goals: other things equal

Reader: "Other things equal.."

Bim: But other things are never equal.

Sometimes, however, things are in the margin of error.

Red and green lights leave no room for choice-- thinking is neither called for nor desirable. Things aren't equal if one outcome (no crash) is clearly better.

A yellow light offers choice-- an opening for optimizations, and for errors.

To be ready is to understand outcomes-- the ideal, given no counter-indication. A yellow light pits a smoother journey against safety and politeness violations, and possible unwanted excitement. The details guide the decision: other things within the margin of error, why not improve the journey?

"Where should I look for parking?"

Reader: In front of where we're going?

Preparation isn't only about achieving a goal. Often it's about frequenting the right vicinity. Taking in details at an intersection is good, regardless of the traffic light color!

"Bim! What are you doing here?"

"I was looking for you. Buy you a beer?"

Decisions early in a project are particularly leveraged, so it's smart to be deliberate.

Other things equal, optimize for:

Clarity, universality, and longevity.

Do future you a favor.


Fewer characters, equally clear, lighten Reader's task. Say it once.
// ok. 
int framesPerSecond; 

// ok. 
int fps; // frames per second. 

// really? 
int framesPerSecond; // number of frames per second.
Be succinct. Line and character count is a rare objective metric.

Choose tools carefully.

Inertia and vendor lock-in will tend to keep you there.

Some things to consider:

Can your tools export data to other tools?

Are your file formats open? Readable until the end of time: ascii, html, plain text, jpg, png, wav, mp3. Will let you down someday: .doc, .aac.

Saving data to disk? Use the file system as your database. Many small files are safer and provide less to fall through if one goes astray.

Don't overrate current familiarity with a poor tool, unless you're too old to learn (or too old to have time to learn). 2017 [171108]