hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    22 Aug 2011 Ask
home   ask   best   8 years ago   
1
Ask HN: What is your preferred Python stack for high traffic webservices?
27 points by bigethan  2 hours ago   15 comments top 4
1
espeed 53 minutes ago 1 reply      

  * haproxy - frontline proxy
* varnish - app server cache
* nginx - static files
* uwsgi - app server
* flask - primary framework
* tornado - async/comet connections
* bulbflow - graph database toolkit
* rabbitmq - queue/messaging
* redis - caching & sessions
* neo4j - high performance graph database
* hadoop - data processing

2
antimora 1 hour ago 3 replies      
I am considering this stack off the shelf in my next big project:

- uWSGI - performs better than gunicorn and has support for async apps using gevent

- nginix - front end server

- pyramid - web framework

- mongodb - database

- mongoengine - mongodb and python mapper

- zeromq - messaging and communication

- jinja2 - for template engine

- gevent - for async processing

- gevent-zeromq - to make zeromq non-blocking and gevent compatible

- socket-io - JS lib for realtime communication

I still need to develop robust session management. I considered various options and came to conclusion if I want something fast, truly distributed and not using sticky session I should come up with my own session manager demon hosted on each node. I would use ZeroMQ to communicate to it.

3
samuel1604 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
eventlet!
4
ConceitedCode 1 hour ago 2 replies      
uWSGI, nginx, pyramid, sqlalchemy, postgresql, mako, beaker and fabric to deploy

My preferred setup that works for most cases. All reliable and fast.

2
Download.com wrapping downloads
56 points by forgotAgain  5 hours ago   13 comments top 9
1
acangiano 2 hours ago 1 reply      
My guess: Microsoft was probably ecstatic about this. Until it becomes a PR headache (it's just about to start). At that point, Microsoft will probably condemn this as misleading and something they don't endorse. They'll probably cut them off from whatever referral program they are currently on.
2
latch 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There'll be a backlash. Microsoft will kill the program and claim that "Microsoft relies on a number of 3rd parties for its marketing. In this case, the 3rd party acted without consulting Microsoft and as soon as Microsoft was made aware of the issue, they cancelled the program"
3
ggchappell 1 hour ago 1 reply      
(1) I really appreciate this post & discussion. It has been clear for a long time that lots of website owners pay little or no attention to the experiences customers have with fulfillment providers (and Download.com is fulfillment, in the larger sense). It's time to hold people accountable for this kind of thing.

(2) Microsoft has been associated with sleazy stuff for years. I'm thinking of the installation of all kinds of nonsense software when you buy "Microsoft Windows" pre-installed. I doubt this issue is the kind of thing they consider a problem. Sad, but true.

4
georgieporgie 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Assuming you have a piece of software which is supported by bundled toolbar installation, does this mean that Download.com effectively steals your slice of the pie?

(not that I advocate toolbar bundling, but it is one way that some apps make money)

5
fomojola 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The upsell is here! They'll expose your direct download link to people who are registered. Who registers for download.com?!?!

And, if you pay them for the privilege of hosting your content with them, they'll let you opt out of it. This is how they try and make money.

Take your software down: its 2011, you can distribute yourself, cut out the middle man, and (unless you're getting 20000 downloads a day) still not pay very much for it.

6
tajddin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This really does seem like a violation. We develop enterprise help desk software and also offer it via Download.com and didn't receive a notification of this change.

It doesn't exactly look great on our software that a toolbar is installed alongside it -- especially for a professional business product.

7
bradleyland 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised this doesn't violate the license of many of the applications available on Download.com. Time to abandon ship?
8
tlrobinson 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this even legal? Did you give them permission to distribute your software?
3
Show HN: Save reading time with the TL;DR PLZ bookmarklet
40 points by zerostar07  13 hours ago   13 comments top 8
1
SeoxyS 10 hours ago 2 replies      
People need to stop reading so much crap and so many summaries, and learn to focus on reading a long article for 20min.
2
beaumartinez 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Have a look at tldr.it[1]. It fetches data from Delicious to TL;DR.

[1] http://tldr.it

3
jannes 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This is really nice. I had a similar idea, but haven't felt ready to implement it yet.

I think users would appreciate it if they could keep track of what they have read and summarized. Like an archive for every article they have read. It would let users take a look into their past and let them see what kind of texts they were reading a long time ago. It would help users to remember things that they have long forgotten. Also, humans tend to like collecting and gathering.

One little thing: Why did you (or your friend) name it "TLDRplz"? Please remind yourself what TL;DR means. It's a statement, not a noun that's synonymous to "summary". I think it's annoying to see it used that way.

4
barapa 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a great concept...of course, it needs many users to be effective. A couple suggestions (that you probably are already thinking about):

1 - You need a distinctive favicon, because it is so important

2 - When you submit a summary, it should show you the summaries, rather than just give you a new Captcha...it makes you think you got the captcha wrong, even though you write somewhere that it was a success. I think we've been too conditioned to think seeing the captcha change means success.

5
leon_ 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, that's really neat. I can see myself using this. I hope it gets more popular :)
6
zerostar07 13 hours ago 0 replies      
7
radog 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not also have an automated script for the vast majority of sites for which people don't upload their own summaries? First two paragraphs and last paragraph seem like they would do the trick 80-90% of the time.
8
srkgupta 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really awesome... I too wanted to create a site like this... something huge like disqus... but u made it very simple and its indeed nice...
4
Ask HN: SEO vs. Branding with Domains (keyword.net vs. prefix+keyword.com)
3 points by mikeburrelljr  3 hours ago   5 comments top 2
1
randfish 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm hugely passionate about SEO, but, perhaps anachronistically, I'd urge you to go with something brandable over something that's merely a keyword match.

Of course, if you can do both, and you love the name, that's awesome, but personally, I'd take an OKCupid brand name over "freeonlinedating.com" any day. It's harder to build up initially (the exact match may indeed have an easier time in many industries getting first page rankings for a single keyword phrase), but SEO and inbound marketing are a much broader field

You need people to search for you, know about you, tell their friends, bookmark your stuff, share your site on social services, email their friends/family and generally think positively about the brand. It's incredibly hard to do that with most exact match sites (hotels.com or pets.com being exceptions).

If you want to have your cake and eat it, too, you could go with something like "hipdating.com" (from the example above). Folks like Codecademy.com or even SEOmoz.org fit that profile.

2
mikeburrelljr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
And specifically with the prefix example, would the word "free" in front be a turn-off (think of that catchy song for the credit report domain on the tv)??
5
Ask HN: SaaS Startups do you accept bank transfers for payment?
6 points by ig1  15 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
forcer 14 hours ago 0 replies      
We are not b2b but b2c and accept wide range of payment options including bank transfers, customers in some countries don't want to pay via credit card.

We reconciliate by exporting CSV files from bank statements and mass import them to our administration web interface.

2
jsavimbi 14 hours ago 0 replies      
In my case we only accept bank transfers, and in most cases they're for setting up the service for the client so it's a one time thing and reconciliation is done manually.
6
Dear procrastinator
536 points by edo  6 days ago   138 comments top 57
1
silverbax88 6 days ago  replies      
I'm sorry to disagree, but I do. My own battle with procrastination is completely due to laziness. No one likes to do difficult things, and sometimes even things we kind of enjoy. The reality is that we, as humans, never procrastinate when we really, really want something. Not once in my life did I have to "trick" myself into playing a video game a few extra minutes or watch a big basketball game.

In short, we accomplish what we want to accomplish (meaning, the 'fun' stuff), unless we push ourselves.

2
joshklein 6 days ago 2 replies      
There is not a singular cause for procrastination. I've mentioned it many times on HN, but I think it's again relevant to recommend "Procrastination" by Burka & Yuen.[1]

Half the book is spent helping you investigate the root cause or causes of your procrastination, which can include fear about control (losing OR gaining it), as well as fear of success, fear of failure, fear of separation, fear of attachment. They discuss the influence of family and culture, gender, and the role of ADD & executive dysfunction.

