A C Change

Tue, 03 Sep 2019 10:00:00 GMT

The rise of open source software has represented a true sea change in the software industry. David Platt wonders how its adoption by commercial software vendors like Microsoft change the direction of the industry going forward.

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Change of Plan

Thu, 01 Aug 2019 10:00:00 GMT

Pigs are flying. Hell is freezing over. And Microsoft is telling users they don’t need to change their passwords anymore. David Platt explains why this is a good thing.

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Where Are They Now?

Mon, 01 Jul 2019 10:00:00 GMT

Nearly a decade into his run as back page columnist at MSDN Magazine, David Platt takes a moment to look back and catch up on some of the subjects of his past columns.

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Testing 1 ... 2 ... 3 ...

Mon, 03 Jun 2019 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt says the single best way to improve your UX designs and build compelling apps is to test them on live users before coding them. So why don’t more dev shops do this?

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Calc or Stats?

Wed, 01 May 2019 10:00:00 GMT

Why are most college-bound students required to take calculus, when even workers in technical fields like medicine and software development rarely—if ever—use it? David Platt says it’s time we all got statistical.

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A Laughing Matter

Mon, 01 Apr 2019 10:00:00 GMT

In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, David Platt decides to ask Cortana, Siri, Alexa and OK Google to tell him a joke. The resulting groaners prodded him to look more deeply into the uneasy relationship between computers and humor.

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Fri, 01 Mar 2019 10:00:00 GMT

We live in a post-privacy age, where people willingly hand over data about their movements, correspondence and transactions to access free services. What does this modern, Faustian bargain say about us and the society we choose to inhabit?

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Our Event Horizon

Fri, 01 Feb 2019 10:00:00 GMT

Taking inspiration from Kurt Gödel’s First Incompleteness Theorem and Werner Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, intrepid columnist David Platt asks, 'What kinds of questions can Google never answer, no matter how big or how good it gets?'

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Mentoring Again

Wed, 02 Jan 2019 10:00:00 GMT

One of the best ways to improve your own skills is to help someone else improve theirs, writes David Platt, as he explores the challenge of mentoring his daughter’s high school robotics team.

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Sat, 01 Dec 2018 10:00:00 GMT

The Baby Boomer generation is aging, but high technology isn't doing good job of aging with them, says David Platt in this month's Don't Get Me Started column. How can consumer devices and services like smartphones and TV remote controls better serve the challenges of this growing population?

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

Thu, 01 Nov 2018 10:00:00 GMT

From Big Tobacco to weapons suppliers, good people must contend with the dilemma that the products they build can often be used to do bad things. David Platt is here to help us work through the rationalization.

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Reading the T Leaves

Mon, 01 Oct 2018 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt says lectures and code samples go only so far in preparing students for life in the real world as developers. This month he looks at the work his students are doing to create intuitive apps for the MBTA—the greater Boston transit agency better known as “the T.”

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Time of the Season

Sat, 01 Sep 2018 10:00:00 GMT

There was an era when media was rooted in time. From Saturday morning cartoons to Disney's Wonderful World of Color on Sunday evenings, broadcast media offered a shared cadence that no longer exists in a world of on-demand streaming

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Sing in Me, Muse

Wed, 01 Aug 2018 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt asks, what ancient Greek muse might inspire software developers? Finding none, he posits a muse of his own: Monomidene.

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Building Better Meetings

Mon, 02 Jul 2018 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt hit the road in May to attend the Build Conference in Seattle. He says Microsoft's AI vision could transform meetings.

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Ol' Man River

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt has written about Visual Basic Classic in the past. This month he explores Scott Hanselman’s successful effort at putting a VB6 app into the Microsoft Store.

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Tue, 01 May 2018 10:00:00 GMT

You hear that? That's the sound of the singularity approaching. As David Platt points out, the last generation of children to NOT have a device always with them has already been born. What does that mean for our future?

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I've Got a Little List

Sun, 01 Apr 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Wisdom and inspiration are where you find it. In David Platt’s case, that’s in the song, 'As Some Day It May Happen' from the beloved Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera 'The Mikado.'

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This Is Not A Drill

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 10:00:00 GMT

When the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accidentally pushed out an emergency alert warning of an impending ballistic missile attack, it became national news--and a warning of the impact bad UI can have.

