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Why doesn't the "g" act as a link ?

This probably seems horribly trivial, but I was just wondering why the main part of your "fog creek software" picture is a link and has a suitable alt text, while the bottom part (just the "g" descender) doesn't link and has a single space as the alt text.

Why did you chop the image in the first place and not simply have a single image ? I know the descender needs the white background, not black, but that's easily accomplished using a single graphic file.

Apologies in advance if you think this question is too trivial to make it to undeleted status, or if you think it's critisism, it is not, I'm just curious.

Steve Jones (UK)
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Please sir, check yourself into a mental health institution before it's too late.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

:)

Hey, it's a perfectly valid question.

Yeah, yeah, so before I eat my M&Ms (and Skittles, and everything else that comes in multiple colors) I first sort by color. Doesn't everybody?


Seriously, though: The single space as alt text for the descender is rather strange - I get the usual IE tooltip, but it's just a narrow yellow box. Wouldn't it be better to make the alt text a blank, as in zero-length, string? alt="" rather than alt=" "?

Martha
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

At least he will have some company in the mental institution.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I should be mental too, for I've also wondered about it ;-)

Blues
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Well, as a graphics person begging the Man to let me code more, here's my guess:

The portion of the logo with the black BG is sliced that way to allow for it to be in a table cell that is filled with black, so it will carry the black over to the end of the screen (almost).  The white BG'd image with the *g* is in a seperate row.  Why is the *g* tail not a link?  Why the empty Alt tag?  Don't know.  Probably one of those Joel efficiency decisions, a la "I know that's a bug, but its triviality makes it not so cost effective to actually fix it".

In a certain unnamed product, you could make an image map very quickly and link the g's tail and give it some alt text seperate from the rest of the graphic it is part of, but that feature may not be available in another product.  Again, such a trivial thing, probably not important enough to spend time changing.

Clay Whipkey
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Ok, what is with the alt text stuff?  As a web surfer, I never knew such a thing existed.

Now that I have done a little (very little) web design, I run across web design software that tells me "You must put in alt text. If you don't, some obsessive web geek will hunt you down and kill you."

Look, I'm putting up pictures of my kids.  Who really needs to see alt text that says "Here's Adam sitting in a chair."  "Here's Adam sitting in another chair a year later." etc.

Does anyone really care about alt-text but web designers?

Just curious.

Kyle
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

IE is broken anyways.  Alt text isn't meant for rendering as tooltips.  That's why the title attribute exists.

See http://www.hixie.ch/advocacy/alttext

Steve Monk
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Kyle - blind people, people who browse with images turned off, and anyone viewing your page when the images are unavailable will appreciate alt text.

But of course for pictures of the kids it probably isn't necessary.

Steve Monk
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Hey Joel, don't you think that this is the same as pre-XP Windows where the start button is off of the edge by 1 pixel, or your example of the Juno client being bound by the screen borders?

I must say that I'm sometimes surprised at your inflexibility when it comes to anyone asking a question about one of your UI design elements. I assume that it is because every question that gets asked is about something that you've thought through during the design phase. In such case, it would be interesting to simply hear the reasoning that lead to the element being questioned.

JWA
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

JWA:  I'm not quite sure how those are even remotely in the same class.  Sure, I visit JoS almost as often as I click on the Start button (which says as much about my use of quicklaunch toolbars as it does about my browsing habits), but JoS readers are in the vast minority of Web users, let alone Windows users.  Even if every single visitor to the JoS site noticed that the descender of the "g" wasn't clickable (I sure didn't, and I've been coming here for three or four years), you might be lucky to have this problem affect 0.02% of the people that the Start button lossage does.  Besides, the rest of the name is a much bigger target.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

"I'm not quite sure how those are even remotely in the same class."

Sam: I guess that it depends on which category of classes you're talking about. I agree with you when evaluating it against the total inconvenience it causes to computer users in general. However, that would be silly and I wasn't referring to it from that perspective. I'm talking about UI design in itself. I chose two examples of minor UI oversights that I'm fairly certain Joel agrees with as examples.

In truth I never noticed it, I was just very surprised that Joel completely laughed it off as a unimportant detail. I think it is clearly an oversight, and would think that Joel would too.

