The Changelog

Markwhen, Tauri 1.0, SLCs & imposters

Changelog News for 2022-06-27

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We’re experimenting with something new: a super-brief Monday edition of “The Changelog” to help start your week off right and keep you up with the fast-moving software world.

If you like this, would listen to it, and want us to keep it going… let us know in the comments or by tweeting @changelog. If you’d rather we didn’t… also let us know!

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Hello, friends. I’m Jerod, and this is Changelog News for the week of Monday, June 27th, 2022. “Whatthe what?!” So we are experimenting with something new: a super-brief Monday edition of The Changelog to start your week off right by keeping you up with what’s going on in the software world.

We’ll cover a handful of the top stories and links from Sunday’s Changelog Weekly Newsletter. If you like this, would listen to it and want us to keep it going, let us know in the comments, or by tweeting @Changelog. If you’d rather we didn’t, also let us know in the comments, or by tweeting @Changelog.

Like I said, we are experimenting here, and feedback is paramount. Okay, let’s go!

First up, Markwhen is like Markdown for timelines, but instead of marking stuff down, you mark stuff when. Yeah.

There’s a long history of timeline tools for the web, and I’ve tested what feels like pretty much all of them. Most of them have you inserting data into an XML file, some JSON object, or worse yet, right into the HTML itself. Markdown-style plain text to the rescue? That is the bet that Markwhen is making. And after taking a look at the two demos, I think it looks pretty solid. Oh, and the resulting timeline looks great, too. So that’s promising.

After nine months of betas and four months of release candidates, Tauri released its big 1.0 milestone on June 19th.

What’s Tauri? They call it an app construction toolkit that lets you build software for all major desktop operating systems using web technologies. I call it the first major contender to Electron in the cross-platform web tech app builder space. I was trying to make mine shorter than theirs… Oh, well.

People are excited about this because the project’s focus is on security, privacy and the environment, which proxies to performance. How are they going after these three pillars? Rust, that’s how.

Will Tauri deliver, and how do you even say Tauri? We shall see, and we shall ask, because we’re having one of the project’s founders on The Changelog real soon now.

Everyone knows of MVPs. Not Most Valuable Player, but Minimum Viable Products. But have you heard of SLCs?

They are products that are simple, lovable, and complete. Jason Cohen first coined the term on his blog back in 2017, and Herman Martinez plus-oned the concept on his post about why products should be slick, not just viable.

If you’re interested in the topic, definitely read both posts which are linked in the show notes. Herman concludes his with some steps to think about when you’re building your next project. One, keep the feature set small and manageable, as opposed to large and hastily built. Two, make the product delightful to interact with. Three, stay focused on the core idea of the project, and four, have fun with it. I have to admit, there’s something slick about building things that are simple, lovable and complete.

Last up, a public service announcement. No one knows what they’re doing. Seriously. We’re just making up as we go along, didn’t you know?

Andy Brice writes, “When I was a child, I assumed that all the adults running the world knew what they were doing. Now that I am an adult, I am under no such illusions. Just look at the current British government. They clearly don’t have a clue.”

Setting that nicely-landed political jab aside, Andy has a solid point here. He goes on to say “I’m going to let you in on a little secret - most of us who are running businesses had no real idea what they were doing when they started, and still struggle with decisions now.”

I tell people this all the time when they ask me for business advice. I’ll still give them my advice, but it comes with this disclaimer, “I really have no idea what I’m doing.”

That’s the news for now… Do you dig it? Do you hate it? Let us know in the comments, or tweet at Changelog.

You’ll hear from us again on Friday, when Adam and I talk to James Long about his journey building Actual, a personal finance system as a business for four years before deciding to make it 100% free and open source forever.

Talk to you then!

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