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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Excellent shortcuts in Google Calendar

I've been using Google calendar for some time, and I was always complaining that Create Event popup did not provide the ability to enter event details such as time and location. It only provided one line "What" entry field.

Well... I learned something new today. The "What" field is extremely powerful. It has ability to parse out time and location details from the entered string. For example, entering "Dinner at My Place 6PM to 8PM" will create an appointment from 6:00PM to 8:00PM. The "What" will be "Dinner at My Place" and location will be "My Place". There is ability to set duration like "Dinner at 6PM for 2hr", do recurring meetings, etc...

Full help and available shortcuts are here: http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=36604


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New version of Fiddler 2

A new version is of the fabulous Fiddler tool is available at http://www.fiddler2.com/fiddler2

I didn't realize that Fiddler provide support for creating Visual Studio WebTest scripts. The tool is getting better and better.


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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Excellent MSDN Managazine article on Parallel Data Structures and Algorithms

Last MSDN Magazine has an excellent article on Parallel Dat Structures and Algorithms. Article provides implementation source code and explains the following

  • Countdown Latch
  • Reusable Spin Wait
  • Barriers
  • Blocking Queue
  • Bound Buffer
  • Thin Event
  • Lock-Free LIFO Stack

Here is a link to the full article on MSDN: http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/07/05/CLRInsideOut/

Related Arclie: "What Every Dev Must Know About Mulithreaded Apps" msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/05/08/Concurrency


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Monday, April 02, 2007

Confirmation Dialogs vs. Undo dilemma

I just deleted a content section from my yahoo homepage. No confirmation, no UNDO. Its just GONE....

When designing a user interface, developers always have to take into account the dilemma between the ease of use, and safety/compliance.

One example of such dilemma is confirmation boxes. Many application UIs are designed by developers with development skill sets in mind. That means, and extra confirmation box is OK. However, for most users, that choice of UI is pretty annoying. The other extreme, is to let the user take full responsibilities for his actions: if he makes a mistake, he's at fault, and we have a CYA because we can show him an audit trail of how he made the mistake. And than, there's the great compromise - let you user do everything he needs, but provide a full UNDO functionality. This is the hardest to implement, yet, provides the easiest and most convenient UI.

Here are the perfect example: Why do we need a confirmation box when deleting a file in windows, if it will go into the recycle been anyway, and I will be able to restore it?

Google homepage has a great example of how things should be done: when you click on the X to close the content section, the home page shows a link that allows you to UNDO the operation. Easy, clean, does exactly what it needs to do.


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