Joel on Software - “Martian Headsets” - Fortune

Joel on Software - “Martian Headsets”

A few years pass; you’re still selling Qxyzrhjjjjukltks like crazy; but now there are lots of Qxyzrhjjjjukltk clones on the market, like the open source FireQx, and lots of headphones, and you all keep inventing new features that require changes to the headphone jack and it’s driving the headphone makers crazy because they have to test their new designs out against every Qxyzrhjjjjukltk clone which is costly and time consuming and frankly most of them don’t have time and just get it to work on the most popular Qxyzrhjjjjukltk 5.0, and if that works, they’re happy, but of course when you plug the headphones into FireQx 3.0 lo and behold they explode in your hands because of a slight misunderstanding about some obscure thing in the spec which nobody really understands called hasLayout, and everybody understands that when it’s raining the hasLayout property is true and the voltage is supposed to increase to support the windshield-wiper feature, but there seems to be some debate over whether hail and snow are rain for the purpose of hasLayout, because the spec just doesn’t say. FireQx 3.0 treats snow as rain, because you need windshield wipers in the snow, Qxyzrhjjjjukltk 5.0 does not, because the programmer who worked on that feature lives in a warm part of Mars without snow and doesn’t have a driver’s license anyway. Yes, they have driver’s licenses on Mars.

Author Joel Spolsky
Work Martian Headsets