24 May 2005


I like the way they try to sell this book: The purple Cow.
Explanation of the purple cow can be found on this page.
As a french I like this part:
While driving through France a few years ago, my family and I were enchanted by the hundreds of storybook cows grazing in lovely pastures right next to the road.
The idea behind this book is:
The world is full of boring stuff -- brown cows -- which is why so few people pay attention. Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service.

23 May 2005

"Simple" is so much harder!

I really like this quote:
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage, to move in the opposite direction.
---Albert Einstein

18 May 2005


Looking for sample code, in any language, koders in for you ! (some kind of google restricted to code)
An other nice feature, a summary for open-source project: an example with cocoon.

13 May 2005

Usability in practice

This morning I attended a usability session at intuilab. (by the way thank you sylvain for choosing me ;) )

Almost 5 years ago I took a course during my last school year at Sherbrooke university, where I discovered usability. During this course we needed to create a fake web site to check tv show timetables. So we needed to experiment the site on users and get there feedback!

Boy what a revelation! It made me understand that as a developper I could spend months fixing a functionnality users won't ever use and leave aside something that seemed obvious for me but not for them...

Unfornuatly I hadn't the opportunity to use this knowledge as often as I would like. Technics such as paper prototyping which is a wonderfull tool but sadly unknown!

Funny that 5 years later I was on the other side as a "user" during that usability session.

Another interesting article about testing with 5 users.

What leader are you?

After taking that little test, it's seems I have similarities with: "Albert Einstein"?!
One could find worste!

12 May 2005

Thunderbird Disappearing mail

Today all my account settings under Thunderbird where lost when I started it!

Everything seemed to be at the right place under C:\Documents and Settings\[myAccount]\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\[a_number].default...
I discovered that there were a pref.js of 1 Ko and a prefs-1.js of 21 Ko (with all the aliases to my accounts)
Changing it and making Thunderbird point to the good location resolved the problem. But I don't know why it happended!

Looking at all the windows logs I found that yesterday night the automatic windows update installed this patch. I not sure it's it fault or someone hacked me...

Hope this won't happen again! (I'll start thinking of backuping this folder...)

A good page to resolve such issues can be found here.
update: another interesting link to manage/backup profiles informations.

11 May 2005

Rich clients in a Browser

Few months ago I started to take a look at new rich clients technologies such as Java web start, lazlo, xul, xaml etc...
But it seems like there is also another trend, launch with google new products, based on manipulating datas in old fashion html pages like google suggest, gmail using Ajax.

For examples you can take a look a cocoon ajaxified forms or even at mappy (that seems to use some kind of ajax too).

Today julien, pointed this impressive example of interactive DOM manipulation.

Interesting times :)

4 May 2005

Backpack video

I like product videos because you don't need to set up anything :)
So if you want to see some kind of "wiki for dummies" but with a good user usability:
- video 1 - of someone making, linking, and browsing reminders.
- video 2 - of someone setting email and cell phone reminders.

Source: ledanois.

Other videos from a previous post.

Check List

David Leigh-Fellows has post some kind of "check list" before going to production, funny because I discovered yesterday that the client I working for and who is in charge of the production deployment is putting the web site on a tomcat cluster. It woud be cool if someone had test this before!
Make your development environment exactly the same as the test environment. You don't want to be hunting through things like multi processor threading issue crap on the last day of your project after developing on single processor developer machines - believe me I've seen it happen.
Clustering is not easy to deploy. You've got to be sure no code write something in tmp directory or anywhere else. Users'sessions informations must be distributed accross the cluster or you've got to be sure the same user go to the same part of the cluster each time he makes a request.

I wonder how we will solve bugs like this when they will arise...

Also another interesting post about coaching techniques.