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Ten Things That Really Bug Me

By Nick at August 09, 2011 14:13
Filed Under: Software Development, General

I found this on my Embarcadero blog from 13 April 2009.  I wanted to preserve it here…


I was cleaning up my hard drive and I found lying around in an old HTML file.  The date on the file was from April of 2006, before I came to CodeGear.  I can’t remember if I ever put this up on a blog somewhere, but I thought it was a pretty good rant, so I’m posting it here. :-)

  1. Message boxes that ask a Yes/No question, but give you Ok/Cancel buttons. I mean, come on. If you are asking a "Yes or No" question, how tough is it to tell the dialog to have Yes and No buttons? Not tough at all, that’s how tough it is.
  2. Ok buttons that are enabled when a dialog is not properly filled in.   This is basic User Interface design. If pushing a button will result in an error message, don’t let the user push the button.
  3. Non-sizable dialogs.  Argh. This one drives me nuts. It’s especially galling when there’s a list box or something that is so small you feel like you are looking at it through a straw.
  4. Dialogs that don’t remember their size and position. Related to the previous item. Sometimes a dialog is too small, and when I size it, I want it to stay sized. Sometimes it blocks stuff I want to see. It should stay where I put it.
  5. Windows that insist on putting themselves in front when I am doing something else. This is absolutely, unequivocally the most irritating thing about Windows. I decide what I am looking at, not some shareware programmer from Wisconsin. If I am typing or otherwise working in a Window, no other application should ever be able to steal the focus, unless it’s warning me that my house is on fire or something.
  6. File directory trees the size of postage stamps. Related to the issue above. Ever get one of those slightly older applications that won’t let you size the directory lookup tree? With ever expanding hard drives and increasingly complex file directory structures, looking at your harddrive through a fixed size treeview that’s only 150 pixels square feels like being shoved in the trunk of a Yugo.
  7. Crappy error messages, especially when they are sentences and don’t end in a period. "Item not found". Great — which item? The name or even type of the item has got to be known by something in the app, otherwise, how could it be looked for?  Tell us for crying out loud! Or how about the old favorite "Error 332322". This isn’t a problem for me personally because I have, of course, memorized all the error codes for your application.
  8. CAPSLOCK keys. The person who thought putting the CAPSLOCK key above the SHIFT key and right below the TAB key should be rubbed vigorously with rough sandpaper and then placed in a bathtub full of lemon juice. [Ed:  Solution can be found here]
  9. Unnecessary modal dialog boxes that I have to click when it doesn’t make any difference. I love these. "You’ve done something really stupid. Press Ok to continue". Great. Thanks. I couldn’t have made it through the day without that totally, utterly meaningless and pointless message.
  10. Dialog boxes that have the negative answer on the left and the positive answer on the right. OK buttons go on the left. Cancel buttons go on the right. Don’t put the Delete button on the left and the Approve button on the right. It’s a gross violation of the laws of nature.

Getting Giddy #4 Fixed

By Nick at July 10, 2011 11:52
Filed Under: Delphi, General, Software Development, Unit Testing

Okay, so I was getting all these emails about the fourth article in my “Getting Giddy” series of articles.  You guys kept saying it was missing and I kept saying “Hey, it’s right here!”.  And then finally I noticed – #4 and #5 were identical.  I must have done something stupid somewhere.  Well, I was able to track down the original article on my hard drive and restore it.  So now, the fourth article is as it should be, and all seems well with the universe.

Sorry for the confusion, and I appreciate the interest that these articles have generated.

Changes to the Website

By Nick at July 01, 2011 10:08
Filed Under: General

As you’ve probably noticed, there have been some changes to my website here.  I thought I’d list what I did:

  • I updated the engine to BlogEngine.Net 2.5.
  • I updated the theme as well.  I wanted one where the main content isn’t fixed in width. I’ve been posting a lot of code samples, and having a fixed with for those wasn’t working like I wanted.  I also thought it was time for a “fresh look”.  I’ll be tweaking the theme going forward – I’m still not happy with all the font sizes.
  • I added a Google Plus One button to each post after the buttons from AddThis. I also made those buttons a bit more prominent.  Feel free to click those buttons if you like what you see.  Winking smile 

Of course, if you notice any problems, issues, etc., or have any feedback and/or suggestions, please let me know.

What I've been reading

By Nick at June 16, 2011 08:41
Filed Under: General, Personal

My Old Blog is Back!

