Put the knife down and take a green herb, dude.
One feller's views on the state of everyday computer science & its application (and now, OTHER STUFF) who isn't rich enough to shell out for www.myfreakinfirst-andlast-name.com
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|Saturday, June 25, 2022|
Can StackOverflow leave nothing untouched? 🙄😉
Maybe some UXer can explain why arrows with circles around them are better than the old vote buttons with just arrows.
Has this been around for a while and I just missed them?
Well, at least I now know it happened between now and 2020.
I worry that some UI changes are made just to keep people employed and busy. I'm sure there's a good argument or 15 to change it. I'm not sure they're always good reasons.
I still use a version of SourceTree on Windows from 2015 when I'm on Windows. There's nothing wrong with it. I prefer it. I had a coworker see it on a screenshare and say, "Where can I get that theme?"
What if your redesign resources had been spent on anything else? How many sprints saved? How awesome would your app be?
Again, not that a redesign is bad. In many markets, simply refreshing the page will drive sales. Just keep in mind the opportunity cost. I realize SourceTree's users are probably more "aged UI tolerant" than most (see my previous post where I admint to using kdiff3), but...
How much better has SourceTree's core UX experience really gotten in the last six and a half years? What percentage of their storypoints went to it? Worth it? Idk. (But my guess is heck no. Also note that they've worked through several UI iterations since then. Remember when they used a diamond ring for Commit? And people liked it? /cringe twice. Brah culture much?)
In other SO news, I did hit 15k and can protect questions now. I expected to be more impressed when I hit it the way I was with 10k, but... not so much. It's cool, and I'm happy some answers continue to help folks, but I really need to find another semi-obscure but useful tag to sit on.
EDIT: Here's some description. There is a comment that this make the page more accessible for the visually impaired. I'd like to know how. Does that mean I don't see the improvement? (no pun intended) Yeah, but that's the point of asking. Honestly, what's the improvement?
Maybe down/up/votes are clearer?
There's also a comment that the design doesn't really meet WCAG compliance after all. Apparently they didn't QA dark mode. 🤦
posted by ruffin at 6/25/2022 12:59:00 PM
|Wednesday, June 22, 2022|
I was working in the evening, and everything on my Mac was in dark mode but kdiff3.
Some of that was due to macOS changing theme when it's late, so you could argue kdiff3, an old enough app that I didn't figure would or should have auto-theme detection for macOS, was right "half the time", and the bigger half [sic] at that, the half during working hours.
Still, I caught myself saying, "If it had a dark mode for kdiff3, I'd use it all the time over none."
Oh yeah? Turns out that, though it's not in settings in any super-accessible way, after a little googling, kdiff3 does, in fact, have dark mode.
You just edit your .kdiff3rc file with custom colors. Of course, right?
But how did I learn that? And how could I figure out which colors work together?
If you just want one simple, competent dark theme, the answers to those questions are easy to find.
It turns out there's a project with an interesting-ish backstory churning out one dark theme for every app that can take them: Dracula, at the very original draculatheme.com.
That's pretty cool. I like the attitude: Hey, here's the minimum you need to play with a dark theme -- dark theme table stakes, if you're into that whole Gruber vernacular -- and here it is for as many apps as possible. A perfect mvp.
Though .kdiff3rc files are kind of a pain. The values you want to change are these:
And those aren't necessarily (aka, "Almost certainly aren't") grouped together in your (apparently alphabetized by default?) .kdiff3rc.
I'll put a macOS .kdiff3rc whose only differences from the default .kdiff3rc file are Dracula theme changes up on github here:
Looks like kdiff3 resaves your rc file when it closes and re-alphabatizes, which is an interesting choice. Three cheers for conformance, I guess. Usually a good thing.
It's not like it's perfect. After setting colors for the text areas, kdiff3's chrome is still very... chromey. Very heavy toolbars and footer. But it's an old (gtk?) app, so I'm not complaining.
I now have a fully competent dark theme for an old app nobody with any sense of the state of programming tools would expect to have quite this easily.
posted by Jalindrine at 6/22/2022 12:47:00 PM
|Monday, June 20, 2022|
Saw the Crowes for the 7th time recently. The sound was mixed horribly, and I could barely hear Chris on some songs. Guess it was enjoyable, though I wish I'd paid for the general admission seats and saved $75 a ticket.
I wasn't going to watch them at all this go around. I've gotten used to the Crowes breaking up, Rich & Chris doing their own thing for a few years, one of 'em noticing that they're leaving a lot of cash on the table, and then getting back together for a tour or two.
This most recent tour seemed the worst of the cash grabs. Originally no past members of the band, just Chris and Rich, even though they were or had been touring separately with past members in Magpie Salute & the CRB. Sven, the bassist, got added to this current version of the Crowes at some point, breaking that rule, but my understanding is that initially both brothers backchanneled a reunion and didn't do much more than tell their current bands, "See ya!"
It's not like this egotistical tack is uncommon, as I was recently reminded by the last.fm bio for New Earth Mud, Chris' first (?) post-Crowes band that I was listening to recently (emphasis here and in all quotes mine):
Or you know, the way Adam MacDougall got thrown out of CRB with no warning. Or how Chris wouldn't pay Steve Gorman a full band share to stay on tour:
I don't know if I'm the biggest fan of Steve Gorman the person. He's done some sports radio, and seems overly full of himself sometimes, though that's probably a requirement to fill hours with your own voice. But why not give him a full share in the band? There was nothing I heard from their current drummer that I liked better than Steve. It was too loud, not nuanced, and, worst, not in the same groove as Rich. Say whatever you what, Gorman helped create the Crowes' sound and vibe. That's more obvious than ever now.
