6 Replies - 1664 Views - Last Post: 19 July 2008 - 01:03 PM

#1 abgorn   User is offline

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What Should a Program Have

Posted 18 July 2008 - 08:20 AM

I was thinking about this for some time and finally I'm asking the question:
What should a program have?

All programs that I think of and do, always end up stopped half way in making of it because I always think to myself "Will this help me?", "Does this have a purpose in the open source world", "Is this repetitive of another program" or other things along those line.

So I'm asking you for your opinion on what you think a program should have. Of coarse an interface, helpful features and other things, but what are the things that make programs good and because of that, make them succesful?

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Replies To: What Should a Program Have

#2 Cerolobo   User is offline

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Re: What Should a Program Have

Posted 18 July 2008 - 10:38 AM

I believe there is no clear cut answer to this. The answer will highly depend on the what the program is meant to do, and who is going to be using it.

Generally, if the program is only for your personal use, then you there are a lot of liberties you can take.

GUIs aren't always required. For example, if you just wanted to write a program to just aggregate a bunch of data from the internet, then a console application is more then enough.

In general, I prefer the application to be small, standalone, and make sure it just works. Once you start adding a lot of features that kinda work, then you are basically just adding a lot of worthless bloat. Take Nero for example. I love Nero Burning Rom, but I hate the rest of the suite.
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#3 BetaWar   User is offline

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Re: What Should a Program Have

Posted 18 July 2008 - 10:53 AM

I would say it depends on what the program is, or the purpose behind the program. As stated, if it is for personal use then you can cur corners all over the place to make i quick and not pretty. If it is for a client the GUI and ease of use also come into question, and probably need to be taken into some serious consideration. If it is a game then you will need to worry about other things and so on. For the most part though, it is best to stick to something simple that gets the job done (at least form what I have seen).
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#4 KyleG   User is offline

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Re: What Should a Program Have

Posted 18 July 2008 - 11:31 AM

I believe that the "good"ness of a program and its overall success are rooted in the problem that the program solves. If your program isn't solving a problem and is instead just unnecessary automation, it won't get much use. On the other hand, if you can clearly define a problem that is widespread and write a program that solves it or even just makes it easier to deal with, that is where you will find success.

As for any particular features that are common among popular/successful/good programs, it's all relative to solving your problem. I believe this quote applies to software design:

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
- Antoine de Saint Exupery
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#5 PixelCard   User is offline

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Re: What Should a Program Have

Posted 18 July 2008 - 12:19 PM

Create applications that are useful. An application that is useful and gets the job done becomes a good application.

The application also must have a clear logic, so there will be no doubts about what something does.

The GUI is also a very important part, so it must be carefully designed.
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#6 Sonic88   User is offline

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Re: What Should a Program Have

Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:04 PM

Lots and lots of buttons! ;)

And stability. What good is a program it blows up all the time? Also, a "good" program IMO is one that performs all of the requirements of the client as well as any processing not apparent to the client, but that you know is needed. In my current job it has become increasingly to almost anticipate the clients changes before they ask for them.

This post has been edited by Sonic88: 18 July 2008 - 01:08 PM

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#7 BenignDesign   User is offline

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Re: What Should a Program Have

Posted 19 July 2008 - 01:03 PM

1. A purpose. There are too many kids out there who "want to make programs"... and start making things with absolutely no use or purpose. It's a waste of time, talent and energy, imo.

2. Really good documentation. I've found entirely too many open source software options with useless help and/or documentation options. I can't use your work if I can't figure out HOW to use it.
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