Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dave Winer's back on the Windows OPML Editor ... which is great for me and for GeekWeaver ('cos I don't have a Mac and there's no Linux port yet.)

Meanwhile ... anyone know other decent OPML editors? I'd be particularly interested in ones that run in the browser.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Very important Mind Traffic Control update today.

The art of Mind Traffic Control is to defer as much as possible until later. But there are times you might have deferred a bunch of things until next week, only to find that actually, you *could* start doing some of them this week after all. (Maybe another task just got cancelled and freed up some time)

Until now, it's been a flaw in MTC that you couldn't rescue this stuff from the future.

That's now been fixed.

If you find yourself with time on your hands and want to pull items back : go to the Overview menu, and the Deferred list. You'll see a new button at the top titled "Restore the selected items to main queue". There's also now a column in the table with checkboxes for each item. Select any items you want to pull back and press the button. That's it. The items are back in the main "next actions" queue.

Of course, please tell me if this seems to have caused any problems. Doesn't look like it this end, but your bug reports are important.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

App Engine Guy links Gist

Smells like a move towards a hyperlinked, online IDE.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My post yesterday on Composing, about Geeks, Suits and Abstraction is relevant to SDI philosophy too.

Executive Summary : Geeks, by definition, have to be good at shifting their thinking between different levels of abstraction; Suits, by temperament, believe in the rigid separation of levels into the corporate hierarchy and would love for technology to enforce that.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dave Winer :
I don't like it -- because it betrays a not-useful point of view. I am not part of a crowd, I am an individual ... When you mash us all together you miss the point.

Update : continues

Of course, what Winer is ignoring is that companies are thinking of the crowd as an "aggregate" exactly because that's the only business model they have. It's no good calling it bad taste or a failure of vision, companies are entities who's function is to siphon off surplus value created from aggregates of people and give it to shareholders. If they don't have *someone* to "exploit" there is nothing for the shareholders.

Winer's philosophy is right for the web, and for us individuals, but it demands a new business model, possibly post-company.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What do people think about the Grazr widget along the side here? I introduced it using an OPML outline of my online life to explore the evolving OPML ecology.

But that's turned out be pretty inflexible compared to the gutter-tools that blogger is starting to offer. The OPML went out of date, (although I like the collapsible aspect). And the fact that the widget takes up a lot of room even when showing only the highest level, makes it kind of clunky.

So maybe I'll remove and replace by blogger list. Or should I give Grazr another chance?

Update : Cool! Mike from Grazr solved one of my issues. Read comments. Grazr stays for the moment.

Update 2: And I refreshed my OPML file too.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sounds like Bernstein doesn't really like this book, but doesn't have any alternative to recommend.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Prioritizing by Anxiety.

I see what he's getting at although I'm not entirely convinced.

Obviously No Free Lunch tells us that no "prioritize-by-X" strategy could be appropriate to all circumstances. (Including the FIFO algorithm of Mind Traffic Control).

Because of this, the less time wasted imagining you can specify priorities in advance, the better. Because the only time you can assign priorities is when pulling things out of your queue. To the extent that "anxiety" helps you identify the most urgent to do now it's useful. But Andre does recognise that anxiety (like most *emotional* indicators) is pretty ambiguous; it might be that an item makes you anxious exactly because you *don't* know how to do it or even what you *want* to do about it. So, even choosing to address it now, doesn't mean "doing" it now, it may be a signal to cancel entirely.

Still ... it's to good if it helps you reduce anxiety overall. Perhaps not if you start to *cultivate* it as a priority-identification mechanism.

BTW : MTC works on the opposite theory, assuming that it's easier to know which items you can definitely postpone, than it is to know which are most urgent ... so at least it helps you clear the former out of the way. Nevertheless, what this post mainly reminds me is that, now I'm up to around 200 items under Mind Traffic Control, even MTC is breaking down for me.

Or rather, it's missing something. And I'm starting to wonder if that's the "someday/maybe" bucket. Originally I assumed that "3 months in the future" was more or less equivalent to a someday/maybe ... but I'm finding that that's not the case.

I'm scared to push things so far ahead, even for things I have no idea when I'd get round to. Because there's always the possibility that I might get inspired to try them tomorrow. I need another queue to get things out of the way, but from where I can bring them back, if inspiration strikes.

Opinions anyone?
Pencil Project looks interesting.

(hat-tip @adrianh)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Tonight's tweak to Mind Traffic Control : there's now an "[untagged]" filter ... so if you are using #tags but you find those untagged items are getting lost when you aren't filtering, well, that's the solution. Chose the "[untagged]" filter to restrict your queue to only those items *without* #tags.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I think this is probably the most mind-blowingly stupid and bad thing I've seen for a while.

There is no automated metric on earth that can get even a vague approximation of the value of a piece of programming. My colleague, yesterday, solved a fiendish long-troubling bug, by removing one character of faulty indentation from a 2000 line spaghetti routine. One change, one character and a comment. How would the system assess the "productivity" of that?

If SDI means anything, it's a rejection of the entire mindset that believes in the creation of, and use of, software in institutional control and measurement of employees. Bleaarrghhhh!

Update : someone from the company came back at me after I twitted (good for him, respect, obviously) ... but I went into full rant. :-)
A, surprising, good thing about Caché. It's "alive".