Weekly Review, 2021-02-14

Welcome back (or for the first time) to the Weekly Review! This week I updated some notes on [[Interface First Design]], give an update on the [[Voice Memo Experiment]]'s success, ramble about the [[Dweb]], and talk about a crazy new thing I found. Hope you enjoy!

[[Interface First Design]]

The Jungle hit a big milestone this week: a complete stranger reached out about writing on this site! He recently read A Philosophy of Software Design and found my notes on [[Interface First Design]] interesting because of similar ideas from the book. I was excited, then I looked at my notes on the page itself. There were none! And the linked notes were a mess. I commend the stranger for persevering through my mess to get to the good stuff, and I really appreciate him reaching out.

Even better, I found great notes on A Philosophy of Software Design on [[Irrational Exuberance]] by [[Will Larson]], which also happens to be a great blog.

I updated the [[Interface First Design]] page with new ideas from the book. Check it out!

Late Update on [[Voice Memo Experiment]]

On [[2020-12-20]], I shared the plans for my [[Voice Memo Experiment]]. Although I didn't technically pass the original challenge, it was a great experience.

Despite some laziness around the holidays, I sent over 20 voice memos to friends during this experiment. They were a lot of fun, especially those with friends I hadn't talked to in years.

All in all, my high expectations were met. The rambling medium of voice memos forced both myself and my friends to ramble about topics we wouldn't usually dig into. I often found myself laughing out loud listening to updates, then struggled to remember all the different things I wanted to reply to, but that's part of the fun. Some topics get lost in the ether, while others are built on or jumped off to the next thought.

Before this experiment, I hated the sound of my own voice. I couldn't bare to listen to any recording where I spoke, let alone a recording where the only noise is my speaking. I'm much more comfortable listening to my own voice now.

Along with that, I feel like a more versatile communicator. Voice recordings are a better medium for some messages, like stories and general catch ups. However, text is still by far the best medium for getting across quick and important information. It's also much easier to search. Getting comfortable with voice gives you another tool. With the rise of [[Clubhouse]], and even voice on twitter, it's a great time to get comfortable with this.

Laypeople and the [[Dweb]]

Last week, I talked a bit about [[Urbit]]. They are on my radar because of my increasing curiosity with distributed technologies and how they will come to effect average internet users.

This week, I found a quick article by [[Tyler Cowen]]. He describes the difference between how laypeople think about the future of the internet and internet entrepreneurs/tech savvy people do.

  • Laypeople talk about the next company or service
  • Internet entrepreneurs talk about the next decentralized service or platform.

When I ask my friends about decentralized tech, the only thing they are aware of, if anything, is [[Bitcoin]]/[[Blockchain]]. When I ask if they are aware of things like decentralized social media (e.g. [[Secure ScuttleBut]]), or marketplaces like Zora.co, they just kinda look at me funny. This might just tell you more about my friends than anything else, but I find it interesting.

This made me wonder, how long it will be before a typical internet consumer will become interested, and make browsing decisions, based on whether or not a service is decentralized?

Last week, I mentioned the cold start Dweb problem that Urbit is trying to fix: Peer 2 Peer apps, the core of decentralized technology, require users to have personal servers, but personal servers are a pain, so no one has them.

Another issue I see it that the UI/UX is no different than centralized services. People who use distributed technologies like [[Urbit]] and [[Secure ScuttleBut]] are those who appreciate the backend technology - not typical consumers. Will the average consumer be forced to build that same appreciation, or will distributed technologies start to offer a distinctly better user experience for consumers?

My guess is a combination of both. More specifically, my guess is that more people will slowly start to want control over the media they produce, and not want all their data tracked and stored by a centralized service. At the same time, more attention on decentralization will lead to more and more development time put into those applications that will eventually allow them to legitimately compete with the ease of use and utility of centralized services.

Finding ways to get the average consumer interested and educated will the next step for the [[Dweb]].


This week I learned large (from this link) that companies like [[Google]], [[Microsoft]], [[Airbnb]], and more use [[Monorepos]].

In fact, wired claims that all 2 billion lines of code sit in a single repository. This just seems like complete insanity. [[Dan Luu]] lays out some of the advantages of here. There are quite a few. Enough that my initial impression of insanity slowly faded into a feeling that the only reasonable way to manage 2 billion lines of code would be to put them into the same repository. Could you image 2 billion lines of scatter scattered through an ungodly mess of github orgs/teams/repos? At least if they are all in one repo, everyone knows where to look.

The link I have at the top of the [[Monorepos]] page explain the pros and cons pretty well. I don't have much to add. But I'm glad I'm aware that this is a thing. I also want a job at one of these companies now, for the sole reason to see one of these [[Big Hoss]] repos in action.

Final Thoughts

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day.

See you next week!

My Linked Notes

One last thing

If you liked these notes, hit me on Twitter!