The second half of the book is a practical guide to coping with your procrastination and habitualizing better behaviors.

If you're serious about procrastination, my only advice is to listen to the experimentally & research-backed psychiatrists.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Procrastination-Why-You-What-About/dp/...

3
toddmorey 6 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not lazy, I'm not too proud to do mundane things, and I don't feel others control my life. (How would that last perspective explain procrastinating on a personal project like a painting?) I didn't understand procrastination until I understood it from this perspective (and I imagine a lot of the folks on HN are similar): I procrastinate because I'm a perfectionist. If it's not finished, it can't be judged. There's more I can tweak! Once something is turned in, published, or launched, it stands as an example of my best effort. It wears my name. And that scares the hell out of me.
4
janjan 6 days ago 6 replies      
This is not true for myself at all!

Actually I think in my case all the stuff you read about procrastination does not really aplly to my procrastination:

I think I am one of the worlds worst procastinators and it took me about 10 years to figure out what might be the main reason for my behaviour. It has nothing to with all the stuff you read in all these procrastination books. It's not about the fear of failing, it's not about the fear of winning, it's not some kind of rebellion against some outside force as you pointed out. It's something completly different:

I never learned to do (unpleasant) stuff!

When I look back on my childhood now, it's very obvious what went wrong: I grew up as a very very spoiled kid which never had to do anything "unpleasant". Did not want to clean up my room? No problem. Did not want to help my parents with preparing lunch? no problem. Did not want to do homework? no problem.

From all those years growing up I can remember only one occasion at which my mother tried to force me to do something. But since I was already 12 or so that this time, she gave up after 10 minutes.

I never learned to endure the "stress" or "pain" of all those unpleasant things I have to do (washing clothing, cooking, ...) so it's very hard for me to do them intstead of just browsing the internet and get instant satisfaction.

In combination with some above average intelligence and a very big portion of luck I was still able to study with good grades and I'm currently in my second year of a PhD thesis. For me it's hell on earth! Giving lectures, preparing papers, filling out forms, applying for grants, ... I postpone all of this stuff all the time not because I am afraid i could not do them or because they are pushed on me from the outside. I postpone them because I never learned to actually _do_ unpleasant stuff.

Does this makes sense? English is not my first language and the topic is quite hard to describe.

5
TeMPOraL 6 days ago 1 reply      
Wow.

That actually resonates with me much better than anything I've read on procrastination so far. I am burning lot of my mental cycles on thinking about my own procrastination, and it crossed my mind that when I start to do things that I'm (in broad sense) forced to - by my boss, lecturer or even myself, I feel like loosing some kind of self-awareness, control of my life... I never pin-pointed the feeling exactly, but it resonates closely with what you wrote.

Also, I'm so used to my personal GTD-like productivity management methods that I sometimes feel I'm not able to think or work without using pen & paper or Emacs for organizing my thoughts. Now, the thing I'm worried about is that it doesn't really feel like I have 'boosted my cognitive skills' or whatever - it feels like I'm so handicaped that I can't think without help of external tools. I look around and see people (that look) smarter and more successful than me, and they don't seem to be using any productivity tricks at all. Maybe it's [something]-bias [1], but it gets me really worried. Anyone on HN felt something similar?

[1] - need to catch up with LessWrong on that ;).

6
petenixey 6 days ago 0 replies      
HN will never see a more eminently clickable post than one titled, "Dear Procrastinator"
7
munchhausen 6 days ago 1 reply      
"The reason why human-beings procrastinate is to feel in control of their life."

Agree completely. Having said this, your suggested solution is incredibly hard to put into practice for many procrastinators out there.

I have bills to pay and a family to support, and working for the Man seems like the only option, at the moment, to meet my financial obligations. I don't particularly enjoy my day job, and I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to. To maintain an illusion that I am not just a slave tied to a very short leash, I procrastinate. Ignoring my email inbox full of pending tasks and spending the day outside in the sunshine instead can feel very liberating, but obviously it doesn't solve anything, and doesn't get me a step closer to greater freedom.

"life as a sequence of awesomely fun and exciting things" sounds great, but the reality is that only a very small percentage of people are lucky enough to lead this kind of life.

8
lionhearted 6 days ago 1 reply      
Great post.

Relevant tactical point:

Replace "I have to" with "I choose to" and "I should" with "Would I like to?"

It really, really, really works.

Instead of, "I have to take out the garbage" - "I choose to take out the garbage." (Or alternatively, "I choose not to" - that's okay too, if you choose to do it that way.)

9
wisty 6 days ago 0 replies      
Procrastination has many causes. I expect this is because humans haven't often needed to motivate themselves, as they have often been motivated by fear and hunger. Above $5 or $10 a day, basic nutrition and shelter is not an issue.

Here's a few reasons why I think some people procrastinate. Mix and match:

- The need to feel control.
- Some urge to punish or test someone (a parent?)

- Perfectionism (high standards, the need to over-achieve, or egotism), or a fear of being judged. If it's not done, nobody has to see your crappy work.

- Laziness. Sometimes an issue for people who can pass without working.

- Habit. See all the above.

- Dopamine addiction. The internet has given rise to the junk food equivalent of achievement.

- Unrealistic expectations, leading to a lack of motivation. Sorry, but they lied when they said the course / job you are getting into is the most important one in the world. They say that about every course / job.

10
peteretep 6 days ago 1 reply      
http://www.amazon.com/Self-Discipline-10-Days-Thinking-Doing... <-- this book pretty much sorted out my procrastination problem
11
makeramen 6 days ago 1 reply      
Very well written Edo, thanks! While I disagree that this applies to all cases of procrastination, it definitely applies to many, and was very eye (and mind) opening to read.

Curious if you have other writings posted anywhere? I'd love to read more about your thoughts on other topics.

12
gwern 6 days ago 0 replies      
> The reason why human-beings procrastinate is to feel in control of their life. The act of rebelling against an oppressor, an authorative figure telling you what to do, is your way of regaining mastery over your own fate.

The academic literature disagrees that procrastination is about rebelling, and 'efficacy' is only one factor; see http://lesswrong.com/lw/3w3/how_to_beat_procrastination/ and especially its reference section (Luke is great about jailbreaking PDFs and hosting them; I'm slowly reading through those specific PDFs).

13
ThomPete 6 days ago 1 reply      
I think you are replacing one extreme claim with another.

Becoming better at something means that either your body or your brain have to do do something that it's not used to and doesn't feel comfortable with. It doesn't matter how much you love what you do it's still going to feel harder and thus there are a million other things you would rather do.

When I were young I practiced the guitar 10 hours a day for a long period of time. I loved (and still love) music but it was hard even with this love for my field.

If I wanted to I could simply have been playing things that I already knew. Playing around and not getting any better.

But to become better at something you need to get the discipline to get on with it and that will "hurt".

There are no easy ways to become better.

14
jodrellblank 6 days ago 1 reply      
That doesn't seem to answer anything. If human beings procrastinate to feel in control, what of soldiers? They can be happy and fulfilled, work damn hard, and be only doing exactly what they are told.

The next question, for you perhaps, is "what do you fear so much about the idea of not being in control of your life?"

15
juliano_q 6 days ago 0 replies      
I think the OP argument makes a lot of sense. When I was young, my mother often asked (not exactly gently) to do some tasks and many times I refused just because I was obligated.

In the school and in the college it was exactly the same behavior, I refused to study but when I found an interesting topic outside the college (like programming) I had a lot of will to study it by myself. I never really learned anything in the school class, I am 100% autodidact. The single fact that I was obligated to learn something made me completly ignore that stuff.

16
ctdonath 6 days ago 0 replies      
"The act of rebelling against an oppressor, an authorative figure telling you what to do, is your way of regaining mastery over your own fate."

Surely you jest.

Oh, sure, some people will procrastinate as rebellion.

Just as sure, some people procrastinate a simple matter of choosing from a menu: choosing steak over fish is for some a simple preference, not weighed down with rebellion against diet or splurging against budget. At a given moment I have the choice to do interesting thing X or less interesting thing Y; I choose X not out of the oppression of why Y is an option at all, but just because it is what I would rather do.

