Life & much, much more

Things I should’ve done earlier.

On Linux, there are things that you know are better but you don’t switch because you’re comfortable where you are. Here’s a list of the things I’ve changed the past year that I really should’ve done earlier.

  • screen -> tmux
  • irssi/quassel -> weechat + relay
  • apache -> nginx
  • dropbox -> owncloud
  • bash -> zsh
  • bootstrapping vim-spf -> my own tailored and clean dotfiles
  • phing -> make
  • sahi -> selenium
  • ! mpd -> mpd (oh why did I ever leave you)
  • ! mutt -> mutt (everything else is severely broken)
  • a lot of virtualbox instances -> crossbrowsertesting.com (much less hassle, with support for selenium too!)

… would be interested to know what else I could be missing out on! :)

Life & much, much more

Say no to selfish architecture

Oh dear, it’s been quite some time! Things have been astoundingly busy I’ve not had the time to touch the computer. However before we return to regular programming, there’s something I’d like to get off my chest.

Architecture is Selfish.

Architecture is an extremely old profession. However despite having such a long ancestry, it is still difficult to define exactly what architecture is.

In this regard, it is similar to the art industry, whose primary focus was initially representation and communication, but has long since devolved into abstractions that have left people similarly confused as to what art is. But that is another story, and is a challenge I will leave for another time.

I come today with the claim that architecture has and is growing towards a generation of selfish vanities, but before I do that, I need to attempt to answer the age old question of what architecture is.

Architecture is a justified solution to a predefined problem using the world as its medium. To be a master architect it is your job to be intimately familiar with the world in all of its nuances, and to be able to put it together into a solution which can be communicated and executed with results. This is not easy – the world is infinitely complex and to say its interactions are unpredictable is a vast understatement. To be able to master it completely is probably impossible, but it doesn’t mean you can’t win as many battles as you can on the way.

Having the world as its medium means three things:

  • Architecture extends across many, if not all industries. It is a saying that an architect needs to know a little about a lot – a form of a jack of all trades whose real ability is in the selection of trades. Architects need to be trained from the beginning to be exposed to other industries.
  • We cannot predict the world. We have to train ourselves to be sensitive towards behaviors and interactions. We won’t be perfect, but it’s better than not trying.
  • There are plenty of audiences to cater to. A well justified architecture needs to first filter what choices are relevant and prioritise the many interdependent aspects that make up the world. Justification has an audience, and knowing the audience is half the battle.

I hope, then, that I am alone in my experience of [undergrad] architectural education, which apparently doesn’t recognise the world as its medium.

Architecture in Education

In the undergraduate university, design is shifted into a dull detail whereas form, theorising and philosophy have been granted the “big picture” pedestal and requirement towards architectural fame: ie. you can’t be famous if you don’t have a charismatic philosophy.

Philosophy, or at least western ones, has the trait of “construction” – of adding a layer of imbued meaning or interpretation with increasing layers of complexity until it is taken as a truth, and then subsequently built upon again with another layer until it moves back into a subjective phase. Bonus points if your new layer is a reinterpretation or a controversial new direction.

For architecture, this means we are taking the already infinitely complex world scenario previously described and adding even more complexity on top – and the further up the abstraction tree you climb, the more you worry yourselves with incredibly irrelevant and in some cases, plain wrong, ideologies. Even worse, it is encouraged to add our own to the pile of abstractions rather than the opposite – stripping away constructions to get closer to what is -dare I use a dangerous phrase – an absolute truth. Architecture already presents itself with a fiendish problem without us having to add imaginary ones of our own.

Abstractions are a waste of time

Architecture has enough problems: a complex medium – to understand the world as its medium, unpredictability – problems revolve around people, and justification – how to confirm solutions. The only way to solve these issues is to look away from yourself and start learning about the worlds of other people. Architecture is not designed for the architect and never should be! Architects should design for the smile on other people’s faces, not their own.

It was worrying, then, the focus in my education on ideas like “what I thought”, or “what I felt” and then having it passed through the roulette board of critics. This is not what architecture should be – it should be a caring, empathising industry whose professionals aren’t those who are worshiped for their ideas but instead those who are able to appreciate the ideas of others. The real questions should be “who feels what, who thinks like this, and why are we listening to this who?”. With all the focus on “I”, we train ourselves to treat the architectural problem as an enemy with which we are at a constant war, whereas we should treat that world, our world, as our friend and ally. A proposal which doesn’t account for those most affected by it is a bad proposal.

