SE Podcast #14 - Miguel De Icaza

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Miguel De Icaza joins Jeff & Joel this week to discuss everything from Miguel's many projects to identity on the internet to playdates for toddlers. Miguel is a force in the software world, having initiated and contributed to all kinds of products over the years - he's also well known for being one of the most productive programmers out there. Check out the full episode for:

  • Miguel has worked on a number of different projects including Midnight Commander, Gnome, Mono, Ximian and more
  • Midnight Commander still continues to be developed to this day (albeit by other people) and it has some interesting new features that have been added
  • Joel reiterates his hate for huge numbers of configuration options and appreciates Miguel not implementing ridiculous option trees in his programs
  • We have a brand new podcasting setup (again!) - keep your eyes open for an upcoming post detailing our whole setup
  • Jeff thinks that Unix couldn't make the same advances as some other systems (like Apple) because they didn't have a dictator to force massive changes on the community
  • After leaving Novell (which owns Mono), he launched a new company (Xamarin) that is working on some new projects, while also supporting the existing Mono community
  • Cross platform apps are stupid if they aren't coded using the native UX and tools (see Word 5 for Mac, Safari for Windows, etc) which makes them look different from every other program on that platform
  • Make sure to check out Area51 to see all of the new sites that are currently in commitment and under consideration of being launched. Support the proposals that you want to see as Stack Exchange sites!
  • Our new Bicycles site just launched as a full site (and gotten its own theme)!
  • We've started a new team of people (CHAOS) who will help enhance and promote many of our communities - the first project they are working on is enhancing question titles and converting many of them into actual questions
  • This has also led to a big debate internally over the relationship between great questions and titles and what guidelines we should set for making titles
  • Miguel is the most productive person that Joel knows (besides James Franco)
  • We have a new newsletters feature that allows you to get a weekly newsletter showing the top and most interesting questions from sites that you're interested in but don't visit every day. Check out stackexchange.com/newsletters - it's like a candy store filled with free candy!
  • Sometimes people tell us they are interested in certain topics but their activity tells us something different (which is why we auto customize the homepage for each user) - its kinda similar to people on dating sites...
  • Every once in a while, we have a site that makes it through Area51 despite it "sucking" (eg: freelancers) - the problem with these sites is that there simply aren't enough questions because its too small a topic - the entire topic can be covered in one book
  • There are two current proposals that present an interesting contrast on this topic: Christianity and Biblical Hermeneutics - the biblical site has great, specific questions, where's Christianity doesn't and will likely be a weak site
  • Cross "Joel tells an army story" off your Stack Exchange Podcast Bingo Card!
  • Coming soon: use as many OpenID logins as you want on SE (instead of the current limit of two)
  • One of our developers (Kevin Montrose) wrote a great blog post on how your email is your identity
  • Fair warning: Miguel lies a lot on his twitter feed
  • Make sure you get your tickets for Stack Overflow DevDays (we just announced the first round of speakers for all the cities!) and use discount code "podcast" to save $100!

Join us next week for another live episode on Tuesday @ 4pm (EDT) or catch the posted version on Wednesday.

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