That’s it. I’m done. It took only 3 years from the first complaint to finish. Looking back, I’m very grateful for the service.
What I enjoyed at wordpress
Yearly reports – they’re eye pleasing, informative and fun. Maybe google analytics could replace this somehow?
Ease of initial setup and maintenance.
Stable, even on surprise high traffic days.
They allow exporting the data! No lock-in is the mark of a serious business with good guys running it.
Why I’m leaving
Huge, annoying, ads that they hide from the blog author so you have to go incognito to see what the rest of the world sees. You can pay wordpress to remove the ads, but what else are they hiding from the authors? I don’t know.
No control over CSS. You can pay for that too but…
I already have a VPS so why not use it? (no way I’m installing the exploit ridden wordpress-php-mysql stack again though).
Jekyll allows me to edit the plain-text posts from any device with ease.
I wanted to rename the blog anyway.
Jekyll is a much simpler stack – preprocessing that results in a a lot of html files is a better fit for my blog. MySQL/PHP/Cache is oldschool. Though this wasn’t a concern of mine when hosted on wordpress.com – I still get a certain “higher road” satisfaction leaving.
Out there in the wild internet there are many dark corridors and places we’ll never be able to visit. Understandably. But on reddit?! I think the people deserve to at least vaguely know the inner workings of their contentocracy. Here’s a list of a few most of us can only see the closed door of:
http://www.reddit.com/r/lounge – A secret community open to whoever has reddit gold or has the “Charter Member” trophy. I’d describe it as a monoclejerk.
tl;dr – add a “p” before the “.com” to any subreddit you visit and voila, you have a fullscreen presentation of all the images.
I like to show my friends cool stuff on the internet but browsing is a real conversation killer. You can’t really lean back, talk and have fun with friends while operating a website, surely not one as clunky as reddit. Even though RES does help.
So I just had to make this “hands-free” reddit mode. Where I can see:
Welp, not that easy, there was a lot of CSS to handle and the design right now is dead ugly but functional. Also, many stories on reddit aren’t images and I skip those that aren’t in a quirky way. If the url’s 4th character from the right is a dot, I display it. That’s a hack that works for imgur (which is most of reddit’s images) so I’m using it for now until I have more time to fix it. Any suggestions are more than welcome – help improve redditp on github! Also, comics are a pain to watch right now. I might implement some sort of scroll wheel zooming in the future, though that really is a bit of a different use case that might deserve a different site.
I guess not too surprisingly the first 200 visits where mostly to gonewild. You internet you….
Let’s define the absolute ratio for positive numbers:
When x is smaller than 1 return 1 / x, otherwise return x. Here are a few example values:
And a graph:
Another spelling for the same operator would take 2 positive numbers and give their absolute ratio:
And a graph:
Use case examples
Music and audio – an octave of a frequency F is 2F. More generally a harmony of a frequency F is N*F where N is a natural number. To decide if one frequency is a harmony of another we just need to get their absolute ratio and see if it’s whole. E.g. if abs_ratio(F1, F2) == 2 they’re octaves. If abs_ratio(F1, F2) is whole – they’re harmonies.
Computer vision – to match shapes that have similar dimensions e.g. their width is only 10% larger or smaller. We don’t care which is the bigger or smaller, we just want to know if 0.91 < W1 / W2 < 1.1 which may be easier to pronounce as abs_ratio(W1, W2) < 1.1
Real life – when we see 2 comparable objects we’re more likely to say one is “three times the other” vs “one third the other”. Either way in our brains both statements mean the same concept. We think in absolute ratios.
General case – When you want to know if X is K times bigger than Y or vice versa and you don’t care which is the bigger one.
There. I hope that didn’t take away from the magic.
Appendix – The hardships
This was overly hard to do – first of all NSFW links gave me the “are you over 18?” prompt which for some reason I wasn’t able to solve by cookies. I eventually turned to the mobile version of the site (append “.compact”) to avoid the prompts completely. Also, matplotlib and networkx aren’t that fun for drawing graphs it seems. To visualize and output the graph I eventually used gephi which was somewhat easy although has it’s clunkiness baggage.
