Archive for May, 2007

Like Haml, a work in progress…

May 9, 2007

We have readers checking this blog, asking what we are working on, how things are coming, or when we will do X? So I feel like we should post an update to briefly talk about what we are up to. We currently aren’t spending much time on company details (thankfully, much of it is now taken care of), and we are getting into coding. We have a pretty good idea of what features we will be trying to complete for the first release. We are currently trying to build the simplest version that will be useful. I think we have made good progress towards that goal.
Personally, I feel like my mind is starting to finally switch gears into the whole new project, language, and framework. I was expecting some downtime as my head flipped from the projects I was working on to this project, but it hasn’t been as bad as I was expecting. Today I think I was actually so deep and focused on the code that I wasn’t aware of anything going on around me. I think it is a good sign that I am starting to really get into the zone on our new project.
As far as the specifics of the code on our project, I don’t feel like there much I can reveal. We have been writing, refactoring, and reworking the code, along the way we have discovered some ups and downs of the ruby and rails. Hopefully, we will be able to share more about our discoveries when we get to a more stable and battle-tested code base.
I will mention briefly one specific issue we have run into with RoR: the templating engine Haml. We started working with Haml templates for some of our more complicated views. It was making the more complex views simpler, easier to read, and reducing LOC. Unfortunately we started to get some cryptic errors related to Haml, and we saw that Haml is still young and actively changing. On one occasion new Haml updates caused errors in our code. After spending some time tracking down the issues on a few occasions, we decided that Haml, while very cool, isn’t quite stable enough for our project. Since it is fairly easy to convert views back and forth between Haml and rhtml, we decided we would drop Haml for now. We are planning to take another look at it later after our changes slow down a bit, and see if the Haml project is a little more stable. For now, while nice, it just doesn’t provide a large enough benefit to deal with the extra debugging issues that have occurred. If you are working with RoR, I would recommend checking the project out, because it is definitely worth keeping your eye on.


Looking somewhat respectable

May 3, 2007

After a few weeks of looking over designs, we got our new logo. We’re not 100% sure about the color or the placement of the icon, but we really like the general look.
We got our design at and we were really happy with the experience. We found the work to be of very high quality, the prices to be very competitive, and we had tons of designs to choose from.
Up next: a more professional design for
There is also a discussion going on at news.YC about start up logos. So you can check out that thread for some other people’s thoughts.

Taking the leap

May 2, 2007

I have been thinking about startups and talking about creating one with my co-founder for years. Ben for a awhile now has not been an employee and yesterday I joined his ranks. After my last day at my old job, we took the final leap, we have no income. We now are a registered LLC, in the trademark process, working out the final operating agreements.
I have been asked by some friends, ‘Are you scared?’ Yes! It certainly is scary, but it is far more exhilarating. ‘How does it feel?’ Honestly I feel like a new man. I’m Shaking off the shackles of a way of life I wasn’t comfortable with, a working situation that I just didn’t feel like I fit in to. I doubt it, but perhaps after the next few months, founding a start up won’t feel right either. I still feel like I will have learned a lot, and at least taken my shot at it. I try to live life with few regrets, if it doesn’t work out at least I won’t be questioning if I ever just gave it a shot. My college application essays were essentially: I need to get into engineering school so I can start a software company. I guess I will dream no more, paraphrasing my co-founder who put said, ‘We are living the life, this is it, this is the dream.’
Taking our leap, with no more real safety nets, I am just finally happy to be past all the talking, hoping, and what ifs. I am worried, stressed, happy, excited, full of hope, unsure, and wouldn’t want it any other way. Now we wake up each day and work on creating something entirely new. Feel free to follow along with us, same bat-time, same bat-channel.