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THE BEST SOFTWARE WRITING I by Joel Spolsky

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Clay ShirkyA GROUP IS ITS OWNWORST ENEMY1

In the late 1980s, software went through a major transition.

Before about 1985, the primary goal of software was making it possible to solve a problem, by any means necessary. Do you need to punch cards with your input data? No big deal. A typo on one card means you have to throw it away and start over? No problem. Humans will bend to the machines, like Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times.

Suddenly with personal computers the bar was raised. It wasn't enough just to solve the problem: you had to solve it easily, in a way that takes into account typical human frailties. The backspace key, for example, to compensate for human frailty, not to mention menus, icons, windows, and unlimited Undo. And we called ...

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