• The team finished trying out a remote sprint, and we all returned to the office on Wednesday and talked about how we found it. While it was nice waking up at 08:55 for an 09:10 start, my work/life balance suffered a bit (the two are probably not unrelated), and I found I got less done each day. On Tuesday I got barely anything done.

    If we try this again I’ll need to improve my routine to strengthen the separation between work and not-work: I’m thinking coming into the office on Monday and Friday, and also doing something special in the start and end of the at-home days.

  • We’re now in the final stages of switching to Elasticsearch 6 (I hope). The A/B test is at 50/50 and things were looking great on Friday. Unless something catastrophic happened over the weekend, we’ll switch to 0/100 on Monday. Switching to 0/100, rather than just turning ES5 off, is good because we have an easy roll-back method in case something does break. When we’re happy ES6 is all good, we’ll retire ES5 and switch off the test.

  • A small change to sitemap files: they now give the timestamp of the most recent update to the page, rather than the timestamp of the most recent “major” update to the page. Major updates send out email alerts, so people tend not to mark an update as major, so we worried that our sitemaps were discouraging search engines from re-crawling pages which had had a bunch of minor changes.

  • I deployed a change to how we handle quoted query fragments. Quoted fragments are now required, and unquoted fragments are optional, which is closer to how Google does things.

    So now these queries are all different:


  • I started flat hunting again, looking into London commuter towns, rather than trying to stay in the city. Helpfully, I found an article from this year ranking them. I might actually end up with a shorter (in duration) commute by living further out.

    The Greater London area is non-Euclidean.

  • I spent a lot of time reading the Ars Magica rulebooks, and also Wikipedia articles on Platonic and Aristotelian realism, and thinking… and came up with a somewhat contrived, but not too awkward, metaphysical backing for Hermetic magic. I expect there will be a moment in game where we end up resolving an unclear bit of the rules in a way which contradicts my theory, making the exercise fun but ultimately fruitless.