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Why Software Sucks...and What You Can Do About It
WHY SW SUCKS WHAT U CAN DO_p1
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John McCormick, Locksmith columnist, TechRepublic.comI must say first, I dont get many computing manuscripts that make me laugh out loud. Between the laughs, Dave Platt delivers some very interesting insight and perspective, all in a lucid and engaging style. I dont get much of that either!
Henry Leitner, assistant dean for information technology and senior lecturer on computer science, Harvard UniversityA riotous book for all of us downtrodden computer users, written in language that we understand.
Stacy Baratelli, authors barberDavids unique take on the problems that bedevil software creation made me think about the process in new ways. If you care about the quality of the software you create or use, read this book.
Dave Chappell, principal, Chappell & AssociatesI began to read it in my office but stopped before I reached the bottom of the first page. I couldnt keep a grin off my face! Ill enjoy it after I go back home and find a safe place to read.
Tsukasa Makino, IT managerDavid explains, in terms that my mother-in-law can understand, why the software we use today can be so frustrating, even dangerous at times, and gives us some real ideas on what we can do about it.
Jim Brosseau, Clarrus Consulting Group, Inc.A Book for Anyone Who Uses a Computer Today...and Just Wants to Scream! Todays software sucks. Theres no other good way to say it. Its unsafe, allowing criminal programs to creep through the Internet wires into our very bedrooms. Its unreliable, crashing when we need it most, wiping out hours or days of work with no way to get it back. And its hard to use, requiring large amounts of head-banging to figure out the simplest operations.
Its no secret that software sucks. You know that from personal experience, whether you use computers for work or personal tasks. In this book, programming insider David Platt explains why thats the case and, more importantly, why it doesnt have to be that way. And he explains it in plain, jargon-free English thats a joy to read, using real-world examples with which youre already familiar. In the end, he suggests what you, as a typical user, without a technical ba...
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David S. Platt runs Rolling Thunder Computing (www.rollthunder.com), an education and consulting practice. He has more than twenty years of experience as a programmer, teaches software development at Harvard University Extension School and at companies all over the world, and is a popular speaker at conferences. He is the author of nine previous books-including Introducing Microsoft .NET, Third Edition, The Microsoft Platform Ahead, and Understanding COM+ (all Microsoft Press)-as well as many journal articles and newsletters. In 2002, Microsoft designated him a Software Legend. Dave lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Acknowledgments xiiiIntroduction 1Chapter 1: Whore You Calling a Dummy? 9
Where We Came From 10
Why It Still Sucks Today 11
Control versus Ease of Use 13
I Dont Care How Your Program Works 15
A Bad Feature and a Good One 19
Stopping the Proceedings with Idiocy 23
Testing on Live Animals 26
Where We Are and What You Can Do 28Chapter 2: Tangled in the Web 31
Where We Came From 32
How It Works 34
Why It Still Sucks Today 37
Client-Centered Design versus Server-Centered Design 40
Wheres My Eye Opener? 46
Its ObviousNot! 52
Splash, Flash, and Animation 56
Testing on Live Animals 59
What You Can Do about It 61Chapter 3: Keep Me Safe 65
The Way It Was 66
Why It Sucks Today 67
What Programmers Need to Know, but Dont 71
A Human Operation 77
Budgeting for Hassles 80
Users Are Lazy 83
Social Engineering 87
Last Word on Security 92
What You Can Do 93Chapter 4: Who the Heck Are You? 97
Where We Came From 97
Why It Still Sucks Today 98
Incompatible Requirements 99
OK, So Now What? 106Chapter 5: Whore You Looking At? 119
Yes, They Know You 119
Why It Sucks More Than Ever Today 122
Users Dont Know Where the Risks Are 125
What They Know First 127
Milk You with Cookies? 129
Covering Your Tracks 140
The Google Conundrum 141
Solution 145Chapter 6: Ten Thousand Geeks, Crazed on Jolt Cola 149
See Them in Their Native Habitat 149
All These Geeks 150
Who Speaks, and When, and about What 153
Selling It 158
The Next Generation of GeeksPassing It On 161Chapter 7: Who Are These Crazy Bastards Anyway? 169
Homo Logicus 170
Testosterone Poisoning 171
Control and Contentment 173
Making Models 175
Geeks and Jocks 177
Brains and Constraints 181
Seven Habits of Geeks 183Chapter 8: Microsoft: Cant Live With Em and Cant Live Without Em 189
They Run the World 189
Me and Them 190
Where We Came From 193
Why It Sucks Today 195
Damned if You Do, Damned if You Dont 199
We Love to Hate Them 203
Plus a Change 207
Growing-Up Pains 211
What You Can Do about It 214
The Last Word 220Chapter 9: Doing Something About It 223
1. Buy 224
2. Tell 229
3. Ridicule 232
4. Trust 233
5. Organize 237Epilogue 241About the Author 243