When you’ve been programming too long…

This happens:

Last login: Thu Jul 30 03:03:52 on ttys000

Keep in mind it’s using the 24-hour clock. 10:00 PM = 22:00 to the Terminal.

(I must have sleepily closed it on accident at one point. I was working far earlier than 3:00 AM, and I kept working for I think another half hour or something. Or was that the night before? It’s hard to keep track.)

Tinypapers is making progress, but it’s not pretty progress. After days of trying various ways to fix the bugs with my button list and also procrastinating on trying to fix it, I decided to fork the project off into another folder where I stripped off all the UI stuff and everything that didn’t immediately work, which makes debugging what I’m debugging a lot easier because of how little I know about Kivy. See–I don’t have much of a way of knowing whether it’s another piece of the UI (e.g., the canvas background) overlapping buttons that should be there, or if it’s the button list itself.

Another problem that surfaced when I got down to the concrete of the program was that my test data was… not that great! I wasn’t putting in the test data right. Go figure.

So, while I like my UI design and it’s encouraging to have made it, I’m happy to work on the back end for a while.

I have to admit that at first I felt weird about working on what I thought of as the “front end”–UI stuff, for the non-techies–but I had no idea what the “back end” was yet, so I convinced myself there wasn’t much of a barrier between them yet, like there isn’t when you write simple HTML/CSS web pages. As a result, I fiddled with the analogous HTML/CSS until I found the part that needed the PHP/SQL.

It bothered me to be working on shiny stuff with no substance at first. But I should have realized that the important factor was that I was working, and that I was enjoying the process of making things. When you make things, you’re much more likely to figure out which problems are important to solve than if you stand over a notebook and try to pre-craft the whole thing in your head.

Also notable: something I discovered to be true while working at 3:30 AM. I was told by someone on the Internet that there’s a point of tiredness where your programming brain becomes super-effective and able to really focus. I didn’t believe it. I work in the middle of the night because nobody interrupts me and (to be honest) I kind of like the ambiance.

But the tiredness version of the Ballmer Peak… exists, somehow. Don’t ask; I don’t know.

The code I wrote at 3AM (last night? the night before?) actually runs, though. It works! It’s even readable! I was half-conscious at the time and it’s not chicken scratch! (That’s better than I’ve seen some career programmers do while fully conscious!) Not only does it run, but it did something productive towards my goal 😮

I’m off to try to do that again. Happy hacking!

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