Sam says you should read this
This blog was created with the BlogFile software, written by Samuel Levy.

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Pretty and Broken trumps Ugly and Working

There, I've said it. Programming is a beauty contest, and if your software ain't pretty, it will lose out to something with half the function. This is a really difficult thing to admit as I'm not a designer, but the user interface is more important than the functionality.

Of course this isn't always true - quite often banks and other large businesses use software that was written 20 years ago (and still looks the part), but for the majority of businesses (especially in the web sector), it's just a home truth that design is more important.

So let's explore why.

Reason number one why the UI …

Game of Life: Total War - an analysis

Approximately 4 weeks ago, I launched a side project, called Game of Life: Total War. It is a multi-player, competitive variant of Conway's Game of Life. It spent some time on the front page of Hacker News, and some time on the front page of /r/programming on Reddit.

Apart from Linode sending me emails at 3AM telling me that my CPU usage was too high (thanks, HN), it all held up pretty well. So far there have been over 3000 challenges created, almost 2000 armies, and about 300 user accounts created (you can create an army and play without creating an account, but accounts let you create and ke…

Let's talk about copyright, licencing, and who owns the code

As a freelance developer, the most common conversation I have with new clients is about copyright, licensing, and code ownership. It isn't a well understood area for many people, and many other freelancers who I talk to don't really get it, either. So let's talk.


In general, when you create something, you are automatically assigned copyright over it. This means that you have the right to determine who, when, and how the thing that you created is copied. For me, as a developer, any code that I write is automatically copyrighted to me. I can, through a general agreement or a contract gi…

BYOB - Build Your Own Blog

I am helping a couple of friends to learn how to program, and how to build things. Working through Codecademy has helped them get a grasp of the basics of syntax and problem solving, but they pretty quickly grow bored without a real goal in mind.

This is why I tell them to build their own blog, and why I think you should too.

Let's face it, you're not going to knock wordpress off it's pedestal, nor compete with blogger/tumblr/whatever other blogging platforms are popular. It's about building something for you. Something which doesn't affect everyone else, but you can play with, show off, and le…

Do I look like I give a shit (public license)

I'll make this short and sweet. I felt that we needed a new license. Blogfile was/is released under the WTFPL, and it's sub-project, SHITLang was also released under the same license.

I have no interest in maintaining SHITLang, and wanted to discourage people from trying to get me to look at pull requests.

Anyway, today, it is moving to the brand new license that I created (based heavily on the concept of the WTFPL): the Do I Look Like I Give A Shit Public License.

So what should this license be used for?

  • You are sick of maintaining a side project
  • You really don't give a shit about the project
  • You …