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Month of Jack Robinson

After a three-month hiatus, my blog is back, and it’s back with a themed month. In March last year, I did a “month of Vidrio”, developing my screencasting app. This August, I’m doing a “month of Jack Robinson”.

Jack Robinson is an instant messaging application where every character you type is shown in realtime. In all significant chat applications today, your message with everyone else when you hit “submit”. Jack Robinson removes the “submit” button. Your message enters the chat history when you start it, and your message is shared as you type it.

As your brain forms words, they are rendered as speech, then transmitted as sound, then heard by the ear. People in the telecoms industry refer to “mouth-to-ear delay”. The “quality of a call degrades rapidly where the mouth-to-ear delay latency exceeds 200 milliseconds”.

In instant messaging, the equivalent measure is “finger-to-eye delay”. Your brain renders words as keypresses, which are displayed as text, then seen by the eye. In Slack, Whatsapp, and any other instant messaging application, the finger-to-eye delay is several seconds. When I press a key, the character is not shared until I hit “submit” several seconds later.

Email  -->  Slack  -->  Jack Robinson

This is how human conversation works.

There’s a demo version here.

I just released TigYog: interactive tutorials on coding, math, crypto, science! Learn from wizards, or write your own quizzes! What’s your bag?

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