Issue 109

Lori M Olson Lori M Olson Follow Jun 15, 2022 · 6 mins read
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DRD109: The only dumb question is the one you don't ask.

OPED — Lori’s Unvarnished Opinion

Everything Is Simple Or...Not.

Everything is simple…once you have learned it. The problem is not everyone is at the same point on the learning path that you are when you start writing up documentation, or when you are creating a lesson for a course (ahem).

I have a tendency to look back at course material in the WNDX School and think “this is all so simple”…then I have to remind myself that it looks simple to me, a developer with over 30 years of experience, because I have that entire history of exploring and learning to lean on.

It is very hard to set that experience aside, and look at things again from a beginner’s point of view. This is called the ‘curse of knowledge’ and it is one of the reasons why I value teaching live, in-person when I am first creating a course. I get immediate feedback from questions asked, or looks of confusion, telling me once again that I have failed to overcome the curse.

So, I’d like to tell you—the beginner—to go ahead and ask those questions. Even if you think it’s a dumb question. The truth is, there are no dumb questions, just inexperienced or inflexible people attempting to be instructors.

In order to really excel at something, you need to practice it. It’s funny how people understand this in some aspects of their lives (hobbies/sports), and then completely overlook it in others.

For instance, just because you have used a particular technology or library/gem in one project, once, it doesn’t follow that you are an expert. You aren’t DRY. You need to practice. You need to repeat. You need to use that skill in a variety of different ways to really become adept.

It’s worth while reading the documentation, even if you didn’t need it before. It’s worth reading someone else’s blog about that technology, because they may have a use case you haven’t thought about. It’s worth doing a tech presentation, either a small and cozy lunch-and-learn for a few coworkers or a full blown conference talk, because I can practically guarantee you’ll learn more by teaching that you ever did by doing.

And if you find you like to teach, I’m always open to adding new contributors to the WNDX School. Just hit reply to this email and let’s talk about it!

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TALK — Talk of the Tech

Our picks from each of the two mainstream RubyMotion/DRGTK chat spaces:

  • Discord — There's nothing quite like a new release of the DragonRuby Game Toolkit to stir up the conversation in the channel. To wit, [3.18 has just been released](
  • Slack — Have you been running into some snags when trying to implement [Sign in with Apple]( with RubyMotion? You're not alone, but there is a burgeoning [discussion about it](

Worth at least what you paid for it.

GAME — All Things Gaming

It takes some real chutzpah to call a 15 second GIF with a few titles a ‘tutorial’. But this almost qualifies, which ain’t bad we concede. You decide if you feel more edified about the mimic effect. We’ll also add that regardless of whether it teaches anything or not, it is kind of mesmerising to watch and the final result is super creepy.

APP — All Things App

We have to admit that we have become kind of hooked on GIFs and use them for just about everythiing. A cool tool for this is Guifero which bills itself as the app that “lets you find the perfect GIF at a moment’s notice”. Which it really does.

But what we found particularly amusing was their tweet a few days ago: “Apple has decided that the little app that can get you GIFs from anywhere in your Mac has no place in the Mac App Store. So f**k ‘em. Everyone else have a great one and go get Guifero for free”.

Nothing quite like going out in a blaze of glory. 🔥

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SPOT — Spotlight On…

We’re all for celebrating success: Montreal’s Andy Maleh just rewrote the array_include_methods Ruby gem so that it is compatible with RubyMotion. As he said on Slack “I’m just mentioning in celebration. I look forward to building more RubyMotion gems.” We’re looking forward to that, too!

We likely have remarked on several occassions that design often benefits from taking things away as opposed to adding more doodads and thingamajigs. So it should come as no surprise that when you take away resolution and colour, things can actually improve. This is the case with the neat little animated face in LittleB0xes latest game. Challenge yourself to do more with less!

TWIL — This Week I Learned…

明日 (Ashita)

Did you know there’s a <ruby> element in HTML? But before you get either excited or upset that there is language-specific tags creeping into the the gloriously agnostic HTML standard, it has nothing to do with the language that we know and love. But it is kind of handy, though, particularly for those situations where you are trying to adapt your work for an international audience. Ruby characters are the little aids-to-pronunciation that are found just above the ‘logographic’ character to which it is related, such as the Ashita in the example shown at the left

That’s a Wrap!

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“There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.” — Carl Sagan