UI: Should the numbers in the Bare Min box of odometer goals be absolute rather than relative?

Hey guys! I’m not sure if this is a bug (in my browser or in the site or whatever), or a change which I missed. Here’s what I saw last night:

After I entered the data, it reverted to what I expected to see:

Having the a relative measure for bare minimum is pretty important. A good deal of the time promising myself that I can stop once I get to the bare minimum is how I keep up on difficult days, where I just want to lie down or endlessly check Twitter!

It happens on several odometer goals.

Last night:


Same thing with Safari 8.0.6 and Chrome 43.0.2357.81 on OS X 10.10.3.

If this is not a bug and I missed the announcement for a major change, I humbly request relative Bare Minimums to be reinstated!


I think it must be a bug, but in any case, I agree. The absolute values are not what I want to see there.


Sorry everyone! That was this UVI going slightly awry:

Sometimes it is better to see the absolute number (like for weight) but we’ll either revert or figure out how to have the best of both worlds.

cc @bee

The criteria I picked for showing absolute numbers is whether or not the goal is kyoomey, i.e. autosumming. So for weight loss and inbox, you definitely want to see the absolute (not relative) number. I would assume so as well for odometer goals – the whole point of odom being that you have the absolute count and are reporting that number to us, e.g. page number in a book. (Although currently we only show absolute number for odom goals if there’ve been no odom resets, because in that case what you want is the relative absolute… ugh. confusing!)

So, I guess the above odom description does not necessarily hold for some autodata goals, like the anki plugin. I’m guessing that it reports the kyoomed total because that’s easily exposed underneath, but Anki must not show that number to the user? I’m thinking of trello too, and I bet that’s also the case with trello integration: we count the cards in your finished pile, but you don’t. you’re just paying attention to how many you’ve moved today.

Any other examples of cases where the odom assumption doesn’t hold?


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Okay, this is what I wanted to know! I can see how this makes sense for other odometer goals.

I actually don’t use the Anki plugin because I’m reporting the total review count for subdecks (and because I’ve been putting off doing trivial modifications on the Anki Beeminder plugin to log review count for subdecks).

I can see how many total reviews I’ve done if I stop what I’m doing and look at the stats screen. But that’s not really part of the review flow.

From the basic review interface, Anki shows me:

  • cards left to review
  • new cards left to learn
  • cards left to relearn (failed cards)

Reviewing in Anki is based on cards left, not on total reviews. I may see a particular card more than once during a particular session, and I will if it’s a new card, or a failed card I’m relearning.

Beeminding the total amount of work I’ve put into Anki reviews maps much more easily to reviews done. Tracking increases total review count is the robust way of keeping track of that.

These are largish looking numbers that are hard to tell apart and relate to each other just at a glance. I have to stop and do math to see how 48572 and 48652 compare.

I often confuse a single number enough–I’ve derailed myself in the past and had to ask for help from you guys with anki-rtk or mcdreviews because I mixed up digits during data entry because I wasn’t copy-pasting.

What I’ve done instead is just report the number as I do reviews (throughout the day) to Beeminder, which then tells me how much farther I have to go: okay it’s +80 or +47 or +17. This functionality–eliminating a bit of math–has been huge for me.

Even if that’s talking about number of reviews, there is some loose correspondence to the number of cards left to review that Anki gives me up front.

For example, I think, while waiting for the bus: if I can reduce the number of cards left for today (in Anki) from 214 to 160, it’ll get me a good part of the way to the +80 remaining reviews for my Beeminder goal. Then I can probably mostly wrap up in 2 to 3 sessions during downtime, and as a final failsafe, make sure everything’s done before I finalize data entry for the night.

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Both my Anki goals (for total reviews and # of cards in deck) and my Duolingo goal (total EXP points) have been affected by this. I’d prefer to see how many reviews I have to do, how many cards I have to add, and how many more experience points I need to get into orange :sweat_smile:. Thankfully the Android app still gives you both numbers, and that’s where I do most my Anki reviews and Duolingo.

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How the delta is shown should be a user-configurable parameter (not some magic calculation.)

This will allow the user to choose what is right for them.