Drawing inspiration from this blog post on title virality I wanted to investigate what makes these top 10,000 titles the best of their breed. Which are the best superlatives? Who/what’s the most popular subject? Let’s start with some statistics:
On Feb. 03, 14:10:45 (UTC) the all-time top 10,000 submissions on reddit (/r/all) had a total of 82,751,429 upvotes and 62,655,532 downvotes (56.9% liked it).
Now I have a GAE app that sends 70-80 emails per day where the free limit is 100. I’d gladly switch over to the paid side of GAE just to be sure that if it ever passes the 100 mark I don’t have any failed email requests but the price of that is 9$ per month. GAE is extremely expensive for apps that just barely brush the end of their free quotas. In order to actually use the $9 per month minimum I’d have to send out 3000 emails per day (at $0.0001 per email).
I don’t know if the free quota on email recipients is really low or if sending out an email is extremely cheap. Either way, GAE expects me to scale from 100 to 3000 while paying the price of 3000. Who knows if I’ll ever even reach that mark?
If google keeps with this plan, I’m probably never going to start another GAE app that has a chance to grow. Every time I have a chance of hitting the quota limits I have 2 choices:
Pay google and be screwed over for an indefinite amount of time until I reach the next landmark.
Migrate to a cheaper shared hosting option until I reach the next landmark.
Thanks, but no thanks. That’s the GAE glass ceiling.
Other than this problem I do like GAE. It’s a shame I have to leave it.
I’ve made about 11 small python GAE apps. Only 2 of which ever reached the aforementioned glass ceiling.
This issue shouldn’t bother you if your app is already big enough to cost more than $9.
Maybe google can’t bill less than $9 per month? I doubt it, android apps can cost $0.99.
A proposed solution: Google takes $9 of credit at a time from your google wallet and eats quotas out of that. When the $9 run out, it bills another 9. Sounds reasonable and “don’t be evil” to me. Another thing that could be nice would be to allow multiple paid apps to feed from the same budget.
There are many good and badthings about GAE but this issue with the new pricing is just strange in my eyes:
Every paid app must pay google at least $9 each month regardless of usage.
The main awesome thing about GAE has always been the pay-as-you-need pricing model. This concept is completely shattered now for a certain scale of apps. The Python 3 Wall of Shame needed a few extra DB writes to finish the day nicely which would have cost roughly 10 cents a day. But now google will be rounding that up to 30 cents a day.
Apps that grow to use $1 worth of quotas a month are much better off heading to some form of shared hosting for $5.50 a month until they hit that $9 a month necessity. That’s the case with the Python3WOS and another one of my apps. I can’t move the wall of shame as I don’t have the time to do the porting (locked in ಠ_ಠ), but that other app is simple enough. So google will never find out if it could have been an app that’s actually worth $9 monthly.
I tried to make it easy to reuse “scrolla” so all the important variables are at the top of the html file (which video, which picture and at what rhythm to scroll). The “scrolla” thing could actually be a cute web app where people submit their scrolling pictures with youtube background sounds or music, but I didn’t have the diligence for that just yet. If anyone tries to make another scrolla I’d suggest to use the buggy but useful feature I added – suffixing the url variable “?at=30″ will start the scrolling and youtube video at 30 seconds. When editing a 5 minute long song by Queen, I found this feature absolutely necessary. Without it I would’ve been in replay hell for big piles of minutes.
I was very happy to see the wall of shame got so much attention. To my surprise, an extraordinary amount of visitors use the google browser as can be seen by the analytics data. Out of 24,000 visitors:
48.1% – Chrome
31.61% – Firefox
10.9% – Safari
3.95% – Mozilla compatible (what is this?)
2.35% – Internet Explorer
2.19% – Opera
Most of the visitors were unique (you guys aren’t coming back?) and it is a pretty technical, python programming related topic. So I can assume most of these are "pythonistas". Imo just like how porn decides who wins the media battles, programmers are the ones who decide who wins the browser battles. You know their grandparents/aunts/kids/uncles/etc are all going to ask them which browser to use. So expect a very bright future for google chrome.