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Why Software Still Sucks

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Ten years after he published his popular book 'Why Software Sucks,' David Platt takes a look around to find that bad software is still a serious problem.

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Mon, 01 Jan 2018 10:00:00 GMT

A couple issues back, David Platt wrote about the benefits of duct tape and its role in the art of software development. Now Platt contemplates duct tape's mirror opposite and how it should shape our efforts.

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Crushing It

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:00:00 GMT

What began as a simple classroom exercise has evolved into a promising app dev effort that could improve care for millions of people with congestive heart failure.

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Duct Tape

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 10:00:00 GMT

Duct tape is the miracle material that's proven its value in countless patch and repair jobs. Now MSDN Magazine columnist David Platt asks, what is the duct tape of software development?

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A Measure of Displeasure

Sun, 01 Oct 2017 10:00:00 GMT

An evening spent trying to connect to Harvard's WiFi network inspired David Platt to concoct a metric for determining the pain wrought by bad UX.

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When Software Sucks

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 10:00:00 GMT

Bad software is more than an inconvenience. It's an obstacle to productivity and achievement. David Platt's daughter Annabelle Platt shows how bad software is hard at work in the educational space.

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Salt and Pepper

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 10:00:00 GMT

On the 50th anniversary of the Beatles album, 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,' David Platt considers how technology has changed the consumption of art.

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Live and in Concert

Sat, 01 Jul 2017 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt attended the Microsoft Build 2017 conference in Seattle this year. Here's what he came away with.

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I’m Still Flying, Part 2

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 10:00:00 GMT

When David Platt set his students on prototyping a medical app, he thought it would be a powerful case-in-point lesson. As it turned out, it became so much more.

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I'm Still Flying

Mon, 01 May 2017 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt recounts his experience leading an intensive application design effort as part of his Advanced UX class at Harvard Extension.

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Sat, 01 Apr 2017 10:00:00 GMT

In the grand tradition of Rich Hall's Sniglets, our own David Platt offers a selection of apps that don't exist but really, really need to.

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Stranger Things

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 10:00:00 GMT

Voice-driven hub devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home seem innovative, until you consider that 1960s TV show The Addams Family boasted a hub of its own.

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Wed, 01 Feb 2017 10:00:00 GMT

In the era of AI and machine learning, David Platt things there are important lessons to be learned in literature.

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For the Defense

Sun, 01 Jan 2017 10:00:00 GMT

A man who dedicated his career to defending the accused has some interesting things to say about encryption. David Platt thinks we might want to listen to him.

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What, Me Mentor?

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt recounts how he ended up acting as a mentor to his daughter’s high school robotics team, and the lessons he learned in the process.

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Brain Droppings

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt offers timely ruminations on everything from the state of .NET development to handy tips on herding cats.

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A Technical Solution to a Political Problem

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 10:00:00 GMT

Throw the bums out is a popular election year refrain, and for good reason, says David Platt.

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Mary Jane Grows Up

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT

Microsoft has never been one to shy away from emerging markets, as David Platt explains in this months column.

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Sing a Song of Silicon

Mon, 01 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT

McAndrew's Hymn, the Rudyard Kipling poem celebrating the great steamships of the day, holds a lot of meaning for developers.

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Missing the Target

Fri, 01 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT

From the failed effort by retail giant Target to break into the Canadian market, to mounting frustration among health care professionals with computerized processes, columnist David Platt finds rotten UX at the core of some troubling challenges.

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The Joy of UX

Wed, 01 Jun 2016 10:00:00 GMT

Columnist David Platt and author of the book 'Why Software Sucks' says that software UXs are too often broken, and that developers are too busy to fix them. His solution? Why, write another book of course.

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Left Brains for the Right Stuff

Sun, 01 May 2016 10:00:00 GMT

“We didn’t know what we couldn’t do. So we just went ahead and did it.” Those are the words David Platt heard repeated during a recent gathering of engineers who worked on the Apollo moon missions.

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Gods and Fools

Fri, 01 Apr 2016 10:00:00 GMT

From the Greek myth of Pygmalion to the 2015 feature film 'Her,' the archetype of the human creation brought to love and to life transcends both cultures and epochs.

