In which Apple fails me for the first time

Tuesday October 19, 2004 @ 03:56 PM (UTC)

I have been getting quite thoroughly acquainted—one might even say ‘integrated’—with my dear new friend, Puck. I am using iCal to organize my life, and Address Book (no sexy name for that one!) to organize my friends and contacts. I especially like finding pictures of people and cropping them down so that Address Book is full of smiling faces.

So, today, sadly bereft of WiFi and therefore unable to add smiling faces to Address Book, I consoled myself with entering useful data. As I entered LadyLong’s information, I found myself stymied.

There is only one place to enter ‘homepage’ in Address Book.

Phone numbers, e-mails, relations and friends, these you can add until you run out of laptop battery. But homepage? Only one line to fill. “How can this be?” I raged to myself, “Don’t they REALIZE some people have both a blog and a homepage? Or a personal homepage and a professional one?” Then I listened to myself for a moment. “Don’t they realize I’M A BIG GEEK?”



First, I think they should just bite the bullet and call it iContact. We must be brave in the face of puns.

Second, that is kinda surprising, given the many slots available for the other info, but IMHO, it’s better than having two. There is a rule in software design called the zero, one, or many rule. When you consider a feature, you have to decide between those three options. If zero, then you just leave it out. If one, then you allow one and only one of whatever the feature represents. If many, then you must strive not to artifically limit the number of whatever it is.

So while I sympathize with your pain, at least they made a valid choice. They did not fall prey to the dread C Programmer’s Disease. Thus, there is hope for the future.

Except that they chose Many for several other things, including phone numbers, e-mails, and people they know (drop-down box to specify relationship, you see). So the code should already exist and it should be trivial to make the more useful decision, namely, Many. I wasn’t suggesting Two—I was suggesting, to be rather Gully Dwarf for a moment, More Than One.

Do they do anything magic with the homepage? Perhaps there is some deeper feature here than was hard to manyify.

Also, what can you do with the people they know thing? That’s rather unique, and I would be dissapointed if they didn’t do something cool with it, like show pretty graph structures, or ease event planning.

Perhaps it’s not so much Apple’s failure as my own. And perhaps it’s not so much geekness as it is undecidedness. I’ve never had the ability to choose only one favorite anything. Colors, songs, foods, movies, presidential candidates… My “favorites” vary depending on what day it is, what mood I’m in, what the weather’s like, what phase the moon is in… shoot. They often vary with no dependence upon anything whatsoever.

So, having this complete inability to choose the one single perfect domain name that fits every angle of me-ness, I’ve had to choose multiple domains to house various aspects of my many alter-egos.

Aside from the dubious possibility of convincing Apple to change their code, two potential solutions are 1) to rely on me to put links to my alter-ego sites on the one you choose to preserve in your list, or 2) to give each of my alter-egos an entry of their own.

Because I don’t think I’ll be able to de-fragment my personality any time soon…


Well, Apple may not be designed for your love of domain names, but the blogger code has you covered.

One would think… but I failed to find a match right off the bat. There is no appropriate Technical Quotient for me in the Blogger Code. The one I was looking for was something like

I maintain and manage my blog with my son’s home-grown content management system on a friend’s server (although I have several servers of my own).

Sheesh, you’d think I was ODD or something!

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