April 2004 - Posts

 <mumble>viral marketing...</mumble> :)
FREE XDN Professional for .NET Bloggers during May 2004
Mike Schinkel, president of Xtras.Net, made an offer on his personal blog of a free XDN Professional membership (http://www.xtras.net/xdn) during the month of May 2004 for anyone that blogs about .NET frequently. If you are a .NET blogger, see Mike's post for how to get your free XDN membership.

I've needed this link ( http://www.nikhilk.net/Entry.aspx?id=11 ) a few times, so I thought I'd give it a little google juice so I could find it easier next time.

The link is to a widget written by Nikhil Kothari, I'm using it in one of my apps currently, and it's really great. Included with a little agility ( .NET Html Agility Pack: How to use malformed HTML just like it was well-formed XML... ), this is a tight little package for editing html in Windows Forms.

I had some very humble console app beginnings in C++. Ya know, "cash register" dos-like programs, completely keyboard driven.

However, my beginnings had nothing to do with converting strings to and from floats. I spent a better part of today wondering why atof would not return anything but a 0.000000 from a floating-point string. My platform is Windows XP - is it clear yet? If nothing else than for my own personal reference, in MFC it could possibly be better to use _wtof().

Goodbye first half of Friday.

I'm ashamed of myself.

I finished my first windows forms project a few months ago - it's an internal project that will never be released to the public...but that doesn't give me the right to let it suck.

It's the interface. I wasn't sure what the correct way to do things was, even going so far as to send a note to the windows forms team. The program is useable, but only just. There are a number of user interface inconsistencies that just should not show up in a program, in-house or commercial.

But last night I had an epiphany. I said to myself, "Self, what is so different about this search program than some other, more useable interfaces?" For that matter, why should I even have to look to windows forms for inspiration? See where I'm going?

It hit me like a ton of bricks. google. The interface on their first page is so dirt simple, anyone can use it. If you need to get more options, you click on "Advanced Search Options" and you're cooking with gasoline. See, this UI needs to be simple to be effective. I was so busy trying to find out what I "can" and "cannot" do in the windows forms area, that I didn't stop to think what I "should" do. My bad :).

I'm pumped. How often is it that you get to redeem yourself on a past - let's face it - failure? What would you suggest? What search interfaces seem the most useful and intuitive to you?

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