JWA
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Blind people??!!

Patrick FitzGerald
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Patrick,

with screen readers rather than visually browsing, for those people, alt tags are very useful and necessary.

ko
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I think these things are important because they are indicative of attention to detail generally.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

"I think these things are important because they are indicative of attention to detail generally."

Thanks John, that's pretty much what I was getting at.

I guess I do like symmetry, so when something like this comes to my attention I'd fix it, not suggest the person who raised it belongs in a loony bin.

I can see why it is like it is, from an HTML point of view (anyone can do a "view source"), my point is more along the lines of why is it "incomplete".

I don't buy that argument of it being too trivial to fix and not worth Joel's precious time. If it was me I'd have fixed this straight away, even though chances are nobody will ever find the site difficult to use because they just click the descender.

Steve Jones (UK)
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

you know usability only counts when you write a book

 
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Poll:

what would you like fixed first:

<A> the single space ALT tag on the g decender
<B> the regex bug that makes http:// autolinking take an extra space
<C> who cares. Get a life loosers.
<D> all of the above

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

What's a "looser"? I think these things are important because they are indicative of attention to detail generally.



;-)

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

"If it was me I'd have fixed this straight away - Steve Jones"

You're a perfectionist, which is a great thing to be,
provided you don't hold everyone else to your
own standards of perfection.

"Does anyone really care about alt-text but web designers? -keyle"

I'm one of those weirdos who's almost always browsing with the images turned off. Even when they are turned on, I have my browser configured to only let animations loop one time.

(off-topic)

One reason is I don't want to be distracted by flashing animating or rediculously colorful intrusively placed adverts within the content I'm trying to read.

I happen to use Mozilla firefox as a browser.
One of the features it has that I'm extremely grateful
for is the ability to put separate checkboxes on the toolbar for the following:
images/java/javascript/plugins fields.
so with one click and without entering options you can enable or disable any of those features.

But it seems the web advertising companies caught on to people turning off images, and started using flash/shockwave animations complete with annoying sound and music. Do I really need that when I'm trying to read a news article ?

Fortunately some noble soul created a flash blocker plugin, it replaces all flash/shockwave apps with a button with an F or an S, so if you want to watch the flash or shockwave animation, you'd have to click the button.

Incidentally this preference for text content is why I just adore RSS feeds. RSS is how I found out about JoS.

Hani Obaid
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I would think it more important to fix the spelling of "software."

Made you look :-)

Rob Warner
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

"You're a perfectionist, which is a great thing to be,
provided you don't hold everyone else to your
own standards of perfection."

It's not always great, sometimes it's pretty horrible and makes it hard to get things done.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Being a perfectionist is a huge liability when you work with other people. I know, because I'm usually the perfectionist in the group.  By the end of the project, other group-members are ready to gather kindling in the parking lot and burn me at the stake.

Anonymous for obvious reasons
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I cut all of the pictures out of the newspaper before I read it so please fix it.

Getta Life
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I speak as an authority on UI design, even wrote a book on it, so I am going to be held to a pretty high standard.

Software Guru
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

When I looked at the index, I saw that this had exactly the same number of responses as a thread titled " Do software developers have poor social skills?".

Correlation?

Patrick FitzGerald
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

OMG!

This is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Having no ALT tag would be simple neglect, but trying to fake accessibility support by putting in an insulting space is clearly a deliberate effort on behalve of fog creek software to discriminate against the visually impared.

(I know, I know, fcs being located in a country where 20% of the active workforce consists of lawyers and a legal system that actively encourages frivolous lawsuits these are no joking matters)

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

ON the other hand, putting in a space in the alt tag used to be the standard method of tricking the w3c validators into accepting that an image was there for graphic rather than semantic reasons... Having the alt tag for that particular image as "part of a letter g, from our logo" would be a little esoteric.

However, from a purely HTML point of view, I can't see any point in that being two images at all, and am curious as to which web design/developer thought there was...

Maybe this is a sign that CityDesk is still some way off producing real semantic xhtml strict markup with only CSS etc... Along with every other CMS tool out there...

Finally... Just how did you notice that? My god I'd barely notice if my shirt was on back to front.

