Skip to main content

Every programmer shall have two monitors - I disagree

While I love the concept of Alex Feldstein: The Programmer's Bill of Rights, I disagree with the first point.

Two monitors? How many USERS/CLIENTS do you know that have two monitors? I deal with a partner who uses two monitors regularly. The result? A bloody pain in the butt every time I try to support them.

I agree - it's cool, it's geeky but it's NOT THE NORMAL ENVIRONMENT THAT USERS SUFFER WITH.

Yes, I said it - SUFFER - users SUFFER with their hardware. Fast - developers need it, comfortable - absolutely - but at least deal with reality.

I remember when Calvin spoke about his notebook in fairly "obvious" terms (not a slight against Calvin, more against the norm) - 4 GB RAM, this was back at the 2002-03 Devcon. Hello? His comment, I remember, ("not that much improved" - or something similar) drew groans from the crowd.

I agree - spoil your developers - but they still need to sit in the world of user reality.


AlexF said…
Not sure we are talking about the same thing. You taklk about clients. I talk about developers. I do believe that developers (and advanced users if you want to talk about clients), are more productive with two monitors.

The extra real estate is very helpful when you need to have several windows ipopened. I can see code at the same time I have the debugger open while a I'm running a program step-by-step. I can see the code, I can see the output on the program's interface and I can see many windows open in the IDE (properties, variables, whatever).

Works for me in VFP, and in VS2005.
It is also very helpful when I have MS-Outlook open at the same time I'm using a text editor, or -- you get the point.
Andrew MacNeill said…
I realize you were talking about developers - my point is that when developers get two monitors, they have immediately stepped out of the zone of "understanding" what their end users will work with.

I do see the benefit - but I think the danger is where one starts to think everyone has the same thing.

Now then, a larger wide-screen monitor - hmmm...

I'm all about the user experience and I find having too many bells and whistles on my own machines - can then cause possible bad assumptions as to what "regular people" work with.

Of course, I've been proven wrong before...
Anonymous said…
Andrew, I think having a wide screen monitor, as you seem to be lusting after in your comment to Alex, would give you more of a disconnect from the average user than the typical dual monitor setup would. Ahh, "geek lust" - some people would never understand. 8-)

Anyway, the dual monitor setup doesn't "stretch" the screen across the two monitors, it just provides more area to work on. So you still have a representation of what your average user/client is working with - on one of the monitors.

As an analogy, imagine you have the blueprints for your new house laying on your 30" x 60" desk. After you get tired of flipping back and forth between different detail pages, you set a table of the same size next to your desk. Now you can spread out your blueprints and look at them side by side. Having the extra table doesn't stretch the blueprints, it just provides more area to spread out. And you can still understand what your user/client is using to look at his blueprints.

I've been using dual monitor setup for nearly two years. Some of my users also have dual monitors, some don't. And there hasn't been any loss of understanding - just a lot of "monitor envy". 8-)
Andrew MacNeill said…
Boy, it sounds like I'm going to be eating my words and just admit it - I don't have two monitors but I've heard enough about it now to say "hmmm - maybe it's time"

Popular posts from this blog

Attending Southwest Fox 2019 could change your life - Find out how

Southwest Fox is coming up in October and as I do every year, I spoke with the organizers Rick , Doug and Tamar on the FoxShow. Deadlines for Southwest Fox: Super-saver price (before July 1): $695 Early-bird price (before August 1): $770 Regular price (August 1 and later): $820 This year, I took a different approach with separate shows for each organizer but the main message is still the same : July 1st is their Go/No-Go date. Conferences don't talk about this very often. I don't think developers really question if Apple will hold their WWDC in June or Microsoft will hold their Build conference - but that's because those conferences are vendor-led. Southwest Fox is a community-driven conference - it's not driven by a company with an agenda. Listen to the interviews and you can hear how important each of the organizers feel the live connection between speakers and among attendees.

Well, that explains CodePlex...

In a move that will be sure to anger open source (or rather anti-paid software, anti-Microsoft open source)  zealots, Microsoft is planning to buy GitHub . A year ago, I mused about why Microsoft would shut down CodePlex and how the world needs competing source code repositories to be strong. I'm not the only one per this Slashdot article  : "...   people have warned about GitHub becoming as large as it did as problematic because it concentrates too much of the power to make or break the open source world in a single entity, moreso because there were valid questions about GitHubs financial viability...." - Jacques Mattheij I will be interested in seeing this play out - whether developers jump ship or not. Have all the efforts Microsoft has made in pushing towards open source be seen as genuine or will all the zealots jump ship or maybe even attack? Microsoft's comment about why they shut down CodePlex referred to how spammers were using CodePlex. Well, GitHub

FoxInCloud Stats

FoxInCloud sent this link a while back about their statistics regarding visits to their site: What's interesting here is the breakdown of people. Yes, I think it's understandable that the Fox community is getting older. Another factor is the growth of the mobile and web environments taking over development. These environments really do push people towards the newer non-SQL or free SQL/hosted environments but more towards hosted storage options like Amazon and Google. A tool like FoxInCloud that helps MOVE existing applications to the cloud inherently competes with those environments. But FoxInCloud also allows developers to extend their application further by giving them a starting point using Javascript and the basic CSS (such as Bootstrap). If you're not rebuilding your application from scratch, it's certainly a great step forward. FoxPro VFP