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Joel on Software


I just spent about 4 hours reading your "column" and was very impressed with your writing ability and the concise way that you present ideas.  I am no programmer, tho I have friends who are.  I am only researching software to create a website for an upcoming business.  I have been studying html for about one week now and am getting the hang of it.  I will surely revisit your articles on UI design.  Thank you and good luck on your future endevors.  Who knows, maybe I will become a programmer!!



"Happiness is important"

Glenn B. Guilford
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Happiness IS important.

But Glenn, I do hope you have been studying HTML only because you have no programmer ready to take on the job, and that you have already mastered all the essential skills to design a website.
Because programming in HTML is only accidental, you know that right? It's only the contemporary means to get you where you want to go, and determining where you want to go is the whole point, right?

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Yes, you're right there.  I know where I want to go, and am studying how others have used HTML and the Web to reach/serve their customers.  And no, I have no programmer.

Glenn B. Guilford
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Advice: Get a programmer.

Building a functional website is vastly more complicated than it used to be. Unless you are planning on building a simple brochure-style site, with no interactivity, you'll find that knowledge of a web scripting language (asp, php, jsp, whatever) will be invaluable (side note: why do invaluable and valuable mean the same thing?)

Traditional HTML websites are becomming a much smaller percentage of the commercial internet world. For the most part, people want to come to your website and _do_ something.

More Advice: Get a graphic designer.

I can't tell you how many really poor websites I've seen that were designed by people without much experience. Graphic design is a complex discipline, with basic principles and rules. Beyond that, in order to do really compelling design, you usually have to break those rules. But you have to break them in the right way.

If you aren't a programmer, don't try to do a programmer's job (developing a website. If you aren't a graphic designer, don't try to do a graphic designer's job (designing a website). If you're both a programmer and a graphic designer, welcome to the club. You will be very popular.

I'd send you my information about web development, but I'm booked solid for the next couple of months.

Benji Smith
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

since you asked...

valuable means something has a fixed worth, and that worth can be valued at some figure.  a house is valuable because an appraiser can set the value at $150,000.

invaluable means something is off the charts on the value scale, so that it cannot be measured.  a person is invaluable, because, while they have great worth, their worth cannot be appraised.  if you added up the cost of all the proteins & stuff that make up a human, you'd get some number.  but that number could never equate to the difference that human has made in other people's lives.

Thursday, October 24, 2002


valuable = able to be valued
invaluable = not able to be valued (usually applied to things that are of apparently high but not quantifiable value)

Too much time on my hands...

Sam Strachan
Thursday, October 24, 2002

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