Andrew Cherry
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The problem is that you guys don't understand how precious Joel's time is. Unlike us, he doesn't have so much time on his hands.

HE'S A CELEBRITY.

I have started observating.
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Well, I must say I'm suprised. I had assumed that this post would never make it to undeleted status and that Joel would quietly fix this.

I wasn't expecting such a range of responses. I noticed it because I was curious about why the original deisgner of the site had bothered to chop the image into two. That seems inefficient in time to develop (I know it is easy with ImageReady, et al, but even so, someone had to sit there and do it). It is also inefficient to download and render two images each time, rather than one. There just isn't any need for it, so I wondered why it was like that.

When looking at this (good old view source), I noticed that the decender wasn't a link and had a single space as the alt.

Maybe it is bad to be a perfectionist, although in this case I don't think that I am being one. However, I'd rather be a perfectionist than someone who suggests that a person seek help from a mental health institution for pointing out a potential error in the great Joel's site.

Maybe I am mis-understanding Joel's comments. Perhaps it was it was just his scintillating sense of humo(u)r, which I mistook for arrogance.

Steve Jones (UK)
Thursday, April 22, 2004

As to the perfectionism in software development - I think the factor here is whether one approaches his work as art or craft. For your craftsman side Joel's argument about weighting the benefit against the cost makes perfect sense, however artists don't work this way.

Also, benefit is often hard to judge. For example, today Google displays one of it's holiday logos. Did it take time to draw it? It sure did. Is there a clear and direct benefit in doing so? Not really, people will be using Google no matter what the logo looks like. Could they instead use this time for improving their search? Probably yes. Was, then, drawing the logo a waste of time? I don't think so. I believe that there's a lot of business sense - and benefit - in being cool. And being cool consists of the little things - perhaps, things like having a link from the bottom if the 'g' in your logo ;-)

Dmitry
Thursday, April 22, 2004

I am one of those persons who has a habit of clicking only the "descender" of image links. for me, this issue is causing me excruciating and unbreable pain. right now im furiously clicking on the "g" in such a futile manner. now someone in fogcreek pls pls fix it for me or tomm ill be just be too exhausted for another internet browsing session.

bernardo carpio
Thursday, April 22, 2004

I'd link the descender image to an "Easter Egg" page containing something funny and entertaining, so people who find it think they're really clever. Or maybe a page about the type of person who looks for image fragments in logos and asks why they don't contain a hyperlink and alt text.

Or maybe just link it to this forum topic.

:-)

Darren Collins
Thursday, April 22, 2004

I tnink Joel is quite right. You must be barking mad if you thinkthere's the remotest chance he'll ever admit to the multiple design faults in his web pages.

Stephen Jones
Friday, April 23, 2004

Or to put it another way, if God's in the details, Joel is clearly an atheist.

Stephen Jones
Friday, April 23, 2004

Why not strip it an build such a cool LCD picture frame!

http://tinyurl.com/yr9ra

;)

Anon for once
Friday, April 23, 2004

Oops, wrong thread! :E

Anon for once
Friday, April 23, 2004

Well, having read all this I just had to do it and click on the descender to see what happened - I wonder how many other people are doing this and will we continue to do so in the hope that one day something wonderful will happen ?

Ross
Friday, April 23, 2004

And this is the attitude of company making sowftware  for the web???
No, thanks.
It could be done right in the first place, then there will be no talk at all.
And it should less time to fix it than rolling out new post on JoS.
But well, we all do have our ego, don't we?

Rimantas
Friday, April 23, 2004

Rimantas, I tend to prefer a new post than Joel losing half an hour to fix this little bug. Anyway I agree with you that Joel could have made his point not being perfectionist and working according to the priority of the tasks, without letting his ego get in the way and poking fun on the Original Poster....

Mauricio Macedo
Friday, April 23, 2004

Well, Mauricio, I certainly agree with Joel that not everything is worth fixing. I often give link
to his post "Hard-assed bugs fixing" (and other articles) to other people.

But this time (I am talking about new post) although conclusion is right, arguments are non existent.
It took me 35 seconds to fix this "issue". And I still don't get why it was designed this way.

