The Design of Software (CLOSED)

A public forum for discussing the design of software, from the user interface to the code architecture. Now closed.

The "Design of Software" discussion group has been merged with the main Joel on Software discussion group.

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Compatibility as a design feature

Business interests appear to be in direct conflict with good design practice in the areas of compatibility and standard compliance. Look at the variety of storage media hardware formats as an example. Just for cameras, there are SD, SM, CF, XD, Memory stick and more. Sony in particular seem to be incapable of producing anything that fits in with anyone else. Everyone wants to own the standard and while they battle it out, the consumer suffers.

I cite incompatibility as an example of bad design because it does not consider the context of the product in the World rather just the short term closed environment in which the producer hopes its customers will use it. And it's entirely motivated by greed.

Patents prevent developers from using technologies they may have independently developed but unfortunately someone else did first and registered. US software companies have managed to divide the English language into regions. WTF is 'US English'? An excuse for poor speling? this takes the biscuit though:
Reinventing the centimetre (note spelling) for the sake of 'convenience'!
Paul Hampartsoumian Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006

I am no language historian, but I think the formal divide between US English and British English came about nearly two hundred years ago.  Noah Webster wrote a dictionary that includes most of the spellings that modern Americans use.  I don't know if he deliberately varied spellings from those popular in Britain or America at the time (though I have heard that allegation), but Mr. Webster seems to have been part of a movement that wanted an independent country to have an independent language.

So blame Webster, not software companies.

Some Americans have told me that US English is an excuse for better spelling.  (I assume you are British, like me.)

Why do you think language regions in spellcheckers are an example of bad design?  I don't have much trouble with them (except when trying to download and configure the right spelling dictionaries for or spellbound)

As for the powerpoint centimetre (centimeter ?) yes it really does take the cake.  I didn't hear of it before today, and it is making me laugh out loud.

David Corking Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
Spoken language changes faster than we think. That's why we have now different english versions. It's not the engeneers idea. It's natural process and software designers must take it into consideration.
Greg Oleksy Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006

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