YouTube popularity of my IDE videos

Nov 29 2013 Published by under Life

The recent video I made for Python Fiddle didn’t prove to be a hit with on 60 views so far, but the one for the JavaScript IDE has been on the top or second place in referrals for Fiddle Salad. One explanation would be YouTube’s video ranking algorithm takes into account community factors such as subscribed channels and the videos in your channel.
The number of visitors to my site for Wijmo Books is also disappointing but almost to be expected. At least the site was a lot of fun to build and still looks spiff.

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Wijmo UI Book – the Right Timing

Nov 04 2013 Published by under Coincidences

Finally with help and support from my hosting service setting up a newer version of Django to run with a newer version of Python, Building UIs with Wijmo’s official site has been launched. It is just in time for the lucky winners of free copies of the book to join in the party. I spent the last Saturday writing the site and the ideas over the last month just came together.
Building UIs with Wijmo site

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Too Lazy to Click: A Decline in Traffic with a Tips Panel

Oct 17 2013 Published by under Fiddle Salad,Programming

After launching the a new tips panel on Fiddle Salad that shows on top of other dialog windows whenever a fiddle is opened, I found a decline in traffic. Specifically, page views decreased. Does that mean the tips were poorly done? To investigate, I compared the views in the past 30 days to the previous period and looked at the traffic for different pages. The top pages ranked by page view saw an increase in ratio compared to the rest. My hypothesis is that when opening a saved fiddle, users were deterred by the tip panel that opened. I found the data to back up the hypothesis.
google analytics traffic
The analysis is that there were 0 visitors to the pages in the past 30 days because they just didn’t bother to check off “Show tips on startup”. This made sense, as the tips panel often blocked pieces of code. My plan is to just show the tips panel once a day so that opening saved fiddles wouldn’t show it.

I found out that the new tab page in Chrome stable was changed, removing the apps. This would explain the decline in traffic on the CoffeeScript IDE page. This change has been there for 4 months on the Chrome beta channel that I use on Windows.

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Grabbing a Share of the Pie – Marketing Fiddle Salad Correctly

Aug 01 2013 Published by under Fiddle Salad,Programming

The idea of running Fiddle Salad came in a weird way. At first, I was just making a Python to JavaScript compiler and putting it on a website. It was simple enough, as the compiler was already built for it. The back-end for saving and authentication through Google, Twitter, and Facebook used the same one as Python Fiddle. After the site was launched, I noticed that not many people were interested in writing Python. Also, I got a taste of CoffeeScript, which is now my favorite language.

I think the demise of the Python-only fiddle came as a combination of low traffic and no saves. If nobody ever sees it or uses it, then it is better gone. Fortunately, I had the chance to design and develop the next generation of Fiddle Salad to support other languages.


The real Fiddle Salad was launched in April of 2012. I remembered calling the previous version Python Fiddle. Last January, I decided to do an experiment with the CoffeeScript page by creating a separate app in the Chrome App Store. It turned out to double my number of daily visitors. Last May, it was featured on Lifehacker as one of the best apps for development. So why not do it again?

I waited until the right time. Last month and the previous one, the project received major updates which I will be discussing on the Fiddle Salad blog. Meanwhile, I published more apps in the Chrome App Store.

The difference now is that instead of an app supporting more features that show up in searches, I’ve limited the features that are marketed. This way it targets specific audiences. JavaScript programmers don’t want to find out about the features built for CoffeeScript, and a programmer looking for a CoffeeScript IDE won’t bother with an app that doesn’t have CoffeeScript in the title.


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Ron Tite at UW

Mar 04 2011 Published by under Life

Ron Tite’s talk last Tuesday was both educational and entertaining. Some key points he made were about how organizations work, the power each individual has in a digital society, and whole brain thinking.

Organizations are People Driven

Decisions within organizations are made on an individual level. Each day, hundreds of decisions are made. The successful organizations adapt and evolve. He gave examples using the most popular brands, of these brands:

  • IBM no longer sells computers
  • Microsoft is now focused on cloud computing and cloud services
  • McDonald now sells salads

Google is relatively new on the list. The people driven organizations are able to evolve, rather than sticking to the status quo and maintaining the bottom line.

Digital Requires Perfection

Because machines do exactly what they are programmed to do, humans must become more machine like in a digital world. No transaction (searching on Google, commenting on Facebook, sending an email) happens without being recorded forever. He told a story from personal experience. He lost his luggage when he got off the plane with Air Canada, so he posted on facebook and Twitter about it. After several phone calls to ask for the luggage and more posts, he gets 415 people on facebook saying, “Give Ron Tite His Bag Back“.  The story ended with the CEO of Air Canada sending a replacement (gift) bag for what he might have carried, a few minutes after getting his own bag back.

Brands Last, Technology Changes

According to him, the funniest line in stand-up comedy is in There’s Something About Mary.

Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
Ted: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the excercise video.
Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7… Minute… Abs.
Ted: Right. Yes. OK, all right. I see where you’re going.
Hitchhiker: Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin’ there, there’s 7-Minute Abs right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?
Ted: I would go for the 7.
Hitchhiker: Bingo, man, bingo. 7-Minute Abs. And we guarantee just as good a workout as the 8-minute folk.
Ted: You guarantee it? That’s – how do you do that?
Hitchhiker: If you’re not happy with the first 7 minutes, we’re gonna send you the extra minute free. You see? That’s it. That’s our motto. That’s where we’re comin’ from. That’s from “A” to “B”.
Ted: That’s right. That’s – that’s good. That’s good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you’re in trouble, huh?
[Hitchhiker convulses]
Hitchhiker: No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody’s comin’ up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won’t even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.
Ted: That – good point.
Hitchhiker: 7’s the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 dwarves. 7, man, that’s the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin’ on a branch, eatin’ lots of sunflowers on my uncle’s ranch. You know that old children’s tale from the sea. It’s like you’re dreamin’ about Gorgonzola cheese when it’s clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.
Ted: Why?
Hitchhiker: ‘Cause you’re fuckin’ fired!

So the Brick advertises blowout prices just after Boxing Day. Poor advertising consistent with worthless furniture. Successful advertising is in alignment with core values. He mentions being genuine among other ones, which seems to be a message from the same movie.

When New Coke came out, people took it for an poser.  Old Coke with the new formula is actually what is now on the market. He mentions paying tax for firefighting and some hesitation about actually getting rescued by a firefighter due to connotations with being womanly. In the end, what’s real and what’s not is vague. It just depends on what works. Organizations adapt to it.

He definitely had some points to make, as he did bring his notes. Overall, the talk was crazy. I mean it felt like taking a tour of a 3-year old’s playroom, but that craziness amounts to a lot of laughs.

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