Advice to platform developers

If you are developing a platform or framework or hardware or OS and want other people to develop applications on top of your creation, then the following will make it easier for them and save you from being cursed by your developers:

  1. Ability to script all steps involved in building software.
  2. Ability to run script-based regression testing.
  3. Make your source code available to the developers, so that they can fix bugs which kill their applications, work around annoying limitations which you did not realize, and in general avoid the Stallman’s Printer Driver syndrome.
  4. Make it possible for people with limited budgets to participate in the party, because cool ideas and money do not necessarily go together.
  5. Build in logging and debug support.
  6. Training for developers – courses.
  7. Mailing lists and Web forums for your developers.
  8. Excellent documentation, with several examples, is mandatory!
  9. Mechanism for reporting runtime failures. Due to psychological reasons, it must be as easy and pleasant as possible for software developers to activate it in their software.

The above checklist was put together at November 2001 after having using few platforms for developing cellular applications, which drove me crazy by their utter failure to follow the above principles. I won’t mention names here but my resume is available in my Web site…

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.

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