Stuart Spence Blog

Computer scientist and educator. Creator of ChessCraft. Senior computer scientist at Environment Canada.

Sat 27 May 2023

Goodbye MongoDB

Posted by Stuart Spence in ChessCraft   

After years of strange problems and bad performance with MongoDB, this week I successfully migrated to PostgreSQL. This took lots of preparations, went smoothly, and is performing great, so I thought I'd write about it. Writing here is cathartic. Also, others might find it useful.


Look what …


Sat 18 May 2019

Centennial? Centeninstallial?

Posted by Stuart Spence in ChessCraft   

100 installs banner

Today ChessCraft passed 100 active installs! That is, 100 people decided to install ChessCraft and (most importantly) did not decide to uninstall it. So that's quite nice. This makes ChessCraft the most popular game I've ever made. Except if we count Starcraft 1 and Warcraft 3 multiplayer maps I made …


Fri 29 March 2019

ChessCraft in Universities?

Posted by Stuart Spence in ChessCraft   

There is a possibility that ChessCraft will be used to teach artificial intelligence in a university course! My commandline interface already supports round robin tournaments, and a professor expressed some interest today. It occurred to me that if I prepare a package, lots of AI professors could use it. And …


Sat 01 July 2017

Your Perfect Code Might Be Terrible for Teaching

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

When I post tutorial videos people often make suggestions on how to improve my computer code. Thank you for your code suggestions! However, we may have a problem.

I often find that code suggestions are not teaching suggestions. Almost all computer programmers are not experienced educators, so this is understandable …


Mon 28 March 2016

Sorry! I'd Like to Help You but I Can't

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

When I post tutorial videos, I get a lot of requests for personalized help. I want to help! Your project might even sound really cool to me. But here I'm going to explain why I probably cannot help you today.

Unfortunately, It's Inefficient

One of the exciting things about the …


Thu 24 March 2016

Learning to Code by Writing, not Copying

Posted by Stuart Spence in Blog   

"Yeh, If your a experianced coder, five mins no problem but if your a bigginer it can take hours." - Rowen Henderson8

"it would help a lot if you ppl would copy and paste the code into your videos on the bottom." - Emjay Club

"Fantastic but please add the script somewhere …