This is why it is so important to be trained from the beginning to listen to others and to experience the worlds of other people. Not to make funky shapes or listen to arrogant philosophies and definitely not to make your own. Forms are getting easier to imagine with technology helping us, structural solutions are speeding ahead, and theories are a dime a dozen nowadays – the real issue is knowing how to empathise. It’s only from a young training that we can bridge the chasm between ourselves and the people around us.

I’ve come up with a few simple tests as to whether or not your architecture is selfish. Most architectural proposals have a concept – an overarching objective which governs all the decisions in the design process and the benchmark. This is the design equivalent of business’ mission statement. There is a lot of work put towards accurately defining this concept and then communicating it to others. A good concept is normally one which is loaded with meaning which can be extracted throughout the project. The tests are as follows:

  • Have you understood the complex medium of the world? If you have, you should be able to tell your concept to a bricklayer and they would understand the importance of why they are laying bricks. If you understand it well enough, you can present it simply enough.
  • Are you catering to unpredictability? How good can you predict a rant about a bad day in the life of your audience, and does your concept solves at least half of those issues?
  • Is your concept justified? Justified concepts can be re-communicated: somebody else should be able to present the concept on your behalf without any loss in key information.

And finally, to combat the common denominator – does your architecture care? Can you confidently say that introducing this building into the lives of the people who would be most affected by it improve their lives and make them happier?

The actual implementation is a separate issue – it turns into a benchmarking game whose expertise still extends beyond the role of the architect but is relatively straightforward to orientating your conceptual goals.

The TL;DR

Architecture’s solution defines a world for other people. If we can’t be bothered to understand how others see the world first, our solutions will never be more than a hit and miss. This is not opinion – this is an ethical responsibility of a professional.

I don’t want to be a selfish architect.

Uncategorized

Still alive

Today I was reminded about the lack of activity on my blog and on WIPUP, so tonight amidst my other projects I have sat down and I’m here writing.

The last post was back near the end of my first semester, first year in architecture at the University of Sydney. Since then I’ve spent a lovely winter break with relatives, attended the newly formed Sydney’s Blender User Group’s two meetings, had a short trip to Adelaide to experience FLUX: Student Architecture Congress (which was great, thankyouverymuch), performed as musical director (and terrible actor) for the Architecture Revue, released as well as started several large-scale projects from my webdevelopment work (of which I am not linking due to NDAs), worked on some music compositions, attended some of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, am now also available on G+, started up a band, teaching some music, read at least 10 books, learning some violin, migrated away from a KDE infrastructure (I still do forum moderation, though), ploughed through most of my second semester (almost done, eh?), turned 19, and I’m now back alive in the online world.

That was a pretty good in-a-nutshell of the past 4 months, 16 weeks, or third of a year. I’m personally not too happy with the create:consume ratio I’ve had, but I guess it was a necessary dip in the cycle to get back into a worthy production mode. To make a first step I’ve uploaded a short (terrible) experimental soundscape I did with some friends a couple weeks back.

More to come.

Life & much, much more

A peek into the future.

It’s nearing 2011, which means we’re smack in the middle of Christmas, many things are finishing and many things are about to begin, and tradition states that now is the time to stop, reflect, realign, and shape up. I haven’t been blogging regularly as of late (given my 2 week absence) and my usual efforts to try and post every alternate day has evaporated. Mostly it’s because WIPUP has absorbed a lot of my usual verbose documentaries on the current progress of my projects (as was its purpose), but also because I haven’t exactly been doing loads lately. In fact, I’m now proudly spending some quality wasted time, and I feel as though I’ve deserved it.

Let’s take a look at what’s been going on so far. The ThoughtScore project has been relaunched and has some excellent momentum going for it. Pictures are churning out slowly as texturing is a tedious process, but on the other hand at least the storyline is getting a lot of love. WIPUP recently had a big release, as well as an appearance in Google Code-In, which may or may not result in awesome KDE integration. I’ve got myself a VPS, and learned the ins and outs of setting up a DNS server and a mail server, thus migrating thinkMoult and my main email. Various other doodads also popped up including private git hosting for my projects, and a public ADOM game server, which is quite active and seeing regular improvements and updates (and bugfixes!) There has been quite a bit of private enjoyment such as reading, learning C++, photography and music composition, and in time they will mature to see their place on WIPUP. I’ve also been publicly insulting the KDE website and discussing/proposing solutions with the kde-www team, and this is currently very much in progress as well. I also recently received a charming package from KDE eV from the KPresenter design competition, including a wicked t-shirt, a postcard and a sticker. Of course, I’ve also been doing freelancing work with the folks over at OmniStudios and the workload should increase as I start university.

