beta August 1, 2008

Stack Overflow Private Beta Begins

And then a miracle occurred. We’re beginning the Stack Overflow private beta. I am sending out emails to the first 100 people for the private Stack Overflow beta; the email contains the password necessary to log in, as well as a link to this post. I will continue to email 100 people per day until…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
beta July 26, 2008

Stack Overflow Beta Design

Ever notice how most sites run by programmers have the worst designs ever? Yeah. We’re currently at the stage where we need to implement an actual design — for which I have recruited actual designers. Here’s a sneak peek at the beta design we’re furiously working on implementing at the moment. And even earlier: Trust…
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Co-Founder (Former)
company July 21, 2008

Dates: Relative or Absolute?

Another item we’re looking at as we get closer to the Stack Overflow private beta is the issue of how to display dates on the questions and answers. We started by displaying the absolute dates as you’ll see them on Joel’s existing forum — although we do add the time as well: Monday, June 27,…
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Co-Founder (Former)
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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)