Each day, he opened this document, and entered his word-count into an excel spreadsheet.
It's my favourite illustration of how 1) software is useful and 2) software is shit.
I promise I am not a whiney, or negative person.
I came here to say that this is a amazing.
I want so much more of this in the world.
so bear with me,
consider this image:
Think about creating this image - which tool would you use?
Sketch? Photoshop? MSpaint?
It's pretty doable.
what if you wanted to make the lettuce thicker?
Chances are, after resizing it, you'd have to move each of the other layers up.
I know there are some sketch plugins
, and other exceptions - but this is primarily how we are doing design, in 2019.
This seems like a basic thing.
Suppose you're very clever, and made the hamburger in flexbox
, or CSS grid.
look how the row transitions to a column
If you think about it, this is a tricky thing to do.
Each item is placed depending on the others.
...but then what it depends-upon changes.
To do this example, i just with absolute-positioning. It took me a good while.
I'm sure, 10 years ago, the people at microsoft did exactly the same thing.
Here's a clip from the Oculus Quest demo-reel:
we are still doing this, the faking of layout.
showing a list is arguably a central point of information technology.
and somehow we don't do this very well.
Your mockups are beautiful,
but the results are always fidgety, and compromised.
'One more iteration'
they always say, but then you're old
This has surprised me, how we have not gotten better, over the decades.
you gotta feel sometimes like something is wrong
indeed, you hear stories about army-generals
trying to manage software projects and giving-up.
Developers are stuck trying to fake things, with increasingly-creative fakery
There's probably no industry with a more dense history of loopy, compromising tricks-on-tricks-on-tricks
at a startup.
perhaps the most-designed website ever
when is it officially broken?
Computer latency, 1977-2017 - figures by Dan Luu
18 months is a inscrutible about of time.
that's the trick.
- If moore's law was expressed as a 1/72th faster every week, it would bring immediate disapointment, and would be quickly ignored.
The truth is that computers got rapidly faster in the 90's and are now measurably getting slower.
We don't have a cute name for it, because it's not a fun thing to TED-talk about.
Computers are getting slower, and our software is more polemic and competitive.
The best time in history for latency was 1983
Computers had a spec, and you could just engineer under it.
Early videogames had essentially no lag, loading, buffering, or timeouts.
My favourite description of software-latency is by Bruce Dawson,
where he densely analyzes
typing latency as he's writing an email.
It's amazing and I recommend reading it
There's no finger-pointing, or conclusion.
People have been working hard, for a lot of years on software.
The more software we write, the slower it gets.
A recent analysis showed that most clickbait-articles
are larger than the all the major works of russian literature
red-dead redemption 2 is larger than two uncompressed wikipedias
big data is a solved problem.
the real problem is doing your taxes.
moving your bank-information to a spreadsheet,
then to the printer....
then paying your babysitter
then playing a song at a wedding
the problem is not lack of engineering.
the problem is in our solutions:
make an app for paying babysitters
make a start-up for church sound-systems.
i was neck-deep
into the semantic web - 'web 3.0
' as it was called.
When it failed it hurt and made sense.
It was pretty pedantic, jargony.
What I didn't see happening, is the loss of web 2.0, the light-weight sharing of content between pages.
This one has really bothered me.
we were given a perfect information processor
a real-time network
and machines that look sexier than any sci-fi concept.
and we use it to communicate using screenshots
we dump our data into unparseable plaintext:
we are creating unmanagable trash, with our perfect computers.
we are trolls, burying our life's work in the least-useful, most gotcha-ridden junk-pile.
it's not better than paper.
it's getting worse.
it's not about blame
There are plenty of phenomena, like the tragedy of the commons
, which don't require detailed finger-pointing,
they just say 'it doesn't end up working'
, and we nod
Software may not end up working.
Has your computer gotten better in 10 years?
Are you in more control, or less?
My computer's slower.
The keyboard's better. The monitor's flat.
it's honest to say that the software is a bit worse.
- like goth-music
, it may be the case that
software development was new,
- people rolled it forward -
and then it clearly ran into it's natural end.
Then people just stopped doing it.