Speaking of university, let’s see what’s coming up on the horizon. I’ll be off to Canada early Christmas morning (Christmas on a plane!), and will likely be having a quick 1-2 day kde-www sprint there in the midst of mingling with relatives. The days are very, very packed, and so I have a short time to reunite with Malaysia and within the same week, off to begin my new life in Australia. In other words, a lot more of "real life" is coming up.

My current plan is somewhat along the lines of "don’t panic". I might tweak it a little later :)

Life & much, much more

Bingo, sir.

If you haven’t heard of buzzword bingo, you should be thankful for the job you have. Buzzword Bingo is an iteration of bingo where your card’s grid is filled with buzzwords instead of card numbers. But what are buzzwords, you ask?

Buzzwords are words that come and go in fashion for people to use when they’re talking out of their arse – in other words, when they have absolutely no idea what’s going on but want to sound smart just to fuel their ego. They’re commonly seen in the marketing department. I like buzzwords myself and use them, but mostly when the context actually deserves them. Most of the time they’re thrown about like lemmings off a cliff.

Case in point, an example everybody (at least visiting this page) should be familiar with is Web 2.0. The first sign that it’s a buzzword is that nobody off the street can tell you exactly what this Web 2.0 is – everybody will give you something different from another. The second sign that it’s a buzzword is that it requires even more buzzwords to describe it. Heck, the Wikipedia page uses words like "user-centered design", "information sharing", and "folksonomies". The third characteristic of buzzwords are quite surprising – it’s normally that the word or phrase itself if taken literally is completely self-explanatory, but when used as a buzzword it loses all meaning in an abstract nebulous mist of paradigms and whatno- oh sorry. Couldn’t resist. In a nutshell, there are few quality buzzwords, and even fewer buzzwords that have become timeless fashion statements in the English language. Web 2.0 might be one of them, but as per definition, nobody can really be sure.

Going back to the topic, buzzword bingo is normally distributed to attendants to a function like a meeting where the speaker is well known for their use of buzzwords, like Al Gore. We sit there, listening intently but not really absorbing anything at all. At least it’s an improvement from sitting there neither listening nor absorbing. Upon hearing a column, row or diagonal line in our conventionally 5 by 5 grid we exclaim Bingo! … and go back to catching up on sleep.

The game originated in 1993 and was popularised by a Dilbert comic strip a year later.

Just wanted to share it – I brought in Bingo cards to my business studies lecture the other day and although not a winner myself, had a lot of laughs. Gotta love the look on his face when I heard "Bingo, sir."

Life & much, much more

WIPUP sightings!

Was happy today to find this mention of WIPUP by a Latino by the name of Gnosis VonDark – he had found WIPUP from the openDesktop submission and gave his thoughts on the bigger picture behind WIPUP on his blog. It’s in Spanish so you might want to run it through a translator.

It discusses the similarity behind libre software and the scientific community, specifically on the scale, the want for freedom and the reliance on community participation. WIPUP is a system to bridge the gap between developers and users. As explained numerous times before, there is so much behind the scenes that users are missing out on simply because of this communicative barrier – WIPUP aims to make it easy to share progress on even the most complex of projects in society-friendly chunks.

Creative or technical works are increasingly becoming more mainstream as applications are developed which makes Joe able to create professional quality work. I view this as the first of two main steps between the merging of these two communities – the first is when both parties are capable of the same, given the same amount of time with little exceptions (which is progressing at the moment), and the second is when the infrastructure exists for fully compatible transfer of works, critique of works, and participation in work.

WIPUP is interesting in a way in that it is unique to target small-scale or even individual work, a completely free platform reliant on the users’ choice of format, and yet tries to detract attention away from collaboration. In other words, WIPUP is not project management, neither is it a portfolio – it’s a snapshot. It’s not for looking at the past creations. It’s not for planning future achievements. It’s for viewing what’s current.