You may struggle against authority an procrastinate as an act of rebellion. Others because it's just what they would rather do.

17
user24 6 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, this is such good advice. You're right, I'm constantly having stern talks with myself about being a mature, clever guy and so why the heck am I wasting time, etc etc. Thankyou.
18
hasenj 6 days ago 0 replies      
The other day I tried to use "LazyMeter". I got a few things done using it, but I felt extremely uncomfortable. The feeling was familiar: the same feeling I had in my previous job. I felt suffocated and deprived.
19
camperman 6 days ago 0 replies      
Of all the anti-procrastinating advice I've ever read, this is the most succinct and the most helpful. Thank you.
20
WilhelmJ 6 days ago 0 replies      
There are tons of interesting books I bought, but I have kept on procrastinating reading, since I know that I can always read them later. That feeling IMHO - that I own something and can process it later - is major cause of procrastination for me.

same way my browser windows are a mess with 70+ tabs open. Most of them are only open because the content is too interesting to close and I am too lazy to read!

21
olalonde 6 days ago 0 replies      
Reading all these comments, I'm starting to believe that something like Alcohol Anonymous would not be a bad idea for chronic procrastinators... Procrastinators Anonymous?
22
lists 6 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be interested in exploring the ascetic dimension of procrastination.

That may ring the wrong religious bells but the problem of procrastination in the West was first of all, and there's a lot of documentation surrounding this, a religious problem. Saint Jerome is the first to directly speak of idleness but it's even there in Paul's letters: How do you secure a base of pagans for your Judaic sect in a world swimming with very similar cults and mythologies? Keep em busy with your sect.

This is related to the consistent demand for communal surveillance stretching throgh all the church fathers; everyone should make sure everyone else is busy being faithful. So I wonder how and at what point that discussion of procrastination transforms into the modern formulation?

23
stray 6 days ago 0 replies      
Note to self: read this article in your copious free time...
24
Jach 6 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, sometimes you can't just think your way out of it.

Hopefully one day we'll have a repeatable, very high success method of letting people get work done when they consciously desire it.

25
sireat 6 days ago 0 replies      
The OP's point is a good one but it is not the whole story. People procrastinate for various reasons, as others have already attested.

Personally, I found a simple habit cured me of 50% of HN and Reddit addiction and let me work on things I had procrastinated for a long time:

First thing when I do every morning when I sit down at a computer is e-mail a simple TODO list to myself and also send a report of what I did on yesterdays TODO list.

This e-mail is very simple, a few items and simple descriptions. Only caveat is making the items "actionable" that is something you can do, not something you can just try or consider.

Also, if I do not complete every item on the list, I do not beat myself over it.

This takes a few minutes of time and was very easy to make a habit of using a Don't Break a Chain technique. After a week or so, it doesn't feel forced at all anymore.

26
Killah911 6 days ago 0 replies      
Just got done reading "The Now Habit", and the book concurs with this prognosis. The book also suggest several ways to tackle these issues that cause procrastination. Anybody have any recommendations/pitfalls from "The Now Habit"?
27
culturengine 6 days ago 0 replies      
Great post. Many great things can be achieved with a short burst of energy/focus, but these things are often temporary and unsustainable, which is why the Man Up approach gets trumped by the I Will Continue To Do Better approach once real life kicks in.
28
adimitrov 6 days ago 0 replies      
Dear Procrastinator,

Go read up on the topic of procrastination, because it's actually an interesting field of research within psychology. I know you want to, because that way, you can procrastinate even more!

I'm appalled that nobody has yet mentioned http://procrastination.ca " home of the Uni Ottawa procrastination research group. Also home of the excellent iProcrastinate podcast: http://iprocrastinate.libsyn.com/

It turns out that procrastination is an immensely complex and multi-faceted issue, and no one single solution is going to help everybody. I like the OPs advice, but don't think it applies to every procrastinator! Also, it might be the right advice for you if you want to combat your procrastination, but it won't help you combat other "bad" aspects of your psyche, and eventually, you're going to fall into your old habits.

I'm talking out of experience here: I originally went to a psychiatrist because my life wasn't working out anymore (it was really that general.) Several (mostly inconclusive) diagnoses and 2 years of psychotherapy later, I feel like I'm finally starting to grasp why and how my life went wrong.

Not everybody who procrastinates has serious mental issues. But just as a hint: if, for a prolonged period of time, say, a year, you aren't able to get back on track, or you aren't able to fulfill your dreams or expectations, try a therapist, if you can afford it. (I happen to live in a country with free health care, so I didn't have to deal with that, gladly.)

29
RobertHubert 6 days ago 0 replies      
First off, Nice post. But I disagree slightly out of experience from my own toils with procrastination. I find that I, among many other humans simply want to remain in a state of comfort, whatever that means to each person. Every little thing that deviates one from constant comfort becomes a bump in the state of mind, this bump can be smoothed out in 1 of 2 ways, You can do what you should do, the task at hand, or you can put it off in exchange for a moment of instant gratification, or some distraction action. Now in behavioral theory, there is much less mental strife or tension involve in procrastination (initially), and if the competitor action to inaction a mentally or physically longer journey requiring more energy to complete, the natural response would be the shortest of the two. Instant gratification is powerful! Its a tug-of-war calculation between actions, we will do whatever we can do that's easier or more enjoyable unless we fear the outcome of inaction so much so that it out-ways the positives of the other. We are fundamentally powerless against this. For all you fellow entrepreneurs out there, we simply love building things more than anything else. My procrastination for example consists of working on projects or prototyping a new app. I will default to that when countered with options of going to the movies, eating out, or playing video games. One could argue however that fear of failure motivates one above all others to strive for success.
Just my 2 cents.
30
horofox 5 days ago 0 replies      
Actually, I know the problem:

It's with our right hemisphere, it's the one of you that is creative, that had hopes as a child to really do something useful for the world, the one that is out of control, seeks freedom.

The thing is that you aren't doing art/music(that's what people frequently do with it) and art/music is well known as freedom, what you are probably doing is:

A stupid startup to proove yourself, make some money and shit. Even if you own twitter or facebook, it's still shit compared to art, believe me. It's shit.

If you were doing something that would eradicate some sickness in africa and would save millions of people or had anything altruist in it, i doubt your heart wouldn't be pumping from the second you started.

Believe me, it's because what you do is shit, your brain knows and it wants to free you from this bullshit.

I don't procrastinate to wash dishes for my girlfriend, no matter how much it's boring, i fucking love her. But you know, if i had to wash it for ME, i would procrastinate all day. You need love.

31
umjames 6 days ago 0 replies      
What about scheduling some time (daily or weekly) for doing the things that you would normally consider your procrastination activity? Has anyone here tried that? How did it work out? The more details you can provide, the better.
32
samspot 4 days ago 0 replies      
When I procrastinate, it is quite often a task I do want to accomplish for whatever reason. But I put it off because I'm tired, just don't feel like it, etc. The authority figure you refer to is the voice of wisdom telling me that if I don't go ahead and do it, I will regret it later (this figure is right 99% of the time).

My personality is a high 'C' (for compliance), meaning that I have an appreciation for authority. I think your original essay misses the fact that we all have different personalities and motivations.

33
aterimperator 6 days ago 0 replies      
I like how this meshes with Cal Newport's ideas on procrastination. As I understand it, he views procrastination as the mind's natural tendency to avoid things it doesn't trust: that crappy plan you came up with for getting that project done? Yeah, you don't trust it, so why would you actually try to implement it?
34
amorphid 6 days ago 0 replies      
I have two forms of procrastination:

1. Virtual procrastination. This happens when I want to achieve more than I can physically do. The end of the work week is here, yet I don't have the sense to just let go and pick it up again next week. I feel burdened by my inability to complete the surplus tasks.

