Reminderer Redux

It’s been a while! I finally have some time to work on Reminderer (a TODO Android app).

Lessons Learned

I’ve spent the past couple of days commenting and refactoring the code, and boy do your programming skills improve in a year.

The current grammar parser has interfaces with only one implementation (unnecessary) and an inconsistent and obtuse design (maintenance nightmare). I built something quickly the first time around but now I’m paying the penalty because its taking me forever to re-understand it.

I keep remembering an article I read a few months ago by a well-respected programmer…the gist of it was that sometimes you need to put away “best practices” in order to “meet the deadline.” That’s true if you code and run, or if you don’t care about maintaining your code. Otherwise, you will have to spend some time on design, documentation, and refactoring with the goal of making the code intuitive. That way you or someone else in the future will have the shortest possible learning curve.

A New Vision for a UI

I’m a hug fan of Emac’s org-mode. For those of you who don’t know what Emacs is, it’s a 30+ year old editor (so yes, I’m a retro geek). Org-mode is a recent addition created by some Google employees that is like steroids to Emac’s outline mode.

What I love about org-mode is

  1. Dynamically create TODO items. It’s a blog post, now it’s a TODO item. Wait, now it’s a finished TODO item. Wait, now the TODO has a sub-TODO. Since it’s a text editor, it’s super-easy to create/edit/manipulate TODOs.
  2. Create an infinite hierarchy of tasks. Org-mode has no limit on the number of sub-tasks, sub-sub-tasks, sub-sub-sub-tasks, etc. (Sub-tasks rock because you can’t complete a TODO until all it’s sub-tasks are done, so its uber-useful for keeping track of projects.)
  3. View upcoming, done, in-progress TODOs at the press of a button. And it’s also dead simple to move them around too.

These are the reasons why I’ve used org-mode at work for the past couple of years.

But enough about Emacs. What does it have to do with Reminderer? Well, Reminderer does Item 1 thanks to the grammar parser and with support for a “share” intent (note to self: don’t forget this uber-important feature). Item 2 and 3 will need to be features.

As of the time of this writing, I spent the weekend refactoring the grammar parser. Up next comes the database and the alarm system. Then the UI.


4 thoughts on “Reminderer Redux

  1. Is this correct? “Org-mode is a recent addition created by some Google employees”. I didn’t think Carsten Dominik or Google had anything to do with this.

  2. Could have sworn Carsten was a googler. I seem to recall one of the original videos about it where Carsten demoed it in a Google campus. That or I must be going crazy again 🙂

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