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The Internet of Invisible Things

Tue, 01 Mar 2016 10:00:00 GMT

Cortana will be at its best when we hardly notice it at all. As Harry Shum, director of Microsoft Research, put it recently: 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is invisible.'

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VB6: Waking a Sleeping Giant

Mon, 01 Feb 2016 10:00:00 GMT

In previous columns David Platt has described Visual Basic 6 as the programming language that will not die. Now he proposes to give VB6 new life by turning it into the flagship, rapid app development language for the Web. Call it VB*.

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Moving Forward, Looking Back

Fri, 01 Jan 2016 10:00:00 GMT

The twin Voyager spacecraft, launched in 1977, today are exploring the edges of our solar system and beyond. David Platt asks, who will write and maintain the code for the probes, which are nearly 40 years old?

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Refactoring Higher Education

Tue, 01 Dec 2015 10:00:00 GMT

The days of university professors subjecting students to endless lectures may be at an end. David Platt reflects on recent changes at the Harvard Medical School, where instructors are ditching rote presentation in favor of digital instruction and interactive teaching.

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Alan Turing and Ashley Madison

Sun, 01 Nov 2015 10:00:00 GMT

The Ashley Madison hack exposed millions as users of the cheating-spouse service. It also revealed that many of the female 'members' were in fact nothing more than chat bots designed to lure subscribers into its premium service.

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Thu, 01 Oct 2015 10:00:00 GMT

More and more users have not even seen a floppy disk, much less used one to save and transfer files. So why is the floppy disk image still the universal icon for 'save?' David Platt explores this and other anachronisms.

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Darwin's Camera

Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:00:00 GMT

Seflies used to be considered harmless fun, until so many citizens started dying taking increasingly bold snapshots that the Russian government launched a campaign to encourage safe photography.

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Why Can't We Be Friends?

Sat, 01 Aug 2015 10:00:00 GMT

Developers and IT pros should be staunch allies in an era where ALM tooling and integration blur the lines and blend testing and deployment in a single ecosystem.

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100 Years of Solitaire

Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:00:00 GMT

Fact: Windows didn't take off as an operating system until it was shipped with Solitaire. David Platt looks back at the iconic game as it turns 25 years old.

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Natives, Immigrants and Symbionts

Mon, 01 Jun 2015 10:00:00 GMT

The generation now being born will never experience the world without digital enhancement, says David Platt. How will that change the way future generations live, learn and love?

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Don't Get Me Started - Gone Viral

Fri, 01 May 2015 10:00:00 GMT

Thirty six years ago, humanity all but eradicated the deadly smallpox virus. Now the disease that killed nearly half a billion people in the 20th century alone has found a new host--the computer. David Platt explains why this idea should concern us all.

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Don't Get Me Started - Siri and Cortana Tangle

Wed, 01 Apr 2015 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt consults his inner dialog and recounts a recent conversation between mobile avatars Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana.

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Don't Get Me Started - Hitting a New Wall

Sun, 01 Mar 2015 10:00:00 GMT

Computers and software are supposed to make us more efficient. So why are some people in the medical field discovering just the opposite?

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Don't Get Me Started - 5 Years Down the Road

Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:00:00 GMT

Has it been five years already? David Platt looks back at half a decade as the back page columnist at MSDN Magazine.

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Don't Get Me Started - An Upstart Again

Fri, 02 Jan 2015 10:00:00 GMT

Microsoft has done a fine job remaking itself in the image of an increasingly cloud- and mobile-centric world, and the company's partnership with Xamarin is one reason why.

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Don't Get Me Started - My Biggest Misteaks

Mon, 01 Dec 2014 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt has made his share of bold predictions over the years. Now he looks back at some of his biggest misses.

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Don't Get Me Started - Next Flight Out

Mon, 03 Nov 2014 10:00:00 GMT

Disaster relief is a hard business that demands a lot more than brave souls and deep pockets. As David Platt observes, no recovery effort is complete without cutting edge IT.

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Don't Get Me Started - Raising Higher Education

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt's Harvard University Extension School class on UX engineering and management aims to create a cadre of UX first responders, who leverage awareness of basic concepts in UX design to enable a more robust and functional design process.