2. Vanilla procrastination. I hired an assistant. She helps me stay on track. I am a fan of this.

35
qaexl 6 days ago 0 replies      
I've had similar, fleeting thoughts brewing for a while. Seeing this stated together like this crystallized it. Thanks for sharing.
36
mcritz 6 days ago 1 reply      
I'll finish reading this article later.
37
vetleen 6 days ago 1 reply      
VERY rarely do I stop and think "Wow. I was worng!" This is one of those times. GJ!
38
Sthorpe 6 days ago 0 replies      
The simple truth about procrastination is that it happens because you delay your happiness. The act that you are procrastinating or putting off is motivated by a risk of your final reward.
39
prawn 6 days ago 0 replies      
I procrastinate because I can get away with it. Any solution for me is derived entirely from that.
40
Arias 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is the first time I've heard someone speak of procrastination in this light, have to say its impressive. "Regaining mastery of your own fate" makes almost too much sense haha. It's eerily true, kid throwing the tantrum is a good example. We don't feel like doing it, but ;now we have to, so we build up stress and despise the fact that we have to. Very good advice!
41
sdoctor 5 days ago 0 replies      
amazing. eloquently describes some Truth I've been banging my head against the wall trying to explain to people but not able to find the words. It's the same dichotomy of inner-authority and genuine-self that drives people to force themselves to diet and then cheat on their diets etc
42
olh 6 days ago 0 replies      
tldr: "The reason why human-beings procrastinate is to feel in control of their life."

The other parts are contradictions.

43
al-king 6 days ago 0 replies      
Dead on! Thinking in terms of "choosing" to do things rather than "needing" to do things has really helped me recently.
44
ailon 6 days ago 0 replies      
Next task - start listening to the way I talk to myself. I'm going to get to it right after I check the twitter. Honest!
45
jamesrom 6 days ago 0 replies      
Wow. Mind: Blown. What a great insight.

Words can't describe how well this resonates with me.

46
bobx11 6 days ago 0 replies      
The Now Habit is a book that explains that exact idea... I do procrastinate a bit less after reading that book.
47
toblender 6 days ago 0 replies      
Or you are simply experience "Resistance" as mentioned in the "War of Art".

http://toblender.com/comic/resistance-the-war-of-art/

48
trucious 6 days ago 0 replies      
So true. This was exactly my way of dealing with the deadlines in college.
49
doctororange 6 days ago 0 replies      
I put this together a few years ago with some similar insights... http://antiprocrastinator.com/
50
bo_Olean 6 days ago 0 replies      
Dear Edo,

Since you directly addressed me,

thanks for the insight. Do share more.

-

Cheers.

10

51
MushiD 6 days ago 0 replies      
Ashamed when I read something and learn that I'm causing these perceived issues all myself.
Thanx good post
52
tryitnow 6 days ago 0 replies      
I find that preventing myself from reading HN works wonders for reducing procrastination.
53
pknerd 6 days ago 0 replies      
Usually I procrastinate when I don't have a clear goal or not sure about it.
54
jrisg 6 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not a procrastinator, I'm an anticipation junkie.
55
dreamisnot 6 days ago 0 replies      
I think that procrastinating is beliving there is an easier way to reach your real goals. If your real goal is to enjoy and do nothing procrastinating is the right way to go.
56
asdf3334 6 days ago 0 replies      
There is a colon where a semicolon belongs, and a semicolon where a colon belongs.
57
Jebdm 6 days ago 2 replies      
[citation needed]
8
Ask HN: Do you try to code "proper" even on the first pass?
6 points by keeptrying  1 day ago   8 comments top 5
1
SoftwareMaven 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I always try to code cleanly. If there is learning going on, I may not feel it is clean at the end, but it wasn't from lack of trying.
2
byoung2 1 day ago 1 reply      
I write code as cleanly on the first pass as I do on the last (if there ever is a last). The reason being that if I hacked it and then showed the client/my boss that it's working, it would be hard to justify the additional time to clean it up when they want it pushed to production now.
3
noonespecial 1 day ago 0 replies      
I blast put the most bogus half-witted garbage that could possibly half work, train of thought style. It just embarrassingly bad. I go back and clean it up almost immediately while it's still fresh in the mind.

The upside is that I usually find I need only 1/3 of what I thought I needed. It doesn't feel quite so bad to throw out huge chunks of stuff I know is so bad I wouldn't want anyone to see it anyway. The worst thing in a project is something I think is really clever but just not needed. I become irrationally attached.

4
damoncali 1 day ago 0 replies      
My code starts and stays embarrassingly bad until I need to refactor it. Eventually, the code improves. Very often, though, it gets thrown out entirely. Only profitable code deserves to be good.

Caveat: The above applies to my own business projets where I am the sole coder. I write better code for clients - it still starts out rough, but I refactor more frequently.

5
mikemaccana 1 day ago 0 replies      
'Properly'.

But yes, otherwise I find I don't have time to fix it later. Occasionally, when I know there's a better way of doing it but am having trouble thinking of it immediately I throw a # TODO in there.

9
Ask HN: Will working on my own hurt my career?
20 points by kjackson  2 days ago   20 comments top 11
1
patio11 2 days ago 1 reply      
We are privileged to work in, quite possibly, the best industry in the world to have a short blank space in one's resume. No place where you would want to work will ding you for "I wanted a new challenge so I took a sabbatical after leaving my old job and spent some time experimenting with new technologies. Want to talk about what I learned?"
2
retroafroman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Assuming that you're worried this "time off" won't look to good to future potential employers, I think you've got the wrong attitude. People will have different opinions on it, but my advice would be to create a business entity for these projects, then just list and talk about your employment/operation of a business like any other work experience. Don't frame it to potential employers or others as "taking time off"; you're not taking time off to screw around, you're going to be working. It's productive business time, tell it like it is. You don't have to call it a start up, but after the fact, if you'd like to get back into the BigCo world, say you spent a few years running your own development shop for the experience.

Along with setting up a business, make a website and run a blog with it. Highlight the products you release, and give anyone who searches your past a clear idea that you were being productive and successfully managing a small business. Keeping it looking respectable is all about how you frame it and portray it.

3
bigsassy 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm just wrapping up what you're about to start.

I'm also an experienced programmer (7+ years). I left to do my own thing for 9 months, and the venture ended without success. But what I built was interesting, and I made sure to give talks at local meetups to put my face out there during those 9 months.

When I needed to find consulting work, I cold called (emailed) someone at a major US newspaper (a big one) asking if they needed work, explaining what I'd been up to. They were impressed and hired me shortly after. And when I quotes a rate which more than doubled my previous pay (which was nothing to sneeze at) they accepted.

So go for it, but take my advice and get your face out there while you do it. Speak at meetups, write blog posts, and get noticed.

It will shock you how much it can help your career.

4
ForrestN 2 days ago 0 replies      
I agree with the others, one of the nice things about tech is that you can more easily afford to do this kind of thing than in other fields. One thing I would say, though, by way of advice: definitely try to complete projects as opposed to starting lots of them. I'm sure this goes without saying, but it would be a lot more compelling if you can say "I took some time off and made these cool things" rather than "I took some time off and started all these cool things", if that makes sense.
5
Hisoka 2 days ago 1 reply      
Doing stuff by yourself whether it's a startup, consulting, side projects are is very lonely. There's a lot of insecurity you will face, and the sad thing is there will be very little people to commiserate with, unlike the corporate world. Almost noone will understand the uncertainty you will face day-to-day. Noone will fathom the heavy decisions you will need to make. Noone will be there to give you the answers(although you can find mentors). If you will tell people what you're going through, they'll just nod your head and then try to change the subject to their boss, or American Idol. It's a very very lonely road.
6
jwcacces 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you have to ask, the you're not ready.

Quitting your job and striking out alone has to be the kind of decision that comes from passion. Yes, you have to be ready technically and financially. You'll need a plan for food, shelter, the internet, and the support from your friends and family.

But all that's got to play second fiddle, a distant background, to that burning need to create. The desire to meld a future in your own hands, that consuming passion that blots out all the worries of consequences and obliterates apprehension with just the pure possibility of what could be made.

Don't get me wrong, have a plan. But if you're not driven mad by the incessant need to let the fruits of your mind explode out of your fingertips, if thoughts of your future, your career, what ifs, and what nots are still around, rotting at the foundation of your desires, then you're just not ready.

You will need that passion to survive on your own. It will be difficult. You'll have tough times, worries from your family, and worries from yourself. The self doubt can at times be a terrible burden, but the demon in your mind demands to be satisfied, and it will have it's way. You must hand yourself over to it and it will drag you to success. But only if you can give yourself fully.

In short, you don't take time off to do something because it will be a good move for your next paying job. You take time off to give yourself over to your passions. You've only held a paying job this long so you can become that junkie and still live.

(It's how I get by)

Oh, and if you fail, the experience will only make you stronger.

7
rdouble 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've done this more than once, and each time got hired back at more interesting jobs at a better rate. I'm not convinced it's the greatest way to manage a career or a social life, but in my experience there was no other way to find the time to learn new things.
8
spaghetti 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did something very similar. Quit job that wasn't a good investment of my time, created an iPhone app, ran out of savings, worked at another job that was a decent investment of time, quit that job and created more iPhone apps, and finally took an awesome job.

As long as you have products to show for that 6-9 month period then you're good to go imo.

9
joss82 2 days ago 0 replies      
You might acquire some first class experience, while having a lot more fun (and stress) than at your regular job.

As a bonus, you may even built some passive cash flow that will help you stay financially secure.

Careers are overrated anyway.

10
katherinehague 1 day ago 0 replies      
To echo what others are saying, I don't think this will hurt your career, if anything it should help and should give you the opportunity to meet new people, start working on projects you are more passionate about, and gain new skills. All making you much more 'employable' I would say.

But more importantly I think I'd ask myself, if not now, when? I have a feeling its never going to get easier to go out on a limb, so the question is more will you be happy looking back if you didn't give it a shot? Live a little.

:)

11
ednc 2 days ago 1 reply      
I agree with the previous response. As long as you create a company around the work (Even if it is just a good name and not a real entity, it still sounds better than "self-employed").

Get some apps (or GitHub contributions) out there during this time and you'll be fine.

If I saw something like this on a candidates resume, I'd be impressed (and jealous), and would probably spend most of the interview talking about these projects and your motivation behind them. My only concern would be that you'd leave in 6 months to go play with some new shiny technology our company was not currently using. So you'd need to frame your answers to satisfy that concern.

HTHs!

10
Ask HN: Should HP Open Source webOS
6 points by oseibonsu  1 day ago   7 comments top 5
1
ansy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Only if HP can't sell the Palm assets to someone first. That should be priority number one. If the new buyer wants to open source it let them go through the trouble of due diligence.

If webOS can't be sold, which would be surprising in this environment, then HP could donate the source to Apache or Eclipse and maybe get a write off out of it.

2
dstein 1 day ago 0 replies      
An open operating system without any sort of central authority is pointless. That's a 100% guaranteed way to kill the platform.

They should skunkworks it. Instead of punting, they should round up the HP employees who built it, form a LLC, retain an ownership stake, but give the group full autonomy to continue on in whatever fashion they think they can survive with.

3
jefflinwood 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe. What I think is more likely is that someone clones the most impressive parts of Enyo (the WebOS 3 JavaScript framework) into a new web/mobile development framework that isn't tied to WebOS at all.

I'm not sure what developers would do with just the open source WebOS application code if there's no hardware - the existing WebKit doesn't seem to be optimized that well (see Enyo perf in iPad 2/Mobile Safari vs Enyo Perf on the Touchpad).

4
Egregore 1 day ago 0 replies      
The obvious answer is Yes (I don't think many will answer No to this question) But who will do the support and continue development of the WebOS in case it open sourced. Also based on Java open sourcing, I can suppose that WebOS might use a lot of proprietary components and so opensourcing it will require a lot of resources.
5
jonutzz 1 day ago 1 reply      
This sums it up "So HP's CEO Mr. Leo Apotheke Apotheker, if you don't want to use WebOS in the mobile world, set it free. Let the open source community see if the old Palm OS is as good and has as much promise as so many of us thought it did"
11
RideCombine
3 points by jturly  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
1
trafficlight 1 day ago 0 replies      
At the 'neighborhood to neighborhood' level, do you think you will find enough people to make it work? Or, said a different way, do you think the people into something niche like kiteboarding already know each other since they already live somewhat close? If that's the case, then those people wouldn't need your site to connect them.
2
jturly 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey guys! Thanks for the great feedback! Yeah I think that the people likely to use this are young, digitally savvy individuals that are becoming more and more comfortable with sharing things with strangers (e.g. using AirBnB / couchsurfing). To the second question, I'm doing some customer discovery on the kiteboarding forums I'm on, and so far the response has been quite positive. Because although a lot of people each other, they don't necessarily know who is going kiting on which day or to what location (and don't want to message 20 people).
3
aorshan 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you think that the people you are marketing towards will be people who have Linkedin profiles?
12
Ask HN: How would you market this site?
3 points by oseibonsu  1 day ago   17 comments top 6
1
retroafroman 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Personally I think a FB ad or pitching to friends is a little too impersonal and not a high enough likelihood of many crushes between that group. Instead I'd aim for a small but well interconnected network first, like a single dorm building. The next week, the next one over. Eventually, it could own the campus' attention for a bit, then maybe the next school nearby. Getting a single dorm on board could be as simple as setting up a table in the lobby with a couple laptops and giving out donuts to people who sign up.
2
aorshan 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I think having a bit of an explanation of what the site is and how it works would be very helpful. Having a video of you using the website to show some features while also explaining how the site can help people will go a long way. Other than that I would recommend starting small and getting everyone you know to talk about it. Perhaps you should also try to market it on a local college campus if there is one near. College kids are always looking for ways to meet people who are interested in them (read: get laid) and I'm sure would be glad to check your stuff out. Or perhaps you could try and get in touch with the guys from like a little and see if you could do something with them.
3
michaelpinto 1 day ago 0 replies      
The tagline should be a bit more clever and tell you what's unique about the service. I get the abstract sense that this site has some connection to dating, but you haven't given me a reason who I should take the time and sign up with my Facebook ID. Also from a branding point of view the site feels a impersonal a minimal to me.
4
frommers 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think you need to add an explanation of the site, the concept, and address how it works. I think most people may be scared away by not having a good understanding of how it works, especially being that it has to do with their personal lives.
5
jjets718 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey! When I saw your post for luckychat on Hacker News, I thought it was a good idea. A while back, I had an idea for something similar to this, and was glad to see someone finally implementing it. My suggestion for marketing the site would be to have every one of your Facebook friends start using it (if you know them all), and have them post that they are using it. Start small, and then try to grow the app.
6
olegious 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Make a landing page that explains what the app actually does.
13
Warn HN: Lots of Launches Coming
416 points by pg  13 days ago   93 comments top 25
1
jcr 12 days ago 6 replies      
pg, can you ask the YC founders to stop announcing their new companies as the "The This of/for That" for example (from the front page):

"Leaky (YC S11) is Hipmunk for Car Insurance"

I honestly don't care if your new company is "* (YC S11) Is The Facebook for Unicorns," since it really tells me nothing. I have to figure out what a Hipmonk is before I can understand what they do. Hold on while I call the Dalai Lama to ask about the difference between a monk and a hipmonk.

Of the YC S11 batch with announcements up, it seems the Snapjoy folks are doing it right (from the front page):

"Snapjoy (YC S11) Will Organize Your Photos For You"

Now the Snapjoy announcement above provides concise and useful information about what they could do for me, the potential customer.

2
Animus7 13 days ago 6 replies      
>Please be nice to them. For you their launch may be "yet another YC startup," but for each individual startup this is their big moment.

I'm usually quite pleased with what comes out of YC. That said, in this competitive market, I don't think that being nice (just because) helps anyone the week after launch.

I personally look forward to the day HN tears apart my project so I can say I truly learned something.

