in Historical

dont be cheap dont be cheap dont be cheap

Please excuse the title, this is a note to myself as much as a post. Every time I try and go cheap on something it comes back to bite me. Even if I’m not actually trying to go cheap, but if I just don’t buy the best then I end up being sorry. My current frustration is with the dhtml menu system I use on the HelpSpot request page. I’m redoing it for version 2 and this will now be the 3rd menu system I’ve used there.

The first was my own creation, what a mistake that was. A dhtml menu requires a full time programmer just to track down every oddball bug in even just the limited browsers HelpSpot formally supports (IE/FF/Safari). At some point I switched over to the Dynarch menu. Not a bad menu for a few hundred dollars, but some serious problems in Safari which some customers run into. Especially with forcing tabs to be called to the front when using multiple tabs (you know who you are out there ;-)). I’ve also been concerned that there doesn’t appear to be much development on the menu.

So for version 2 I’ve bit the bullet and spent the $1,200 for the Milonic dhtml menu. Wow, what a difference. I’ve used Milonic before, a long time ago though not such an intensive usage as this. So far this sucker is rock solid. Even better is that there’s really active support and some nifty extension libraries for editing menus on the fly which I really need to do (they’re a bit hidden, which is a shame. You can find it here). It loads instantly and without any browser issues. Building a menu dynamically is also very easily done, which has made integrating it into HelpSpot a snap.

Yet again I’ve had to learn that being cheap is only a path to heartache and support requests.