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Don't Get Me Started - A Girl’s Road to Geekdom

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:00:00 GMT

Annabelle Rose Platt is a teenage geek-in-the-making (who also happens to be David Platt's daughter). She guest-writes this month's column on the challenges of attracting girls into IT and software development.

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Don't Get Me Started - Unwritten Rules

Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT

Knowing when to follow the written rules, and when to ignore them in favor of the unwritten ones, is what software engineering is all about.

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Don't Get Me Started - Windows XP: An Old Soldier Fades Away

Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:00:00 GMT

Years after it helped change the computing world, Microsoft support for the Windows XP operating system is finally ending. But that doesn't mean we've seen the last of Microsoft's venerable OS.

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Don't Get Me Started - VB6 and the Art of the Knuckleball

Mon, 02 Jun 2014 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt's last VB6 column remains one of the most widely-read (and commented upon) MSDN Magazine articles in recent history. Platt thinks he knows why.

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Don't Get Me Started - Mayday!

Thu, 01 May 2014 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt takes Amazon's Mayday interactive help feature of the Kindle HDX for a spin and wonders, could it replace the neighborhood bartender?

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Don't Get Me Started - We Didn't Start Computing

Tue, 01 Apr 2014 10:00:00 GMT

Billy Joel's 1986 hit 'We Didn't Start the Fire' inspires David Platt to stream a bit of consciousness of his own.

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Don't Get Me Started - The Peasants Are Revolting!

Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:00:00 GMT

When Avon field reps revolted against the company's new order management software, it sent a stark message. In the age of iPads, companies can no longer afford to foist bad software on their users.

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Don't Get Me Started - Jose, Can You C?

Mon, 03 Feb 2014 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt recounts the courageous story of a Cuban immigrant to America, and why the country should be anxiously courting more like him.

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Don't Get Me Started - Jose, Can You C?

Mon, 03 Feb 2014 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt recounts the courageous story of a Cuban immigrant to America, and why the country should be anxiously courting more like him.

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Don't Get Me Started - The Steam Drill

Thu, 02 Jan 2014 10:00:00 GMT

The folk tale of John Henry describes a man who hammered steel drill rods into rock to make holes for blasting railroad tunnels. He died working to best a steam-powered drill. Does a similar fate await old developers unwilling to embrace increasing abstraction?

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Don't Get Me Started - Original Sin?

Mon, 02 Dec 2013 10:00:00 GMT

Computer pioneer Grace Hopper worked on the legendary Harvard Mk 1 computer to help design the first atom bomb. It was an epic achievement, and perhaps our industries first and greatest sin.

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Don't Get Me Started - Advice to the New CEO

Fri, 01 Nov 2013 10:00:00 GMT

With Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer poised to step down, columnist David Platt offers some completely unsolicited advice to whoever it is that finally takes his place.

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Don't Get Me Started - Singing Your Song

Fri, 01 Nov 2013 10:00:00 GMT

Google uses computers for what computers are good at, so humans can do what humans are good at. You should aim for the same, says columnist David Platt.

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Don't Get Me Started - Remaking Higher Education

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 10:00:00 GMT

Georgia Tech's online-only, masters degree program in computer science should have traditional four-year colleges quaking in their boots, says David Platt.

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Don't Get Me Started - Teenagers

Mon, 02 Sep 2013 10:00:00 GMT

Every generation, at the height of its powers, needs to step aside for the next one, says David Platt. But first, we all have to survive the absurdity of our teenage children.

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Don't Get Me Started - The Decade of UX

Thu, 01 Aug 2013 10:00:00 GMT

Not only do companies need to increase their UX efforts, but every developer now needs to know UX, even if it’s not his primary job, just as every soldier needs to know battlefield first aid.

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Don't Get Me Started - Activation Energy

Mon, 01 Jul 2013 10:00:00 GMT

A well-known concept from the world of chemical engineering -- activation energy versus released energy -- can help you anticipate the impact of your UI strategies.

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Don't Get Me Started - Getting Heisenberged

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:00:00 GMT

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle says that certain complementary properties are entwined such that knowing more about one means knowing less about the other. Devs can bump into Heisenberg when they try to figure out what users want in their programs.

