Around late November, 2015, I made the somewhat arbitrary decision to commit something to Github every day. I’ve stuck with that habit for ~100 days now, which I think merits a bit of reflection as to how it’s affected my workflow and coding habits.
What were my goals?
I decided to go on a ‘code everyday’ regimen to increase the quantity of code I write, and the diversity of my projects. Before this, I had a cycle of feeling the desire to work on a project, or get something really substantive down in code, but then not having an in-progress project to contribute to. Starting is very often the hardest part, and without having a lot of ‘kettles in the fire’, I found it difficult to produce something tangible in half an hour.
I’d spend that 30 minutes of coding time I could cut out of my day researching APIs or Frameworks, instead of actually creating something. To be fair, that’s not always wasted time. But, it was discouraging to go a week or two without feeling a sense of progression in at least one of my projects.
I hoped that by doing something — even an insignificant addition — would lower the bar to ‘getting stuff done’ and would allow me to branch out a bit more in terms of the types of projects I was working on. Many of my pre-November projects were mostly scripts, which reflected where I was as a programmer. Competent enough to write one-time procedurals, but still uncomfortable with establishing a more robust project.
Let me start this with an anecdote:
Recently, Apple released an open beta for iOS that disabled the use of the Apple pencil for all UI elements other than in
drawing apps. People quickly got upset and made a fuss, and then Apple went back on their change and re-enabled support for the pencil in system menus.
I argue that your position on Apple going “downhill” will largely correlate to your reaction to this sequence of events.
First of all, let’s realize that the Apple of 5 years ago would not be giving an open beta for their iOS platform and certainly would not change a key design function of their platform based on user feedback. The Apple of 5 years ago was solely focused on their ‘design vision’ and would frequently ‘mess things up’ from a user perspective to lay the groundwork for future developments.
I watch a lot of Youtube, and have since I joined the site in 2007.
If you’re usage habits are similar to mine, you have a couple dozen videos sitting in your “Watch Later” playlist waiting to be viewed. That’s great, because Youtube gives you a handy way to save the content you’re interested in, but don’t have time to watch when you see it.
What’s not so great is that if you want to consume this content offline, there aren’t many good options of doing so. In the past, there were desktop applications, such as TubeSock, that could download Youtube videos for offline viewing. However, these apps would often break, and now feel quite antiquated. The best of these services that still seams to work is Keepvid, but even this feels rather rough around the edges and you can only download 1 video at a time.