Friday, September 9, 2022

On QE II's Passing

London Bridge is Down.

This morning, I awoke to news that Queen Elizabeth II had indeed passed away overnight, bringing to a close an incredible era - spanning the first successful ascent of Mount Everest, man stepping foot on the moon, the invention of the Internet, the birth of yours truly, the founding and rise of Blender, and in recent years, COVID.

Late last night, the news broke that the Queen's health had taken a turn for the worst, and that members of the Royal Family were urgently cancelling appointments and rushing to Scotland. If ever there was a clearer sign that the end was in sight, there could be no mistaking what this all meant. (*1)

Just like on the day I learned that my Grandma had died - again on a regular day in September - I can tell you the piece of code / chunk of functionality I was working on when I first heard the news. In the case of my Grandma, it was the Edit Mode curve vertex selection code - specifically, either the select next/prev, select first/last, or select nth operators. That afternoon, I'd been working on trying to get to the bottom of a series of annoying crashes in my initial implementation of those features. From memory, I think I managed to fix at least one of those, though my memory is a bit hazy now - all I remember is that after receiving the phone call, my hands went cold, and I rather hastily proceeded to quickly wrap off the bit I'd been doing, and shut down my computer.

Last night, I'd instead by trying to get working an "inline popup panel UI" for editing a CSG Node Tree (used to avoid needing switching modes / editing contexts) - my initial attempt of putting this UI in a separate window had turned out to be a massive failure, resulting in a mix of random untraceable crashes (i.e. it was deep in the bowels of the C++ / QML engine perhaps, and not inspectable from my  code) and/or more predictable yet still utterly frustrating "polish()" loop errors when the popover panels launched from buttons within that UI would run out of space to be fully displayed without cropping. In the end, I finally resolved to rip out that approach, and all back on putting the whole panel inside a popover panel instead. Doing so would hopefully bypass all the polish() loop and related issues (there was ample window-space to draw in now), at the expense of having a UI formed from nested-popups-upon-popups, and without the ability to reposition + resize those popups (not that the dialog was fully resizeable either for that matter though). In this case though, I did finally manage to get the beast working before clocking out for the night, all the while checking various twitter feeds to check if the inevitable had happened.

While the two events are not really comparable - one was after all the head of state for multiple countries - and regardless of whatever wokey-pokey convictions you may hold about the role of monarchy in the 21st century, I think it's only right and appropriate that we to spend a few moments reflecting on the life and times of one of the world's most loved and respected "grandmas", a stable and ever-present constant pillar in a rapidly changing world.

Thank you for your many decades of service Your Majesty. Rest in Peace.



Additional Notes: 

(*1) That said, the headline that no less than 7 (!) members of the line of succession had all crammed on a hastily scrambled private flight in a time like this raised no doubt raised questions about how even the usual risk management protocols had really flown the roost.