Archive for August 2005

News 04 Aug

FusionAuthority has the first review of Fog Creek Copilot: “Everyone I demonstrated the service to was impressed. The screen resolution/quality is high (there is built in JPG compression to speed the screen drawing), mouse reactivity is almost real-time (over broadband) and when we disconnected, the executable was deleted from the desktop, leaving no remnants to clutter the system. By far the best feature of the service is the zero configuration required to bypass firewalls/routers and connect to the host computer.”

Not sure why they want to cook our interns, though...

News 08 Aug

Fog Creek InternsProject Aardvark Ships

Hurrah! Fog Creek Copilot 1.0 just went live. Congratulations to Fog Creek summer interns Ben, Tyler, Yaron, and Michael who have been working hard all summer to make this happen.

News 10 Aug

Let me just take a minute to congratulate Mike Gunderloy, author of the book Painless Project Management with FogBugz, on the breathtaking review he received in this month's Dr. Dobbs Journal: “This book is brief, to the point, lavishly illustrated... This book is a user guide, but it is to user guides what Kernighan and Ritchie's The C Programming Language is to language manuals. Every question I had was answered within a paragraph or two of being raised; every explanation made sense... I think we'll all be better off if this book will become the standard against which other end-user documentation will be measured.” Wow!

For SaleThat review was written by Greg Wilson, who, coincidentally, is one of the authors of a fascinating paper called Mining Student CVS Repositories for Performance Indicators [PDF], which is an interesting look at the same kind of data on performance variation between student programmers as I presented recently in Hitting the High Notes.

Moving right along... there's an audio interview of me online now at IT Conversations, talking about the book I just edited, The Best Software Writing I. In that interview, I praised a book called Internationalization with Visual Basic by Michael Kaplan. I really didn't understand Unicode until I read that book, and since it's out of print, it usually costs around $100 on Amazon, but it saved our skin making FogBugz and CityDesk work right.

Kaplan is writing a lot on his blog Sorting It All Out; he's one of the best Microsoft bloggers out there. Hopefully we'll see another book on international software from him soon.

News 16 Aug

I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to just set up a Wiki for all the Joel on Software translated articles. That way the volunteers who translate articles could publish them themselves without emailing them to me and waiting around for me to publish them to the web.

Does anyone have any advice on how to do this?

I'd like it to look as much like wikipedia as possible, with pictures, real links (no CamelCase requirement), and maintaining a history of changes so vandalism can be quickly undone. Most importantly, I'd like it to be self-organizing so that, ideally, once we set up the servers, it just sort of magically populates itself with high quality translations of the Joel on Software articles :-)

Any ideas or suggestions?

News 17 Aug

“As I worked through the screens that would be needed to allow either party to initiate the process, I realized that Aardvark would be just as useful, and radically simpler, if the helper was required to start the whole process. Making this change in the spec took an hour or two. If we had made this change in code, it would have added weeks to the schedule. I can’t tell you how strongly I believe in Big Design Up Front, which the proponents of Extreme Programming consider anathema. I have consistently saved time and made better products by using BDUF and I’m proud to use it, no matter what the XP fanatics claim. They’re just wrong on this point and I can’t be any clearer than that.”

The Project Aardvark Spec

News 31 Aug

New Orleans in happier times, from my trip in 2003.

New Orleans

 How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people!

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Historical Archive

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