mailapp question

Since upgrading to Tiger I’ve noticed that the new Maill app doesn’t give the reassuring swosh sound when you send an email. I don’t see a setting for it in the prefs. Does anyone know if it’s possible to get this back? I know the email gets sent, but I like the audible cue. Especially when sending large attachments because they can take a few seconds to go.

casedetective released

Ian Jones has released CaseDetective, a tool to extend the capabilities of FogBugz 4.0. Congrats Ian!

One suggestion, you should probably have a corporate per user license because I could see shops wanting to outfit all their developers with this and having no option for it implies that it’s not intended for use that way.

Keep us updated!

cutting down on support back and forth

This is kind of crazy. Dave just pointed to his “how to” for bug submission.

His 1.2.3 steps basically mimmic a feature of HelpSpot exactly. Cool, I guess that means I’m on the right track. Basically in HelpSpot the web form where you can submit a request has 2 views (administrator selectable). Either a simple form box like you usually see or 3 form boxes that basically walk the user through the exact sequence Dave points out. It’s an option because the 3 steps aren’t always appropriate in all circumstances. It’s a little more work for the user up front, but providing this framework tends to coax out the real information you need and therefore lessen the back and forth aspects of customer service.

joel on programmers

I just read Joel’s article on hiring great programmers. I’m not sure if I agree with him or not, because I don’t really understand his argument. Follow along with me for a moment.

His main point seems to be that you need to hire the best programmers to succeed. I agree with that, but I think we have different takes on what that is and in fact I think he might not even be sure what that is.

He starts off ok by making that point and using data from a tough college class to show how the best programmers are more productive. However, here’s where he starts to fade a bit. He goes on to talk about great products and implies these were created by great programmers. He uses WinAmp and the iPod as examples. He points out details like how the WinAmp site had this quote on their feature list “Most things actually work!” and how the iPod makes a nice clicking noise because Apple spent extra $ to put a speaker in the body of the iPod and not just send the sound through the headphones. I’m with him on all that, but I don’t follow how these things are correlated.

It sounds to me like these products were created by people who are extraordinarily creative and have excellent knowledge of their markets and what appeals to users in those markets. So programmers who can build a command line shell or code a new version of Make for their college class faster than another student aren’t necessarily the best programmers to hire. In many cases the most technically proficient programmer will not be the best to hire, because in my experience these people tend to be unable to step out of their programming shoes and into the users. I think you can see this in alot of open source applications, where the technology is first rate but the user experience is poor.

Anyway, maybe that is what Joel is saying, but I don’t think he came across as clear as usual in this essay.


Catching up on my blog reading, I noticed the post from Michael about using the Laszlo flash framework. I looked at Laszlo a while back when they first open sourced it. While it seemed interesting, I personally have some concerns about an application nobody wanted to buy. Perhaps it was because nobody wanted to use it and if that’s the case making it free doesn’t necessarily fix that. Using something like that is a bit too much risk for me in terms of creating a nearly full flash interface, but I’ll be interested to see how it turns out for Michael.