Vincent Ritter

Thoughts

My thoughts, micro blog style. Usually short showing off ideas, screenshots and other things that might be on my mind on the day.

I pushed out a small update for Gluon that will now nicely display a first name and a username in your feed. It’s an important change, which doesn’t add too much clutter to the timeline. Really want to bring back a slightly more human touch to it.

I’ve been chipping away at a client project, a few hours a day (3 - 5) without stressing too much about it. Taking care to just do something at small bursts and concentrated intervals. The main point to just work at the problem one piece at a time and making that daunting to-do task way smaller. Feels great. On top I feel way more productive than rushing and burning that night oil. So far the project seems to be on track, which makes me happy.

I get many emails in my inbox mention something along the lines of: “Your website looks good and is well developed BUT it’s not optimised for [insert some crap big search engine]”.

I really couldn’t give a damn. They are not the internet!

A good social network should be about community/groups. A group should not be an “account” as such. A group should be separate with organisers, of real accounts, where everyone can come together. For example “Xcoders” should be a group of people together and not one account. In a sense, I feel, this would create better “online” communities in all with people responsible for the group in a whole… talking as a whole. Yes, I think it’s important to of course be able to set who is allowed to post on behalf of the group but everyone should be able to contribute.

Groups could be anything of course. “Plane Spotters Poland” or “Coffee nerds New York” or “Let’s fight for the planet and the future of humankind”.

Maybe something like MeetUp.

Groups/Communities should be easily discoverable in general where everyone can find what they’re into.

Groups should actively seek to do things in the real world and out of the digital. Digital being a medium of message but with real world change and human exchanges and experiences.

Maybe I’m stretching it a bit… hard to describe what I mean...

Does anyone have any recommendations on a good site, or book, about good personal finance? Good for tips like saving, especially for those times when it gets tough. Good and actionable no matter the income.

Just thinking how the most advanced device of its time, in 2007, was $500. It was truly revolutionary and pushed the world to what it is today... good and bad. $500 for a device that changed the world. That was the original iPhone.

Can a good social network do away with usernames? I think it could, given thought. Contacts should me more like your address book. Make it invisible. No more “@“s. Bring back the human part like “Hey Vincent” and not “Hey @“. I’m not an @.

Saying all that, just now, I think the Apple Watch is the perfect answer. It has utility and function and you can be connected when you need to be. I look forward what the future brings here... unless they screw that up somehow (bigger screens).

Things I didn’t like about the Apple Keynote:

  • When they mention how the iPhone changed the way we live in ways no one ever imagined. (47 min mark on the video).

They should trademark that. Robot humans. People clinging onto their phones like their life depends on it. Car crashes and deaths because of FOMO. Friends talking to each other whilst messaging or checking a feed of some sort… not actually interacting with each other. Parents more obsessed with their phone than their children. All that great stuff you know… feeling empowered to do great things like checking your email or that blue social network… great use of energy and resources of the A13 Bionic processor. So wasteful. Oh and countless selfies… hence we’re getting an upgrade.

Oh I could go on.

Things I loved during the Apple Keynote (Live stream):

  • The animated Apple logo when the stream started - make it a screensaver please Apple!!!! You need some new ones in Catalina!
  • The intro video. They’re always very creative.

That’s it.

Predictive text on iOS is getting so bad that I just want to revert to typing on my laptop for anything more than a couple of sentences.

Seeing bugs on the iOS13 simulator, on the Xcode 11 GM, that aren’t there on the real device 🤔

Time Machine backups pretty much stopped working after beta 2 or 3 of Catalina. Let’s see if it works now...

Last night I tidied up a few things on Gluon. Simpler screens and logic, moved search to “Discover More” as an experiment, ultimately getting rid of clutter on the tab bar. Also managed to reduce the app size by 100KB. And added push! Coming soon 😊

Mail on iOS13 is still broken in the latest 13.1 beta… Why fix something that certainly wasn’t broken in iOS12? It’s so frustrating that Apple are doing this.

My daughter always brings a smile to my face, and my inner self, no matter how bad the day.

Continuing my “good social network” topic. A good social network should never allow ads from advertisers. Advertising the social network itself is OK. A featured post, something like the Discover section on Micro.blog, should be encouraged.