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Don't Get Me Started - Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Wed, 01 May 2013 10:00:00 GMT

When Microsoft ignores its own UI design guidelines in Windows 8, it can only sow confusion.

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Don't Get Me Started - Coining Currency

Mon, 01 Apr 2013 10:00:00 GMT

One of the delights of writing this column is that I get to see lots of new things. Sometimes their creators forget to name them, so I get to do it.

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Don't Get Me Started - Grieving

Fri, 01 Mar 2013 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt says your software isn’t successful until it’s been used in a way that you never imagined.

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Don't Get Me Started - What's Up, Doc?

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 10:00:00 GMT

The Internet still hasn't cracked the health-care industry, the way it has newspapers, media and most recently higher education. But it's about to, says David Platt, and in a big way.

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Don't Get Me Started - Lowering Higher Education, Again

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 10:00:00 GMT

A year ago, David Platt predicted that universities would get hammered by Internet-based alternatives. Looks like he was right.

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Don't Get Me Started - Being Fully Digital

Mon, 03 Dec 2012 10:00:00 GMT

Remember Cardfile? With Windows 8, Microsoft is telling app developers to stay away from tired meatspace analogies in their UIs.

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Don't Get Me Started - Here We Go Again

Thu, 01 Nov 2012 10:00:00 GMT

Every great advance in application design tools heralds a wave of execrable design. David Platt urges software developers to show judgment and restraint with their new WIndows Store apps.

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Don't Get Me Started - Brain Droppings

Mon, 01 Oct 2012 10:00:00 GMT

Have you ever wondered what grinds David Platt's gears?

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Don't Get Me Started - On Honor, Cold Iron and Hot Silicon

Tue, 04 Sep 2012 10:00:00 GMT

Doctors swear to the Hippocratic oath. Should software engineers be pledging to uphold a code of conduct?

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Don't Get Me Started - The Patient Knows What’s Wrong with Him

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 10:00:00 GMT

It's hard to create an effective user experience when your users struggle to tell you what they need. David Platt says good designers know how to gain actionable insight from their users.

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Don't Get Me Started - The Silent Majority: Why Visual Basic 6 Still Thrives

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 10:00:00 GMT

Until and unless Microsoft brings out another tool that does these things, Visual Basic 6 will keep scuttling around.

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Tue, 01 May 2012 10:00:00 GMT

Are your applications posing impossible questions to users? David Platt says too many developers are just protecting their own backsides when prompting users to make decisions they can't possibly understand.

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Don't Get Me Started - Poetry of the Geeks

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt channels his inner muse, and gives new meaning to the phrase poetic license, as he surveys the verse of software and science.

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Don't Get Me Started - Touch, Not the Mouse

Thu, 01 Mar 2012 10:00:00 GMT

Touch is excellent for selecting among alternatives presented on-screen, but it's not the best solution in many cases.

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Don't Get Me Started - Ring Around My Neck

Wed, 01 Feb 2012 10:00:00 GMT

MSDN Magazine's 'resident curmudgeon' looks at our obsession with smartphones, and how they draw us together even as they push us apart.

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Don't Get Me Started - Lowering Higher Education

Tue, 03 Jan 2012 10:00:00 GMT

The Internet is set to hammer the higher education industry in the same way it hammered the newspaper industry.I hope that my industry will respond to this challenge with creativity and imagination that will make the world a better place. I expect to find the landscape radically different when my daughters start college, 9 years from now.

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Don't Get Me Started - Jobs and Ritchie: Entangled Photons

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 10:00:00 GMT

Steve Jobs died on October 5, and the tributes resounded through the universe. Far less noted was the passing of Dennis Ritchie on October 8. He deserves more recognition than he’s gotten, because Jobs couldn’t have accomplished anywhere near what he did without Ritchie’s work.

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Don't Get Me Started - BUILD: Microsoft's Call to Arms

Wed, 26 Oct 2011 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt says the Microsoft BUILD Conference revealed something he has not seen for a long, long time: Real excitement around Microsoft's platform strategy.

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Don't Get Me Started - Imagine That

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 10:00:00 GMT

The finals of the 2011 Imagine Cup software competition drew 128 teams from across the globe to New York City. David Platt found that the innovative entries weren't the only amazing thing about the event

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Don't Get Me Started - Development Is Design

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 10:00:00 GMT

The user experience is determined by your development skills, and not how pretty your UI is.