Joel wants competent programmers. He wants program code of high quality.
Why does he not want high quality html/css?
Cause browsers are so forgiving? Cause nobody cares?

Well, lame excuses for a professional. If Fog Creek needs entire life to produce decent HTML that can only mean they are incompetent in this area and that's all. Things done right way do not require lifetime fixing.

Maybe it is time to reread "Pragmatic Programmer" and part about broken windows theory?
If one wants to produce high quality, why make exceptions to it. HTML does not spit runtime exceptions, so it may be  any quality?

Would he like his employees to have the same attitude to CityDesk code as he has to HTML?

Maybe for him it is very important to have perfectly blended icons, but how this affects functionality?

People click on what's supposed to be link and there is no link - that confuses users.

And that's half a minute to fix. Talk about priorities, or talk about competence, talk about attitude.

And "that mental health institution" thing... Well, if Joel has no respect for us...

Rimantas
Friday, April 23, 2004

Boy oh boy, je all got way too much free time on your hands.

grinning Sam
Friday, April 23, 2004

Whoa, thank context guys, what does Joel do this website with? He certainly doesn't write in the html code directly onto the site!

hint: eating your own dogfood

It's probably some quirk in the way citydesk does site templates or the like, perhaps it automatically inserts alt text tags into each image.

Bob Hu
Friday, April 23, 2004

Cut and paste the href and alt text from the top half of the gif to the bottom.

Less time than to reply to the rhread.

Stephen Jones
Friday, April 23, 2004

And also, you wouldn't be able to spend a half-hour or more writing a totally spurious article about how spending 35 seconds to correct a minor bug doesn't fit in with your cost/benefit ratio, whilst spending half-an-hour or more ranting about this does.

No wonder he likes "The Office".

Stephen Jones
Friday, April 23, 2004

>>"I think these things are important because they are indicative of attention to detail generally."

Exactly.

And a person who responds to a question with a personal attack ("Please check yourself into a mental institution") rather than simply answering the question, is indicitive of either

a) A really lame sense of humor
b) A really massive ego

My Cousin Vinniwashtharam
Friday, April 23, 2004

Thanks for the comments guys.

At least this thread hasn't been deleted yet.

Steve Jones (UK)
Friday, April 23, 2004

I've been reading Joel on Software for quite a few years now, and as an owner of a software development company (www.singlepoint.ca) I've learned quite a bit from Joel's site [I think I've read every article in it].  Like everything in life, things continue to change and people change.  Joel has changed as well, and we see an example of this change in his response to the original question.

I'm disappointed in his tone and attitude towards the original question, which seems to have been couched as strongly as possible to avoid offending him.  Obviously, Joel was still offended, and let us all know that he was.

I'm not sure what Joel's goal was in insulting a questioner, perhaps we've become too much of a burden with all of our nit-picking questions?  My only piece of unsolicited advice to Joel is that he might want to reconsider his approach since we aren't just a pain in the ass readers; we are also current and potential customers.

If the Wal-mart greeter was having a bad day and rather than greeting you with a 'hello' instead slapped your face and said 'don't buy stupid things!' would you really want to shop there?  Would you dare enter the store again?

Joel, you've slapped us all.

Ron McMahon
Friday, April 23, 2004

I guess this is just proof that nobody knows when you're trying to make a light-hearted joke on the web.

I was trying to make a light hearted joke. I'm sort of surprised at the world of hurt that everybody felt at my light hearted joke, for which I apologize.

The "g" doesn't act as a link because the image in question contains a lot of white space to make it line up correctly. If the entire image were a link, there would be a bunch of white space which would also be a hyperlink which would be unexpected. Given the choice of having a large pixel area which was a link and shouldn't be, vs. a small pixel area which was not a link and should be, the latter seemed less bad. Using image maps or smaller sliced images to correct this was overkill because it's just not that bad. A much bigger problem is that the entire page doesn't reflect the new Fog Creek web design and the new Fog Creek logo. It's sort of like, if you went to the doctor to have a leg amputated, and you kept insisting that he remove a splinter on the small toe of the leg that was going to be amputated.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Friday, April 23, 2004

I have alot of respect for Joel's writing (articles.) But apparently his ego is (or has grown) larger than he can bear to have anyone remind him that he isn't perfect.

