Easter Monday, 24 April 2000
Last week I started a project at a new customer (http://www.devote.nl/en/index.htm). I was just happily designing a form when I got an unpleasant surprise.
  1. I was writing a bit of HTML and blindly clicked save
  2. quickly tested my result and swapped back to the editor
  3. and fuck, got completely disoriented. Which line was I working on?
Only after half a day I was able to trace the source of my confusion. The save button did not just a save, but also scrolled down to the last changed line. Grr, I was not used to this in the previous version of the same tool I've grown a strong aversion against these bells and whistles.

These gimmicks don't help me, the slow me down. A save button must save, nothing else. Working efficiently is mainly a matter of no distractions, maintain flow (www.asktog.com/...023MaxHumanPerf.html).

Yes, I know that each software release should have added value. But that should not lead to creeping featurism (info.astrian.net/jargon...creeping_featurism). Changes are fine, but they must be improvements.

Changes come in two flavours: improvements and disprovements. Every improvement is a change. But not every change is an improvement. For the OO-experts among you, with knowledge of inheritance:

  • Change is the super class
  • Improvement is one of the subclasses.
Complexity grows with every new software release. Complexity leads to errors. Simplicity is the real thing. So, chances are that the previous release (oldversion.com) is better than the next.

In addition, the bugs in the old release are well known. As a user I know where they are. By experience I've developed ways to avoid them. Those bugs will probably be solved in the new release, but well, I wasn't not really waiting for those fixes any more. What I will see are yet unknown bugs. What a disaster.

So, my conclusion is: Stop shipping new software releases. My dear ladies and gentlemen software developers: Declare a product to be finished. No more new features, and just ignore the old bugs.

Till the previous week!

(special announcement)
Chapeau for Amphité
    Top 3 of fast paying SUMit customers:
  1. At a shared first place: Amphité, www.amphite.nl, Tel +31-33-4800682, Delphi & OO Pascal expertise, record holder with 6 days
  2. Comwave, Website design & presentation specialists, for long sole leader, 6 days as well
  3. High Pine Farm, Tel +353-509-37029, Country style Bed & Breakfast, Kinnitty, Ireland, an excellent third place, the fastest international customer with 52 days.