By Nick at May 04, 2011 00:39
Filed Under: Delphi, General

Hey, I’m delighted to note that my old Embarcadero blog is back online.  Thanks and kudos to David I who noticed that it was amiss and resurrected it.  He noted in a comment that the “archive” flag apparently didn’t mean what he thought it meant.  In any event, I’m very happy to have it back online.  Thanks, David I!

1000 Tweets

By Nick at January 15, 2011 20:45
Filed Under: Delphi, General, Personal

Hard to believe that it has been 1000 tweets for me.  Here’s my first one.

1000tweets

This Wild Year of 2010

By Nick at December 26, 2010 04:28
Filed Under: General, Personal

This year of 2010 ended up pretty dang good, considering I got fired from my job about half way through it.   For that, I am very thankful.  I’m really quite happy in my new job, my new house, and  my new state.  Things are going well all around. This wasn’t something I fully expected, and so it is an especially nice place to find myself.

In addition, many of you sent words of encouragement and support throughout the year, and for that I’m grateful. 

So all in all, 2010 was a pretty good year. Here’s hoping that 2011 is an even better year for all of us.

Be a Rockstar!

By Nick at December 09, 2010 04:56
Filed Under: General, Delphi

I am hoping that this will get people to stop teasing me about TSmiley sort of in the same way that hitting yourself in the head with a hammer makes you forget that it hurts when you hit your hand with a hammer.

Strange Poster

By Nick at December 08, 2010 07:51
Filed Under: General, Delphi

Someone posted this in our developer lounge this week:

IMAG0035

Quick Note: Nick at DC event

By Nick at September 21, 2010 23:55
Filed Under: General

Just a quick note – I’ll be at the Washington, DC RAD Studio XE launch event tonight.  If you are going or thinking of going, I’d love to see/meet you there.

Nick’s New Job

By Nick at August 28, 2010 03:15
Filed Under: Personal, General

I’m very happy to tell you fine people that I have accepted the job as Director of Development at Gateway Ticketing in beautiful Boyertown, Pennsylvania.  I’m really delighted and happy.  The job is exactly what I’ve wanted with a great small and growing company. If you’ve ever been to Disneyland or an amusement park or one of the major zoos around the US, chances are you’ve used our products.  The Gateway people are great, and the Boyertown area – where I will be moving eventually – is lovely.  It’s a great opportunity for me, and I’m very pleased.  I’m looking forward to leveraging my technical skills as well as these great leadership skills I supposedly know so much about.  ;-)

Many of you have been very supportive and sent me words of encouragement during this time, and I’m grateful.  It’s a tough time, being uncertain of the future, and I’m grateful for the support.  Gateway is a Delphi shop, so I’ll still be around.  And I must confess it will be strange to move to the other side of the table as an Embarcadero customer.  ;-)

Thanks To Everyone

By Nick at July 18, 2010 15:19
Filed Under: General, Personal

This has been a tough week -- but I guess that isn't surprising as being "let go" from your job on a Monday morning will make any week tough.  

But two things happened that made it all a lot better.  

First, my former co-workers had a farewell lunch for me a the (in?)famous Cafe Carlos.  I was quite touched and honored that over 40 people -- including practically all of the R&D and QA teams, were there.  With all humility, I must say it was the biggest farewell lunch I'd seen since I was there.  It was quite flattering.  

The other thing that happened was an almost overwhelming out-pouring of kind words and well wishes to my post in the (in?)famous Delphi Non-Technical forum.  I tried very hard to say thanks to ever single person who posted there -- if I missed you I am sorry.  

I am quite sincere when I say that these two things touched me deeply and humbled me greatly.  As I said in my post, I've lived, breathed, eaten, and slept Delphi for at least the last 15 years, and it is quite nice to feel so appreciated. 

Thanks again to you all who have wished me well in the newsgroups, email, and in person.  I truly appreciate it, and it makes going through this tough time a lot easier.  Thanks.

First Post

By Nick at July 15, 2010 19:35
Filed Under: General

Hello World!

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A Pithy Quote for You

"If we seek merely swollen, slothful ease and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at the hazard of their lives and risk all that they hold dear, then bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by, and win for themselves the domination of the world."    –  Theodore Roosevelt

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The views I express here are entirely my own and not necessarily those of any other rational person or organization.  However, I strongly recommend that you agree with pretty much everything I say because, well, I'm right.  Most of the time. Except when I'm not, in which case, you shouldn't agree with me.