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Jeff Atwood
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@steve For a long time there was a steady stream of new people complaining about the length restrictions, pretty much every week. Now I can't even remember the last time I heard that complaint. @jon it's almost like we should use Discourse as a commenting system here, right? Stay tuned... @andy should any air traffic control system be built without serious input from, y'know, air traffic controllers? I agree it can be hard for the developers to be the perfect audience for every bit of software, but those relationships need to be integral to the design of the software.
Toggle Commented Feb 19, 2014 on Complaint-Driven Development at Coding Horror
> Is Discourse as popular as you describe it? Where did I describe it as popular? Is forum software popular? Are forums popular? It's not exactly a sexy category, which is something we're trying to fix. > I had an impression that the project slowly caved in. Discourse is moving its way up the top 50 projects on GitHub, based on at least. Currently at around #41 and rising. > I mean do you plan it for premium hosting Yes, this is covered in detail on > Such as a audience size, engagement etc? Each partner needs to be significantly bigger than the last one, that's the only rule. 5x-10x if possible.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2013 on The Rule of Three at Coding Horror
We're still evaluating who Partner #3 will be at this time, if you'd like to be considered, read through for additional information.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2013 on The Rule of Three at Coding Horror
> What does it mean for search engines that the client is entirely JavaScript See for yourself; search for content > What effect do you think the relative scarcity of affordable Ruby/Postgres hosting will do to the adoption rate of Discourse? Vice-versa, we want the killer app to drive better adoption of Ruby hosting. > What it actually means is that you are keeping an exit door if you ever want to close the source again in the future: contributors agree to license you their copyright for whatever future happens. The CLA is there because we reserve the right to re-license the Discourse code when selling it to enterprises. > I hope, there'll be an easy way to migrate data from old forum software to be used with this new engine. Realistically we don't expect many migrations of large communities, because the social and technical friction is too high, see But that said, we do have a solid export and import format, so anyone can write a converter to Discourse import format. > Reddit does a great job at promoting discussion with their design. I disagree, I think Reddit is great for link and meme fun, but terrible for actual discussion. > To me, that means you need a nested / threaded system See > I'm curious to know why you decided to use Ruby on Rails for Discourse. Open source projects have to use languages and toolchains that are free to everyone, to reduce any friction in participation. It was either Ruby or Python, and Robin knew Ruby, so... > No OpenID login option It's just hard unless the OpenID provider validates the email. Email = identity. People conveniently forget that Stack Overflow, unlike virtually every other website on the internet, did not want your email at all, and would not use it even if it had it. > When will codinghorror comments be powered by Discourse? It's on the roadmap! Probably 12 months out though. > with SO, you deconstructed the online forum/BBS, and now you are setting out to reconstruct them Not at all -- Q&A is a small subset of what communities do. Not all communities can work in a fact and science based Q&A format, but that's what the SE engine is by *far* best at.
> To use your site as an example my reply is 20 or so posts below what your post I'm trying to reply to right now. I suppose I could read all 20 of them to see if someone has already said what I'm about to post, but it's easier/quicker for me to type it. If it it had been threaded in some fashion I'm guessing I would've seen a similar post. Yeah, but you blockquoted the relevant bits, so you brought the necessary context with you, didn't you?
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2012 on Web Discussions: Flat by Design at Coding Horror
> Combined with the ability for useful threads to bubble up to the top via voting, I think threading is an absolute necessity on a site like reddit. That's an odd sentiment since those two parts are at odds with each other. Having a flat structure (with optional context ala Twitter) allows each post to be voted on, and sorted in the list, independently. If you are a slave to the parent-child reply hierarchy, you could have the most brilliant upvoted post in the world, trapped way down deep in branch 5 of the tree where nobody can see it.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2012 on Web Discussions: Flat by Design at Coding Horror
> For example this comment [on a meta] makes no sense unless you mentally build up the thread You understand why meta sites tend to have more discussion than Stack Exchange sites proper, yes? This is a link to a meta post. Stack Exchange sites only support the minimum amount of discussion necessary to get good questions and great answers. The rules are different for meta sites, which are about governance and therefore by definition have a lot more pure discussion. Our engine isn't great at it, but the benefits of keeping it all in (nearly) the same place and eating our own dogfood is far greater than outsourcing something so critical to a different, more discussion-friendly engine. see:
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2012 on Web Discussions: Flat by Design at Coding Horror
> How many computers and routers do you have on at home? Just the one computer on all the time, 17 watts. And the router is 10 watts. Measured with the kill-a-watt. You can read about them here: > Actually, do you work at home? Does your wife work at home? If so, some of your neighbours are cheating by using the heat and light of their employers for significant portions of the day. Good point, I do work from home, so my power usage during the day is going to be inevitably higher. > CANDELABRA! WHERE? PLEASE! I found the best options on eBay. Nothing was perfect, but I found a 3 watt for $4.40 that has acceptable looks and size. This moves it from from 20 watt X 18 = 360 watts to 3 watt X 18 = 54 watts. And it's on several hours a day, like clockwork.. > we just unplug the power strip that activates the Xbox, DVR, TV, etc unless we are actively using it This is also a good and more automatic option; a power strip that turns off other sockets when the primary (e.g. TV) socket is off: > LED bulbs are *not* actually any more energy efficient than compact fluorescent bulbs completely and ridiculously untrue. 60 watt "equivalent" in an LED is 9 watts. That's pretty darn bright; I have 6 watt LEDs that call themselves 60 watt "equivalent" that are not quite, so let's go with the less optimistic 9 watt number. Now compare what a CFL bulb takes to get 60w equivalent -- 13 watts. So the LED uses 30% less energy to generate the same amount of light.
