It might be a good thing if someone hates your product
Successful Software
by Andy Brice
3M ago
Nobody likes getting an email message telling that that the end result of all their hard work is a piece of garbage (or worse). It is a bit of a shock, when it happens the first time. One negative piece of feedback can easily offset 10 positive ones. But, hurt feelings aside, it may not be all bad. For a start, that person actually cared enough about your product to take the time to contact you. That is not something to be taken lightly. A large number of products fail because they solve a problem that no-one cares about. Apathy is very hard to iterate on. At least you are getting some feedbac ..read more
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The AI bullshit singularity
Successful Software
by Andy Brice
3M ago
I’m sure we are all familiar with the idea of a technological singularity. Humans create an AI that is smart enough to create an even smarter successor. That successor then creates an even smarter successor. The process accelerates through a positive feedback loop, until we reach a technological singularity, where puny human intelligence is quickly left far behind. Some people seem to think that Large Language Models could be the start of this process. We train the LLMs on vast corpuses of human knowledge. The LLMs then help humans create new knowledge, which is then used to train the next gen ..read more
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Visual vs text based programming, which is better?
Successful Software
by Andy Brice
4M ago
Visual programming tools (also called ‘no-code’ or ‘low-code’) have been getting a lot of press recently. This, in turn, has generated a lot of discussion about whether visual or text based programming (coding) is ‘best’. As someone who uses text programming (C++) to create a visual programming data wrangling tool (Easy Data Transform) I have some skin in this game and have thought about it quite a bit. At some level, everything is visual. Text is still visual (glyphs). By visual programming here I specifically mean software that allows you to program using nodes (boxes) and vertexes (arrows ..read more
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Winterfest 2023
Successful Software
by Andy Brice
5M ago
Winterfest 2023 is on. Loads of quality software for Mac and Windows from independent vendors, at a discount. This includes my own Easy Data Transform and Hyper Plan, which are on sale with a 25% discount. Find out more at artisanalsoftwarefestival.com ..read more
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What is the index of an empty string in an empty string?
Successful Software
by Andy Brice
5M ago
This sounds like a question a programmer might ask after one medicinal cigarette too many. The computer science equivalent of “what is the sounds of one hand clapping?”. But it is a question I have to decide the answer to. I am adding indexOf() and lastIndexOf() operations to the Calculate transform of my data wrangling (ETL) software (Easy Data Transform). This will allow users to find the offset of one string inside another, counting from the start or the end of the string. Easy Data Transform is written in C++ and uses the Qt QString class for strings. There are indexOf() and lastIndexOf ..read more
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Ship Of Fools
Successful Software
by Andy Brice
8M ago
I recently had a 3 week holiday in Florida with my family. My 17 year old son is interested in rocketry and my wife is interested in wildlife. We got to see plenty of both and had a great time. There is a lot to like about America and Americans. But the sheer waste of resources on show everywhere was pretty shocking. In Europe we absolutely aren’t doing enough to protect the environment and avert the impending climate catastrophe (I flew to Florida and drove a car there, so I am no environmental saint myself). In Florida they don’t appear to be even trying. Let’s start with plastic. Everything ..read more
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Oryx Digital sponsored team wins gold at International Rocketry Challenge
Successful Software
by Andy Brice
11M ago
The Ridgeway Rocket Club team of Ben Wigley, Sanjay Bala and (my son) John Brice, won the International Youth Rocketry Challenge at the Paris Airshow last week. After beating 180 other UK teams at UKROC to qualify, they then beat the best teams from the USA, France and Japan. I sponsored and mentored the team this year and the year before. The team placed 9th overall in the UK at their first attempt, last year. Airbus was the main sponsor for UKROC and their trip to Paris. The rocket was designed and built from scratch by the team, with various 3d printer and laser cut components. The top tub ..read more
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Experiences promoting niche software
Successful Software
by Andy Brice
1y ago
This is a guest post from fellow software developer, Simon Kravis. It’s sometimes said that software development is only 10% of what’s required to earn money from software and I can attest to that. Since 2018 I have been developing photo captioning and related software, more as a retirement diversion than a serious source of income (after a career mostly involved in writing scientific and engineering analysis software), in the hope that sales income would at least cover running costs. My best marketing tool has been writing reviews of the class of software that I produce, and the hosting site ..read more
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Moving from altool to notarytool for Mac notarization
Successful Software
by Andy Brice
1y ago
This is an update to my 2018 article How to notarize your software on macOS. I have been using altool to notarize my Mac apps for some years. However Apple, being Apple, have deprecated altool in favour of the new notarytool. altool will stop working at some point in 2023. And Apple, being Apple, have made little attempt to keep consistency between the two. I didn’t find anything online to tell me how arguments between the two tools related. Consequently I spent a while trying to guess which arguments mapped to which. I got locked out for a while for trying to wrong combination too many t ..read more
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Why you can’t parse CSV with a regular expression
Successful Software
by Andy Brice
1y ago
Regular expressions are a very useful tool in a programmer’s toolbox. But they can’t do everything. And one of the things they can’t do is to reliably parse CSV (comma separated value) files. This is because a regular expression doesn’t store state. You need a state machine (or something equivalent) to parse a CSV file. For example, consider this (very short) CSV file (3 double quotes + 1 comma + 3 double quotes): “””,””” This is correctly interpreted as: quote to start the data value + escaped quote + comma + escaped quote + quote to end the data value E.g. a single value of: “,” How each cha ..read more
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