View Poll Results: Should applications have soul?

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  • Put the Soul in Soulution

    9 64.29%
  • Substance > Style

    5 35.71%
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    I know you got soul

    This post threw up some divisions (well, me vs everyone else):
    http://www.dbforums.com/showthread.php?t=1618806

    The two camps:
    Applications should have soul
    Anyone can write a for loop and handle an exception - that is what the punters expect. What they don't expect is the unexpected. Think about that for a second.
    Every application should be a little different to another. It should have a few smatterings of effects or humour that leave the user with an abiding memory of that app. It can be the fading, animated splash form in the link, a personalised message for the user, easter eggs, a little cheeky humour. We are the artisans of the 21st century. When one of Chippendale's apprentices came to him and said "boss - the action of the drawers on the bureau is faultless and they are practically seamless with the body when closed" did he say "top job lad, just rummage around in the store room for any old decorative tat and hammer it onto the front and job's a good un"? No. He did not. He crafted a unique work with love and care. His furniture had soul.

    Applications are functional - period (that means full-stop BTW)
    Our job as developers is to produce efficient and effective software that performs to specification. The history of application development is littered with examples of programs that sought to be more than they needed to be and fell well short of the requisite standard of functionality. No one will remember forms disappearing into the screen and little animated letters assembling into words but they will remember the crashes, the frustration, the hideous loading times. The genesis of any application is the functional spec - there is good reason for this.
    Last edited by pootle flump; 05-30-07 at 17:08. Reason: Embarrassing spelling error...
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    pootle flump
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by pootle flump
    Anyone can write a for loop and handle an exception
    well, that lets me out, then
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pootle flump
    (well, me vs everyone else)
    And when I posted my "grumpy" post, I thought I would be on the outs. I truely feel every app should have it's own soul. No app is complete without something special in it so the developer can look back and see his/her users enjoying that "whatever". The real trick, genius, ??? is to be able to find that "whatever" that works with that customer/client/boss/user. And then to add it in such a way that it is not abtrusive to others, but enjoyable to most. Any app that is only that, an app, and therefore has no soul, was just work. And work should be FUN!
    Thanks for this discussion Pootle! I would expect most, if not all, have agreed with you already, but also wanted to make the point that some people only believe in soul, and not the soul doing any meaningful work.

  4. #4
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    The first VB6 program I wrote was a little utility to move several thousand files from one directory to another, renaming them as it moved them. This app didn't even require a GUI. It could have just been a script. But with a little creative genius, a bit of googling and an indulgent boss with a similar sense of frivolity to mine I produced the attached. That humble little app had soul.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails soulApp.gif  
    Last edited by pootle flump; 05-30-07 at 17:26.
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    pootle flump
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  5. #5
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    This button has a little dark soul. Obviously I knew the client quite well...

    Code:
    
    PrivateSub DoNOTPressMe_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles DoNOTPressMe.Click
     
    MessageBox.Show("You just failed the intelligence test :o(")
    Application.Exit()
     
    EndSub
    
    Testimonial:
    pootle flump
    ur codings are working excelent.

  6. #6
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    I suppose that I just want an app that works right, the first time and every time thereafter.

    It's not that I mind the humour, just that most people don't appreciate being charged money by the hour for someone to not take them and their needs seriously.

    There is plenty of time to mess around with your own code and apps off company time or on breaks. When you are paid to do a job, it's important that you complete it and give the customer what they want. There will be less complaints that way.
    "Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7
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    making "good" software is an art. making your product accurate, efficient and something users truly enjoy using is not something that is easily accomplished. when i look at true genius like tivo or the ipod for the first time i am as wowed as when i saw the Van Gogh's Van Gogh exhibit or when I saw John McLaughlin play with Shakti or the first time I read Dostoevsky. Truly killer apps have both soul and work to spec.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  8. #8
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    Nobody said that applications shouldn't look good.
    In fact they should look as good as they perform.
    All excess GUI work should be done post-testing etc.
    I'd much rather have an application that doesn't break on me every 10 minutes than something that had a fading splash screen.

    As I've said before - I am guilty of putting frivilous bows and whistles on my Access databases but that's always after I have taken a sledgehammer to it and it has survived.

    I vote substance over style for these facts alone
    George
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  9. #9
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    Id agree with Georgev, and with poots

    but the key driver has to be that the application is fit for purpose.. ie it deos what the user wants, when they want it. if all thats there then you have tome to spend on the frivolities.. frivolities which often may impress the users more than well it works.

    Im happy to put a little bit of gloss on the app, and lets face it in the windowing world we now live in users expect that they expect that the app should be telling them its doing something if it is.. and isnt just sitting there lurking.

    I do put flashy bits in stuff Ive supplied to third parties, but when working in house those flashy bits are way down the line.. if we/I am certain the app is working as expected, passed testing, integration and QA. But how often does a project have spare time to put in such whistles and bells, how often do we have time to document to the standard we would want if you have to go in and fire-fight an application thats crashed last thing at night
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  10. #10
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    I've been known to include the odd minesweeper clone dialog for particularly long-running functions. I also seem to recall one particular application where I was contracted for clerical work and ended up doing Oracle 9i development. They still use that application today, random pictures of my pets interspersed throughout and all...

    I guess that puts me in the "soul" camp.
    oh yeah... documentation... I have heard of that.

    *** What Do You Want In The MS Access Forum? ***

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy
    I guess that puts me in the "soul" camp.
    You know you got it. And you have swung a hung jury.

    Blindman won the award for most predictable response

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark
    Id agree with Georgev, and with poots
    I really liked this one too as me & George argued the opposite poles
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    pootle flump
    ur codings are working excelent.

  12. #12
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    I never said that applications shouldn't have soul (or maybe I did?) but I argued that you have to prioritise your work on a project.

    The example I'd give against "soul-apps" is the differences between Enterprise Manager and SQL Server Management Server. SSMS looks prettier but takes 10x longer to load anything!

    "Soul" should never eat into performance.
    George
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgev
    I never said that applications shouldn't have soul (or maybe I did?)
    Me just count the votes fella
    Testimonial:
    pootle flump
    ur codings are working excelent.

  14. #14
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    application=soul
    Peak Consulting - Business Intelligence Experts

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