Beeminder Forum

Feature Request: Integery goals

For do more goals where you’re just doing something X number of times/week, it’d be nice if it simply told you when you needed to log another “1” data point instead of seeing +.29 or whatever fraction. In other words, skip all the fractions of numbers so that you can just quickly and simply see the next day you need to do it.

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I would love to second that request. My cold shower goal typically had 0.29 as the minimum which means it becomes difficult to predict when the next derail would happen (e.g if I add one today, how long will I be safe for?)

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I’d even go a step further and say that it should allow you to even postpone a day if adding 1 on a day makes you safe the next. I know that’s basically like playing catch up, but for a goal where you need to do something 3 times/week and it doesn’t matter which days, it’d be nice to have that option. I guess this is similar to reporting a fraction. But if it’s something you don’t do in fractions, it’d be nice to just have the option to do it the next day instead of the current day. I guess this wouldn’t work mathematically on the graph though.

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Would it make more sense for this type of goal if the road was stepped rather than a straight line?

That way you’d be able to see exactly which day you’d need to be done by without adding “not quite derailed” type exceptions.

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No free lunch applies. All that would do is shift the commitment to the right by N days, as though you’d injected a flat spot and then reported according to the current rules.

I can see value in displaying integer minimums for goals that can only sensibly be done in incremental units. There’s an existing integery setting for goals, which I think is currently rarely used but which forces reported datapoints to be integers. Seems like a good thing to hijack to also display the ceiling of the absolute minimum value.

I don’t think that this change helps anyone estimate the next time that one will be needed; that’s the same as right now. If the goal says “0.29 needed by Thursday” (or whatever) then that effectively reads as “1 needed by Thursday”. It just doesn’t explicitly say that that’s what it means.

In short, it’s a cosmetic problem. Fixing it would reduce confusion (and frustration when it’s “0.01 needed today”). It’s got my vote.

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Where is the “integery” setting? Just curious to see what it does. But tracking fractions of things that can only be done in integers (often only one a day) seems like a shortfall.

If I had a goal where I had to do 29 pushups or derail by Thursday then I know that I will also need to do some pushups on friday or derail if I do the bare minimum on Thursday. When I have to do at least 0.29 on Thursday but can’t do anything less than 1 that means I do not necessarily derail on friday, even if I do the bare minimum. Beeminder knows this so it would be nice for it to show this.

That said, it is not that big on an issue. The cosmetic thing would be really nice to have fixed though.

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I’m confused by this. If your pushup goal says that you must do 0.29 pushups by Thursday, then you will derail Thursday night if you do no pushups at all, and won’t derail if you do at least one pushup. My ‘cosmetic’ comment was that we should display the minimum needed as 1 if, like pushups, it’s a goal that only makes sense in integer amounts.

Maybe I shouldn’t admit that Beeminder isn’t omniscient. But it doesn’t actually know that your pushups goal is integery. It could perhaps guess based on the evidence that all datapoints so far have been integers, but that could be a long-running coincidence. Similarly, it would be hard to deduce that a goal can only ever have one entry per day.

It’s currently exposed via the Beeminder API and our admin interface. If you want to test out how it currently works in practice, email support and we’ll turn it on for one of your goals. (Best to start with one until we all understand how it currently works!)

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a couple support emails i’ve seen have suggested that beeminder implement this as a type of weasel-proofing. if a user says “hey this is a binary goal,” beeminder blocks them from entering non-0/1 datapoints and will not allow multiple points per day.

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Multiple points might still make sense for an integery goal, though. You might want to do something 2x per day, where the same comments above about 0.29 would still apply.

Though… I don’t really find this to be a problem. It’s definitely only cosmetic imo. Anything above 0 is 1 (or more). Regardless of whether it says 0.29 or 1, there will be the same space between the times you have to do that task/goal. When you enter 1 on an emergency day that only “requires” 0.29, you see on the countdown exactly how many days it will be before you have to enter 1 again (even if that next day will still technically only require a fraction). There’s no need to figure out when the next time will be, it’s the first day a fraction is required.

This is only a problem if you see 0.29 as “Not quite yet” and anything over 1 as “Okay, now I have to do it”. On an integery goal, >0 = do it today, and then you just follow the countdown. So, in response to the OP, the 0.29 eep day is the next day you need to do it.

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Uh… that should have said " >0 = do it today", not " >1". Now edited.

oh yes, separate but related. three potential settings (integery, 0/1 bound, one-point-per-day) that the user could turn on to anti-weasel. so if my goal is to brush my teeth 1x per day, i can’t enter a 7 and get myself off the hook for a week, nor can i enter a 1 seven times.

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Although it definitely has anti-weaseling features, that isn’t the issue for me. For me it’s more of an annoyance that gets under my skin as well as the mental processing of 0.29 being “not quite yet”. That impression makes it less forceful. It really is cosmetic, but sometimes appearances have real effects, especially subconscious effects.

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Regarding the intgery setting, philip said:[quote=“philip, post:8, topic:470”]
It’s currently exposed via the Beeminder API and our admin interface. If you want to test out how it currently works in practice, email support and we’ll turn it on for one of your goals. (Best to start with one until we all understand how it currently works!)
[/quote]

I’m not sure I’m quite ready to jump into the figure out how it works mode right now.

So much yes. Been itching for this for as long as I’ve used Beeminder, but didn’t know how to structure it in a straightforward enough way. Mel’s suggestion sounds great!

:dog:

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I’ll second Mel’s suggestion. Would be great for a lot of my goals (How do I floss 0.93 of my teeth?)

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This is something I’ve been wanting too, specifically for weekly goals. The Beeminder mentality is to chip away at things every day but some goals shouldn’t break down that far.

It’d be nice if it were not just integers but basically a setting that allows you to create a minimum. So you want to tdo a minimum of one push-up on any given day. Someone else might always do a minimum of ten and working towards increasing that, so being told one push-up is do can be demotivating.

I’ve just archived my running goal, because I really fell to pieces when it came to requiring a two-minute run to not derail when what I was aiming for was two 15-minute runs a week. Mentally, I know that I should run 15 even though it says 2, but realistically I suffer from the same issue as martyh describes that a small number is “not quite yet”. I feel hard-done by that I need to go out for such a small number and disinclined to work towards a 20-minute run when the goal basically shows that “all I need is 2 minutes” and 8 minutes puts me ahead of the game.

I’ve been struggling how to explain this but I think it’s the same issue at heart - specifically goals set up to be accomplished a couple of times a week.

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See also: Feature request: allow me to define the number of decimals for each goal

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How about having two beeminds: one for time and one for times ran? A Do Less goal of 2 runs per week, and a Do More goal of 30 minutes of running? Both can be autodataed from Runkeeper f. ex. and if don’t do more than 2 runs per week and don’t run under 30 minutes per week, you won’t derail.

Although, you could then run only 1 per week for over 30 mins. Another Do More goal times ran per week for over 1 per week? grin XDD

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Now available as one of the options on a custom goal if you’re a premium subscriber.

If you try this out, let us know how it goes.

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