It is through this ideology that I wish to bridge the gap. Creative or technical works are not any different from other industries or hobbies because they have a wealth of accomplishments and academic milestones behind them, nor that they are reaching for the stars – it’s that they are actually identical to all other industries and hobbies because they consist of ongoing processes. Not many can relate to a mass of past knowledge – because it is the result of the combined intelligence of many contributors! Not many can relate to a goal – because it hasn’t been achieved! Anybody, however, can relate to a process, and especially a small scale, individual process.

Well, verbosity is a sin, and especially one full of brainfart. It’s time to stop writing.

Despite the lack of blog posts, I have been doing a couple things, which can be seen on my WIPUP profile.

Uncategorized

When an image is stuck in your head…

… you fire up The GIMP and whack it down. It isn’t the full image, but I don’t think I want to share the full image.

Or if you’re interested in zmobies:

I’ve really always wanted to try this style. Large scale version is available on the WIPUP update.

I will be having mock exams from the 1st to the 8th, and have a bunch of gerbloach booked up until the 12th, so updates will be sparse (which is probably a good thing, given the brainfart I’ve been having lately).

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I find life hilarious, really.

This isn’t the first time I’ve made that outrageous claim but I really, really do. I do so much that I want to write about it.

A random stroll down the street at 6AM each morning reveals yet another lovely little detail that our crazy synergy has produced. The reason that detail exists? Because we’re often too caught up with trying to comply with these imaginary rules that so-called society has imposed on us. Completely forgetting we’re what defines society we act certain ways around people, do little things for love and big things for money, and often forget who paid for the ticket to the joyride in the first place.

Taking a step back and realising just how comical it is for all these people to comply really opens up a lovely new perspective on things.

To use an example I’d like to talk about a daily (well, weekdays) activity – walking to school. I’m awake sharp at 6AM each day and up even sharper at 6:07AM. I leave at 6:40AM and begin the walk at 6:45AM most of the time. That’s about the point when I stop measuring things in terms of time (yes, it’s amazing not having a watch) and start measuring things in accomplishments and experiences.

It usually begins with trying to get my headphones out and plugging them into my phone. Occasionally I listen to a talk or music but most of the time it’s so that people don’t stare when I start playing the air-drum/guitar/trumpet in the middle of the street. Salute the guards at the guardhouse, tell them my schedule for the morning (you know, they’re paid to just sit there), and wink at the drivers having a chat downstairs. Pass the Japanese mothers and their little children confused between hyperactivity and morning sleepiness and then remember something I forgot to put in my bag.

Screw what I forgot, take a run down the road as a warmup and play chicken with the cars at the first junction (quite an easy feat, not many cars at that time). Exchange nods (and the occasional high five) with Azif the street cleaner and watch the stream of workers miling down the path. Try only to step on the red bricks and check how late (or even early, occasionally!) the bus driver is this morning – use the time until the streetlights extinguish since I don’t have a watch. By this time I’m about the chorus section in the piece of variable genre I’ve made up since winking at the drivers. By that time I’m also by the stretch of road that leads to the Plaza, an area with a few shops and a ridiculous architect who decided spurting water from a leak in the ground was somehow better than a magestic fountain and pond. More about that later, perhaps.

This stretch of road is great – it has everything. It’s got the sleepy 7/11 workers who accidentally set off their own motorcycle alarms, the rhythmic beat of the beginnings of a construction day (say, they have a legal start time don’t they?), the stray dog, the forest (well, close enough if you squint) to the right (lovely split image of nature/urban), the clouds saying hello to a new day, the taxi driver whom I’ve never seen in a taxi, the guard having a smoke behind the voltage box, and the cars realising they no longer need their headlamps. Oh, and the birds too, but they’re more noise than anything. and it’s a bahdum-tsh! Baam bah bah aahhhhh – it’s the climax of the song by the end of it.

Unless of course I see my business teacher walking to school too just ahead of me with his children. Then I just scare them silly by stalking them.

By this time we’re at the Plaza. Now we’re around people we can really have a laugh. You’d find at least a couple people sitting in the most unimaginably uncomfortable positions (well, they look uncomfortable, but you never know) in deep, deep sleep. You should walk through the McDonalds without fail each morning, not to buy anything, but simply because it’s half a minute faster walking through than around (I know, I timed it long ago). You want to know why the first hash brown of the day tastes like the sort of deep-friend chicken skin somebody’s left overnight? Want to know why the free newspapers pile is always empty? Want to know why McDonalds switched from ketchup packets to a self-service watchamathing? It’s hilarious.

