December 9, 2003

"At first light tomorrow, I want you to attack into Baghdad."

And gentlemen in England, now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Henry the Fifth; IV,III

Donald Sensing points to a riveting story in the Los Angeles Times saying:"The battle for Baghdad was one of the pre-eminent feats of American arms in the history of the US armed forces. Only 975 infantrymen, tanker and support personnel spearheaded the whole attack."

The article, The Thunder Run is without a doubt the most detailed report to date on the critical moments of the war.

Over the radio net, Twitty had heard the tank battalions in the city celebrating and discussing the wine collections at Saddam's palaces. He was only a few miles away, at a Highway 8 interchange code-named Objective Larry, but he was in the fight of his life. Twitty had survived the first Gulf War, but he had never encountered anything like this.

His men were being pounded from all directions -- by small arms, mortars, RPGs, gun trucks, recoilless rifles. The two tank battalions had punched through Highway 8, but now the enemy had regrouped and was mounting a relentless counterattack against Twitty's mechanized infantry battalion.

As he scratched out his battle plan, Twitty spotted an orange-and-white taxi speeding toward his Bradley. A man in the back seat was firing an AK-47. Twitty screamed into the radio: "Taxi! Taxi coming!"

He realized how absurd he sounded. So he shouted at his Bradley gunner: "Slew the turret and fire!" The gunner spotted the taxi and fired a blast of 25mm rounds. The taxi blew up. It had been loaded with explosives.
Take the time to read it all.

Posted by Vanderleun at December 9, 2003 12:56 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Adhere to Window Models. Document windows, Utility windows, Click-through, Layering, Drawers, Controls. How do users open windows, how do you properly title windows?

Posted by: Meredith at January 12, 2004 3:53 PM

Due to the positioning of the Dock, remember that when you build an application, you have to be sure that new document window sizes and positions do not violate the Dock's space. Dock is temperamental and Dock loves his space. If you default to a window size that expands behind the dock, users will have a difficult time reaching the navigation and resize areas at the bottom of the screen. I can personally say that more than once I have been rather peeved that I couldn't get to an area of the window to resize because the default window settings always pop up behind the Dock. In addition, the new Dock in 10.1 will allow users to position their Dock location on either side of the screen as well.

Posted by: Margaret at January 12, 2004 3:53 PM

Drawers. Similar to Sheets, this is a "child" window that gives users access to items that do not always need to be present. But when do you use a drawer and when do you use a palette?

Posted by: Archibald at January 12, 2004 3:53 PM

Adhere to Layout Guidelines. Did you leave 12 pixels between your push buttons? Does the positioning of your pop-up menus make sense, and when do you use a pop-up versus a scrolling list? Are you using the right types of buttons for the proper functions?

Posted by: Barbara at January 12, 2004 3:54 PM

By building an application that takes advantage of Aqua's many facets, you help ensure that your application will not only look good, but have a chance of becoming a raging success. After a new user clicks on the icon of your program, the first thing he or she sees is the application interface. I know that when I review a product, I am very critical of its visual design. I usually have a short time to learn the new software, so design and ease of use are very important. Aside from those who marvel at the beauty of the command line, most users tend to react the same way.

Posted by: Richard at January 12, 2004 3:54 PM

User Assistance. This is helping the user with the proper "next step" when performing a task. Less guesswork for the user on what to do next makes for a better experience.

Posted by: Hugh at January 12, 2004 3:55 PM

Dock Animation. Sometimes animating icons in the dock can be useful in communicating the status of the system or application.

Posted by: Emery at January 12, 2004 3:55 PM

If an application is designed well, the reward for users is that they will learn it faster, accomplish their daily tasks more easily, and have fewer questions for the help desk. As a developer of a well-designed application, your returns on that investment are more upgrade revenue, reduced tech support, better reviews, less documentation, and higher customer satisfaction. The rewards of building a good-looking Aqua application are worth taking the extra time.

Posted by: Bridget at January 12, 2004 3:55 PM

By building an application that takes advantage of Aqua's many facets, you help ensure that your application will not only look good, but have a chance of becoming a raging success. After a new user clicks on the icon of your program, the first thing he or she sees is the application interface. I know that when I review a product, I am very critical of its visual design. I usually have a short time to learn the new software, so design and ease of use are very important. Aside from those who marvel at the beauty of the command line, most users tend to react the same way.

Posted by: Goughe at January 12, 2004 3:56 PM

Help! Did you include help tags in your applications? (I'd be lost without them.) Also, be sure to take extra time to develop your other help files. The Apple Help Viewer supports HTML, QuickTime, and also AppleScript. Take advantage of it! There isn't anything I hate more than going to the Help menu and finding there isn't any help.

Posted by: Eli at January 12, 2004 3:56 PM