Toggle Commented Nov 27, 2012 on For a Bit of Colored Ribbon at Coding Horror
> Any thoughts Jeff, on the ease of moving words, sentences and paragraphs around? iOS does this best, but it's still fiddly as hell to select text with a big giant finger. Android, although quite decent in 4.0 and beyond, is still terrible at text selection. Surface (and Windows 8) is in the middle there. Even with the best touch text selection in the world, it wouldn't be great, because fingers are just too big for it. > Is Surface's appeal really that it makes the accessory part of the deal? There's a difference between a third party bluetooth iPad keyboard accessory with no real connection to the product, and a first party item that was designed in from the very beginning. You can be damn sure Apple will never, ever, ever, ever, EVER release an official keyboard accessory for the iPad. It's the same unnecessary extremism we've seen from Apple before: the one button mouse, the Mac that shipped without cursor keys to force you to use the mouse to navigate, the single ridiculously overloaded home button on the iOS devices, etc. > I kept doing typewriting speed tests to see how fast I could get with the touch cover and I could never get past 55% of my speed with a regular keyboard. I agree in spirit: However.... Even 55% of full keyboard speed is several orders of magnitude ahead of where you'd be using a full size tablet touchscreen keyboard. For context try repeating those tests with the on-screen touch keyboard. :)
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2012 on Do You Wanna Touch at Coding Horror
Also for the record our colocation costs, including bandwidth and power are more like $125 per server per month, nowhere remotely near $500 per server! Even that is a little bit expensive, I could probably have done better if I shopped around a bit. Actually now that I'm comparing notes here: "They offered me 8U at 2 amps for $200/month with a 100 Mbps unmetered data plan" "For $206, I got 10U, 4 amps, and 100 Mbps connectivity in a San Jose data center about 14 miles from Fremont" I need to re-negotiate that deal! Our servers are all 1U so we only need 5U, and perhaps 4 amps.
Good point about reserved instances. If I change the (Amazon provided!) default Web Application settings from on-demand to three year reservations, I get 825.17 per month with a 3,600 up front payment: That breaks down to $925.17 per month. So instead of buying one faster than almost anything you can even buy for any price at EC2 server every two months, you can "only" buy one every three months. Also note that we're paying a little bit exorbitantly for the 512 GB SSDs and the top-of-the-line Xeon quad-core CPUs. If I bump that down a bit, I could easily build these servers for around $2k each with almost no meaningful loss in overall performance. (but some loss in storage capacity, yes.) If I do that, then we're back to buying one faster than almost anything you can even buy for any price at EC2 every two months again. :)
There is currently an issue with comments where *only* TypePad logins are working (no Twitter, Google, OpenID, etc). I let TypePad know about it and they are working on it. Edit: now fixed, but it was busted for most of the time this post was at the top of the blog, thus the lack of timely comments. My apologies.
Toggle Commented Oct 17, 2012 on Judging Websites at Coding Horror
OK Sam Thomas, but only if you factor in the collective learning value of this article to the world, in hours, by each person's hourly rate. :)
Well, the calculator shows $1,413.70 / month for me when I select the "Web Application" common customer sample on the right hand side. Screenshots: Oh, I see -- you mean each server has two instances. So it's not 3 EC2 servers, it is 3 x 2 = 6 EC2 servers. Fair enough, but the financial math would work even for six of them, although it'd go from just "massive overkill" to "gratuitous massive overkill with extreme prejudice" from a performance perspective.
Bruce, despite your insouciance, your kiss is still on my list. Barely.
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2012 on Todon't at Coding Horror
> I'm sorry you've felt such pain, but really, what you felt cannot be remotely likened to losing a child. Isn't that the point? Everyone was somebody's child. Just the reflected piece of someone else's grief is so deep that it is very hard to bear. Parents who lose children are never the same afterwards. You can see why parents who lose children through tragedy often become relentless, obsessed activists: they have nothing else left.
