voice demanded. I glanced over to see a Syldrari man with pale grey skin walking over. His black hair obscured one eye, the pale blue underside glowing against his cheek. His eyes were…among the odder that I’d seen. While the pupils were consistent with Syldrari, the colors of deep mauve, yellow, and jade green blended together similar to how a human’s hazel did. However, I had no damn idea where I’d heard his voice before. “A…what fodder?” I looked over at the aggravated Rel. “And since when did you have an edgy teenager working for you?” “Ah, think of it as an amphibious, furred shark hybrid the length of…several train cars,” Rel answered, pressing his fingers to his temples. “Furthermore, Aldiner is old enough to be your great-great-great-” “I’m working here to pay up for pissing off the elder here,” Aldiner interjected with a snort as he pushed his hands into his apron pockets. He leaned over me, examining me from a few angles. “You don’t have that military air to you. Sure you’re a—” I gave Aldiner my best cold, intimidating glare as he reached out and poked my cheek once. When he went for a second poke, I knocked his arm aside, spun behind him and elbowed him where I hoped his kidneys were, and moved to take him down to the ground. Alas, an arm wrapped around my waist and lifted me clean off the floor—and didn’t stop until my butt was planted on his shoulder. I looked down, startled enough to forget about beating the crap out of Aldiner. “Ignore Aldiner. He likes to annoy everyone he sees, and hates being ignored.” The much larger Syldrari glanced at me. I certainly hadn’t expected it to be the grumpy soldier man, seeing as he’d appeared to rather dislike me. “You’re fast, for a strigaella.” “A human woman,” Rel answered my next question with a sigh. Aldiner, behave. Humans are much less…ah…” Rel motioned with his hands and wiggled his fingers as he searched for the word. “You don’t touch humans unless invited to,” the soldier Syldrari grunted. “She invited ya?” Aldiner leaned forward peering at the soldier and then at where I was perched on his shoulder. “I didn’t, but I can appreciate that he was stopping me from starting a brawl with you right here and—” I cut myself off with an aggravated sigh when felt the feral attempting to push forward. All three Syldrari went still and watched me warily. What they sensed, or how much, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. “Set me down, please…uh…” “Heh, always bitching about manners and you never introduced yourself, did ya?” Aldiner gave the soldier a cocky grin. “…call me Casair,” the soldier glanced away, seeming a little disgruntled, but the patterns of light on his arms didn’t so much as flicker. …Aldiner on the other hand… I glanced at the self-contained rave fish, then back at Casair. “And you can call me Elara, though I suppose you knew that already.” “Awww, Casair is shy!” Aldiner teased. “Suppressing—” “Quiet, vlerst bait.” Casair crossed his arms at the strobing Syldrari, then glanced over at me. “Back to patrolling needlessly?” “Something like that. I was sitting around recovering for so long that my boss’s bosses started thinking up other uses for me.” I grimaced before walking over to the counter and hopping up onto my usual seat. “As for surprising me, Rel, yes. Though I’d like a glass of…” I paused to reference the menu, “Jiirst☆nil?” Either I said it very right or terribly wrong, because all three men stopped what they were doing to stare at me in shock. Well, Aldiner was staring already, but he didn’t count. “Ah, there you are Rel my dear!” A woman’s voice carried through the room shortly after I heard the doors to the establishment open. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” “Mother, please…” a familiar voice groaned, and I glanced back to see the candy girl—who perked up and waved when she spotted me. “Careful you don’t become the queen’s snack,” Casair muttered by my ear before moving away to a booth in the corner, settling into it in such a way that he could keep an eye on everyone. Queen? I eyed the flamboyant woman and the three people with her. If one was her daughter, I had to assume the other two were guards—they had weapons holstered at their hips, at least. “I’m honored by your visit, but please refrain—” Rel began. “So, when will you become one of my consorts?” The…queen? demanded with a bright smile—one that faltered when Rel placed the drink he was making in front of me instead of her. I half-expected her to be angry, but instead she studied me for a moment, her head tilted, and a finger pressed against her full, black-painted lips. “A visitor in the Syldrari Sector…are you an Iri, Sen’iri, Sol’iri, Anad’iri, Sora’iri, or Lun’iri? I can never tell with you humans…” “Elara is an Iri, honestly…” Rel rubbed his temples. “How many times must we explain to you that the humans are binary in their biological—” “And that is just the problem! Biological! If they didn’t hop around between bodies and swap out prosthetics constantly—no offense—perhaps I could more easily identify who they are!” The queen hmphed, crossed her arms, then finally seemed to spot my uniform. “Ah, a military girl—my favorite. If Rel still refuses to become my consort… How would you like off this planet, sweetie?” “Mother, please!” The candy girl moved between her mother and me. “Elara is the nice human I told you about! She likes the candy I make, and her friends are going to help give me ideas for ones more humans will like! Plus, you haven’t even introduced yourself! Humans can’t sense a