Dogfood and the User Experience

So I’m dog fooding my own calendaring application.  Because my application doesn’t clearly distinguish between items happening today and items happening tomorrow, I managed to go to an event that isn’t until tomorrow.  This isn’t the sort of mistake I make with a paper calendar (with paper calendars I make other silly mistakes instead, like next month blindness, i.e. not turning the page)  On a paper calendar, it is obvious what is happening today, Tuesday and what is happening tomorrow, Wednesday.

After I realized I’d made the mistake, I starting thinking of all the possible reasons why I was were I only thought there was an event.  Did the organizer reschedule? Did I forget to update the rescheduled date?  Did I make a typing error?  Did the location change?  Was it canceled at the last minute?  All of these are possible and things I’ve seen happen to meetups. 

So next feature I’ll add will be some user flagging and maybe user editing.  User edits would need a suitable wiki-style diff function for showing the difference between two strings.  Flagging is just a toggle and comment field.

All of together are not as stupid as any one of us on our own.

MCTS Exam Review Books

Oh my god, these aren’t books, they are unedited blogs in the form of books.  When will IT publishers learn that consistently formatted does not mean edited?

Clearly, the only way to get value out of this study guide is to edit it.  If you can find all the mistakes, errors, clunky explanations, spelling errors, sample code bugs and repair them, then you will pass the test and become a master copyeditor to boot.

Web Based Client Development

Chapter 1, Lesson 1- Book states the maximum URL length for MSIE and IIS is 1024.  This doesn’t appear to be a consensus and certainly doesn’t reflect the capabilities of IIS or non MSIE browsers.

Book states POST “removes the size constraint on data”, which is not true for ASP.NET (default value for web.config 4096KB, modifiable upward to 4GB) and for IIS the maximum if 4GB.

Book states “Although its name comes from the POST verb, it is possible to perform a PostBack using the GET method…”  The book doesn’t explain how this happens.  I think if a book is going to say up is down and black is white and ignorance is strength, then it needs to explain why.  In this case, if you set on the form tag, method=”GET” ASP.NET will switch to putting the event validation and viewstate into the querystring. Page.IsPostBack will be true, Request.RequestType will be GET and Request.QueryString will contain two additional value pairs.

Book recommends using Microsoft Network Monitor to trace HTTP traffic.  Why not use an electron microscope?  Instead use a HTTP specific traffic tracing tool, like Fiddler, which MS itself recommends. 

Chapter 2, Lesson 2-

To be continued