Friday, August 26, 2005

Fly your own airplanes!

WARNING: This blog entry was imported from my old blog on (which used different blogging software), so formatting and links may not be correct.

I was just going through my buglist for the webform designer in Creator, and came across this request:

Synopsis: way to turn off GIF animation in designer

Description: Maybe this is simply an IDE option for Visual Editor.
I'm inclined to think the default should be off.
They can be pretty distracting...

In case you didn't realize it, if you insert animated gifs in your web page, the designer will preview
the animation at designtime too. Here a user is asking for the ability to turn this off, since animated gifs
are distracting.

My first thought was: You are about to inflict annoying
animation on your users, so shouldn't you have to put up with this yourself? It's a bit like the reverse
dog food test.

Or, more recently at Sun we like to say we "fly our own airplanes" - e.g. use our own products.
I'm not sure where the saying comes from, but clearly as a customer you have more confidence flying in a
plane knowing that the people who built the plane also fly it. The reverse situation is that if you don't want to fly your
own airplanes, you shouldn't force your customers to either. And that's what asking for distracting images
to be hidden at designtime sounds like to me.

By that line of reasoning I guess I should implement designtime support for the
<blink> tag as well!
And it raises the question of what I would do if users requested a new JSF component which creates a pop up ad
in user browsers, one smart enough to defeat most popup blockers.

Making it easy for people to create annoying web apps feels a bit like making weapons... on the other hand
I'm probably getting way out of hand here. Simple banner ads are used to pay for web sites that are free for use,
many of which I use. And of course, even Creator has been
advertized using banner ads.

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