My thoughts as an enterprise Java developer.

Friday, May 20, 2005

GUI designers take note: Selecting by first letter should show as many as possible that start with that letter

When I am in a list and I press a letter to jump to the first entry that starts with that letter why does it leave that entry on the bottom of the visible entries? It should make the entry the top visable entry so that many entries that start with that letter can be seen.

In more concrete terms if I am selecting a state from a drop-down list and press "w" it should make "Washington" visible at the top instead of the bottom so that I can see Wisconsin without scrolling.

This is just my little pet peeve of the day. :-)

Sometimes old solutions work best

I have a 4.8 MB file where I needed to do a replace that would happen about 850,000 times. I tried it in a few different editors:

  • Notepad: It looked like it was taking 3 seconds per replace so I killed that. I don't have the time to wait a month!
  • Source Insight (My preferred code editor): It partially suceeded in a few minutes but it ended up corrupting the output since it "ran out of undo space". Time to ask my co-workers...
  • jEdit: After running for at least 15 minutes I killed it.
  • TextPad: After running for at least 10 minutes I killed it.
  • sed: 10 seconds!

BTW my machine is a hyperthreaded P4 3.06 GHz with 1 GB of RAM with a serial HD.