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2012 on Somebody is to Blame for This at Coding Horror
Thanks Tom -- great coda by Anthony Griffith, the comedian in the first video: "I look at life as if it's a great novel that you're reading. And it's so great that it's a page turner. And the star of that book is you. And you turn the next page and the main character loses his daughter. But it's so compelling, you keep going." "Do you ever just want to close the book for a while?" "No. Because it's so thrilling. Because this book is making you cry, laugh, get mad, get angry, that you keep going, you keep going, because I want to see what's the end." It's just a ride.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2012 on Somebody is to Blame for This at Coding Horror
> Again very nice laptop. I am just hoping for an updated version with a retina-like screen. The 1920x1080 13" screen is 166 PPI. That's not quite 200 PPI but it is definitely in the ballpark. > Any particular reason(s) why you choose the UX31A over the UX32VD If you read the entire article you would know that I chose both. > Asus UX31E owner since April 2012. While it is a thin, sleek, well built laptop I don't get along with the keyboard, > his is a significant issue with the Asus Zenbook series, you can google up plenty of articles and discussion threads that note it The UX31A has a significantly improved keyboard and trackpad over the older models. I don't recommend the older UX31E models at all. > Why not just get the MacBook Air and run it as a Windows machine? It's more expensive, I don't need OS X, the screen is lower resolution and inferior TN, and the keyboard is incompatible with standard PC layouts. YMMV. > I bought an Asus UL30Vt about two years ago. It claims 12 hours of battery life. I replaced hard drive with an SSD and, working with wifi on, I still get about 11 actual real hours of work with it. I also owned that one and gave it to my Dad. Great machine, but it is a bit on the heavy side, mostly because it has an absolutely *enormous* battery. Check the capacity on it and you will be shocked -- that's why it gets 10+ hours in real world use.
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2012 on The Last PC Laptop at Coding Horror
> If these weren't el cheapo monitors from Korea they'd probably have rotation built into the stands That's why you use the LCD monitor arms! > The monitors are nice but the Jerker desk is majestic! Indeed it is. Indeed it is. > HOLY HELLS WHAT KIND OF GUITAR IS THAT? > What is the video card you are using to drive the 3 monitors? Radeon 7970. But modern Nvidia cards support 3 displays as well. You may need *active* mini-displayport to DVI converters though, which are around $80-$90. > One thing i noticed is you're using a Razer keyboard. Do you use it only for gaming or for regular typing/programming too? It's a cherry brown keyboard, because it is the Razer Stealth model. Also, it is matte unlike the regular shiny. Who makes keyboards SHINY, for the love of FSM?
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2012 on The IPS LCD Revolution at Coding Horror
> I do think there's some value there, although I do agree that blogs are way more useful for communicating medium-sized ideas quickly and usefully I'd argue you can weave medium-sized ideas together pretty easily, though. Particularly if they've been vetted and shaped by community feedback. > This is mostly due to the deep discounts that stores (physical and virtual) force on the publisher Then we need new stores, or sell directly to me. > So, my hope is that in the "back-end" the effort [of writing a book] will pay off by getting more consulting opportunities, more chances to do trainings or maybe a lead for a great partner ship. I still maintain that same effort, if channeled into a series of blog entries, will produce better and longer-lasting results. And you can always package that into a book later, if you must. > John sold 166 ebooks based on the invoice. > > it's worth noting that John's JavaScript book royalty statement in this post is more than 5 years old Yes, John's results are from 2007, so we'd get a very different result if he tried today. But you'll notice Mr. Resig has created zero technical books since the 2nd unfinished one in 2008. I'm pretty sure that's intentional.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2012 on Coding Horror: The Book at Coding Horror
Power usage! On my kill-a-watt, the ASUS RT-N66U takes 5w at boot, ramps up to 7w, then stabilizes at 9w/10w while running. That is the latest and greatest state of the art though so I expect older routers or lower end routers would pull less. update: I also took out the old routers (yes, I still have them...) and tested them as well to full boot, but nothing connected: ASUS RT-N16 -- 5w Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH -- 3w They weren't actually doing anything, so I'd add 1 or 2 watts to account for actual load in use. So yes, there are some surprisingly big power consumption jumps as we move into more capable (better CPU, more memory, more wireless bands) routers!
> Furthermore, to add to the complaints, the sample has also ripping errors. At the beginning of every version, in the pauses, you can clearly hear scratching introduced by missed sectors while grabbing. That is imho the worst offense of a lot of DL music. Hmm, I don't think so -- I used the most severe (accurate) mode of Exact Audio Copy when ripping the track from CD, and it reported a perfect copy.
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2012 on The Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment at Coding Horror
Barry -- did you read beyond the first paragraph? Look for the paragraphs beginning with "On the earliest.." and a bit beyond.
Toggle Commented May 25, 2012 on So You Want to be a Programmer at Coding Horror
> Unless you're encrypting the contents or it's going over https all the time, emailing passwords is a really bad idea. GMail is https always by default and has been since Jan 2010.
Toggle Commented Apr 18, 2012 on Make Your Email Hacker Proof at Coding Horror
> There is real time involved in making the “footnotes, layout and typography completely intact” in an ebook (just like there would be doing it for the generic Internet). Would you even try to read a book with a necessarily complex layout on a small display device like a phone, though? That said, this is an argument in favor of doing layout for the Internet first. There are lots of complex web page layouts that scale down fine to phone size these days. I see nothing on, for example, the page 3 screenshot that couldn't be done in reasonably modern HTML that would scale down fine to a modern smartphone. The footnotes would have to be hyperlinks, perhaps. I'd also assume that PDFs can enter some kind of column based reading mode, even on a phone. Though I agree that full-bore PDF can be heavy for phone.
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2012 on Books: Bits vs. Atoms at Coding Horror