Archive for 2020

Happy Now, Beeminder?

Friday, September 18th, 2020
Happy Now, Beeminder?

Programming note (not that kind of programming; we could call it a doubly meta note?): The blog is now mobile-friendly! You’re welcome. This week we (by which I mean our robotic minions, by which I mean Google Alerts) noticed a Beeminder-relevant blog post out on the internet. It’s very short so I can... »

How To Write Functional Specs II: The Spec-List

Friday, September 4th, 2020
How To Write Functional Specs II: The Spec-List

Writing software involves a lot of backing yourself into corners. For even the simplest-seeming program, you find yourself adding duct tape and chewing gum to satisfy different requirements and logic bugs that come up. Then you gradually whittle it back down and end up with a few simple lines and it’s... »

Blog-Post-Driven Development

Monday, August 24th, 2020
Blog-Post-Driven Development

It seems like every time I talk about principles of software engineering to you all I get jaw-droppingly insightful replies. No pressure. Ok, if you google “documentation-driven development”, it seems to be a lot of people saying that documentation is so important that you should write it first blah blah blah. But I think there’s a... »

Beeminder ♥ Boss as a Service

Sunday, August 9th, 2020
Beeminder ♥ Boss as a Service

We’re so excited to announce Beeminder’s Even More Official partnership with Boss as a Service, of which we are big fans! Some of us on the Beeminder team use it every day, in fact. In the past, Beeminder actually attempted to... »

Choices are Bad: The Anti-Settings Principle

Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Choices are Bad: The Anti-Settings Principle

What’s the most absurdly provocative way I can put this? Never imagine what your users will want! Apps must only ever do one single thing! If-statements considered harmful! Yes, this is all pretty rich coming from the people who built a goal-tracking app with, if I’m doing this math right, multiplying out all the various settings… 73,728 types of... »

The Anti-Robustness Principle

Thursday, July 16th, 2020
The Anti-Robustness Principle

This is another tech nerd post. Normal humans seek cover!   Abstract: Fail loudly and immediately.   (I sure hope all the normal humans took cover already because that sentence sure would sound different to them than to us! I also hope this isn’t all too obvious... »

Beeminding the Fuzzy Friends

Friday, July 3rd, 2020
Beeminding the Fuzzy Friends

If you’ve read my introduction post, you might remember the Support Buns. If you haven’t, well, I have three rabbits whose calling in life is to jump onto my keyboard and type sage advice to all users, given even a quarter of a chance. Let... »

Announcing TaskRatchet: Like Beeminder for Your Todo List

Monday, June 22nd, 2020
Announcing TaskRatchet: Like Beeminder for Your Todo List

Nathan Arthur (narthur) has been beeminding for over two years now, brilliantly and prolifically. He’s also no small part of what makes the Beeminder forum the wonderful place that it is. And now he’s built an app of his own that complements Beeminder beautifully, which he’s about to tell you about... »

Announcement: The Yellow Brick Half-Plane Has Arrived

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020
Announcement: The Yellow Brick Half-Plane Has Arrived

Until today Beeminder had a fundamental design flaw that was baked in from literally day one. The first line of code for what would become Beeminder was to draw a line on a graph in Mathematica from a target weight to a goal... »

The Anti-Magic Principle

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020
The Anti-Magic Principle

Being a fan of overly provocative titles, I was tempted to title this “If-Statements Considered Harmful”. Meaning that it’s so tempting to add little bits of intelligence to your app to make it do the sensible thing in different circumstances. And that’s usually perfectly correct but the Anti-Magic Principle... »