Joel seems to be suffering from "Rick Chapman"-ism as far as I can tell.  If you don't know what I mean, read this thread: http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=134653&ixReplies=28

Someone has found something relatively minor wrong with something Joel's done and instead of saying, "You know, you're right, let me fix it - I am afterall a usability guru.", Joel's saying "How dare you remind me that I'm not perfect, please seek professional help."

Way to go champ!

GiorgioG
Friday, April 23, 2004

Doh! crap! I posted before Joel's latest post...edit please Remove!

GiorgioG
Friday, April 23, 2004

If you make the bottom gif a link you'd simply be extending the clickable area downward. Frankly it doesn't matter a rat's 'arse either way.

There are some other things that do matter though. Having the links to the forum on the main JOS page below the everincreasing lists of languages is one of them. The result is that they are off the page at 1024x768 and soon will be at 1280x1024 if the list of languages increases by a couple.

The library picture (which like the logo at the top doesn't look like a button and thus breaks the idea of affordability) acts as a link to the forum home page, even when you are on the forum home page; so you click on it and get back to the same page. A small no-no and minor waste of bandwidth; just disable the link for that one page.

Fixing either of these would come in under the two minutes referred to in another thread.

Still, considering that you live in a country where the author of the best selling diet book died of a repeart heart attack weighing around twenty stone at the time, it is rather caddish of us to expect consistency between your site and your writing :)

And remember never post a joke without the appropriate smiley. (If the joke is directed at a Swede remember to post the smiley three days before you post the joke).

Stephen Jones
Friday, April 23, 2004

This all reminds me of my friend who is a chef. His name is Joe Spatsky. He has a restaurant here in town. He throws lots of parties inviting anyone who wants to come to his house. The main event at these parties is where he stands up and gives cooking advice to everyone. He gives great advice, is humorous, and very opinionated.

These parties are getting more and more popular. Meanwhile, his restaurant business is booming because of the word of mouth from these parties.

Lately, he has started running out of fresh things to say at these parties, so he started asking for questions at them. One day, I pointed out to him that during one of the tours of his house, I noticed that he had a head of lettuce stored in the low humidity crisper of the refrigerator rather than the high humidity one. I asked him why. Instead of answering, he made some crack about me being crazy or something. What a jerk!

After that, while hanging out at his free parties eating his free food, I found that several others at the parties noticed he was becoming a jerk too. We noticed other problems with him. For example, when attending his parties, we had to park across the street. He could have easily let us park in the grass in front of his house, but chose not too.

What’s up with this guy. He even wrote a cooking book. He claims to be an expert on cooking, but how can he be when he doesn’t even know how to store lettuce.

I’m going to continue coming to his parties, eat his free food, and listen to his advice. It’s too bad he’s a jerk.

Kyle
Friday, April 23, 2004

if response2Question == "ad hominem argument":
  return noHire()

Think about it. Resorting to fallacious reasoning is "Not Smart". Evading a direct question and making excuses doesn't "Get things done".

The humor would be appreciated if it was followed by a smiley and an explanation -- instead, a lot of energy was spent explaining why too much attention to detail is a Bad Thing. The style of argumentation that misrepresents the opposing position and exaggerates it to the point of being ridiculous is especially puerile.

Brilliant people are often ruined when they attain Guru status. The qulaities of character that lead to excellence often give way to inferior qualities that are concerned with maintaining status.  Pride goeth before the fall, coder-hubris and all that. The same ego that drove a person to excel, later becomes an obstacle to sustained growth. Ego's the helper, Ego's the bar.

I've noticed that people either admit error, learn, grow and move on -- or they deny, justify and harden themselves.

Ray Molacha
Saturday, April 24, 2004

Deal Joel,

I really enjoy reading your web pages, but I'm a bit confused by the logo at the top of your page. When I click on the counters of each letter, I'm brought to your homepage. I don't understand why clicking on the negative space of your logo brings me to a different page.

Can you change the top of your page so that only clicking on the strokes and not the counters brings me to the front page? Also, can you render it in light blue with a line underneath so that I know it is a link?

