Genii Weblog

Remembering not to get too fancy

Sun 14 May 2006, 10:59 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
If there is one lesson you have to learn over and over and over again as an independent software vendor, it is that you shouldn't get too fancy.  Focus on fundamentals, make sure the business needs of customers are met first, and only after that can you afford to add glitz and polish and whiz bang.  As president of Genii Software, I seem to remember this when it comes to my core business, software, and forget it again and again when it comes to peripheral, but crucial, issues such as documentation and samples and that sort of thing.  That is why we get into situations where the Midas Rich Text LSX has never been more stable, functional and complete, but the help database has fallen into some disarray due in part to an effort to add some AJAX whiz bang that probably wasn't as necessary as it seemed when I started.  Similarly, while we have some great Midas example databases, they have suffered some from neglect, and others are just showing their age, partly due to work on other samples that have not been released due to overreaching on my part.

So, it is my job to get this all pulled together.  I have brought in some help to work on the content of the various Help databases, and am pushing on the contractor who has gone too far afield with the design of the Help database to finish up and just get the darn thing working properly again.  Over the next few months, I plan to institute some measures to ensure that the samples are spruced up appropriately and don't get stale again.  A somewhat similar effort is under way with CoexEdit, where the integration databases are in good shape, but are not quite as simple to transfer to a separate database as they should be.  The Help database for CoexEdit has not been completed at all yet, since the main documentation is in the downloadable Word document, but I intend to make sure the Help database for CoexEdit is finished, as there is an opportunity to make it a more valuable contribution to CoexEdit customers.  CoexLinks is in the best shape, partly because Granite Software has done an excellent job providing support and ensuring that issues were reported on a timely basis and integrated into the documentation.  That situation is evolving as well, but I'll hold off on that for a bit longer.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know I am aware of the holes and am working on filling them.  To some extent, it is the very success of the business which leads to this, as we are so busy working with customers that we occasionally forget to focus on the necessary, but often less visible (to us) components.  While I am glad for all the new customers, I am very aware that letting such things slide could become a habit, and that is not a habit I want at all.  So, thanks for all your patience, and watch for good things to come.

Copyright 2006 Genii Software Ltd.

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