I initially had the idea for such a site sometime back in 2005 or so. Back then, I had spend only very little time trying to build an interface around it - but never got very far. The name I first wanted to give to it, "This or That", was also unavailable as dot com domain name and I simply didn't have the experience of setting up web apps yet.
But that was then.
Until I not too long ago woke up thinking about it again, somewhat out of the blue. I cooked up the simple code that would drive the comparison and ranking engine into a command line script, using some fruits as options. Three things already quickly became clear:
- This is fun!
- Some people prefer banana over apple, apple over melon but still melon over banana
- Many comparisons are needed to get to the final results
The second one is probably why it is so much fun, and the first one isn't really a problem. But I had to tackle the third one if this project was supposed to be a success. Improvement came quickly, when I changed the calculation of the "next comparison" from "when needed" based to "queue based". Without going too deep technically, it cut down the number of comparisons needed in a 10 item option chain from 90 to roughly 26 - depending on how decisive the voting person is.