Finally, I'm not sure if you noticed, but you accidentally forgot to capitalize each word in "fog creek software." You probably meant to write "Fog Creek Software" or "Fog creek software."

Hope this helps!

Sam Greenfield
Saturday, April 24, 2004

Joel can I suggest you make the "g" link to this thread.

Matthew Lock
Saturday, April 24, 2004

Matthew Lock:

Brilliant! A recursive easter egg. You can tell this is a website for programmers and geeks...



(yes, I know I seriously abused 'recursive' here, it's a joke right?)

Bob Hu
Sunday, April 25, 2004

We've already got one "recursive link" in the picture which still goes to the forum home page when you click it from the same place.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, April 25, 2004

doe's m.gibson has his fingers in this scenario. :]

on the run
Monday, April 26, 2004

itis conserve, and now, joel never replace this header, and never  remove the space on alt text;

john smith
Monday, April 26, 2004

Fixing this would take about 5 minutes for anyone with a copy of Fireworks and Dreamweaver, and 10 minutes by hand.

I decided I was going to fix it and when I opened the bottom of the image, I discovered that the bottom of the g is not the only thing in the bottom image.  There are shadows of the characters in the black all the way across that extend a pixel or two into the white area.  You can't actually see them, as it looks like the characters are all above the black line.  This leads me to believe that the method that was used to create that graphic is at fault, in addition to the way it was placed.

I think the right way to do the top area would have been to make it all one graphic.  There's no need to make it two graphics like that, and for somebody who think keeping it simple is the best way to do something, it seems out of character for Joel to have made it unnecessarily complicated by breaking the logo into two graphics.

:)

The guy behind the guy
Monday, April 26, 2004

If Joel can squander his time and trouble to code the HREF attribute of the frivolous little link-icon with the text "http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2004/04/22.html#IveNeverSeenJoelBeSuchALinkWhore", surely he can make the entire descender graphic an image map and hyperlink only on the area specific to the descender on the 'g'.

;-)

Oops--there I go, putting the hyphen in "anal-retentive" again...

;-)  ;-)

cubiclegrrl
Monday, April 26, 2004

Uh, oh:  Looks like a bigger problem is the way the hyperlink text in my previous post was truncated.  What happened there?

cubiclegrrl
Monday, April 26, 2004

I think the original question was "why doesn't it?" -- which I suppose to be an inquiry into thinking, not a critique or a request to have it fixed. Also in the original question was, begging for forgiveness if it was too trivial, and what seemed to be a suggestion on how to accomplish the general idea -- both of these also seem to be stating something along the lines of "what were you thinking?" (and not in a snotty sense). Isn't that the point of Joel on Software? Finding out what "Spolsky" is thinking, what "Spolsky" would do. (I use the last name here to distinguish between the public image that most of us are interested in and the actual person that I would presume to be friends and are entitled to call him "Joel").

Anyway -- the best answer would seem to be one where Spolsky quickly exposes what he was thinking -- if we are to believe the rant, then it was simply triage (time, complexity, code space, etc.). I'd have to agree the rant does seem a little overwrought, but maybe Spolsky was getting around to writing on the topic of how he decides what to work and took the opportunity.

Others seem to thing Spolsky was caught in the act and ranted to cover up for a poor design/code decision. For those inclined toward that please meditate on the value of the following phrase "Don't fuck with me or I'll argue with you over the internet."

Finally, though it is Joel Spolsky's forum, celebrity doesn't always wear well, all the time. The original answers provided by Spolsky were openly testy-jokey, when myriad more polite approaches (including not commenting) were available. The subsequent apology I read was hollowed out of some sincerity by having an explanation. So, to Mr. Spolsky: some consideration should be given to manners, in fact, as you often make book recommendations, it might be interesting to address the idea of courtesy in the electronic era and what some good readings might be. The internet, email, bulletin boards, chat, IM have been breeding poor behavior for too long.

Joel (but not 'The Joel')
Monday, April 26, 2004

Are you sure it was Joel who coded the icon like that and not one of the interns?

Stephen Jones
Monday, April 26, 2004

To paraphrase James Carville: "It's the content, stupid!"

I could care less that the "g" doesn't act as a link. I come to Joel's sites for the content. It's always interesting, often provocative, and generally well-written.