Then you leap down the wrong escalator (they haven’t been started yet) and meet that security guard I’m almost sure is gay. It’s hard to tell because they don’t speak English very well (neither do I, apparently I’m told), and like most guards he spends most of his time loitering. Loitering with a purpose. However when you shake hands each day and he holds your hand for a bit too long and a bit too close you worry sometimes. But it’s ok because he knows my schedule better than I do at times and a walking agenda is a great tradeoff.

At this stage you get to the set of traffic lights where all the cars who realise that going around the back of the Plaza gets you to where you want at least 3 times faster than the only route that existed before which went for a lovely 3KM loop-the-loop just to get 500 meters away. Not to mention 2 more traffic lights. (honestly, what were they thinking?) Funnily enough you get parents dropping off children here because then you can skip another loop-the-loop when driving back. You also get your physics teacher’s retired husband taking his brisk walk around here. He talks to anybody else who’s white and about his age, and I don’t exactly fit that as far as I know.

The next stretch of road is great, because it features the 13 years consecutive winner of worst-traffic-jam award of the year. It’s great because you’re walking. It also means that in about 2-3 minutes you’ve got to end your piece because you’re about to arrive. In fact, now is the perfect time for an impulse run, to make people think you’ve actually run all the way from home in formal office-wear (and sometimes a green bow-tie, for that matter). (Note: this run may happen for any duration, and may start as early as 6:45) That doesn’t mean the fun’s over though, in fact it’s just begun. Stuffing 1000 adolescents with a P.E. teacher at the head in a school is a recipe for the perfect all-night comedy show.

Guys (and girls), keep ’em coming. You make my day, every day.

Uncategorized

The economics of technology

The long-term success of a company is caused by its people. The long-term success of a product is caused by the producers. Consumers are not the cause of success, they are a symptom of success.

That was the ideaology I got into a debate with my friend the other day. I was pro and he was con – mainly citing how the age-old laws of economics don’t simply break down in an industry and should be the be-all and end-all. I still disagree and have always believed there was something very fundamentally wrong with the whole science of economics. Before I continue I will have to admit that I’m not a fan of economics – you cannot put people on a graph. Even if you were dealing with statistically large enough numbers of people to create an average behavior we must still look to the very core of our behavior – why we do what we do.

A while back I told people why you do what you do – in a nutshell, every action you take is the action that you believe will cause yourself the most happiness, given the conscious or subconscious knowledge you have at the time. If being sad will make you happy – be sad! If you purposely choose to hurt yourself to prove me wrong, it is the satisfaction you gain from proving me wrong that gives you that happiness. If you sacrifice yourself for the benefit of others, it is because you prioritise the happiness of others, and following your belief will make you happy. If you choose to stab yourself, it’s because you believe stabbing yourself is the best thing you could possibly do (otherwise you would’ve have done it). This creates the question on whether or not “which” happiness is the best, but that’s a highly subjective question and thus we must leave delusion to a topic of its own. For this reason instead of referring to it as happiness I would refer to it as the “best”, to remove confusion as to the actual definition of happiness.

When applying this mentality to a society, it still doesn’t change one bit – and will never change no matter how large the sample. When looking at this from an economic perspective, for example in the labour market, we understand that people choose jobs because of this very same trait – and will not leave the job until the benefits of leaving are greater than the benefits of staying. For the factor of production enterprise, we understand that they take the risks and shape the market from what they believe is best. Capital and land are simply instruments of the former two and are therefore only tools that will accelerate the choices of the former two. When looking from the demand-side of things, we see that consumers purchase what they believe is the best to purchase – and it is empirically evident that their purchases will affect the choices of labour and enterprise.

However what I propose is that this influence is very much a short-term effect. If somebody invents a product, that product will exist as long as there is developer interest in the product. The greater the developer interest, the higher potential success of the product. In the long-term, seeing as all factors of production are variable we see that there will always be developer interest in the product as long as one person believes it is the best thing to do at some point to develop the product.

