Puzzles & Software Development
I greatly enjoy puzzles. I enjoy the challenge of exploring,
understanding and eventually solving them. Some puzzles are relatively easy,
others take weeks or longer to solve. One type of puzzle I've enjoyed
collecting and solving are the 3-dimensional twisty puzzles, the most famous of
which is the Rubik's Cube. I also enjoy writing software, and I believe that's
because writing good software to solve a meaningful problem is like a puzzle to
me. Perhaps you feel the same way.
I've added a few 3-D puzzles to my
collection recently: A 3x3x4 cuboid, a skewb, and an
octahedron. The cuboid I've solved, though it took awhile because, unlike the
true cubes, it has only half turns in two of the axes. This constraint
eliminates many of the moves I've learned to solve the cubes, but otherwise, it
is solved similarly. On the other hand, the Skewb, though cubic in shape, turns
on 4 axes, each bisecting the cube! It's hard to even think about! The
octahedron, by contrast, turns on each of its eight faces, so seems more
similar to other puzzles I've already solved.
Like these puzzles, software to solve a familiar type of
problem is relatively straightforward. But the more out-on-a-limb,
bleeding-edge ideas are much harder. The concepts might be very useful, but at
first, it can be hard to sort out what is important and what isn't, and develop
ways of thinking that work. When solving puzzles, I avoid looking up
solutionsdiscovery is part of the enjoyment. However, with software, that
attitude results in very slow progress. How much better it is to understand the
work that has gone before and build on it. That's what we do with SnapshotCM:
build on existing technologies, and develop new ones, to deliver a robust and
capable solution that allows you to solve your version control challenges more
simply, powerfully and confidently with each release.
Beta Release Update
I was hoping to have an updated product-line beta release
ready to announce with this newsletter. We've made good progress in copying
groups of snapshots, but need a few more days to get it to where we want it to
be. If you are interested in the updated beta, please let me know.
As always, we welcome your feedback and ideas.