There are thousands of blogs out there that are technically clever, brilliantly-coded, and cross-browser and 508 compliant. And the vast majority of them are not worth reading.

Scott McDonald
Monday, April 26, 2004

I read Joel's comments as funny.  Then again, they weren't directed at me.

I don't see how properly indented ASP code and properly indented HTML are mutually exclusive.

I use PHP, and all of the HTML output is handled either through explicit HTML (outside of the <?php ?> tags) or print (); statements, which, if used with "double quotes", respect "\n" as a newline when rendering the source HTML.

As correct indentation is purely a function of newlines and spaces, any language with a print or echo command that respects the two is capable of correctly indented HTML.

Rick Hull
Monday, April 26, 2004

This is a really delightful thread. I had often wondered if a topic like this one would spring forth.

There's already $100 worth of opinions here, and I have only a frayed two cents.

The question raised by the original poster is completely valid. It's an absolutely understandable and fair question, and it was tastefully asked. Think for a moment on how easily the question could become bait for the trolls, and you see what I mean.

'The Joel' obviously cares enough about the subject to give it a front page spot--that's nice. To mask how much he really cares about the matter with a snide comment to the original poster is not nice.

My opinion about the 'g'? To be perfectly honest, I never noticed it. I am, however, very impressed that somebody did notice and more than that, cared to inform someone else. What is highly interesting to me is that for a person who purports to offer acclaimed opinions on UI design to call a simple HTML tweak "rigmarole" is disparaging to one's credibility.

If you wanna-be a guru, you gotta want it bad. Offering nonsense excuses on why a trivial anomaly on an often-seen rendering of Your Company's Logo(!) cannot be reasonably fixed is an absolute hubris.

Steve Jones (UK), please continue noticing small things and caring about them.

Scott Judd
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Is this real?

http://www.subservientchicken.com

anon
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Thanks Scott, I'm glad that some people can understand my motivations.

Just have to hope that "The Joel", as you call him, doesn't think it was me who posted your comments incognito ;^)

Steve Jones (UK)
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I never noticed the 'g' issue, but I bet after the controversy dies down, The Joel quietly fixes it :-)

Michael
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Why does this thread, and so many others here, make me think of the crowds waving their sandals in "Life of Brian"?

Edward
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Joel's original reply was merely echoing Steve Jones's own analysis of "horribly trivial" and I agree, Steve's post was horribly trivial.  Now, lets leave Joel's g-spot alone...

JBreffni
Thursday, April 29, 2004

This is the thread that won't quit.

Matthew Lock
Friday, April 30, 2004

"This is the thread that won't quit"

Yeah, it certainly produced more activity than I first thought it would. I genuinely thought Joel would ignore it and it'd never reach undeleted status, though I was interested in why the "design" is like it is.

It puts me in mind of the Mothercare catchphrase: "because little things matter".

Steve Jones (UK)
Friday, April 30, 2004

I think the reason this thread is so popular is because it's
1. Accessible, Joel has a link to it from the top of the front page.
2. Advertised, Joel talks about "As some would have me be" without much explanation, curiosity forces people to come here to find out.
3. Conflict without resolution, the reason why you can't put down a good book, there is an interesting issue that has not been solved in the expected manner, people keep adding interesting perspectives and carrying to the thread in different directions. The difference is that people intuitively feel that they can somehow assist or speed the resolution of the conflict by posting and do so, hoping to gain closure.

Bob Hu
Saturday, May 01, 2004

No matter how extensively your software have been tested, your users will test something else you didn't...

Antonio Linares
www.fivetechsoft.com

Antonio Linares
Thursday, May 06, 2004

Monkey!


(For no particular reason)

MacTruck
Friday, May 14, 2004

The trouble with rhetoric is the same as the trouble with over stretching metaphors. It sounds good (and feels good mostly) to pontificate and get all stompy, dismissing criticism with flair, but often the rhetoric doesn't stand up to analysis.

I would want the splinter removed from my soon-to-be amputated leg if it would save me from pain until the latter occured.

On the other hand, the tail of a 'g' is not a splinter, and the site is not a rotten leg.

