Friday, November 17th, 2006

Here’s a robots.txt file from a company whose software I’m currently evaluating:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi/
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /mantis/
Disallow: /forum/
Disallow: /stats/
Disallow: /synk/unreg.html
Disallow: /synk/de/unreg.html
Disallow: /synk/fr/unreg.html
Disallow: /synk/it/unreg.html
Disallow: /synk/email.psn
Disallow: /synk/help/

This is from a small company whose main product is experiencing solid growth. In fact, they are growing so fast, they are having trouble responding to support e-mails and are consequently requesting that users check the FAQ list and read the forums before sending them e-mail. Keeping that in mind, can you tell what’s wrong with this robots.txt?
(more…)

## Less is More

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

One of my flaws as a writer is that I say too much. I find it really hard to cut out as much as I need to. Sometimes I come up with a good turn of phrase, and I just can’t let it go. However sometimes I need to. It’s not that the sentence or paragraph itself is wrong or bad in any way. It’s just that it no longer fits into the whole fabric of the article or book. Sometimes the article or book simply needs to be shorter. Even if every single sentence is well-written and conveys valuable information, sometimes the interest of the audience dictates that you say less rather than more. It’s a rare author who can keep an audience’s interest on the Web for more than a couple of thousand words, and I’m not one of them. Sometimes you have to cut just to keep the size down.

Software development is much the same. (more…)