It should also make it possible to do choose other options like ‘minutes’ which for time based goals would convert numbers like +0.116 to 7min. (but that is probably a separate feature request.)


User-configurable, ok, but with a plausibly-correct default.

For goals with non-monotonic data sources, deltas should be based on the most-recent datapoint, not the intra-day minimum (or whatever aggregation function is applied).


I have it on my HabitRPG done and Duolingo goals at least. Besides the weight goal, I don’t think I have any goals where the total is useful in that setting. I admittedly don’t have any odometer goals set up beyond what has been created through integrations.

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Can you please revert this change until you work out a way to make it work properly.

I’ve no idea how many Duolingo points I need to get in a day.


Aww, I’m annoyed! Duolingo no longer tells me my XP in any obvious way. Instead they’re devoting a bunch of space to telling me I’m 12% fluent. That doesn’t mean anything!! Boo.


Beeminder makes Duolingo progress tracking bearable.

I complain more about Duolingo than about Beeminder, but I don’t tell you guys everything that bugs me about Duolingo.

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Show everything:

This was easy enough to do, and I could deploy it now. It solves the problem by simply showing both versions all the time.

It will be pretty fussy to keep it looking nice when the numbers are large. Also it has the disadvantage of being more numbers and more information, and less obvious what the difference is and why they are useful. This can be augmented with tooltips etc, but is not ideal.

Something completely different:

This is a mock up of an idea that Danny’s been kicking around for a long time now.

Instead of giving you all three numbers (or check marks if you’ve already done it), we’d give you the amounts for the next transition. This is more analogous to the info we give you on the gallery page now (e.g. “+3 due Friday”, and which I personally find way more useful than the stuff in the goal page).

It is losing information in some cases. If you’re in the red, it wouldn’t show you how much to do to get green. On the other hand, it’s more information in the case where you’re already above the road. [1]

Question for you all: What (if anything) do you use those numbers for? (And how livid on a scale from Puppies! to Angry Goose will you be if they go away).


  1. Best of both worlds would be to make a little javascript widget out of it, kind of like a carousel or a slider, and you could click through and see the blue and green circles even if you’re currently red.

(was it not obvious that was me as a Duolingo user being sad?)

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I totally want the “Something completely different” variant. I think asking for that particular number (the one to get one more safe day) was one of the first thing I did (by mail?) after starting with Beeminder. I saw it in the mobile app, and loved it and has been curious ever since to why it hasn’t been picked up on the website until recently.

When that is said, if I’m on red or orange, it happens that I check the deltas for the next days too to see if there is an easy safe day “upgrade” :smile:


It was (obvious).
As a Duolingo user I’m also sad.
As a Beeminder user I’m happy, even if I spend a lot of time pointing out things that need “improving” about Beeminder.

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Maybe the circle with the delta for the next day could expand into 2 or 3 circles on mouseover? I want a quick glance at those values, not peruse them at length.

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I would love to be able to see the delta needed to the next safe day, even if I am already green. Seeing three informationless checkmarks is annoying. I would be somewhat irked if you stopped showing what is needed to get to yellow, blue, and green. For many of my goals I let them get yellow or red and then do a bunch of work to get them back to green. So I like being able to see and plan for upgrading more than one step.

Simple proposal: you could just replace what is shown right now with the three deltas needed to do the next three “upgrades”, whatever they are, with numbers colored accordingly. E.g. show yellow, blue, and green numbers if the goal is currently red, but if it is currently yellow then show a blue number and two green numbers, etc.


There are 2 numbers I use.

  1. How much I need to do to stay/get back on the road today.
  2. What the daily rate is.

If they went away I’d be: Mother bear separated from her cubs.

Ideally I’d be able to pick a day from the graph and it would tell me what the road value on/delta to that day was.

I don’t often care what the total/odometer value is and have never cared what the odometer values at different parts of the road are.

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I haven’t done this in a while, but sometimes I try to build up safe days as a proof I’m ready to “level up” the rate of the goal. In other words, I intentionally try to accumulate safe days and use what happens as feedback on whether I’m ready to raise difficulty.

Also, sometimes I know a bunch of bad days are coming up, but it’s too late to schedule a break, so I overbuffer to compensate for the lower rate.