Edward
Friday, May 14, 2004

I hadn't bothered reading this till now and now I can't make anything like a witty or wise comment.

Ho Hum,

Anyhow, two things occurred to me.

1.  This thread probably has more contributions from Joel himself than any other thread either here or on JOS. 

2.  This would all have been saved if my invented sarcasm smiley :-} had been used. 

Simon Lucy
Friday, May 14, 2004

gimmick.

bikram
Monday, May 17, 2004

I don't know why I bothered to read this whole forum. It is utterly ridiculous.

The lack of alt-text does not equate with "brokenness" or incompletion.

We are in a profession that, by default, leaves us to be considered geeks/dorks etc. Furtherance of this argument in pursuance of "perfectionism," "courtesy," or any other self-proclaimed expertise on world satisfaction and sense of aesthetic only serves to perpetuate the nerd image.

How can one become offended by a forum post about a graphic?

Joel made a joke, whereas I would have replied to the original question "the g was built that way by design to mean 'g'et away from the computer, 'g'o outside, and 'g'et a life!"

bcweis
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

g

G
Thursday, May 20, 2004

Marvellous!!!
Page after page of drivel interspersed with the odd witticism.
More of the same please, as a Software Developer (rather than a Web Developer) I revel in this futile minutiae :-)

Please note (for those who have obviously been peeled raw at some point and knee jerk incoherently at any perceived slight) there is a "Smiley" lurking in the midst of this missive.

g-g-g-g-g-g-great!!!!!!!

Andy Gray (Flame away)
Monday, June 07, 2004

<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">
function ROFL( Rolling on Floor Lauging ) {
  var oHost1 = Spolsky.Joel.current.thread
  var oHost2 = Chapman.Rick.current.thread
  var oGuest = CEOjeff.current.thread
  var oWhiners = Guest.all.current.thread
  while ( [current.thread ] <= intelligent && oWhiners( persistedState ) = true)
      {
      if( currentDocument.contentDepth > getAttribute( this.currentDocument ) {
        ( oHost1 || oHost2  Object.createElement( entertainmentValue ) );
      }
      else
      {
        for  ( var oWhiners = 'mass hysteria' ) {
            setAttribute( oGuest, 'Rolling on Floor Lauging' );
            var currentDocument.contentDepth = entertainmentValue
            return true;
        }
      }
  }
}
</script>

CEO-Winfield Applications
Sunday, June 13, 2004

There are always a great number of people that get their kicks and their esteem by pointing out others shortfalls, fictional or otherwise.  We geeks are especially bad about it, as we pay a kind of attention to detail that others find useless at times. 

But being destructive when we can just as easily be constructive borders on madness when taken to an extreme, like this....

Looking for a Glass House, cause I've got some rocks!
Monday, June 14, 2004

You know, after reading ALL the comments, and reading about ALL the people who claim how easy it would be to fix and how stupid Joel is for not fixing it (because, of course, it makes him arrogant? I don't see where you get that, but... you go ahead and believe it), I have come to the conclusion that you are ALL stupid, self-involved scum-sucking idiots.

Now, flame me for that all you want, but first you have to hear what I have to say.
1) Why doesn't Joel make the "G" a link? Well, for one, splitting the image into any number of ways of doing it (3 images in a table, or an image map) would take a fair amount more code than as it is now. He already said he doesn't want all the blank space to be a link, and if you try to say he is "just saying that" well screw you, because I agree with him. I'd have the same thing on my site.
2) For everyone who says it should be one image, not two, YOU NEED TO START DOING SOME WEB DESIGN. The black line across the top of the screen is the background color for the row that contains "fog creek software". That means if it was all one image, at the end of "software" the bottom part, where it is white, would all of a sudden turn black, looking horrible.
3) Ten minutes to fix? Who was it that said this would be faster to fix in Dreamweaver than in HTML? Dumbass. I timed how long it took me to fix it with regular HTML (splitting the image up with Photoshop and fixing the tables). Three minutes. Not ten.

Also, Joel, I'd like to say that I'm very proud of you for not freaking out at these morons like I just did. Some people need to learn to think.

Flame on.

Preston St. Pierre
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

This is just great! flames flames and more flames!

fire extenguisher
Friday, August 06, 2004

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