Edit: Did a little more googling. It's worse than just Steve. Chris wanted some of Rich's share too (which makes the 75% make more sense):
I mean, let's acknowledge that Chris splits from his brother for a while and names his project the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. Sheesh, man. You guys are in your 50s (early 40s then?). Can we put the sibling rivalry crud behind us yet?
It's a shame. The Crowes probably are my favorite band overall, and when they're rocking (Wiser Time, natch, but Horsehead, Soul Singing, Go Tell the Congregation, Blackberry, even something late like Aimless Peacock or God's Got It) well, they're just plain jamming. Even better, listen to the Crowes and Jimmy Page and tell me Chris isn't one of the best rock frontmen of all time (though that track may not be his best) or that Rich can't play (though that Page dude they let sit in for a while seems, um, pretty competent too). They can catch lightning in a bottle, and do it consistently, but the cost seems to be being as dysfunctional as heck.
posted by Jalindrine at 6/20/2022 12:31:00 PM
|Saturday, June 18, 2022|
Lost my AirPods charging case. I have no idea how. Still have my AirPods, first edition. Gave myself a few weeks for the case to show up; no dice.
Ordered a new case with wireless charging, b/c why not? Kinda steep, but I couldn't justify going another $30 for version 2, especially since I'd used PodSwap on this pair not too horribly long ago. But I really did miss the AirPods, even though I had decent Bluetooth headphones and some lightning port EarPods.
Or should I have justified buying the version 2s after all?
Today, I find out why I probably should've put that $60 towards the new AirPods Pro that come out later this year.
So my version 1 AirPods can't be a good watch replacement when it comes to notifications.
Live and learn, I guess. Makes some sense, as I think v2 is when "Hey, Siri" is first supported.
posted by Jalindrine at 6/18/2022 11:43:00 AM
|Wednesday, June 08, 2022|
We do realize stuff like this are the prerequisites for releasing Augemented Realty goggles, right?
But that's not it. I mean, if you look closely enough, there are tons:
Even the CarPlay UI seems like it might soon be coming to some goggles near you.walking directions (picture from Apple) the most obvious evidence. But you can see Apple creeping closer to AR from all sides. It's almost exciting. 😉
posted by Jalindrine at 6/08/2022 06:52:00 PM
|Monday, June 06, 2022|
Safari has responsive testing as part of its dev tools. I've used a similar trick of Chrome's, and it works well.
The only weird thing for me is that I've got macOS 12.2 on my MacBook, but Safari only has iPhone sizes through the iPhone 8.
No iPhone X, no XR, no 11, no 12, no 13.
That's weird, right?
Yes. But it is also very Apple-y. They had a feature, they built it, they have not prioritized updating it, so it, well, not precisely withers, but sits on the vine, waiting for its next day in the sun.
That's it. That's today's post.
posted by Jalindrine at 6/06/2022 07:27:00 PM
|Thursday, June 02, 2022|
As a corollary to yesterday's post about how to measure a poorly performing work culture, here's a well-put warning against getting used to a bad situation.
From Matthew Manela's blog:
Okay, "grind to a halt" is too strong, but what if we say "half as fast as you could be moving". That's enough to matter, isn't it? And I think, honestly, that's possible.
It is too easy to get used to the status quo, even when you know it's inefficent or wrong. Habituation is a coping mechanism, and often a useful one! The problem is identifying when you're using it and remembering that you need to fix it soon too.
Don't let the perfect get in the way of the good enough, but don't let the good enough get in the way of doing your best either.
posted by Jalindrine at 6/02/2022 07:49:00 AM
|Wednesday, June 01, 2022|
This is a well worded blog post:
Everything we do that doesn't make us "more employable" could be wasted time. I mean, having effort, eg, helps because you get better at estimating stories, and knowing what you need to know to get those high-quality estimates and "ready-ready" stories. That's not wasted time (even if I don't always love those meetings).
But if we're coping just to cope -- and when it's safe to say a decent amount of it won't translate to a "more functional" workplace -- that's a workplace smell.
Nothing earth-shattering, but I liked the "does this problem make me/us/whoever more employable?" and "do I spend more time coping than learning?" metrics.
posted by ruffin at 6/01/2022 07:12:00 PM
|Tuesday, May 31, 2022|
Essentially all my life, if I've had text selected in an editor and typed a character, the text disappears (is deleted) and only the character typed remains in its place.
I've noticed VS Code doesn't do this by default for all characters. It auto-surrounds instead. /sigh
If I have code selected and hit
(I actually hate auto-closing brackets too. If I type
For me, the solution is to turn off
And in the Settings UI.
Thank you for attending this sanity talk.
posted by ruffin at 5/31/2022 09:45:00 AM
|Wednesday, May 25, 2022|
Are you using vbscript?
Okay, this was a fun time travel... Remember that post not even a week ago when I talked about our working museum of code at my current workplace?
That's (not surprisingly) relevant again, as I was reviewing some old .aspx code and incrementally refactoring out all the
I was trying to figure out how to test quick snippets of VB code and found this "gem" of a script (not in Ruby, to be clear
(Yes, I added the
It requires a session to be a single line, which means you have to separate commands with
There's an even fancier script over here (c2013) that allegedly allows multiple line entries, but I wasn't able to get that running with a trivial time expenditure.
It would be easy enough to make the one above a multiline shell, but for now, enjoy as-is, I reckon.
posted by ruffin at 5/25/2022 08:07:00 AM
All posts can be accessed here:
Just the last year o' posts: