TechZing 59 – Jasonism

Justin and Jason discuss why GIT (the distributed version control system) is cool, the progress of Swarm and the Swarm AI – Cerebro, ideas for the TechZing newsletter, creating wildcard accounts in gmail, an impromptu La Critique of, the death of Google Wave, an overview of the audio technology used for the production of the podcast, Rob Walling’s book on bootstrapping, why Jason refuses to use blogging software for the new AppIgnite blog, how Rails was under development for a year before it was released, reasons to seek funding or not, when F*** U money can be less valuable than F*** U influence, how to increase your luck surface area, the quote of the week, how your personality defines your path, exploration vs exploitation, the use of Flex and Ajax in myVBO, how regular exercise is good for your brain and why Justin is going caveman, how new ideas can kill a startup, playing small and going big, Jason’s Javascript grid and his Javascript library – j(ason)Query, some responses to listener comments and the guiding principles behind AppIgnite.

  1. Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh says:

    Justin… you need to be introduced to svn switch… You can switch to a branch in the same directory so you don’t need 3 different directories.

    That being said, SVN is retarded compared to DVCS. Checking in offline is fucking ridiculous.

  2. I’m really excited that you guys are releasing multiple shows per week now. Keep it up!

  3. Biztactix says:

    Yeah Android is a massive market, The recent stats say there was 8.7 million android devices Vs the 10.7 Million iPhone devices in the US. So iPhone has 3 years head start on android, and bugger all between them.

    Android Tablets are becoming quite popular and extremely useful, We’re using them for service based industries for Job Systems so their staff don’t need to come back to the office between jobs. JSON data from sites, Appcelerator App and 7 Inch Touchscreen.

    Also you may want to look at still using the Freemium model for Swarm, As I make a decent amount of money through adsense advertising. The Android Market doesn’t support developers in Australia yet (No Paid Apps), So all of our apps have to be free.

  4. Jason says:

    @Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh I’m starting to feel left out of this whole DVCS party. I think I may have to take a hard look at it as well. 😉

  5. Jason says:

    @JoeCannatti Doing two shows per week is definitely a lot more work, but it seems to be creating some real momentum for us. We planned it as just an experiment for the second half of the summer, but it looks like it’s going to become our standard schedule.

  6. soitgoes says:

    Another fun and upbeat podcast chock full if interesting stuff. @Jason thanks for pointing out the Big Think site – looks really good.

  7. Jason says:

    Glad you liked it. But man, we almost went two hours in this episode and it wasn’t even an interview! The funny thing is that I could probably have talked for four. Maybe I should seek professional help. 😉

  8. Jason, you have to use AppIgnite for your blog! And first post should be a step-by-step guide how to build a blog using ApIgnite. I can’t imagine a better intro to AppIgnite. Every framework has a blog engine sample, in AppIgnite it should be super easy to do.

  9. Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh says:

    Jason :
    @Bopinder Abu Morpalinder Singh I’m starting to feel left out of this whole DVCS party. I think I may have to take a hard look at it as well.

    If you are using SVN, then yes. If you are not using source control, then hell yes!

  10. Jason says:

    @soitgoes Yeah, Big Think has a lot of great stuff, just like the TED talks, which I’m sure just about everyone is familiar with at this point. Another series that I’ve found to be really interesting are the RSA Animate Videos, which you can find on YouTube. I meant to bring them up on this show, but we ran out of time. I’ll bring them up as a topic on the next show, but in the meantime, check these out:

    * RSA Animate – The Secret Powers of Time

    * RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

    * RSA Animate – Crises of Capitalism

    Disclaimer: Thus far I’ve only had time to watch the first video “The Secret Powers of Time”, but the other two are on my short list.

  11. Spencer says:

    I like your thoughts on increasing your surface area. I have often thought of this in terms of poker though. Improving yourself is like having the ability to improve the hand you have been dealt in poker.

  12. Jason says:

    Cool, I’m glad you liked it. I sort of thought of it, or at least the term “luck surface area”, during the show. I’m thinking it could make for a decent blog post. I just need to flesh out the concept a little and maybe think of an illustrative story.

  13. soitgoes says:

    @Jason Thanks for the RSA Animate links I’ll definitely check them out. While having lunch today, I watched a Stephen Fry interview over at Big Think – great stuff.

  14. Dave Hunt says:

    Hey guys, keep up the good work! Just thought I’d leave a comment as I’ve been listening for a while (since show one actually), and I got an unexpected mention on this show… I’m the one that introduced Peter Cooper of coderIO.

  15. Hi Jason,
    I finished listening the podcast and heard about your jasonism: build your blog platform.

    Before starting my new blog ( using WordPress, I started a blog with a friend. And I decided to build it myself too. Interface, comments, feed, last articles, ecc.

    We still post there ( articles on psychology, media and society: is in Italian so beware 🙂

    There are a couple of things I want to point out:

    1.It will take you longer than you think, because you won’t be satisfied with the basic, because your basic will be different from Paul Graham’s basic.

    2.Wordpress gives you the possibility to write and save draft version of your post online, in the same platform, without saving a text file, copying in the ftp local folder, formatting it with your html/css, ftping and previewing it online before submitting the post to the public. Following the WordPress’ way you will definitely post more stuff.

    3.Wordpress’ plugins. They will save you a lot of time, when you’ll start asking for more or different functionalities.

  16. Jason says:

    I agree it would take longer then expected to build a blog engine and I say this because I actually built one a few years ago called Loudmouth that has tags and archives and search and that all that stuff. 😉 So, yeah, I wouldn’t recommend doing either unless you just wanted to do it for fun, or as a learning experience, or if you wanted to try a whole new approach to the blogging concept.

    Anyway, I was just thinking of making simple HTML pages by hand and not worrying about all the other stuff. I haven’t decided yet, so we’ll see.

  17. Oscar says:

    I haven’t follow Jason’s twitter for very long. But it seems to me that all Jason’s links come from Hacker news. I even thought he used pluggio to automatically post hacker news links… 😛

  18. @Oscar That’s funny. 😉 While I don’t deny that I’ve become something of an HN addict (which probably isn’t good), I haven’t really tweeted much (54 total and nothing since February), so you might actually be confusing my Twitter stream (@exojason) with Justin’s (@justinvincent). He’s the tweet master.

  19. Justin says:

    @Oscar You got me 😉 Although it’s not automatically. I only post the links that I find most interesting. So it’s more like Justin’s best of hacker news.

  20. Oscar says:

    Jason you are right! Sorry I keep confusing your names… Lately HN is the main source of news for me and my friends. And the variety of our conversations have fallen down :/

  21. Emrah says:

    Jasonism is what high-traffic blogs are made of! Keep it up Jason. 🙂

    Btw, how about adding a Like button? May help with the marketing..

  22. @Michael Rakita
    That’s a great idea – and your blog should have a badge reading “Powered by AppIgnite”

  23. Neville says:

    @Justin are you really editing out audio noise manually? Why don’t you use a noise gate plug-in? (ie It will close muting the dead-air noise and open when someone speaks.

  24. Justin says:

    @Neville – yup I use something like that at both source and also during mix but it still doesn’t get rid of the noise my setup makes because the DB is above a sensible gate threshold

  25. Michael Richards says:

    Last five shows were great. Many laughs for my commute from Mahwah to Queens. Waiting for Jason’s app so I can convert my Salesforce IT help desk app. Funny show about the robots. I was trying to picture myself in a meeting ( Like a Woody Allen movie). Also love the UFO and AI stuff. Keep up the great podcasts. Michael.

  26. Justin, to be honest, I would like to hear a bit more of noise, as when you speak, than alternating noise mute noise mute as it is now, I’m not sure it is better.

  27. Bill.D says:

    I can;t get the Gmail wildcards to work. I signed up at the AppIgnite site as (not real user of course) and never got a message. Have tried it a couple times now – is my syntax right?

    Maybe I need the remedial class!

  28. Justin says:

    @Bill.D Wierd. I just got it to work for me… that is the correct syntax. It is possible that Jason’s mailing list doesn’t send a message! Try sending a message to yourself using gmail.

  29. Jason says:

    @Bill.D The mailing list doesn’t currently send a confirmation email message, so you’re probably doing it right.

  30. Jason says:

    @Michael Richards Thanks for the positive feedback and I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the AI and UFO shows. It’s fun to get a little broader on the topics sometimes if for no other reason than just to keep things fresh. You kind of have to pick a niche when doing a podcast (or probably anything on the web), but it’s really easy to get repetitive and stale if you’re too strict about it.

  31. Bill.D says:

    Well, that explains that! Thank guys – I really enjoy you podcast although I am not a programmer in any sense of the word.

  32. Hey JV & Jason, loving the show again! Gotta say I use that Gmail “hack” all the time too. Ever since Woyano, remember JV? 🙂


    I totally agree with the big software thoughts, but oftentimes building a small solution can become complicated. I’ve had a few small projects blow up on me before, but I think it’s a good experience regardless. The great thing about the pre-built software is empowerment for non-coders, and not everyone needs to be able to write complicated software if their best asset is writing.

    Also, I thought “AppIgnite” was actually “Appic Night”. I think I understand the show a lot better now.

  34. Jason says:

    @Robin Police

    Also, I thought “AppIgnite” was actually “Appic Night”. I think I understand the show a lot better now.

    Now that’s funny! 😉

  35. Biztactix says:

    After Listening to you guys about Github, i decided to do some exploring, I found that it should do more than I need, and i’m in desperate need of some source code control and safety after yet another computer crash over the weekend.

    I’ve signed up for a paid Github account, And setup SmartGIT on my machines. But I’ve been looking for a way to deploy them easily, Too much of Commit changes, FTP Sync, Hope that it doesn’t miss anything cause it’s just going off of timestamps.

    So i’ve found This,
    and this

    I’m hoping to have this working this afternoon, The master Branch would be the LIVE site, and you can make a testing branch for a testing server. Which would be great. Also means no more filtering the uploads through my crappy connection when there’s a server available and willing.

    Repost for Jason

  36. Biztactix says:

    Jason :
    @Robin Police

    Also, I thought “AppIgnite” was actually “Appic Night”. I think I understand the show a lot better now.

    Now that’s funny!

    Actually i’ll agree with that, took me about 3 episodes to here App…. Ignite, not Apic Knight

  37. @jason OMG I was going freaking nuts again, pulling out what’s left of my hair when you were talking about doing your blog in HTML!

    I admire your need for a challenge and want to build things yourself but believe me, making a site in static HTML will definitely be quicker at first but will DEFINITELY take longer to maintain in the long run. That’s the whole reason these blogging tools were built in the first place – to avoid all the same problems that you will face and that every programmer has solved a hundred times before.

    To think that’s it’s “quicker to do it HTML” and that learning to change a WordPress theme “is complicated and will take too long” is COMPLETELY backwards!! All you will need to do is take the time to create a theme – HTML & CSS which you will do ANYWAY – plug it in to WordPress (simple to learn, simple to do) and then you don’t need to worry about anything ever again.

    If you are doing this for your company/product blog then you would be doing your customers a disservice NOT having tools like “search”. However, for a personal blog then obviously you can do what you like because you are answerable to no one but yourself there!

    (end rant)

    Maybe I can explain my reasons to you better on your show 😀

  38. I listened to the second half of the show on the treadmill and the super length of the show got me to work out longer so thanks!

    Another reason NOT to do an HTML blog is that you will have to work even harder to make the blog SEO-friendly in terms of keeping the metadata up-to-date, publishing updated site maps with new pages, creating cross-references for the topics, and so on. The search engine are pretty good at recognizing blog engines and sucking the right data during indexing. So you would probably be at a disadvantage by going pure HTML.

  39. Hi J&J one more show which enjoyed a lot and Jason I understand your friend problem i having people to say his name JOAO. Me personaly live outside Portugal for 7 years no one manage to say my name correctly, but your effort was quite good i must say.

    Whenever you guys come up with a name for the show let me know you have my email.

    Thanks for a nice show you guys put up.

  40. Corey says:

    Justin – is the noise on both your audio source and Jason’s? If you talk into your mic and record it into say quicktime without sype running, does it have the noise? Can you isolate the source of the noise?

  41. Hi Guys, I’ve only got through about half of the show so far (I’ll get the other half on this evening’s commute), but I wanted to throw in a couple of comments about Jason building his own blog in HTML.

    I fully understand where he’s coming from, but one of the features a blog engine gives you is the ability to produce alternate renderings of the content in different formats (e.g. RSS). If you’re doing it all by hand will you maintain an RSS feed by hand as well (duplication of effort), or not offer one at all? I’d read the AppIgnite blog regularly, but only if I can get a feed into my Google Reader (where I read everything).

    It also struck me that a simple blog engine should be something AppIgnite should do easily and I wondered why Jason isn’t using his own product??? Maybe it’s just not stable enough yet, but I was curious.


  42. Jason says:

    @Jim O’Halloran Thanks for the comment. You make some very good points.

    I realize that doing a blog in HTML would require me to edit the RSS file manually, which in once sense seems like a stupid thing to do, but if I’m only posting once or twice per week and editing the RSS file only takes me about 2 minutes then it’s not an issue (and the same argument goes for manually formatting the HTML). My guess is that writing a decent post will probably take me an average of about two hours to write, so an additional 4 or 5 minutes of formatting RSS and HTML is just a rounding error and shouldn’t be a major consideration. Now if someone could teach me how to write a quality post in 15 minutes, then you got my attention! 😉

    Now with regard to using AppIgnite to generate the blog app, we could probably come pretty close to doing that now except for a few specific features like generating the RSS feed. Guyon thinks we should do this for the same reason you mentioned, which is the importance of eating your own dog food. While I agree that this would be ideal and is something that’s worth considering, I don’t think however that rerouting our development road map just to be able to generate the blog app would be a wise thing to do.

    Ultimately, I’m just trying to remove any excuses for not blogging because writing is something I tend to procrastinate about. Also, I figure that we could generate the blog app later on if we wanted to and import into it whatever posts have been written up to that point.