Many coders will end up on all sorts of Stack Exchange sites–whether through need or curiosity. I’ve registered on a couple of stacks. And I still come across questions on stacks I want to favorite, but I’ve yet to register on.
It stirred me slightly. I mean, who hasn’t pent up some aggression towards Stack before ;)?
- This ‘favorite’ may be the only star I have at stats.StackExchange for some time.
- I didn’t remember if it was a quick process to add another stack.
- There’s a slight psychological burden. Namely “Ughhhhh I have to register yet another account on the interwebs. Another account to have dangling in the furthest recess of my mind.”
With fairness, it turned out to be an easy 15 seconds to add this stack to my account. Yet, I’m here writing for something bigger. I want to document and formalize my thoughts of web inefficiencies we all deal with, and maybe build up a grander case over time. The world may never be perfect–yet there is nothing damning us from a more perfect world other than our obstinateness of the idea that we shouldn’t strive for it.
For that Stack issue:
a) Just star the question when I click on it, flashing that the Stats Stack has been added to my accounts with an undo button.
b) Or better yet, decouple favorites from specific Stacks and just add them to a list in my main Stack account.
You may argue these things are often not trivial to change. That the complexity of changing it isn’t worth the benefits of the change. Maybe. But what I’ve noticed in my advent into the coding world is that changing or adding things is too frequently overly stressful and difficult. I think this is because we often don’t code in modular blocks. What we’re tossed into doesn’t help us code in modular blocks. We just want to get the job done. This leads to the really big picture I’ve been troubled about.
We spend too much time using our tools instead of developing our tools. Heck, even the best coding tools we possess either have a learning curve || significant setup cost || cost money. Even our terminals and IDEs–everything we build becomes so specialized that it’s hard to contribute any component without knowing the whole thing well, or requiring an infeasible amount of time of the core developers. Our tools should encourage us to plan and organize. To track what effects there will be. To warn us. And we shouldn’t have to do/master all of those things on an individual basis. We shouldn’t have to be experts in a development environments. Our environments should guide more intuitively. I don’t know what that solution looks like, but we’re smart people who spend a lot of time doing the same things–debugging and tiptoeing.
There is certainly no solution without garnering a bandwagon. No bandwagon here. Just a spoke for now.
Footnote: aye my site is quite neglected by expectation of few visitors. If you are here, please pardon this. When the time is good, the site will be redone.