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Don't Get Me Started - The Power of the Default

Fri, 29 Jul 2011 10:00:00 GMT

The default settings can make or break your program. Treat them with respect.

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Don't Get Me Started - When Security Doesn't Make Sense

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 10:00:00 GMT

It’s usually the fault of the developer --rather than the end user -- when security isn’t applied.

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Don't Get Me Started - Will Microsoft Learn DEC’s Lesson?

Wed, 01 Jun 2011 10:00:00 GMT

Microsoft, for all the things it does right, still thinks like a PC company. For it to survive, that needs to change.

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Don't Get Me Started - R.I.P., DEC

Mon, 02 May 2011 10:00:00 GMT

Digital Equipment Corporation was an industry pioneer. Its eventual demise doesn’t change that fact.

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Don't Get Me Started - The Cat Butt Factor

Fri, 01 Apr 2011 10:00:00 GMT

Do you plan for all contingencies when building your program—including cat butts?

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Don't Get Me Started - Missing the (Power) Point

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 10:00:00 GMT

It’s time to start licensing PowerPoint users until they learn the true point of the program.

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Don't Get Me Started - Never, Never Land

Tue, 01 Feb 2011 10:00:00 GMT

As in medicine, certain events in software development should never happen. Not ever.

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Don't Get Me Started - Turn! Turn! Turn!

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 10:00:00 GMT

David Platt comes up with his own lyrics depicting the seasons of a developer.

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Don't Get Me Started - The Secret to a Successful Windows Phone 7 App

Fri, 03 Dec 2010 10:00:00 GMT

Want to build a Windows Phone 7 app that sells? Forget cool; remember useful.

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Don't Get Me Started - A Real Pain in the Neck

Tue, 02 Nov 2010 10:00:00 GMT

At a minimum, UI design shouldn’t cause physical pain to readers and users.

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Don't Get Me Started - The Devs and the Designers Should Be Friends

Fri, 01 Oct 2010 10:00:00 GMT

Instead of being at odds, developers and designers should work together from the beginning. Better software will result.

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Don't Get Me Started - Weasel Words

Tue, 31 Aug 2010 10:00:00 GMT

Euphemisms are the refuge of cowards.

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Don't Get Me Started - Mars and Venus

Fri, 30 Jul 2010 10:00:00 GMT

It’s a fact that men and women don’t think alike—remember this when designing software for the half of users that aren’t like you.

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Don't Get Me Started - Rejectionists Rejected

Tue, 29 Jun 2010 10:00:00 GMT

Standards for Windows Presentation Foundation and Microsoft Silverlight aren’t the enemy; in fact, they should be your starting point.

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Don't Get Me Started - Chainsaw Development

Mon, 07 Jun 2010 10:00:00 GMT

It’s time to standardize the UI for Windows Presentation Foundation.

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Don't Get Me Started - Fundamental Laws

Mon, 03 May 2010 10:00:00 GMT

Programmers will never develop great software until they learn that it’s not about themselves.

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Don't Get Me Started - In Praise of Dumbing Down

Fri, 02 Apr 2010 10:00:00 GMT

Making things easier for the end user isn't 'dumbing down' -- it's smart design.

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Don't Get Me Started - Edge Cases

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 10:00:00 GMT

Developers should focus their time and effort on the 99 normal use cases, rather than the one unusual use case that often gets way too much attention.

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Don't Get Me Started - The Human Touch

Wed, 03 Feb 2010 10:00:00 GMT

People aren't computers; keep this in mind when developing software. When developers confuse people and computers, bad things happen.

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{ End Bracket } - Trustworthy Software

Tue, 08 Nov 2005 10:00:00 GMT

The Authenticode dialog box that users see when they download software from the Internet, asking them if they trust the publisher and want to install the software is, in my opinion, a useless and annoying waste of time that provides no safety whatsoever.

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{ End Bracket } - To Confirm is Useless, to Undo Divine

Tue, 15 Feb 2005 10:00:00 GMT

The common user interface technique of confirmation, popping a dialog box into the user's face and asking, 'Are you really REALLY sure you want to do that?' is evil. It's unfriendly, it's distracting, and it's completely ineffective.