3
ig1 13 days ago 1 reply      
I'm bit uncomfortable that Techcrunch's coverage of these launches isn't being made with a disclaimer that Michael Arrington is an investor in most of them (via Angel Fund).
4
dbz 13 days ago 3 replies      
Pg, can you try adding a tab up top for new startups? I personally love to read about them but sometimes the launches etc. This would make it a lot easier to find the latest ones.
5
dotBen 13 days ago 1 reply      
Surely such sentiment should be extended to any startup, not just YC startups?
6
jswinghammer 13 days ago 1 reply      
It's always exciting to see what's in the works. In every cycle it seems like there is a YC site that I end up using a lot.

Has the culture around here gotten so hostile that a "be nice" request is needed?

7
bfe 13 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder if there's any observed correlation between earliness of launch (per pg's advice) and likelihood of future success?
8
blackboxxx 13 days ago 2 replies      
Be prepared to defend yourself startups. Put on your armor. Some with malice in their hearts will thrust daggers at you. Fight with strength and honor and the crowd will love you.

Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.

To those startups who do not fight with valor? You will be subject to the mob, as was Airbnb. Even the Emperor will not be able to silence the cries for blood!

Startups... I salute you.

LET THE LAUNCHES BEGIN!

9
bakbak 13 days ago 2 replies      
Pg, is there any way you can make your demo day a live event (may be on justinTV) - and to add the spice you should also make it interactive where viewers can rate each startup with proper scoring system - and if you and startups are comfortable then you should let all the VCs and Angels be able to see scores & ratings coming in live from all over the world (however this may also have negative impact but nothing wrong to try it).... this way investors would right away know what is HIT & HOT !!!
10
melling 13 days ago 1 reply      
Should have a special title tag. Show HN YC: ... or something to that effect.
11
pama 13 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats to Snapjoy, Leaky, and Kicksend for launching today! Keep'em coming!
12
smoyer 13 days ago 1 reply      
"Please be nice to them"

With very few exceptions, I enjoy seeing what the YC crowd releases, but isn't this going a bit to far? Aren't we the perfect audience to provide constructive criticism? On the other hand, if you're asking us to be empathetic at the same time, I couldn't agree more.

Go YC!

13
templaedhel 13 days ago 0 replies      
I'm really hoping to see a YC company launch on the startup foundry or such, but it may not be wide enough exposure yet. Eventually.
14
peacemaker 13 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck to all the current YC guys, I'm sure you're all feeling the pain right now only 2 weeks away from the big day!

As for launching around the same time, I'm of the opinion that if your own (non-YC) startup is good enough, it will stand alongside, or even above some of the YC guys and perhaps "cash in" on the startup fervour around at the time.

15
vaksel 13 days ago 0 replies      
alternative suggestion...if you are about to launch a new startup...hold off for a month or so.

no sense in wasting the launch PR boost when everyone is getting swarmed with pitches

16
ashbrahma 13 days ago 0 replies      
It looks like Techcrunch is getting the scoop on every single launch.
17
int3rnaut 12 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know of any blogs from YC founders that cover the personal struggles and conquest of these final 2 weeks before Demo Day? I think it would be a great read (even if they were bit sized entries) to find out what it's like to be under such enormous pressure but on the precipice of your big moment.
18
daviday 13 days ago 0 replies      
When I saw two launching today I automatically thought this had to do with the economy souring. I had just read Jeff Clavier's tweet:

Just maybe? The VC industry is going to wake up and go back to value investing - not FOMO throwing cash at everything, no matter the price

But Dave McLure says it's business as usual

http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2011/08/08/early-stage-i...

19
nhangen 13 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the reminder. It's easy to get jaded about this stuff, but you're right. Good luck on demo day everyone.
20
dterra 13 days ago 0 replies      
Nice! Its always good to see them. Tip: Dont launch your product if you are not in YC. Chances of getting coverage are none. They will get it all!
21
ryanglasgow 13 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck guys! Take feedback with a grain of salt and stay focused on your vision.
22
keke_ta 13 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats to everyone.
23
captaincrunch 13 days ago 0 replies      
Good luck everyone!
24
freddealmeida 12 days ago 0 replies      
@jcr "the facebook for unicorns" FTW
25
helwr 13 days ago 1 reply      
I'd just say it here, once and for all - YC startups suck
14
Ask HN: What are your favorite PG essays?
4 points by WilliamChanner  1 day ago   2 comments top
1
ColinWright 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not exactly to answer your question, but here is a graph I came across a while ago of the mentions made of one PG essay by another:

http://www.solipsys.co.uk/new/PaulGrahamEssays.html?HN

Not sure exactly how valuable it is.

15
Are you a blogger on tech start-ups?
12 points by nurhafiz  3 days ago   3 comments top 3
1
nikcub 3 days ago 0 replies      
you didn't leave any contact information here or in your profile.

if you want coverage you need to make it as easy as possibly for the writer. this post should have included a one paragraph about your startup, link to the homepage, link to a simple signup form, a link to a page outlining features and a link to your contact details (more than one form)

you need to make it as easy as possible for bloggers to get the information they need to write a post. if you make it difficult where they have to go out and find the info then they will just move onto the next story (of which there are many at the moment)

2
maguay 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm the editor of Web.AppStorm.net, an Envato site focused on reviewing new web apps. We'd love to hear of any new web apps, and I often come across new apps to cover on HN already. Contact info in profile.
3
meganrosedickey 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a reporter at LAUNCH Media (http://launch.is ) where we cover tech startups and news in the tech sector. Contact us at tips@launch.is.
16
Ask HN: Best way to find HN readers in my local area?
3 points by tommoor  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
1
sathishmanohar 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Go to a big crowd, in your local area. and shout IE6. Those who shout back, with mean words are probably HN Readers.

/trollsarcasm/

2
ig1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try using the search box to find people mentioning Sheffield, a quick search indicates there's a least a dozen or so HNers there.
3
ColinWright 1 day ago 1 reply      
According to HackrTrackr[1] there's tcrayford[2] in Sheffield. Doesn't seem to have been seen for a while.

You could also try HackerNewsers[3].

[1] http://hackrtrackr.com/

[2] http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=tcrayford

[3] http://www.hackernewsers.com/users.html

There's also this item:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1521162

17
Cocoa developer here. What APIs/tools for writing a commercial Windows app?
5 points by GeneralMaximus  2 days ago   8 comments top 5
1
architgupta 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great question.

I have tried to understand this myself without a good answer.

Google chrome UI team had an article on how they didn't find good user controls or windowing system for Windows and had to write everything from scratch. The chromium source was way too complex for our needs so we ended up not exploring it.

Still open source GUI code. (So good open source GUI code in Windows has been hard to find, but that's a good bet).

You probably want your app to run on both XP and 7 ?

8 is vaporware as a target platform for releasing and scheduling purposes.

We started with Windows Forms for our work because we were familiar with the code. (We did use MVC pattern using MVCsharp).
We meant to switch to WPF but we never made the leap. There are UI-controls you can buy (with source) which you can use as plug and play. There are a few popular vendors.

Windows Forms still look ugly (lipstick on a pitbull kind of thing)

WPF is supposed to be a panacea with XAML being markup and that letting you generate "fluid-UI" just like HTML with auto-resizing and scaling as in the browser for your web-app.

I'd explore WPF and figure out a MVC-pattern library for separation of concerns.

Hope this helps.

2
Corvus 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are many graphics APIs for Windows. Which one is best for you depends entirely on what kind of application you are building, which you have not told us.

I would not worry about Microsoft deprecating an API in "6-8 months". Microsoft has been extraordinarily diligent in maintaining old APIs; I know of new desktop application development being done in WinForms, and 20-year old 16-bit MFC applications that are still being used.

If you are building an application now, choose the best API now. Do not worry about what will happen in 6-8 months, because by then there will be another new API coming. Waiting for the ultimate API means you will never start.

3
gspyrou 1 day ago 0 replies      
My suggestion would be to use Silverlight :

1.Single codebase between Mac & Windows

2.Out of browser support

3.Rich UI capabilities http://www.silverlight.net/showcase

Seeismic Desktop 2 is a good example .

