I love a good rant

I love to rant. Love it. Unfortunately, when I’m in the mood for a-ranting, I’m seldom calm enough to properly construct a sufficiently soul-destroying bile-fest to inflict upon my foes. That’s one of the reasons I wanted a blog. Another reason is to pay kudos to others, especially other champion ranters. There is also the banging on about crap that is the raison d’ĂȘtre of blogging in general – I’m good at that too.

One of my rant heroes is Zed Shaw. He cracks ’em out, disregarding any potential offence – the way it should be. The first rant of his I ever saw was an article entitled Indirection Is Not Abstraction, where he says (referring to EJB):

“To summarize, just to get to where we could add an object to the collection, we had to follow this chain of calls: new InitialContext() -> InitialContext.lookup() -> LocalSubscriptionHome.findByPrimaryKey() -> CustomerBean.addSubscription() -> CustomerBean.getSubscriptions() -> Collection.add(). An unbelievable 6 levels of indirection just to add a fucking object to a fucking collection. This is the kind of bullshit that chaps my ass purple and makes me want to eat babies.”

(emphasis his. That is pretty crap too, btw.)

I love it. He says it like he means it, and it hurts. Comedy gold. So I’ve made a “rant” post category, through which to vent bile. I hope it’s as much fun as it looks.

software development

Software Designer != Interface Designer

What is it about we IT folk that makes us so crap at interface design? Personally, I can sit down and crack out some sweet code without too much drama, but man I am shit at making the UI any good.

It’s not that it doesn’t work – it’s just that it’s not particularly pretty. Or intuitive.

One of the guys at my new work is case in point for this. He’s made a CMS style thing in dotnet for the internal projects and he had it up and going nice and quick and he can put a new version in a template in a day or two. Unfortunately it’s the biggest hunk of shit to use ever. If you update a page, when you go back to the menu it puts a javascript alert on the screen saying “Page Updated” Thanks for letting me know it’s updated – but did you really need to interrupt me to do it?

As a reminder for those who don’t remember, the Javascript ‘alert’ function is a modal box with a message that you MUST click before doing anything else. So when you’re going through updating all this content it’s

  1. Select page to change
  2. Edit content
  3. Click save
  4. Try to select next page but there’s that stupid alert again
  5. Click alert
  6. Swear
  7. See (1)

You know, nothing personal, good coder, but what a magnificently moronic choice for a way to tell the user something has happened – interrupting them.

For me, I don’t really want to be a UI designer. It’s too subjective for me; English, for example, was always secondary to Physics. But I’d like to think I get some of those things right…

On that topic – I need a new design for the PeopleHub Payments website. If you know someone, let me know.