queen’s identity!” “Speaking of my colleagues,” I paused, pulling out several sheets of paper that had been folded together. “They may not be able to come to the sector for a while, so they asked me to deliver their notes to you.” She took them, and skimmed the first page, the glowing sections of her skin pulsing faster the more she read. “This is…this is great! I’m going to go work on the next batch!” And with that, the excitable candy girl darted out of the café, practically skipping as she went. “I’m Xilen, I run the mercantile Dvarl Clan,” the queen stated promptly, offering me her hand. When I shook it, she paused to study my face and search my eyes. “If you ever want off this planet, Rel knows how to contact me. It wouldn’t do for a pretty little thing like you to be wasted on the humans.” “…I’ll keep that in mind…” I gently reclaimed my hand while Aldiner snickered from somewhere. “Do you find women…?” Rel raised an eyebrow when I shook my head. “Then, you are being polite.” “I’m keeping my options open,” I countered. “If the military can’t recreate the Resonance phenomena—and maybe even if they can—their next step is going to be breeding our mutations down to offspring. I want no part of that, so having options is good.” “Ahhh, she’s so smart!” Xilen leaned over to squeeze me, rubbing her cheek against mine. To my surprise, the Syldrari in the cafe all looked ready to start a fight over it—with her. I got the distinct feeling it wasn’t jealousy, which made me all the more confused. “You just say the word and I’ll have you off this planet and into my arms! I’d love to see how such a cute human would look in Syldrari clothes—you don’t mind translucency, do you? I’d imagine not—” “Elara needs to have her meal before she returns to her duties.” Rel suddenly appeared behind us, his hand on the queen’s shoulder, and his voice cold as ice. “If you’re here to discuss trade, you can wait for me in the usual room.” “How dare—” One of the men I assumed to be the queen’s guards started to raise a weapon. I figured this was as good a time as any to make my point. I was out of my chair and twisting the weapon out of the man’s hand before he could finish his sentence. Using his body weight against him, I got him on the floor and twisted his arm behind his back, placing my booted foot against the back of his shoulders. “You— Ugh!” The other guard grunted when Casair’s fist met his stomach. “Please keep in mind that my job is to keep conflicts in the Syldrari Sector to a minimum, and I am authorized to use lethal force if you pull a weapon on anyone, regardless of race or species,” I spoke calmly, grinding my heel into the Syldrari’s back for emphasis. “You may keep your weapons and use them for defense if necessary. If you pull them again for any other reason…” “Cuuute!” Xilen promptly squeezed me in a hug. It took most of my willpower to beat down the feral, especially since I agreed with the idea of fucking ripping her arms off if she hugged me one more damn time. Xilen leaned down to speak quietly by my ear, “Be careful, dear. If you ever suspect you’re in trouble or in over your head, I’m sure you know how we can get them to come running to save you. And, stay far, far away from the R’selkti and their queen.” “Uh—?” I didn’t get to ask her what the hell she was on about. She fetched her guards and led them to some back room, leaving me confused and…a little unnerved. “I apologize for Queen Xilen’s…eccentricities,” Rel offered when I finally turned around to return to my seat. “Are all queens so goddamn pushy?” I snorted irritably, trying to shove Xilen’s insinuations out of my mind. “Ah…with Iri being the rarest of the six, they tend to act however they please…” Rel murmured awkwardly. “It is not uncommon for Syldrari women to turn their rarity into a form of power over others. Most Iri, even if they are not queens, have many…I believe the human word is ‘spouses?’” “Long story short: most recent queens have been groomed to see the other sexes as playthings to collect. Some of them even take other Iri, but it’s frowned upon,” Casair piped up flatly. “Xilen is of a different tide. She’s lasted so long because she can pretend. Whatever she whispered to you was probably as herself.” “Blah blah blah.” Aldiner rolled his eyes before leaning toward me. “You know, being a queen’s pet has its perks.” “Aldiner!” Rel barked, his markings flaring bright. “Go wash the dishes!” “Fiiine.” Aldiner sauntered off toward the back, though he turned and stuck his fingers up in a V and flicked his surprisingly long dual or split tongue between them before disappearing through the door. …I have a feeling it’s a good thing Rel didn’t catch that… I shook my head slightly. “So, are there any other developments I should know about before I start my patrols again?” “Just…be cautious. Someone has convinced the people here that you are Lethe…and that she may be a queen or related to one.” Rel sighed heavily and pushed his hair back. “Aside from that, things have been calming down after the little queen was found. With Xilen here…who knows. Her unannounced visits always cause trouble.” Next
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The C++ standards committee met in Prague, Czech Republic between Feb 10 and Feb 15. The standard is wording complete, and the only thing between here and getting it published is ISO process. As is typical for me at these meetings, I spent a lot of time doing freestanding things, Library Incubator (LEWGI) things, and minuting along the way (15-ish sessions/papers!).
