Just finished Joel On Software and to be honest found it a very good book with some interesting ideas.
For years I tried to avoid Joel. He seemed to come out of the blue, I suppose around the time blogging became big. I think it was Keith who stumbled across him one day and we tried to implement some of his ideas in our own company but something about it made me cross and I got the impression Joel preached alot but never delivered the goods. Maybe I was just a bit hasty in my judgement....
One interesting part of the book mentions that web apps will never be able to accomplish the following:
- Create a fast drawing program.
- Build a real-time spell checker with wavy red underlines.
- Warn users that they are going to lose their work if they hit the close box of the browser.
- Update a small part of the display based on a change that the user makes without a full roundtrip to the server.
- Create a fast keyboard-driven interface that doesn’t require the mouse.
- Let people continue working when they are not connected to the Internet.
A good post on this is found here
As Emil rightly points out, everything on the above list has been accomplished bar number 6 which at the rate things are going, it wont be too long before that is nailed on the head.
Using what I learnt reading Joels book, for the Flash Multiple File Upload Control, I am going to write a functional and technical spec to give to Peter and see how the product turns out. If this goes well, we might adopt the whole spec thing properly for all products in the future....