May 04

Uhm, sorry?

Citation from one of the SPAM-mails received today.

Microsoft Office XP Professional
Retail price: $30
Our Price: $120
You Save: $180

Umpf, must resist force to buy….

May 04

AutoCAD blogs

“Between the Walls” Architectural Desktop Blog
“Between the Lines” AutoCAD Blog
(via Scobleizer)

May 04

Office blog

A blog on the Microsoft Office suite (via Scobleizer)

May 04

More on weeding

Sarah Allen follows up on the metaphor of gardening & software development introduced by Ned Batchelder.
As I said in a previous post, weeding is extremly important. But I wouldn’t consider weeding a second-class activity. Actually, it’s a first-class activity. If you don’t remove the weeds, you’ll end up with software rot – the plants you (and your customers) expect to grow and flourish won’t bring out the enjoyable fruit. And the longer you wait, the harder it’ll be to get rid of the weeds. They spread fast.
Plus, weeding is enjoyable. You know that you’ve made a substantial contribution to your code and you’ll reap the benefits tomorrow. Even on a rainy day when you just can’t wrap your mind around the hard problem you’re expected to tackle.
Uhm, looks like I get carried away with the metaphor now ­čÖé
Removing weeds isn’t rocket science. But more often than not, rocket science isn’t required to improve your code.

May 04

Another RSS reader for Windows

SauceReader. free for personal use. Including posting functionality.

May 04

Features, Upgrades & Annoucements

In the context of the MT 3.0 debacle, John Gruber talks about “Features Sell Upgrades” and “Pre-Announcements Are Almost Always Regretted” – Looks like a lesson every company (including us – and we’re still learning it) has to learn the hard way.

May 04

UI complexity

Here’s a lesson on UI complexity to be learned. While reading Rick’s blog, I came across a link to the early 1984 Apple Macintosh introduction.
Check out this screenshot of MacPaint. It’s interesting to see that MacPaint was featuring 6 menus. Six. Two of them are File and Edit. Now take a look at the remaining four menus. Three of them are concerned with Text properties: Font, FontSize and Style. This leaves one menu called Aids for additional functionality. Take a look at the palettes. That’s it. Nothing more. Null. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Users have been able to grasp the concept of MacPaint easily. And created pretty elaborate drawings with it. Now compare this UI with you favorite drawing application today. Do you see the difference? Do you see why the vast majority of users have trouble using today’s applications? And even if they’re able to accomplish a task, they most likely fail to take advantage of the applications feature set?
Better yet, check out this screenshot of the early Finder. Now open up a window on your Windows XP or MacOS X desktop. Do you see the difference? Talk about screen clutter. Talk about the user not seeing the forest for the trees.
BTW, if you’re into Microsoft Word (for Mac), make sure to read Rick’s blog. Great stuff.

May 04

Software development & gardening.

Ned Batchelder pulls weeds.
Although I’m fundamentally opposed to gardening in general, I second Ned’s philosophy concerning clearing up the little things in your code. If you don’t do it, start now.

May 04

Making it easier to build a great UI

Joe Hewitt wonders: Are the changes brought by each successive generation of UI technology really making it easier to build great UI?

May 04

Worthwhile read…

…regarding Apple’s Retail Stores. Excellent.