I had three freestanding papers coming into this meeting:
P1641: Freestanding Library: Rewording the Status Quo
P1642: Freestanding Library: Easy [utilities], [ranges], and [iterators]
P2013: Freestanding Language: Optional ::operator new
The first two papers are pieces of my former "P0829: Freestanding Proposal" paper, and had been seen by the Feature Test study group in Belfast. During this meeting, I got to run them by the Library Incubator for some design feedback. The papers were received well, though some potential danger points still exist. Library Evolution can look at the papers as soon as they have time. P2013 is the first smaller piece taken out of "P1105: Leaving no room for a lower-level language: A C++ Subset". Exceptions are probably the most important thing in P1105, but there's so much activity going on in this area that it is hard for me to make good recommendations. The next highest priority was new and delete, hence P2013 being born. I also felt that P2013 was a good test paper to see if the committee was willing to make any language based change for freestanding. I had presented P2013 in a prior Low Latency / SG14 telecon, and received unanimous approval (no neutral, no against votes). I was able to present it in the Evolution Incubator, and received no against votes. Then, in a surprisingly quick turnaround, I was able to present to Evolution, and again received no against votes. So now I just need to come up with wording that accomplishes my goals, without breaking constant evaluated new.
Errors and ABI
On Monday, we held a join session between Evolution and Library Evolution to talk about one of the C++ boogeymen, ABI. P1836 and P2028 have good background reading if you are not familiar with the topic. The usual arguments were raised, including that we are losing out on performance by preserving ABI, and that breaking ABI would mean abandoning some software that cannot be rebuilt today. We took some polls, and I fear that each person will interpret the polls differently. The way I interpreted the polls is that we won't do a "big" ABI break anytime soon, but we will be more willing to consider compiler heroics in order to do ABI breaks in the library. One ABI area that is frequently overlooked is the situation that I am in. I can rebuild all of my source code, but even despite that I still care about ABI because I don't ship all of it together. I build a library with a plugin architecture, and breaking ABI would mean updating all the plugins on customer systems simultaneously... which is no easy task. I also ship binaries on Linux systems. We would prefer to be able to use new C++ features, despite targeting the various "LTS" distributions. ABI stability is a big part of that. I am hoping to make another post to cpp with my thoughts in the next few months, tentatively titled "ABI Breaks: Not just about rebuilding". On Tuesday, LEWG discussed "P1656: 'Throws: Nothing' should be noexcept". This is a substantial change to the policy laid out in N3279, authored by Alisdair Meredith. That's why it is informally called the "Lakos" rule. We discussed the trade-offs involved, including how adding noexcept can constrain future changes, how noexcept can make precondition tests more difficult, and how this will change little in practice, because implementers already mark most "Throws: Nothing" calls as noexcept. Arguments about performance, code bloat, and standards guaranteed portability won out though. This paper was "only" a policy change, so a follow-on paper will need to be authored by someone in order to actually do the noexcept marking. Wednesday night we had a social event celebrating the impending C++20 release. The event was held in the Prague Crossroads, built in 927 A.D.. The large tables let us have conversations with people we may not have really bumped into during the rest of the meeting. I started talking exceptions with a few of the other people at the table, and one of the had some particularly in depth knowledge about the topic. As it turns out, I was sitting at the same table as James Renwick of Low-cost Deterministic C++ Exceptions for Embedded Systems fame. I ended up talking his ear off over the course of the night. Thursday in LEWG, we talked about Niall Douglas's "P1028: SG14 status_code and standard error object". This is the class that may one day be thrown by P0709 "Static" exceptions. Coincidentally, the most contentious parts were issues involving ABI. In several of the virtual interfaces in the standard, we've wanted to add things later, but haven't been able to do so. Friday, James Renwick was able to present his paper, and the room was very receptive of it. One of my concerns going in to the presentation was that the committee would be unwilling to change anything in the standard related to today's exceptions. After the presentation and discussion, I'm less concerned about that. There was definitely a willingness to make some changes... but one of the big challenges is a question of whether we change default behavior in some cases, or change language ABI, even for C.
