Foy Savas
Principal at AlphaPrime Ventures
autodidact, factotum, polyglot

UUM a New Code Metric

  • Fanaticism around writing "clean" code bothers me
    • balance is needed
    • careless code stales development through overwhelming technical debt
    • immaculate code stales development through compoundingly delayed release

  • A spectrum of required cleanliness exists for code
  • Highest-to-lowest required code cleanliness tends to apply as follows:
    • high performance algorithms
    • compilers and hardware drivers
    • core user space applications
    • ...
    • changing business logic
    • changing presentation code
    • unsaved code in your text editor

  • I'd like to define a metric for this continuum
    • (one likely already exists, but unfortunately hasn't bubbled up in popularity)

  • UUM := Uses Until Modification
    • while this metric is independent of business value, it's still a clear factor of business value
    • the UUM of jointly modified code should be equal to the greatest UUM value of any particular code being modified
    • code with greatly differing UUM values should be separated (by the way, this is what I understand to be the highest level reasoning behind design patterns like MVC)
    • the lower the UUM, the less you should worry about code cleanliness
    • no matter the UUM, code should be reasoned as functioning properly
    • if use of the code grows (and optimally it does), later releases entail higher UUM

Change from a Distance

  • I can't help but think these two quotes related:
    • "Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world." – Archimedes
    • "Real artists live their own lives in parallel. It’s the artist who transforms his times." – Pierre Bergé

The Last 512 Generations

  • Generations often better meter human history than years
  • That said,
    • smartphones were first manufactured 1 generation ago
    • Internet protocols were first standardized 2 generations ago
    • electronic computers were first programmed 4 generations ago
    • telegraphs were first commercialized 8 generations ago
    • calculus was first developed 16 generations ago
    • mechanical clocks were first fashioned 32 generations ago
    • books were first printed 64 generations ago
    • coins were first minted 128 generations ago
    • writing was first systematized 256 generations ago
    • farming was first practiced 512 generations ago

Use Google Drive to Blog

  • I need something natural yet barebone
  • Each post is a Google doc published when placed in a particular folder
  • A crontabbed script pulls, munges, caches, and publishes the posts using Jekyll

  • Actually, if this were just for me I'd use markdown and git
  • I'm using myself as a guinea pig
  • Hopefully this works well enough for me to use with others

Why I'm Rebooting my Blog as Outlines

  • I'm rebooting my blog
    • I would have blogged more in the past, but it took too much time
    • I also find reading blogs takes too much time
    • Long format prose is unneeded overhead for what I want to read and write

  • When I want to fully absorb long format prose, I outline it
    • In almost all cases, I have found well-written prose outlines well
    • Such outlines typically end up as a series of ordered lists for each paragraph
    • Unfortunately, translation into such an outline is time consuming

  • When I want to write great long format prose, I outline it
    • Such outlines keep my arguments structured
    • Going from outline to prose muddles facts, necessitating lexical gotos
    • For never-to-be-spoken, fact-driven text, lexical gotos seem atavistic

  • From now on, my blog posts will be published as outlines
    • No ceremonious translation for me
    • No laborious fact seeking for you
    • More time for both of us