Simon Willison’s Weblog


9 items tagged “joelspolsky”


Spreadsheets are not just tools for doing “what-if” analysis. They provide a specific data structure: a table. Most Excel users never enter a formula. They use Excel when they need a table. The gridlines are the most important feature of Excel, not recalc.

Joel Spolsky # 10th June 2024, 12:43 am


Hg Init. Joel Spolsky’s guide to Mercurial. If you’re still using a non-distributed version control system like Subversion, this is a great introduction to the new world order. # 25th February 2010, 10:31 am



Heck, I practically invented the formula of “tell a funny story and then get all serious and show how this is amusing anecdote just goes to show that (one thing|the other) is a universal truth.” And everybody is like, oh yes! how true! and they link to it with approval, and it zooms to the top of Slashdot. And six years later, a new king arises who did not know Joel, and he writes up another amusing anecdote, really, it’s the same anecdote, and he uses it to prove the exact opposite, and everyone is like, oh yes! how true! and it zooms to the top of Reddit.

Joel Spolsky # 19th November 2008, 8:41 am

It’s Groove, rewritten from scratch, one more time. Ray Ozzie just can’t stop rewriting this damn app, again and again and again, and taking 5-7 years each time.

Joel Spolsky # 1st May 2008, 9:03 am


I’ve been using Vista on my home laptop since it shipped, and can say with some conviction that nobody should be using it as their primary operating system—it simply has no redeeming merits to overcome the compatibility headaches it causes.

Joel Spolsky # 20th August 2007, 3:58 pm

The way you make users understand your program model is with metaphors. When you make things look, feel, and most importantly, behave like things in the real world, users are more likely to figure out how to use the program, and the app will be easier to use. When you try to combine two very dramatically different real-world items (email and appointments) into the same kind of thing in the user interface, usability suffers because there’s no longer a real-world metaphor that applies.

Joel Spolsky # 22nd January 2007, 9:26 pm


The slashdot effect

Dave Winer asks why Joel Spolsky gets much more traffic when slashdotted than UserLand’s hosted sites tend to. Joel explains (it’s all down to network effects) and mpt kicks in a few ideas as well.

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Joel on platforms

Joel Spolsky: Platforms. Plenty of food for thought. Dave Winer responds with a pointer to his 1996 article The Perfect Parent which touches on the reasons Groove can’t count on making it as a platform.

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