This one is the "high level" linear algebra paper. There's a different, "lower level" linear algebra paper (P1673) that covers BLAS use cases. P1385 is intended to be something that can sit on top of P1673, if I understand correctly. For being a math paper, there was surprisingly little math discussion in Library Incubator. We were generally discussing general interface issues like object ownership, concept requirements, and how to spell various operations, particularly inner product and outer product.
We are still in the philosophy and goals stage of this paper. We got to discuss the finer points of the distinctions between "kilogram" and "1 kilogram"; the difference between a unit, a dimension, and a quantity; and the difference between systems and models. This paper is challenging in that there is significant prior art, as well as strong opinions about "the right way" to do things. This gets to one of the trickier parts of standards meetings... driving consensus. The interested parties have been requested to (preferably) work together outside of the three meetings a year, or failing that, to write a paper that gives some outline of what a solution should look like. This paper also has an absurdly awesome / terrifying metaprogramming trick in it. A base class uses a friend declaration to declare (but not define) a function with an auto return type and no trailing return value. The derived class then declares and defines the function (again via friend) and lets the definition of the function determine the auto return type. This lets the base class use decltype to pull type information out of the derived class without explicitly passing that information down in a template argument (sorcery!). The main caveat with this trick is that it only works with exactly one derived class, as otherwise you end up with multiple conflicting definitions of the same function.
It's amazing what a minor paper reorg will do for productivity. This pair of papers used to be a single paper in the San Diego time frame, and we had a difficult time understanding how the pieces worked together. With the paper split as it is now, we have a small, concrete piece to review, which we were then able to see how it fit in to the interfaces and concepts of the larger paper. We got to dig in to some corner case traps with exception safety, move semantics, and race conditions. There were implementers in the room that could say what their implementation did, and I feel that the room was able to give good feedback to the authors.
Antony Polukhin is secretly my accidental nemesis (well, not so secret anymore). Over the course of C++20, he sprinkled constexpr on many of the things. As it turns out, there is a large (but not 100%) overlap of constexpr and freestanding. Each thing that went constexpr turned into a merge conflict that I got to resolve in my papers. And he's still at it! In this case, 100% of the things that were constexpr'd were also things that I have previously identified as being potentially freestanding. So that's a positive. There were concerns about implementability though, as sometimes, the C library and the C++ library come from different vendors, and having forwarding wrappers is far from trivial.
A minute about minuting
For the wg21 readers out there, if you think you are bad at taking minutes, that just means you need more practice :) . If you find yourself in a room that is about to review a paper that you are not heavily invested in, volunteer to take minutes. That way you can make a valuable contribution, even for an area where you don't have domain expertise. As a bonus, you get to follow the minuter's code (something I just made up) about spelling other people's names. As the person taking minutes, you have license to change up to three letters in someone's name, so long as it isn't used maliciously. You can freely take any double letter in a name and convert it to a single letter (e.g. Connor -> Conor), turn a single letter to a double letter (David -> Davvid), or completely rearrange any consecutive series of vowels. And people will thank you for it! You are also given free license to interrupt people in order to ask them who they are. Give it a try!
I've got a bunch of papers to write for the next mailing, and I won't even be in Varna. So if you're interested in championing some freestanding papers, let me know, and I can coach you on the topics.
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