the lag

Our bodies have very fast nervous system. If I want to move my hand I can’t notice the delay between my decision and the actual start of the movement.

And we expect such fast reaction from our computers. After all they are our right hands:) Even small delay causes frustration… Of course longer delays are bigger disappointments but just 0.2s is easily noticeable. You maybe disagree about frustration but don’t forget that feeling is accumulating over the time.

Actually 0.2s delay is really not bad for computers. Some systems are considered healthy even with responses 10s long. A good programmer will notice right away what was screwed up.

I will bet that the main reason why the native apps are preferred over online apps is that lag in responses. In case of web browser many things happens on the way. In case of native app used GUI library can be to blame. But the biggest problem is the final code. Callbacks to user clicks and swipes. Having some kind of cache for user responses is really professional way to deal with it. But not always possible.

If you look at these Computer Latency Measurements you will notice that a newer computer doesn’t mean faster responses. Newer hardware uses newer and more complicated OS. I have feeling that engineers balance on that edge of noticeable delays. Balancing is OK … until you fall.

exposed to the information

  • When I go for a trip in Himalayas, can I see all ten 8000m peaks at once?
  • When I go for a trip to see a single mountain, can I see it in just a few seconds after leaving my house?
  • Can I locate all the dogs in my city?
  • Can I put a million of different pots in my kitchen?
  • Can I try 1000 dishes in 1000 seconds?

The information is everywhere. How the nature limits our exposure to it is quite simple. It puts us in the time-space like in a swamp.

Now. Our electronic information boxes. Computers, phones, smart-watches, whatever-will-be-on-the-market-in-2020…2021…2021… They seem to expose us to more information that we can handle of. Is that a problem you think? Maybe it isn’t. Just our brains are quite tired by rejecting most of the stuff.

Limiting the information from our boxes seems to be a radical and harmful action. But if we can filter out the obvious mismatches… Or maybe there is another way to navigate through information except going from the top to the deeps of the lists…

too many ways of coding

Because there is some many ways of writing the same program, programmers don’t want to continue somebody’s else projects. They have their own vision how to do it correctly.

The problem is so big that we don’t have to even consider a whole program. Just a single one page long function can be written in thousands of ways. The algorithm seems to be in the center of the evil, but also the code organization can be a big discourage to many. It is definitely to me. Having naming standard in the project is a big plus.

I like to compare programming to building houses. Rather small number of house builders will replace a whole wall in order to put a shelf on it. But rather a big number of programmers will replace a bunch of classes if they are missing function to do something.

What is the reason for that? An immature technology? Because the house building was tested for centuries. But maybe something so simple as universally usableĀ  components would help. We need real bricks…

cofoh.com reborn

After long time of … nothing I’ve decided to extend my blog with ideas about IT, information theory and programming. Hopefully I will write more this time. The name COFOH doesn’t seem to match anymore, it was short form of COmputers FOr Humans.

I’m not sure I’ve made a good decision by replacing Drupal with WordPress. The main reason was Android app for writing posts easily. I’m bit surprised how many plugins have paid versions. In Drupal everything seems to be free. But not so friendly as here.

WordPress is easy. I hope not too easy leaving a decent set of settings. I have to say that I love that Gutenberg editor. It reminds me something old and good…