Developer interest is what causes the product to evolve. The product can evolve in either a market-orientated view or a product-orientated view. The market-orientated view is when the actions of labour and enterprise are being influenced by consumers, whereas the product-orientated view is based solely on the producer’s own beliefs. For a product to be successful in the long-term it has to undergo innovation – without this it will be pushed out through the process of creative destruction. Innovation by definition, no matter what its orientation must be producer-originated – and fundamentally the producer will produce what they believe is best. If other developers believe in the same, they will contribute and offer support, causing the product to grow, continue to innovate, and ultimately succeed in the long-run. Why? Because the very reason consumers will buy the good or service is due to this growth and innovation.

The conventional view is that this is a circular process – that consumers influence developer interest and developer interest influence consumers. However I believe otherwise – that producers have the final say in the long-run, but more importantly, in the very-very short-run. The reason is that there two root causes of what might seem to be a circular process, society and money.

  • Money is seen as the primary medium through which consumers can influence enterprise and labour. However in the very short-run money is almost completely disregarded in people’s decisions. Ideas will be chosen on the basis of their substance, not their potential earnings. In the long-run, money is as unpredictable as any other factor and it’s inflow is actually determined by the original short-run ideas.
  • Society is when the decision is based on the reactions of others. When dealing with an idea owned by a single entity, such as in innovation, society plays an almost negligible role in determining the realisation of the idea, even though it may play a role in either impeding or accelerating its progress.

From this we see that the circle is merely a single line of processes. What consumers buy depends on what producers make. How much a consumer will buy in the short run depends on the magnitude of developer interest. In the medium-term consumers will determine what happens to the product but the product will only survive in the long-run if developer interest is maintained.

A quick look at today’s market shows that this “long-run” period is indeed extremely long – almost synonymous with the business cycle. This inability to survive in the long-run is understood, yet disregarded as it is too far into the future to infer any meaningful derivations. This is very true – for most industries. However for the technology industry simply because it is at the forefront of progress this business cycle has been shrinking at an alarming pace, meaning that understanding how ultimately goods and services are producer-determined becomes very important. The implication is that trying to influence consumer-related symptoms, such as advertising, prices, quantitative or qualitative restrictions should be given second priority to trying to influence the mindset of producers.

To illustrate how this mindset is currently not understood I will ask a simple question. You work for a company. Let’s say your manager comes up to you and tells you to create a computer program of your liking. You scratch your own itch, so to say, and develop a product. A few weeks later your manager comes back with the production department manager and takes a look at your product. Both of the managers say “I really like that! I think it’s going to be a huge success!”. Now is the manager a producer or a consumer? If you said producer, you are wrong – they are both consumers. They have the ability to consume the good, but not to develop the good. It is important not to confuse the accelerating properties of capital and land with the developing properties of labour and enterprise. For this reason the success is not likely until other potential developers recognise merit in your work.

Some examples of how success has been producer-originated is in the iPhone, where the main reason consumers buy it is due to the amount of applications available on it. The Windows Mobile phones, due to the large number of applications on it, but failing because there is a lack in core developer interest (the OS has not been updated in ages). Android by Google, whose producer-embracing philosophy of so-called open-source has spun up almost 20,000 applications since its launch and is currently seeing a huge acceleration in market share. Linux – whose stubborn developers continue to progress despite the desktop market saying the complete opposite is now appearing like hot cakes in the market. Firefox and their thousands of add-ons – and its current battle with Chrome, which has exhibited innovation in browsers (and will be pushed out of the market if developer interest is lost or transferred to Chrome). Internet Explorer 6, where developer interest is finally moving away because they finally realise they don’t care about the customers when making websites that much (thank goodness). You think you use Windows because it’s good? No – it’s because it became a standard (even though back then Apple’s OS was miles ahead), which is what attracted developer interest. The list goes on.

This trend is most easily recognised in the technology industry (software, specifically) but is starting to be seen elsewhere, especially in other creative industries. A simple measure to determine the extent to which this trend has progressed in an industry is to ask an employee “why did you choose the job in the first place?” In the future this trend will start to bleed into other industries due to the increasing mobility of factors of production, increasing integration of markets into a worldwide affair, and of course the results of mass-amateurisation.

Finally as a closing note I’d like to throw in the topic of dogfooding – when producers use their own products, thus duplicating the roles of consumers as well as producers (hint: used really extensively in Google for a long time). This is a recipe for a self realising upward spiral of developer interest and consumer interest – finally creating the conventional circular process we think will always exist otherwise.