muse

Lining It Up That Way (Rant)

The reason it’s so important for you to see 100 lines of code on your screen is that you have arranged the code so that 100 lines seems like a sane quantity. What you’re doing is working against your own capability. The reason it’s so important that no one interrupts you for six-hour blocks is that you have arranged the code so that six-hour blocks seem like a sane amount of concentration. What you’re doing is working against your own …

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TDD on the Front End

A recurring respondents’ theme is “TDD is irrelevant in front-end code”. It’s easy to offer/receive this comment combatively, but I think a little more rich discussion of the factors involved might bring us to new and different positions about UI and TDD. Most folks who offer that are living in some sort of JS world: their code is client-side scripts attached to html pages to render various contents received from another application. Their browsers are in effect frameworks, inside of …

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The Change-Harvester’s Value

The change-harvester’s take on “value” is quite different from the software trade’s “standard” view. To get at that difference will take us a little time. Three differences stand out for me just now, and they have to do with 1) definition, 2) distribution schedule, and 3) temporal stability. I want to take a look at these in a particular context: “the long story”. (Aside: I’m mildly sick today, so it’s gonna spill out a little more slowly. It’s dumb to …

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Readability And Scannability

I distinguish quite strongly between “readability” and what I call “scannability”. I think that our trade’s pedagogues, even our very good ones, conflate the two, and in so doing inaccurately describe programming and ineffectively prescribe remedies. Maybe the way to approach the idea is through your experience of seeing. Humans — most vertebrates, in fact — rely heavily on “seeing”. The fabric of our experience is richly visual. A large portion of our neocortex is given over to it. Its …

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My Direction Forward

Here’s a thing that happens: “We tried your advice by not trying your advice except partly where we did what we want but gave it your labels and it didn’t work and therefore you are wrong.” Now, if you’ve given that advice for many years, and followed it in your own endeavors, and you, your teams, and many others have succeeded with it, what are you to make of such a statement? Well. Let’s not hedge, the world has too …

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Kontentment And Human Arcs

Aight. I been away from programming for a couple of months, but there was a reason I started talking the other day about the kontentment project: I’m wanting mucho change in it. For a talk I’m giving, I want the ability to draw human arcs, with the same ease with which I can draw human lines. So I set out today to get that in. Human straight lines start with a line segment AB. Pick two random locations on that …

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Frames in the Software Trade: An Example

We’ve talked about frames adding up to worldviews adding up to cultures, but it all feels pretty vague in its possible importance. We need some informal sense of how this works in practice. In the immortal words of Brian Marick, “an example would be handy right about now.” Continuous Integration (CI) is the practice of frequently cycling code through the source vault. People practicing CI do this several times a day. In “git” terms, they both pull/merge/push, depending on language …

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The Kontentment Project

I am in a mood of 1) wanting to geek out a little, and 2) wanting to concretize some key ideas from change-harvesting for my fellow geeks. To do that, I need to give you a sketch of the kontentment project, a desktop app I wrote and use in making videos. The source for kontentment is here: Kontentment – GeePawHill on GitHub I don’t particularly recommend you download it or try to run it. You won’t need to for these …

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How I Work (Test-Driving Mix)

A while back, I wrote a muse about how I work focused just on the coding I do. Today I want to talk about how I test during that process. How I Work – Just Programming Mix | GeePawHill.org The same caveat applies as before: This is not intended as prescription. I am happy, believe me, to tell you what to do. But that’s not what this is. This is just what I do.  Meta: I don’t separate testing from …

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Discipline: A Short Rant

People use the word “discipline” reasonably often when they talk about the software trade. I tend to avoid that word, and I wish more folks followed me in that policy. Most of those folks are not meaning anything untoward. They might easily use “orderly”, “consistent”, “persistent”, “systematic”, and so on, instead of “discipline”, and as I say, I wish they would. “Discipline”, in other parts of the forest, is an ordinary part of the vocabulary of extrinsic motivation by punishment …

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