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Joel on Software

2001/10/14

by Joel Spolsky
Sunday, October 14, 2001

Not-Invented-Here

"When you're working on a really, really good team with great programmers, everybody else's code, frankly, is bug-infested garbage, and nobody else knows how to ship on time."

In Defense of Not-Invented-Here Syndrome

Discussion Board

The cool new discussion board is done!

Discuss

The URL for the new discussion server is http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware .

Underline Edit Boxes

I like to make fun of designers who reinvent common widgets simply because they can. The big advantage of using a standard HTML edit box is consistency -- more people will recognize it and know how to use it.

But when you have a long form with many fields, all those lines start to look ugly, so I've gotten into the bad habit of using style sheets so that my edit boxes are just underlines, not boxes. This is "consistent" more with paper forms, and someone even told me he thought he was going to have to print out the page when he saw the beta application form using underlines. 

It probably does reduce learnability, marginally, to use underlines for edit boxes instead of boxes. But then again, they're really cool looking :) and I can't bear to switch them back to boxes. What's your opinion?


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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