Why do application developers think that adding more functionality is always a good thing for the user? When I first started working on GUI applications (Windows 1.0) we worked very hard to get sub-second response times. Now in theory applications running on multi-core 2+GHz processors should out strip 286 CPUs running in the MHz range. What seems to have append instead is that applications have maintained the same sort of response times (in general) taking 1 or more seconds to perform a task.

In most cases I am happy to wait for a second. Typically I am switching tasks and short waits give me a chance to think ahead a little bit so I can get going quickly.

When I am working on a single task that involves multiple applications then waiting – even for a second just feels too long. Sure the applications have a lot more features but for most of my development work I want speed. Waiting around for an application to start is a complete waste of my time (most of the time).

So the next time you are working on developing application keep response times down — And I mean way way down in the 100ms range. And if you are waiting on potentially slow resources (e.g. network) then for goodness sake spin off a thread and don’t keep me waiting around for the network to time out – I have enough grey hair as it is and I don’t want to grow old waiting for the connection to time out.

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