Feature Unannouncement: Exponential Roads Going Piecewise Linear

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
By dreeves

We have what sounds like bad news for Beeminder supernerds who use fanciness like exponential roads, but hear us out! We’re getting rid of exponential roads. I know, gasp! We’ve already migrated the small number of exponential roads that were out there in the wild. If you had one, it should be approximately the same as ever. The main difference is your rates will be much larger numbers, since previously you were specifying the percent change, not the rise-per-day. The idea is to approximate exponential road curves by just periodically increasing (or decreasing, in the case of downward-sloping graphs) the rate of your road as you go.

It’s not too late to argue with us about this, and please (for real) comment below or send us an email if you’re at all inclined to do so.

If it sounds bad, we have ideas for badness mitigation, like a feature where you can specify an exponential rate and the equivalent piecewise linear road is created, with segments every week or every month. (With enough backlash we’d even consider relenting.)

But that’s the thing. A piecewise linear road with month-long segments approximates an exponential road with more than enough fidelity for any practical purpose we’ve ever encountered in Beeminderland. And we figure reassessing the rate of your road monthly makes sense anyway. So we’re betting that the loss of the mathematical elegance of a perfectly smooth curve is going to be, if anything, a blessing in disguise.

But, again, holler if you disagree!

Tags: , , , ,