Just pushed out build 8 (2019.1) for Gluon. This fixes an outstanding, and longterm, issue with swiping back out from a conversation or somewhere where feed items are showing.

Thank you to Matthew for bearing with me on this one! It still requires some tweaking but I hope this is an improvement already.

I’m about push out and update for Gluon, on iOS, that will tweak a few things especially the swipe actions on a cell. Also worked on speeding up the navigation to a conversation. It used to wait until the screen opened before fetching any data, but now it goes ahead and does it as you tap the post or conversation button.

As a test, I removed the “see who they’re following” on profiles. Is it important? Does the Discovery section not allow you to make your own decision whom to follow? Should I create a special screen that will load random profiles? Feedback welcome. Personally I’d like to just randomly find people that pop up on Discover. It gives a better feeling of “chance encounters”. The profile data you get back from the following count isn’t enough to give you a sense of whom they are anyway… just a name and username.

Anyway, here are the new swipe actions:

A good social network is about community. I think, as a great example, Micro.blog has a great community and feels like a happy place to go in general. Happy places are good, especially in the world we live in.

A good social network should be for the people. Not for corporations, businesses, governments and so forth.

A good social network needs to be something that is built for the long-term happiness of people. Us humans. Not something built out of greed or “just yet another social network because everyone else is doing it”.

A thought about what makes a good social network is that the underlying company/corporation should always be a Public Benefit Corporation or similar for the public good. Not a normal organisation. I think this should be a law, set in stone, for any underlying social network.

There should be no exchange of VC funds for this sort of company. Donations are fine but no obligations of any sort of sponsorship.

Having shareholders and, suit and ties, to answer to is wrong. It leads to… well… what we actually have now.

I feel that you should be able to make a profit with it, but you shouldn’t have your values destroyed because now you need to lick someone’s brown bottom and please the overlords. No thanks. I think people/unicorns/corporations are blinded by this fact.

Be yourself, not someone you think you should be or what others want you to be (although let your users decide).

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a good social network… I had a blog post ready, but decided against it. It’s a hard problem. I’ll try and share some thoughts of it in little snippets of posts, like this, over the course of a few weeks.

I’ve been having headaches and body aches since last Tuesday. Unable to work for more than an hour or two a day since… Now it’s Monday and I’m still feeling the same. Headache. Doesn’t go away… although I feel better in general. Never felt like this.

Spent the day working on registering for push notifications for Status. Includes a small Rails based API. It’ll activate by talking to the API and on success, and checks, will return a nice UUID, which in turn also registers a webhook with updown.

Zadra wooden roller coaster. This is was the most extreme ride I have ever been on. Hands down amazing. Loads of airtime and over banked turns, some upside down time too. Loved all 2 minutes of it! Went twice.

Nice macOS Catalina beta surprise today = my whole iCloud Drive folder is now empty… gone on the computer.

There’s a certain calm in the air today. It’s great noticing it. My thoughts near empty, embracing the calmness.

I like the Feedbin App for iOS... but am I right in thinking that it’s just serving the website in a wrapper? Sometimes feels like it.

Urgghhh, had enough faffing around with Windows and Visual Studio for a few client code projects. Rather just drop them and not use Windows ever again. It’s really bad.

My theory about iOS 13.1 is that Apple don’t want to have any announcements spoiled. The past few years, closer to the events, showed just that. This way, they can internally develop a release version for 13.0 that ships with the new hardware.

I’ve been tapping back and forth to try and figure out how to design the “check” screen… notepad is ready, with a blank canvas. Need to find inspiration. At least I got a nice status on the top right already, looks nice!

Having to work in bed today, although I should probably be sleeping! My head feels like it was hit by an aeroplane. Man flu for sure.

I’ve been doing some back and forth with Gluon lately. Haven’t felt much motivated to work on it as I’m thinking that I could dramatically reduce the visual clutter.

Also tried to work on an action bar… but it doesn’t really fit with my vision. I’ve got a few ideas I want to try… I think it’s for the better.

Will it ever be released? Some day… yes!

I’m wearing a Star Wars T-Shirt that I bought in Disneyland… loving it. Can’t see it in the profile image though. Probably a good thing.

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