This is my first attempt at week notes. I have not been writing as much as I would like of late, so I thought this might be a good way to get some practice. Publishing forces me to pay at least passing attention to quality and writing weekly feels doable.
Busy week, as ever. I spent most of the week testing my Big Cartel theme refactor. For all my reservations about the time that goes into writing and maintaining automated test suites, it saved my ass a couple of times during this refactor with test failures catching some edge case behaviour I had not considered. Big Cartel’s theme engine has needed a good refactoring for a while, but because it’s a purely behind-the-scenes change, it has not been a priority. We’ve recently been working on some exciting changes to the admin UI, and the refactor became a prerequisite. Once deployed, it will shrink our database by an order of magnitude and make future theme updates much easier.
Indie Labs, LLC officially became Big Cartel, LLC this week, and I spent a full day migrating our repositories from github.com/indielabs to github.com/bigcartel (fun times). A formal announcement will be made as soon as Eric finishes up the “closed” page for indielabs.com (though you'll already see Big Cartel, LLC in the footers and legalese for our apps). We also started using our @bigcartel.com addresses (another tedious migration, naturally). It still feels a bit strange to think that I now work for Big Cartel—for the past two years, it’s simply been the application I've been working on. But this refocusing makes a lot of sense for us, and it now feels so obvious that I’m not sure why we didn’t do it sooner.
I’ve got a bit of travel in the coming weeks. First up is our fourth (occasional) BigCartelnival (formerly, IndieFest). Starting 18 April, the whole company is getting together in Salt Lake City for a week to hang out and work together face-to-face for a change. We’re also going to be holding a meetup for our customers on 19 April, which will be fun because I think I’ve only ever met one or two of our customers before. Shortly after SLC, I’ll be heading to New York to attend “The Networked City” panel and keynote for The Festival of Ideas for the New City. Hopefully, I will also be able to swing drinks with a few people as well, so if you’re in New York City and want to get together, let me know.
Work on my publishing company, button-down bird, continues apace. This week has mostly been sorting out business and legal decisions, though I hope to have some time this weekend to continue work on the iPad app. We have also nailed down a printer and met with a potential musical collaborator for the app soundtrack (an Eno fan, which bodes well). More on button-down bird (hopefully) next week.