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When you think you know it all
By Dave Winer on Sunday, June 06, 2010 at 4:20 PM.

A picture named sneakers.jpgWhen I said I'm "nearing the end of a top-to-bottom rewrite of the software behind Scripting News," what I really meant is that I'm "just beginning a top-to-bottom rewrite..." permalink

I've been doing this a long time, but software projects still kick my ass, even when I'm doing it for the umpteenth time, there's a point where it feels like you're "almost done" when you're still just beginning. Everyone gets bit by it. The secret is to not make any great pronouncements until the system is in use by people who are the intended users. The first results achieved by the developer are always a mirage.  permalink

And even when actual users use it, it still sucks. I learned that again today as I tried to teach my Mom how to use her new iPhone. I was trying to show her how to turn a number in her Recent Calls list into a Contact. There was no button for that! Oy. I futzed around a bit, got there another way and there's the button. Yup even the best, most user-tested software, hailed as so easy your Mom could use it, is impossibly difficult even for an Old Hand like Yours Truly. <img src="> permalink

Con Edison used to have these great signs they'd put all around construction sites. They said "Dig We Must!" From that I came up with a programming slogan -- Still diggin. The way you'll know I've passed on to my final reward is that I'm no longer diggin. <img src="> permalink

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