4
paulbatum 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are many people out there wondering the same thing - the Win8 HTML/JS announcement has thrown the rumor mill into a frenzy.

My advice - wait one month for BUILD (http://www.buildwindows.com/).

(disclosure - I work at Microsoft)

5
OzzyOsbourne 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't want to sound like a live-free-or-die-hard FOSS fanboy (even though I am), but, you could always use an open toolkit like Qt or GTK. They're ubiquitous, and especially in Qt's case, totally customisable in terms of look & feel. Microsoft can't perform any cathedral-style deprecation (cannibalization) to these toolkits.
18
Why does my iPhone game, Thick Lips, suck in United States?
4 points by eddylkh  1 day ago   9 comments top 5
1
geuis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Couple points.

1) The name isn't really descriptive of the game play. With the obvious caveat that many games, indeed, have names that don't relate directly to their content, many of the most successful ones do. Angry Birds, Halo, Super Mario Bros, World of Warcraft, etc.

2) The term "thick lips", while not directly insulting anyone, still has many negative connotations in the US of referring to folks of African descent. A similar scenario might be present if you made a game about collecting firewood and called it "Fags".

3) Your game might just be boring. (Please don't take this the wrong way as I haven't played your game)

2
chubs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Keep in mind that the guys at rovio made 51 other games before they came up with the hit that was angry birds. The lesson is to keep trying until you have a hit :)
I've got 6 apps out there, and for the life of me i can't pinpoint which ones will or wont succeed, you're not the only one scratching your head wondering.
Good luck!
3
wtracy 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't have an iPhone so I'm not able to try the game itself, but here's my thoughts.

I think there's nothing wrong with the game--it looks fine to me.

It's possible that people are put off by the name: "Thick Lips" sounds like it might be a racist slur against black (African) people.

More likely--and I really hope I don't sound too harsh--is the writing on your advertising. You are more than good enough at English to communicate clearly--I never had any trouble understanding what you were trying to say.

Unfortunately, the grammar is just enough "off" that it's clearly written by someone who is not a native speaker. (You make some small mistakes that native speakers rarely make, but you don't make any of the mistakes that native speakers usually do.)

Worse for you, most people in the U.S. have basically been trained that anything on the internet written by someone in Africa or Asia is probably a scam. Even if you convince them that it's not a scam, people in the U.S. seem to associate Chinese companies with low-quality products.

The good news is that you are already 90% of the way there. As I said before, your writing is clear and easy to understand. This is good because professional translators are expensive. :-) You just need to get a native speaker of American English to polish your writing.

I would suggest going to the English-language Google page (google.com, not google.cn or whatever you use locally) and searching for "copy editor". (In this context, "copy" means any writing that is meant for advertising.) In the advertisements on the right, I get several services that specialize in writing and editing for websites and advertisements.

Out of those, the sites I looked at were definitely built by people with above-average English skills. If they can edit and fix things by native speakers, they can definitely help you!

Good luck!

4
randomanonymous 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wack a mole type games have long gone out of style here. At theme parks, mini golf places etc there used to be many hands on versions of them,. Now everyone just want's to shoot stuff. Reason why even in video games, the wack a mole ordeal is pretty much 2 generations out of date.

My suggestion, is make it so you have to shoot the critters etc with a gun (or, less violent, with say a lazer gun/beam). Just my idea though. I'm sure others will chime in. It looks like you have done a pretty good job.

If you want to stick with the wack em game, without shooting etc, you could always make different artwork. Like wack it, Jersey Shore style, or Real Wrold wack it,.

5
nhangen 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's the name.

Thick lips sounds like a lot of things to a lot of different people, none of which are particularly flattering.

Fat Lips might be a better choice for this market.

19
Advice for an aspiring programmer?
11 points by pseudo-gorgias  4 days ago   12 comments top 11
1
apsurd 1 day ago 0 replies      
I say this all the time: the best advice I was given about going out in the working world is "the bar is lower than you think".

Any person genuinely interested in their work will ALWAYS think they are less capable than they actually are. It's human nature. This is because someone who truly respects their craft is of course going to be humbled by it. I know that I know nothing sort of thing. I'd argue that the absolute top tier world class developers are the some of the most humble. Of course there are outliers but I think humility is a requisite quality of true mastery for the most part.

What does this mean?

It means your background doesn't matter. If you are motivated to do your best and ready and willing to work hard and learn and improve then you are already better off than 90% of the workforce out there.

Every company has their own processes so many times it not really about what you know but how eager you are to learn.

Companies hire for character not necessarily for current knowledge. I've seen with my own eyes people get hired for ruby jobs that did not know a lick of ruby. They come from php backgrounds etc.

So fwiw and this is just my experience as a web application developer with no formal education :
It's not about what you know, its about your desire to learn, your motivation, and your character attributes that count.

Be genuinely motivated to better yourself, ALWAYS convey your desire for personal excellence, and you will never have a problem finding a job.

Best of luck.

(p.s. get a a github account and push code like a madman)

2
chubs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's my advice, on a slightly different note to the others:
Learn how to make iOS apps, and make a dozen or so of them (obviously, make them smallish apps). Charge $1 each, and have a free/lite version of each app too.
This will teach you nontechnical but very important career skills: how to ship, entrepreneurialism, and initiative!

As for your worries about signalling mechanisms, there are 4 SIMPLE answers to that: github, meetups, stackoverflow, and apps in the app store. You sound like a smart guy - get busy!

3
nandemo 3 days ago 0 replies      
I know a lot people rever SICP, but I think at this stage it's not the best way for you to learn programming. It's a bit too theoretical.

I have a degree in CS and a love theory. I guess philosophers also tend to prefer the theoretical aspects of CS. The problem with this is that you can study theory for years on end and still not be very good on practical tasks that are essential to getting a job or building a website.

After you finish LPTHW, start making small projects. Make scripts to automate stuff that you often do. Read good source code. Learn how to use a source-control system (subversion is fine for this). If you wanna build a website, learn some SQL, HTML and Javascript.

4
DanWaterworth 3 days ago 0 replies      
Let me start by saying that it's not impossible, I know this for a fact because I did it. I'm 19 years old, I don't have a degree and a few months ago I landed my first job. I'm working as a software engineer.

Having said that however, don't for a moment think it will be easy. I've been programming as a hobby since I was nine and, after finishing full-time education, I spent the best part of a year learning and brushing up on my skills. Crucially, this was not something I did in my spare time, but continuously; I was effectively in full-time education.

There are two distinct pools of knowledge that it's in your interests to nurture: theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge. You will only be effective when you have a solid grounding in both. I may have made the mistake of focussing to heavily on the theoretical, but by working is possibly the best way to gain practical knowledge, so I'm addressing the imbalance.

There are a few topics which I focused on that have proved to be invaluable to me:

* Data structures and database design,

* The web stack (by which I mean the entire stack, how does TCP work or the OS schedule threads),

* Functional programming,

* Compiler internals,

I would have also greatly benefited if I'd had known more about asynchronous programming. Specifically, how are synchronous programs translated to work asynchronously, ie, how do threads work? How is CPS conversion an alternative to using threads?

Good luck.

5
doctorwho 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have a CS degree and 20+ years of professional experience and I can tell you that your love of philosophy and symbolic logic will serve you far better than any of the advice you've received here so far.

Would you just dive into a proof using truth-functional propositional calculus if you were totally ignorant of the rules of inference?

Would you try to operate on someone without being training in medecine and surgical techniques?

Ignore anyone that tells you to learn "language X" or "just dive in and build something". It's bad advice, unless you like stumbling around in the dark.

The right way takes longer but you need to build from a solid foundation. Right now, you don't know what you don't know.

Which language or platform you choose will be largely irrelevant. Learning a new language shouldn't take you more than a few weeks. Mastering a new language is another matter entirely, but essentially still just a matter of practice.

Invent your own pseudo-language (or read about pseudo code) and learn how to decompose a problem into discrete steps. Learn to recognize and apply patterns in your solutions. Familiarize yourself with common data structures and algorithms. Do all of this before you ever try to write a line of code.

