The more I code, the more I love my rice cooker

They are stuff that used to be easy to do in life:

  • set up an alarm on a clock;
  • buy a good and have warranty magically working;
  • playing a video;
  • finding and listening to music.
Since the day of webapp, thousands of wannabee bill gates are reinventing alarm on phones.

The one that are following your sleep patterns taking light exposure into account, the one that synchronize with your MyProvider(c)(tm) calendar interoperable with an obscure IETF standard in draft mode, the one that have a nice interface.

But nothing that actually increased my chances of waking up on time.

My dreamed life, my real life, and all the mistakes coming in the middle

So the other day my lady forgot to put her alarm clock and nearly got fired.


We missed in the 5th steps ot the UI enhanced experience of the alarm clock apps after the 4th steps of validation... but we already had managed to do the 4 steps of task switching while tired.

Then we bought an old fashion 2 steps "I can set an alarm" clock and our problem disappeared.

I like to rant, and I will rant: our so called improvements are shit.

We add levels of indirection on a phone to handle a task it is not supposed to do: can you really trust a clock with 24 hours autonomy in the first place for waking you up every morning of the year?

And then we add way more tasks in a phone in the name of progress....

Sure we have enough memory and power to do everything but can we do it well?

And then I made a fondue with my rice cooker

I may be disappointed with computers, but I still believe in progress. And tonight I discovered I could use my rice cooker to cook fondue.

When I was a kid I loved this shit: thou shall melt cheeses together and shall eat them with dried crunchy bread you lovely applied garlic on (and a tinge of olive oil with basil (and you shall drink a wine that complements with it or you shall rot in hell)).

I am pretty sure it is the lost eleventh commandment of Moise.

The problem was finding the very specific pans and heaters to make it that were costing a lot when I was a kid. The time for finding this stupid stuffs we used once a year in the attic was half of the mission. And had we not these artefacts the ceremony of the fondue would be cancelled. Leaving our friends in tourments worse than hell.

And then I discovered I could put the cheeses in my rice cooker, use the cook button, and like god on earth descending to atone for my sins, a perfect cheese fondue would be there.

What the rice cooker says about our code


With a rice cooker that same state machine/interface make it for a lot of awesome use:
  • cooking rice;
  • cooking al dente amazing brocoli and asperges;
  • making bread;
  • making savoyarde and vietnamese fondues ...
With a dazzling amazing interface : cook // keep warm.

One button to cook them all...

On the other hand in my code every time I make a new feature I have to add a new distinct routing options with at least a new YES/NO branch (that can be implicit).

I must admit in terms of UI, I am freaking jealous of rice cookers: with one interface they solve more than one problem, and me, I have to add new branches every time a new choice is made and I make the application weaker.

Rice cooker should be the model of UI we are aiming for going the other way than smartphones:

Whereas smartphones acquire new capacities by making interface more complex, rice cooker are so well designed that with the same interface can cope with more than one problem.

I am french, making fondue when feeling homesick means a lot to me...

I have an infinite respect for these eastern geniuses that devised the smartest versatile device I never used decades ago and for which I can still find new use.

I wish my code was a rice cooker.

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