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MSMQ and .NET - Send MSMQ Messages Securely Across the Internet with HTTP and SOAP

Tue, 18 Nov 2003 10:00:00 GMT

When creating a distributed system you frequently need to provide for communication between two entities that are not in sync. Microsoft Message Queue Server (MSMQ) provides the kind of store-and-forward messaging in a pre-built infrastructure that can help you address these kinds of messaging needs. In the past, MSMQ was accessed using a COM wrapper. Now there's a .NET wrapper that lets you accomplish your messaging goals easily from your Framework-based code. To illustrate the use of the wrapper, the author builds a messaging application, sends MSMQ messages over the Web, and discusses messaging security.

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ASP.NET - Develop Polished Web Form Controls the Easy Way with the .NET Framework

Tue, 14 May 2002 10:00:00 GMT

Pre-built custom controls make application design easier and faster and allow you to maintain UI consistency. However, prepackaged controls can be big and slow, and are OS-specific. For those who don't want to use prepackaged controls, Visual Studio .NET provides controls for Web Forms similar to those found in Windows Forms, including label and textbox, and new additions such as the DataGrid, all of which you can customize. If you want to design your own controls, the .NET Framework provides inheritable classes that take care of all the nasty stuff you want to avoid, including page lifecycle, maintaining state across invocations, and browser detection. This article discusses these concepts, as well as eventing, rendering, and client-side scripting.

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Windows Forms - Developing Compelling User Controls that Target Forms in the .NET Framework

Tue, 12 Mar 2002 10:00:00 GMT

In the beginning, writing controls meant dealing with Windows messages. Then came Visual Basic controls, which introduced methods, properties, and events. Later, ActiveX controls, which ran atop COM, became popular. While each innovation in control writing brought more flexibility, nothing has matched the versatility of the new .NET Windows Forms controls and Web Forms controls. This article, the first of a two-part series, introduces the reader to Windows Forms, beginning with their inheritance from one of the .NET CLR base classes, which makes control creation much faster than before. Control programming is illustrated through the development of a login control. The equally flexible Web Forms controls will be covered in Part 2.

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.NET Interop - Get Ready for Microsoft .NET by Using Wrappers to Interact with COM-based Applications

Tue, 17 Jul 2001 10:00:00 GMT

Very soon, the development of Microsoft .NET applications will require interaction between those apps and existing COM components on both the client and the server. The .NET Framework has made provisions for this interaction by implementing various wrappers for COM objects to allow exposure of their properties and methods to .NET components. These wrappers will make it easy to make the connection between COM and .NET. After discussing wrappers, this article discusses other ways for .NET components to take part in COM+ transactions. To top off the tutorial on the interoperation of COM and .NET, the article discusses how ActiveX containers can host .NET controls, and how .NET containers can host ActiveX controls.

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Web Services - Building Reusable Web Components with SOAP and ASP.NET

Tue, 16 Jan 2001 10:00:00 GMT

XML and HTTP are cross-platform technologies especially suited for building applications that can communicate with each other over the Internet, regardless of the platform they are running on. Web Services in the Microsoft .NET Framework make it easy to write components that communicate using HTTP GET, HTTP POST, and SOAP. An understanding of these concepts, along with knowledge of synchronous and asynchronous operations, security, state management, and the management of proxies by the .NET Framework is essential in building these applications. This article has been adapted from David Platt's upcoming book introducing the Microsoft .NET Platform to be published by Microsoft Press in Spring 2000.

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COM+ and Windows 2000 - Ten Tips and Tricks for Maximizing COM+ Performance

Tue, 14 Nov 2000 10:00:00 GMT

There are many tricks to getting the most out of COM+, and this article offers the author's top 10. The tips cover the importance of transaction processing, the use of the COM+ catalog, and the design of three-tier distributed systems. Writing components using the correct threading model, knowing when to use compensating transactions, and the importance of stress testing early in the process also make the list. Other indespensible suggestions emphasize the importance of recognizing where an object's state is located, choosing appropriate authentication levels for COM+ applications, using Queued Components correctly, and implementing object pooling.

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