background July 18, 2008

Easy Background Tasks in ASP.NET

As I work on the badge implementation for Stack Overflow, I needed a way to call the code that detects and awards the badges out of band. Traditionally this is done by something like cron or scheduled tasks. I’d rather have the code stay inside our current codebase, though. I asked on Twitter and got…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
company July 12, 2008

Stack Overflow Badge Feedback

Are you familiar with the “stinking badges” quote? It’s from the 1948 movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Here’s the actual clip from the movie: As I mentioned in Podcast #13 (and probably earlier), Stack Overflow will feature a system of badges. Hopefully the non-stinking type. These badges are based on my admiration —…
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Co-Founder (Former)
company June 25, 2008

Three Markdown Gotchas

I’ve enjoyed working with the excellent WMD “what you see is what you mean” Markdown control while building Stack Overflow. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised how easy it is to type a smattering of concise Markdown and generate rather nice-looking content. One of Markdown’s biggest advantages is its simplicity. Here’s a little Markdown test post…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
background June 21, 2008

A Strangely Familiar Error

Geoff Dalgas, the newest member of the Stack Overflow team, shared this strangely familiar error message he ran into while working on another project recently. Ah yes, the elusive stack overflow: In software, a stack overflow occurs when too much memory is used on the call stack. In many programming languages the call stack contains…
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Co-Founder (Former)
company June 20, 2008

Safe HTML and XSS

As I’ve mentioned before, we are using the most excellent WMD Markdown editor, for the reasons I outlined in that post. However, Markdown, per the official spec, supports both HTML syntax and Markdown syntax. You can mix and match both syntaxes freely. This is great if you want to stick with HTML and not learn…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
company June 18, 2008

Gravatars, Identicons, and You

We want Stack Overflow* users to be able to personalize their questions and answers with a small picture — even if they’ve never created an account on our site. Rather than build this functionality ourselves, we’ve decided to take advantage of Gravatars. Gravatars are small images associated with your email address. I’ve used Gravatar for…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
company June 14, 2008

Dropping the WWW Prefix

Where do you stand on The Great Dub-Dub-Dub Debate? Some people become very religious about whether URLs should have a www. prefix or not. Me, I’m a bit more sanguine: I think you need to choose your allegiance early in the lifecycle of your website, and stick to it. So, for stackoverflow, we’re going with…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
company June 9, 2008

Is It OK to Require JavaScript?

Here’s one decision we’re pondering as we build stackoverflow, and I’d like to get your feedback on it: Is it OK to require JavaScript to participate? Note that by “participate” I mean “edit, answer or ask a question”. Of course passively reading a question and the associated answers will work fine without JavaScript enabled. In…
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Co-Founder (Former)
company May 22, 2008

Potential Markup and Editing Choices

Question and answer entry will be arguably the most crucial piece of stackoverflow. I used the post Is HTML a Humane Markup Language? as a form of collaborative research to determine what our Q&A; editor should look like. Based on the (extensive!) feedback, I’ve reached three conclusions: Most programmers want either an HTML subset or…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
company May 5, 2008

Now Licensed Under Creative Commons

The Creative Commons site defines four main clauses for licensing of content you’ve created and placed on the web: Attribution You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request. Noncommercial You let others copy, distribute,…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
company April 30, 2008

Logo Design Contest Winner

Our logo design contest has ended. The winning design is from Peter Borlace, aka pb_design. There were a whopping 253 entries in the contest; thanks to everyone who participated for your hard work. As a little bonus, Leon Bambrick has graciously offered up free licenses to his excellent TimeSnapper software to the following runners-up: Umasankar…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)