One of the things I love about being an indy developer is the lack of deadlines. My old co-workers and I used to say:
You can have a date driven release or a feature (quality) driven release; you can’t have both.
I have not once regretted choosing to do feature (quality) driven releases for my software.
Last week I fundamentally changed the way users are created, making the new default to automatically create a password for the user and e-mail them their login information. Why? Because it’s a better way to do it.
This past week, I got an e-mail from someone who asked me if I could add a preference setting to disable the ‘you haven’t marked this task as private but you haven’t selected any groups for it either’ alert that appears in that situation. I replied that I didn’t intend to add such a preference because the situation described there (no task groups selected, but the task not marked as private) usually indicates an error. If no groups are selected for the task, the task is only visible to the task owner – which is the same as a private task. The error message was added in response to bug reports I was getting from users that were forgetting to set task groups.
After thinking about this a little more, I realized that the interface for this was just wrong. Private vs. shared tasks are mutually exclusive options and the UI needed to change. The reason that the options were separate in the first place was due to the evolution of the product itself. Early betas of Tasks Pro™ didn’t have task groups, so they only had the Private checkbox. When group permissions were added to tasks, the Private checkbox was never properly
When redesigning these controls, I was also able to abstract additional code and remove a preference at the same time. More good things!
In a big company, there would be no way to make a fundamental change like this so late in the release cycle – luckily I have no such restrictions placed on me. Sure, I need to reshoot some screenshots and change some documentation, but I can make the change and get it right before the release.
This week’s release candidate of Tasks Pro™ will sport a redesigned Private/Groups selection interface for tasks that more accurately represents the way these choices affect tasks and eliminates the need for the warning message altogether. Making this change makes the 1.5 release easier to use. Easier to use is better.