While you're doing that, read voraciously. Books. Blogs. Read everything you find anywhere that good programmers congregate (like Stack Overflow). Ignore the loud hand-waving pundit. Listen to the quiet voice of sanity. You'll soon learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Unfortunately, the wrong way sometimes works. The danger is that you'll build mental models of how things work based on the language and environment that you use. We need these models to cope in the absence of deep understanding. It's how the brain works and we do it almost automatically. However, if you approach the process at a more abstract level your model is more encompassing and you can easily simplify it to fit the situation. Shifting your thinking from abstract to concrete is easy, the other way is much harder because you're missing the big picture.

6
wimplash 2 days ago 0 replies      
Whatever you do, make it publicly-visible. Companies will not hire a software developer with no work experience, who can only say that they are able to program in X.

If you are able to...

* Demonstrate your abilities in programming language X by showing them your code through a public repository (i.e. Google-code, github, bitbucket, etc...)

* Demonstrate your communication abilities/soft skills by showing them the supporting documentation (i.e. a development blog, user documentation, etc...)

* Demonstrate your ability to explain/defend the design/implementation choices made in the development of your application

...then you have a pretty good foot in the door for getting into the software development industry.

On the converse, however, not all hiring managers will/are able to take this much time when investigating potential candidates.

7
CyberFonic 3 days ago 0 replies      
Programming and software engineering are not the same thing. You can teach yourself a bit of programming from books. Software engineering on the other hand requires a far more holistic body of knowledge and experience.

SICP and LPTHW are not in the same league. SICP is what you want to really grok if you want to become a software engineer and LPTHW is sufficient if you want to become a great Python programmer. PHP and Ruby are also fine starting points. But to be valuable as a potential hire you need to understand the APIs and main frameworks for the language you choose to become proficient int.

Stanford, MIT and Google have excellent video courses publicly available if you prefer lectures to reading books. Either way, you need to write lots of programs, ideally for something that you are really interested in and get feedback from more experienced people.

8
brudgers 3 days ago 0 replies      
Start with CS106A through Stanford's Engineering Everywhere initiative. It's free and world class.

http://see.stanford.edu/see/courses.aspx

9
hrasm 3 days ago 0 replies      
Here is my take:

If you are just going to learn a programming language, there is still plenty of competition. Instead, I would suggest that you build a web-based product. It involves a lot of moving parts that you will get familiar with. It is quite an arduous task.

Don't focus on the tool (programming language); instead, step back a little bit, see the bigger picture and build something with that tool. People are much more appreciate of such efforts.

Edit: In case you need some hand holding in the initial stages, I am more than willing to help.

10
tryitnow 3 days ago 0 replies      
INMHO, the best thing to do is to make something cool and interesting and share it.
Next up is to meet other programmers, e.g. meetups, etc.
Another suggestion: maybe even take a class or two just to see how learning in school is different than learning on your own. It will also expose you to more people with similar interests. I am not a fan of conventional schooling, esp. for programming, but it does have its benefits in terms of socializing with others (profs and students).

Your path is not unrealistic, some of the best programmers I know were liberal arts grads and taught themselves on the job.

11
t_krupicka 3 days ago 1 reply      
Starting out I felt it was most helpful to learn at least the basics of build up languages so that its easier to understand ones that are thrown at you. Good ones to know are PHP/Python C++/C# and Java. My reasoning was that if you work hard to gain an ok understanding of all of the different programming areas, you can learn new aspects of the languages to suit projects you receive. Hope this helps..
20
HN Business users: What are your daily pain points from a technology standpoint?
3 points by pcharles  2 days ago   5 comments top 3
1
amorphid 1 day ago 0 replies      
Trying to explain business process to a software developer.
2
katherinehague 1 day ago 1 reply      
Too much email, its like playing Whack-A-Mole all day.
3
vipivip 2 days ago 1 reply      
Relying on offshore developers to fix bugs during critical moments.
21
Ask HN: Realization that i am not a "Programmer"...
13 points by mpg33  5 days ago   13 comments top 8
1
SoftwareMaven 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You may find you like product management. You have to remain reasonably technical, but the focus is on human problems (customer needs, business problems, getting the office behind a release, etc).

I still like coding, but I've found being a PM far more satisfying in my day job.

2
duncan_bayne 5 days ago 2 replies      
My advice: don't write off a potential career based on a few month's experience.

It took me several years to decide that I enjoyed software development as a profession, and that I enjoyed it enough to develop an aptitude for it.

Also, consider that it may be the environment - product, technology, team, company, existing code - that is putting you off. Even if you decide against what you're doing I'd limit the conclusion to "I hate my current job" rather than "I'm no good at programming."

3
systemtrigger 4 days ago 0 replies      
Whatever you do, go deep. Be an expert in something. Learn a trade. Don't be "the idea guy." Can your ideas can be prefaced with "this detailed plan would definitely be very profitable"? If yes then...work the plan. Otherwise you might want to consider sales, consulting or meta tech stuff like documentation. Strike commentary off your list: the web is awash with tech bloggers. (Just my two cents)
4
jhen095 5 days ago 2 replies      
Haven't felt like this, but as sp332 says "Programming is a big field". I would broaden that even further to I.T. Is a big field.

Why not think about such sub-categories such as DBA, Analysis/Reporting/Sharepoint Services developer, or even pre-sales roles. These involve some coding but a lot of customer interaction, giving advice/ideas, designing solutions and improving the customers business.

5
sp332 5 days ago 0 replies      
Programming is a big field, I'm sure you can find something that suits you better if you feel like looking around more. Just as an extreme example, Inform 7 is just a subset of English that makes text adventure games. http://inform7.com/
6
stel 4 days ago 0 replies      
It sounds like you didn't study CS or another technical field in school or you would have known you weren't a math/logic person already. I'm curious, what got you into programming (other than that there are a lot of job openings right now)?

Regardless, it's pretty common for your first job in any field to be less than ideal, so I wouldn't write off programming just yet. On the other hand, if your company is large enough to offer opportunities to work in other areas, you might dip your toe in and find something you like better without having to look for another job. Desire for change happens to everyone after a while, even if we enjoy what we do.

7
wilzy 5 days ago 0 replies      
I really enjoy coding, but i am not a programmer by trade. I also really enjoy many (MANY) other things. Finding a job that brings them all into the picture would be very difficult, unless of course you created the position yourself. Naturally, that would of course depend on you having a clear understanding about what that role would entail. As duncan_bayne pointed out, it can take several years to work out where your strengths and weaknesses lie. There's no 'right path' to a career. Sometimes a job won't offer you the opportunity to display the strengths you consider yourself in possession of - and to this I would suggest that where possible, try to exercise these in other ways... most likely outside of your job in extra-curricular tasks.

You might consider starting a business of your own, which would afford you the opportunity to fine tune and have a go at your areas of strength, and most importantly, keep you relatively interested in day to day activity. If starting a business is intimidating, consider offering your services for free for some small tasks/projects, and treat them as though they were paid and professional. You'd feed your interest and learn along the way.

The point I am trying to make is that you've plenty of options out there, and they are not very apparent just yet... but from my experience, the more your put yourself out there (particularly in areas that overlap strengths and stuff that is completely foreign) you will start to see some interesting options arise... and you will start to get a better picture of what your interests, strengths and weaknesses are. Best of all... there's no deadline to work this stuff out... so be proactive and enjoy yourself!

8
tryitnow 4 days ago 0 replies      
Even though I am not a programmer, I can't emphasize enough how valuable it is to think like one. I've just started teaching myself simple, basic programming stuff just for fun and I have noticed myself thinking more clearly and logically on the job and it's having a direct, positive impact on my work.

So consider your experience as a programmer as a great investment in whatever field you want to go into.

Sorry for not really answering your question, I just wanted to point out that although you might not be a "programmer" it definitely pays to "think like a programmer."

22
Ask HN: What APIs are out there? (node knockout)
3 points by joshontheweb  2 days ago   3 comments top 2
       cached 22 August 2011 04:05:01 GMT