July 23rd, 2008

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CommYou 0.2.0.1 -- now seems to be working

Okay -- I've fixed the major bugs that we found yesterday, and released a quick patch release. See CommYou proper for the full list of tweaks, but the upshot is that IM now seems to be working. You'll find that laurion, learnedax, metahacker and I have already gotten into a couple of pretty substantial conversations there. So far, so good: while there's lots to be tweaked, this seems to be a major step towards the system working as desired.

I'll be spending some time refining the IM interface, but my focus for the next several weeks will be LJ integration. Sometime after Pennsic, y'all should be able to log in and start using it without going through Facebook...
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The upside of Balance

As I've said before, the core principle of my life is Balance. But it's not easy, zen-like Balance. The idea originally came to me when a friend declared that my Tarot significator was the Two of Pentacles -- a card that implies constantly juggling in order to try and keep things balanced. That surprised me, way back in the freshman year of college, but over time it's proven ever truer: my life is all about keeping the balls in the air.

The downside of that is that those waves in the background of the card go up and down. Last night was a "down": one of those terrible eight-hour-long Hours of the Wolf, full of recrimination and self-doubt. Despite the rational part of my brain saying, "The first release was less than twelve weeks ago: chill, dammit", mostly I was hamstering, sure that it was going too slowly, this would never come together, people wouldn't like it, and it was all Doomed Doomed Doomed.

And then today was up the next wave. The bug that brought things to a crashing halt yesterday was, in fact, as simple and dumb as I thought it was; a few hours of disciplined testing proved that the bug and the fix were as I suspected. I released the fixed version late this afternoon -- and within two hours, four of us had generated more real traffic than the system's had in the past three weeks. It's *far* from perfect at this point -- I've already got a list of about a dozen tweaks to make -- but most of those tweaks are easy, and it's looking like, in another week or so, this will start being genuinely Cool finally. (A month later than I had targeted "Cool", but I'll take it.)

Of course, to compensate for that, Dance Practice was a wipeout: between the imminent Pennsic, and miserable weather, we simply failed to get critical mass. But that's okay -- honestly, I'd rather get a clearly-not-enough five people than a maybe-barely-enough seven. As it was, it was easy to declare a critfail, and we all trooped off to Tosci's for a pleasant and long schmooze. It did nothing to dampen my exhausted but elated mood: for the first time in a while, the CommYou project is *feeling* right again, and I'm eager for the next sprint...