app /blog

Entries in September 2007

reminder: dConstruct, BarCamp, then Five Pound App

Thu 6th Sep 2007 ($30 apps - living the life of a mac indie)

Just a reminder for all those people busy with dConstruct and BarCamp, that Tuesday the 11th is £5app night. Ian and I (John) will be at dConstruct and Ian at BarCamp, so we'll probably remind just about everyone we see.

If you do want to go don't forget to signup on upcoming - just helps us judge numbers properly.

As usual there will be beer and homemade ginger cake.

make a comment

living the life of a mac indie

Thu 13th Sep 2007 ($30 apps - living the life of a mac indie)

Tuesday was the 6th £5app meet. Martin ( talked about his experiences developing Mac shareware. He talked about some of the early software he wrote, including MySync (which was bought outright by Mark Space). Then he went on to discuss the new application in development, currently called "Iris", which is "photo booth on steroids".

Probably fairly fittingly (given it was dConstruct only a few days ago) Martin was keen to emphasise that adding polish and really considering the user experience was particularly important for mac developers to consider.

After a break for ginger cake and beer (provided by Sensible Development), there were a few announcements:

Then to close things off Neil talked about the painting of Tycho Brahe (the astronomer, not the one from Penny Arcade) he had brought along, after recently finishing it. Anyone who lost his nose in a duel over "who was the better mathematician" is definitely worth talking about...

Tycho Brahe
image on flickr

Anyway, thanks to everyone for coming along. The next meetup will be on the 9th of October. You can sign up on upcoming. More details will be posted soon.

make a comment

...I can code that up in a weekend

Fri 14th Sep 2007

Ian just blogged about the next £5app and recounted why it's called £5app. I thought I'd best get it summarised on here too.

It all stems from the 5 buck idea, thus:

…You want something simple, almost to the point of ridiculousness, and heck, worth probably about five dollars. Extra points if someone under 20 scoffs and says,
'Shit man, I can code that up in a weekend.'

As our front page says it's all about:

lightweight software created by one or two people who take a simple idea and run with it

In short an idea on it's own is nothing - you need to get out there and start making it a reality. The simpler the idea the better (up to a point), as it will be easier to implement. You can always add more to it as you go (although of course YAGNI).

make a comment

another little site update

Sun 16th Sep 2007

Just a note to say I've updated the £5app site. Nothing major, just fixed a couple of the rss feeds. Some of them contained relative and not absolute urls.

e.g. /meetup/6/ instead of

I hadn't spotted it, as Safari's RSS reader doesn't mind this.

Also now have links to the previous meetups on the front page - rather than tucked away on a separate page.

make a comment

Ball of Mud Architecture

Tue 18th Sep 2007

Today I came across Scott Rosenberg's (of Dreaming in Code fame) blog entry on ball of mud - a paper by Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder about the "most frequently deployed of software architectures". The architecture being in essence non-existent.

Interestingly in the paper they cite the reason for the prevalence of this "non-architecture" as:

People build big balls of mud because they work. In many domains, they are the only things that have been shown to work.

Scott Rosenberg summarises this:

In many business scenarios, it’s far preferable to roll a Big Ball of Mud to market on time than to unveil a sparkling, architecturally sound edifice years late.

Now it's not like I'd suggest that this kind of thing is "good", but it is very pragmatic and here at the £5app we do like pragmatism. I guess the lesson to learn would be that you are better off having software out there that works and is being used, than something that's written "better", but isn't finished. The converse could be:

... it’s better to make version 1 half a product than a half-assed product.

So if you do care about doing things "properly" you still have to get something out there.

good, fast, cheap: pick any two

make a comment

Tycho Brahe at the Tin Drum

Thu 20th Sep 2007 ($30 apps - living the life of a mac indie)

For anyone who missed seeing Shardcore's Tycho Brahe on the 11th you now have the chance to see Tycho until the end of November at the Tin Drum in Kemptown.

make a comment