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06:38 pm, 21 Jul 05

total google experience

It's fun working at a company where pretty much no matter what subject you look into, there's somebody either who has more expertise with it or is simply responsible for the whole damn thing.

I was reminded of this because I had a very Googleish experience today. I've been working on a project that involves drawing spirals with Cairo, and I had some basic ideas but I was more or less stuck*. So I asked a few friends if they knew anything about graphics and eventually came across Josh.

I told him that my only primitives available were arcs (sections of circles), and he said I could approximate it, and then I said I had Bezier curves and his eyes lit up: "There's a whole chapter of my thesis on them!" (Thinking to myself: I thought your thesis was in math... ...oh, your PhD thesis.) And then he proceeded to thoroughly answer my question.

* I used to be more into this stuff when I was younger, so I think I might have been able to figure it out on my own -- but my recollection is more like "the intermediate control points are related to the derivative at the end, with some factor of 3 involved somewhere".