Welcome to the Hidden Grove Substack.
My name is Ryan. I’m a professional programmer who works in the gaming industry on engines and tools. In my own time, I work on engines, tools, and games, as well as research and development into new forms of code editors, compilers, development environments, design systems, and operating systems.
I love the human adventure—the endeavor for meaningful and worthwhile lives, and the unending drive towards artistic, philosophical, spiritual, mathematical, and scientific horizons. This adventure is only possible through the empowerment of the individual. This is why I care about computing. It has been one of the greatest engines of individual liberty in history, and thus all manifestations of that liberty: widespread communicative abilities, ubiquitous critique and contempt for illegitimate authority, new forms of art, new modes of human existence through human-computer-interaction, and scientific and mathematical exploration.
I grew up seeing computers as some intended them to be—as bicycles for the mind. They don’t seem much like that anymore. It seems that almost every interaction with common day-to-day software is treated as an opportunity to exploit, manipulate, and control.
Computing is under threat from overburdening complexity, centralization, lack of competition, ineffectual culture, sacrifice of value for the sake of programmer convenience, and widespread lack of educational quality. Too much software is corrupt, exploitative, slow, frustrating, and poorly designed.
Hidden Grove is my project to change this—to build a new computing foundation with a new culture, community, and products which respect simplicity, design, performance, decentralization, culture, and education.
If you’re in favor of this mission, and if you enjoy what I write here as part of this project, please consider subscribing.
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Allen Webster, Mr. 4th—An excellent and remarkably-rigorous programmer I’ve had the privilege of working with on a few projects, including Dion Systems. He is producing a very in-depth video series on building his own personal codebase from scratch, and is writing blog posts on the computing world, both regarding technical details and the freedom to compute.
Abner Coimbre—Abner is the organizer of the Handmade Seattle conferences, and one of the original founders of Handmade Network. He’s well-known for his chocolate-wine-fueled interviews with various interesting people on the topics of programming and ownership in computing, and his passion for from-scratch systems programming.
Thomas Randall—Thomas Randall, or Randy, is a well-known game development content creator. He has used some of my game development technology. He is on his own journey to improve as a game programmer through from-scratch game programming, releasing small game projects, and document his work through video and blog content.