Once again, I've been trying out new apps for the new year. But what is a good metric for a good app? I think i've found one. It is very similar to what Niklaus Wirth a titan of programming languages, programming methodology, software engineering and hardware design said about compiler optimizations. Not a direct quote but something along the lines of:

Only add an optimization passes if they improve the compiler's self-compilation time.

A single, self-contained metric that captures the muti-variate optimization between the execution speed and complexity of the code added. Elegant.

I think the same can be said about apps. Only add an app if it saves you (screen) time.

I was part of the Shadow PC for IEEE S&P 2020. THe Shadow PCs replicate the entire peer review process of a conference in parallel to the actual conference. This includes reading and reviewing papers, debating our reviews and scores with other members, and finally arriving at a consensus on the paper's accepted. The results of the shadow PC are then compared with main PC to see if any papers had strong disagreements.

The reading and review is in itself not very different from what we do as graduate stedents. But comparing our reviews with those of others and debating the merits of each paper was a great learning experience. This extended to the comparison of our reviews with those of the main PC. It was interesting to see how the main PC arrived at their decisions and how they differed from ours.

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