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Just for fun: A few questions about Metrc’s holiday snowflakes

When a licensee friend recently told me that Metrc had added festive snowflakes to the app background, I had to see for myself. Sure enough, just navigate to the login page to see the fun:

I thought it was worth answering some of my friend’s questions, and I have a few of my own!

1. “Is this what Metrc’s developers are working on??” – my licensee friend

Don’t worry, it didn’t them take long. If we dive into Chrome’s inspector tools, we can navigate into the “javascripts” folder to find an appropriately titled subfolder called “gimmicks” where we find the “winter.js” file. At the top of the file there’s a comment explaining that “Source obtained from: https://stackoverflow.com/a/13983965/238722“. So the engineers are borrowing this trick from a Stack Overflow post, not building it from scratch. Let’s call it 30 minutes of developer time, but let’s be honest the developer was probably so proud of themselves that they played with it / showed it off for another 2 hours at least..

2. “Metrc is slow again today! Are the snowflakes making it worse??”

No no, this trick lives exclusively in the frontend of the browser through HTML5 and Javascript. When Metrc slows down it’s always in the backend (you can usually see the browser tab spin counter-clockwise as it waits for the server to respond) so you can’t blame the snowflakes. Any slowness is just Metrc doing its thing, with a little more holiday cheer.

3. Are any other government software tools so festive?

Metrc is a cannabis industry tool, but it’s also a government-mandated reporting and auditing system. I can’t help but wonder, how many government contractors spruce up their tools for the season? Does the IRS software ever get festive? What about the Pentagon? I’ll just assume yes.

5. Is this holiday, or season, or climate-dependent?

Living in Colorado, this trick matches the season quite well. But will they keep the snowflakes through April, or get rid of them after December’s holidays pass? Will Alaska’s snowflakes last until June? Are licensees in San Diego and LA feeling confused by this? If Metrc wins a contract in Florida or Puerto Rico, will they have to expand their weather themes?

6. Wait, you can chase the snowflakes with your mouse??

I didn’t notice this until I saw a comment in the winter.js file: “// This code contains minor modifications, such as mousemove on body (instead of canvas).” Wait, mousemove? I flipped back to the webpage to check, and sure enough the snowflakes run away from your mouse pointer! Try it out!

So as I chase the snowflakes around my screen, I have no choice in my conclusion… totally worth it Metrc, great job!