A Fresh Cup is Mike Gunderloy's software development weblog, covering Ruby on Rails and whatever else I find interesting in the universe of software. I'm a full-time software developer: most of my time in recent years has been spent writing Rails, though I've dabbled in many other things and like most people who have been writing code for decades I can learn new stuff as needed.

As of July 2016, I'm looking for my next job. I'm not able to relocate, so unless you're in the Evansville area, I'd need a completely remote gig. I have lots of experience working remote. Prefer full-time but I wouldn't be averse to an interesting contact gig. Drop me a comment if you've got something or email MikeG1 [at] larkfarm.com.


A Fresh Cup

Notes on Rails and other development


Double Shot #454

Crossing fingers for a new contract today.


Double Shot #453

This would be a good day for a few things to get finished.

  • teachingkids - One of the new RailsBridge projects is getting moving.

  • GitHub Documentation - Looks like GitHub is working closely with rdoc.info to integrate docs now.

Double Shot #452

It's ark-building weather here; good time to stay inside and write code.


Twitter Screws Up

I don't often use this space to rant, but I'm up early with a small child and I'm a bit peeved at the moment. And my peevishness has something to do with software development, so it's moderately on-topic.

The target: Twitter, which in a "small settings update" decided to make things much less useful for those of us who use the service to discover new people. It used to be that if you followed Joe and he tweeted "@Mary: Like your new blog post on wombats" you'd see that update in your Twitterstream even if you didn't follow Mary (more precisely, you could turn on an option to make this happen). Then if you were interested in wombats, you could click through to @Mary's account and decide whether you wanted to follow her. Easy serendipity.

Now the option is gone, "to better reflect how folks are using Twitter regarding replies" and a unilateral declaration that the old behavior is undesirable. Horseshit. If it's confusing to new users, then change the default for the setting, don't remove it entirely. Seems to me that one of two things is going on here. Either this change was necessary for performance reasons (in which case Twitter's spin on the issue is a lie), or else this is another instance of the pernicious developer arrogance that says "we know better than our users." Either way, it stinks.

Will this be the end of Twitter? Nope. But if the change isn't reversed (which will mean Twitter is deaf to the crescendo of #fixreplies tweets), it'll make the service less useful to a significant number of users. And that's a shame.

Update: In a new blog post, Biz writes: "The engineering team reminded me that there were serious technical reasons why that setting had to go or be entirely rebuilt." Compare that with the wording from the first post: "However, receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don't follow in your timeline is undesirable. Today's update removes this undesirable and confusing option." It is difficult to come to any conclusion from those two statements other than the simple: Twitter lied.

I'll miss the feature. I'll miss even more the thought that I could trust Twitter to be open and transparent with its users.

Double Shot #451

Ah, the joys of small children with irregular sleep schedules.