The single-person use case for social network software

Vlad Savov on The Verge: The single-person social network is a strangely beautiful thing

All of this social recruitment feels exhausting, but you can work your way past it. Disable a few notifications, decline a few "but you’ll be lonely!" dialogs, and you can begin using the apps to your own purposes. Here’s the thing: social apps happen to be the most versatile and capable mobile software we have available. We take it for granted that we can post instant updates and upload images from anywhere, and that we can return to those archives from anywhere else. The first step to that combination, which we might call the Snapchat component, is indeed easy, however keeping an organized and comprehensive history of everything you’ve posted is a costly affair. Not everyone has the funds for vast server farms to host your countless image and video uploads for free. Social apps usually do.

This crystallized for me this past weekend when I set out to find a good app for keeping a food journal. I don’t want to lose weight or gain muscle, I don’t want others to judge the healthfulness of my meals or estimate my calorie intake — I just want to compile a photo archive. For my own gratification and no one else’s. That immediately disqualified pretty much every dedicated food app out there. They all try to do and track too much, and most don’t have the finances to maintain a free image archive online. […]

And then my search led me to Path. Path puts a time stamp on every post and lets me annotate with the list of ingredients. It’s perfect for what I want to do. I only want a simple visual history and, provided I don’t let anybody in on my Path activities, it’s the cleanest and simplest way of doing it. That’s right, I’m using a social app completely antisocially and benefiting from it. I guess these are the perks of not reading the instructions.

Huh. There is definitely something to that. (via Sean Bonner’s Crowd)

Tim Bray on Software in 2014

In his article “Software in 2014” Tim Bray says about the present state of front-end development:

Thus, for ac­tu­ally build­ing ap­pli­ca­tions, you’re going to have to pick a higher-level frame­work. There are lots of them and they com­pete vig­or­ously, it’s easy to poke around the Web and find knock­outs and cage matches; one good high-level com­paro is Rich JavaScript Ap­pli­ca­tions – the Seven Frame­works (Throne of JS, 2012) but wait it’s eigh­teen months old thus prob­a­bly now wrong, which is a symp­tom of the prob­lem. “What prob­lem,” you ask, “choice is good, right?” It is, but this isn’t an or­derly choice, it’s a Cam­brian Ex­plo­sion. I’m sure the soft­ware arche­ol­o­gists of 2113 will enjoy study­ing it, but it’s a prob­lem.

ongoing by Tim Bray · Software in 2014.

I completely agree, right down to the term “Cambrian Explosion”, and I ranted a bit about it in one of the few posts I wrote last year. Client-side development is a scary mess right now, where almost every choice you make stands a chance of blowing up in your face a year down the line.

The developer’s mantra

I’d like you to take the time to learn the developer’s mantra:

The Tester is always right. I will listen to the Tester. I will not ignore the Tester’s bug reports. The Tester is god. And, if this ever happens again, the Tester will personally rip your lungs out.

This comes courtesy of Abi, who subverted the Babylon 5 mantra for the purposes of educating inexperienced developers.

Ivanova and Sutherland