4,716 reputation
31325
bio website softwareonastring.com
location Netherlands
age 52
visits member for 4 years, 3 months
seen Oct 6 at 20:34

Software developer since 1985. Started in Cobol, moved via Clipper/VB to Delphi. Delphi developer since 1998. Sniffing at C# and playing around with javascript and some php for websites. Coaching new employees and less experienced developers. Focused on software architecture and SOLID design. Keenly interested in user experience and usability.

Questions

When you ask a question, show your effort, provide all the details that will help someone to help you and be precise.

Answers

When you answer a question, don't just paste your code. Your answers will be much better when you explain why your code is doing what it does and how it achieves the asker's goal. It makes it a whole lot easier to follow along. As it is I am much more inclined to up-vote answers that have explanatory text about what the code is doing and why it is written as it is.

Answers that just contain links aren't likely to get an up-vote from me either

Other

Obligatory link whenever someone thinks they are improving security by imposing all sorts of rules on password composition: Password strength


May
4
comment Why are the profile pictures rounded nowadays?
@DannyVarod Because rounded edges are perceived as less threatening by the visual system. (Sorry no link but this stuck in my memory from reading articles about why MS (and Apple?) moved from squared corner windows to ones with rounded corners.)
Apr
30
comment Why do traffic lights have three separate light bulbs instead of having one?
There is another reason for more than one bulb: failing bulbs. When you have three separate bulbs in two out of three cases you know exactly what situation you are in (as one of the unbroken bulbs is on) and you can thus also spot the broken bulb and know that it would be on (because the others are off as well) - you would only have to wait at most one light change to know which bulb is broken (assuming that the chance of all three failing at the same time is slim).
Apr
30
comment Why do traffic lights have three separate light bulbs instead of having one?
There is another reason for more than one bulb: failing bulbs. When you have three separate bulbs in two out of three cases you know exactly what situation you are in (as one of the unbroken bulbs is on) and you can thus also spot the broken bulb and know that it would be on (because the others are off as well) - you would only have to wait at most one light change to know which bulb is broken (assuming that the chance of all three failing at the same time is slim).
Apr
29
comment Need suggestion for icon for 'Unknown File Type'
Look at what the file browser of the OS does. Windows Explorer shows the standard "document" icon for a file with an extension that has not been registered. Other OS's file browsers probably do something similar.
Apr
29
comment Why is blue used as a background color to indicate no signal?
I am pretty sure Amsterdam is not the only city in the world with a red light district? Hamburg comes to mind...? @Franchesca: blue light? What kind of entertainment would that be (or is it unsuitable for this site). I used to live in Amsterdam, but didn't encounter a blue light district. Admittedly, it was almost 25 years ago :)
Apr
29
comment Broad Application with many like screens
Yes, mock-ups of your proposed designs would help greatly. If you load them up to some image sharing website and provide the links, then someone here with enough reputation will add them to your post for you.
Apr
28
comment Why is 'Up Navigation' a recommended Android guideline?
@powerj1984: pity though that "swipe the menu out" is something that is not easily discovered.
Apr
25
answered Select between page and object on it when both have same boundaries
Apr
25
comment “soft” error messaging. Is that a thing? Precedence?
I am subscribed to the littlebigdetails feed, but didn't yet know about the other two. Thanks!
Apr
25
comment “soft” error messaging. Is that a thing? Precedence?
Working on tax return submittal software we used this approach. We had error messages (this is plain incorrect), warning messages (we think your data is inconsistent) and informational messages (you entered X, you may be eligible for Y). Main thing users appreciated was the fact that none of these prevented them from entering incorrect information or from saving their tax return even when required information was still missing (error). Any errors did however prevent them from submitting the tax return to the tax people.
Apr
24
revised Maximum number of Color-Codes
edited body; edited title
Apr
24
comment Scrolling Checkerboard Background for Transparent Images
Please don't add it. It's distracting and serves no purpose.
Apr
23
comment Displaying useful contextual information without confusing user
Lose the background or dim it substantially. I can't see the forest for the trees.
Apr
23
comment Which keyboard shortcuts to chose on cross-platform software?
The obvious answer would be: make them adapt to the platform the app is running on! Yes, it is more development work, but your users will probably thank you for getting a "normal" response from your app to short-cuts that they are used to, instead of some unpredictable (to them) behaviour based on whatever scheme you came up with to forcefully amalgamate the different platforms.
Apr
19
comment How should a responsive website use so much extra space on large screens?
+1 "And based on my personal experience, people with big screen don't usually maximize a single browser" Indeed!
Apr
19
comment Is there any evidence to back up the theory elderly people won't know how to use a smartphone?
Which user, if any at all, uses the full potential of a smart phone? If smart phone usage is anywhere like comparable with pc usage or even "specific application usage on a PC (like MS Word), then most users use only about 10-20 percent of any products features. And that includes VCR's, smart TV's and the like. Has nothing to do with age, everything to do with interest and with the goals for which you bought something.
Apr
18
comment Is there any evidence to back up the theory elderly people won't know how to use a smartphone?
Define "elderly". Age in and of itself is hardly ever a good discriminator for what you really want to know: tech-savvy or not.
Apr
16
comment Is there any good reasons to stick with full page refreshes any more
Also Ajax requires JavaScript and auto-refreshes are not totally reliable. The SE notifications for example don't always survive my machine going to sleep and waking again. Almost always need to do a full page refresh to get it going again. Also: try voting moving to another page and then moving back. Your vote seems gone until you reload the page. Most JavaScript/Ajax functionality simply isn't designed or implemented robust enough to cope with everything someone can do in a browser.
Apr
16
comment How can I help a user extract a unique key from an email?
Please help me understand. What kind of user would need to get that information from e-mails? If the number of e-mails necessitates the automation of summaries wouldn't the user have access to the originating system? I can't imagine any single person ordering so many items (s)he would require an app like this?
Apr
15
comment Why didn't the phone companies change the length of the phone numbers for new applications like faxes?
+1 Very good point.