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Stefan Lesser 🕰️ 2024-01-06 19:02:44

A few weeks ago I started a new series of blog posts (or “newsletters”, in Substack parlance) about simplicity :

1 • On simplicity introduces the series with how my thinking about simplicity has changed over the years.

2 • Meaning-ful design connects simplicity to meaning making and coherence.

3 • Familiarity explores how complex things can be surprisingly simple and why we can’t ignore context.

4 • Reciprocal realization frames design as a complex dynamic process of mutual adaptation between designer and designed object.

I expect about four or five more posts coming after that, but I haven’t written them yet, so I have no idea. 🙂

A lot of this draws on 4E cognitive science, design theory, and philosophy. As such it may perhaps be less technical than you would expect it to be, although I try much harder in this series to relate it more directly to programming and software development than in my last.

And that’s why I post it here, today. I’m hoping to learn if this resonates at all with a technical audience, or if this is still too abstract. I know we’re all craving for the easily applicable Top 10 Things to Make Things Simple (and number 6 will surprise you), but I have reason to believe that it’s just not that… well… simple. But I think I’m slowly making progress towards synthesizing something valuable, even if I can’t express it as beautifully as I would like to. Yet.

Let me know what you think, and please ask any questions you may have (in thread or via DM). Appreciate your feedback!

Stefan Lesser 2024-03-04 15:14:25

As I keep writing my article series On Simplicity… I’d like to further improve it with feedback and have now set up a first online discussion for it.

On Thursday, March 14th we’ll start with discussing the first post in the series. You don’t need to be familiar with the whole series; just reading the first post is recommended but not required. Have a look at the Luma invite for the exact time in your time zone and to sign up (it’s a free event via Zoom).

Would be great to have some of you there!

Kartik Agaram 2024-03-06 05:25:25

Odd feeling: I just opened a terminal, did a double-take and knew instantly there was a leap year bug in code I wrote almost 25 years ago.

William Taysom 2024-03-06 08:16:52

Please elaborate.

Kartik Agaram 2024-03-06 18:26:27

The message I saw was, "take out trash."

My first thought was, "huh, trash day was yesterday."

The program does periodic reminders. Here it had added 7 days to Feb 26 and gotten to Mar 5.

William Taysom 2024-03-07 09:15:07

Ah!

Mariano Guerra 2024-03-07 16:52:02

Explorable binary operations' progress report:

  • Program outline
  • Expand for instruction details and step execution

binvm-program.gif

Mariano Guerra 2024-03-07 20:15:52

Show names next to values

binvm-name-hexnum.gif

Mariano Guerra 2024-03-07 18:52:32

first time I include it in the book 🙂

2024-03-07_15-51.png

Tom Lieber 2024-03-07 20:02:27

Can’t wait to get to that part!

Tom Lieber 2024-03-07 20:03:25

Less excited for the family of functions implied by the name “unaligned I32 load 16u” 😅

Mariano Guerra 2024-03-07 20:15:30

that's why I need the explorables 😄

Kartik Agaram 2024-03-10 05:49:45

The kids and I had a blast playing Baba is You this morning, and it brought up ancient memories of playing Sokoban puzzles (where all you can do push crates around; in particular no pulling). Now I want to play Sokoban on my phone.

lcamtuf.coredump.cx/sir-box-a-lot contains 300 publicly available Sokoban puzzles. It turns out the C syntax that those puzzles are encoded in is just a few search-and-replaces from being perfectly valid and usable Lua. So far I can render the starting state.

Ivan Reese 2024-03-10 19:16:02

Oh nice! I love sokoban games. (There are even some good ones that do have pulling!)

If you get this running, I will play it.

Ivan Reese 2024-03-10 19:18:33

Aside — this recent sokoban-esq game is absolutely fantastic: muntedfinger.com/canofwormholes

(Seems it's only available on steam, alas)

Kartik Agaram 2024-03-11 07:47:09

Here's a playable iteration of the game: akkartik.itch.io/sokoban

📝 sokoban.love by Kartik Agaram

Sokoban for your phone

William Taysom 2024-03-11 10:31:22

I'm a big fan of "A Monster's Expedition through puzzling exhibitions." It isn't needlessly difficult, but simultaneously has some mind blowing mechanics store.steampowered.com/app/1052990/A_Monsters_Expedition.

📝 A Monster's Expedition on Steam

An adorable and relaxing open world puzzle adventure for monsters who love to learn about humans!