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Podcast 018

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Podcast 018

Revision #3, 8/20/2008 10:22 PM "Added rough version of first 5 minutes 18 sec -sphereinabox"
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Spolsky: edit me!

Atwood: edit me!

Spolsky: edit me!

Atwood: edit me!

in the 18th episode of stack overflow, we finally get to meet michael [prior], the co-founder of fog-creek software, and joel and jeff discuss the progress of the stack overflow beta in some depth.  From IT Conversations.

Hi, This is phil wendly, the executive producer of IT conversations.  Today I'm excited to bring you another episode of stack overflow with jeff atwood and joel spolsky.  Here on IT Conversations.

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And now, here's stack overflow.

jeff Hi joel

joel: hey, it's jeff

jeff: yes, you're back

michael: you're back

jeff: oh and michael's on the line, nice

michael: yes, it's me

joel: today we got two fog creekians, for those of you who don't know michael prior is the co-founder of fog creek software, and...

jeff: yes, well welcome to the call, it's good to finally meet you

michael: thank you.  Are you going to the business of software conference?

jeff: I am not. 

michael: oh [disappointedly], I thought you were.

jeff: no, I'm not in the business of software

joel: we should get you as a speaker next year.

jeff: [laughter], Ha ha ha.  Well, I'm gonna have to start my own conference, man, and I'm gonna compete with you... Like right across the street from where your conference is, that'll be my conference.  Be like the business of software by jeff.

joel: it could be like the business of software camp.

jeff: yes, that's right.  A competing conference

joel: Umm.  So we've got a big week today, 'cuz I've been away for weeks and weeks.  

jeff: Yes.  How was your trip by the way?

Joel: Well there were two trips involved.   The first trip was [uh]... The first week I couldn't do it because I had to go up to Boston to talk to the Y-Combinator startups and tell them how venture capital was bad and that Paul Graham was setting them on course of self-destruction and conflict with venture capitalists, which is something that he always likes me to talk about.  And uh, uh, the last week was just my vacation.  I was off in israel where it is hot.

jeff: right, you mentioned that.

joel: But, I do want to say that the opera mini is an excelent browser for looking at stack overflow.

jeff: well good.  What kind of success did you have browsing stack overflow with opera mini?

joel: uh, well first of all it worked great. well, I guess the main thing I want to say, and this is sort of initial feedback, is that I am shocked how good stack overflow is. 

jeff: Well that's good to hear. I was curious, I was actually dying to talk to you this whole time because I was curious.  We were just never able to schedule a face to, not a phone a call for you to look at the site and give me your initial feedback.  Literally you guys are hearing the first thing I've ever heard from joel, specifically directly on stack overflow, the actual site.

michael: I heard him exclaim, he said it was awesome.

joel: it really  is.  I mean, the first thing I noticed is that like the minute that you open it up, people sort of floated in and started asking questions, and they were getting answers, like right away.  Even with a very small number, you know, even with a very small community of people. 

jeff: right

joel: and uh, so that was pretty awesome.  That was a sign that it was going to work, really.  But then you know I asked two questions, and the first one I got an answer in 30 minutes and the second one you had answered an hour previously, coincidentally, [laughter] and the search worked great, so as soon as I typed the subject, and hit tab, it found the answer to my question. 

jeff: cool

joel: it's really amazing.  I was trying to make.. What was I trying to do? I was trying to make, oh, one of those [uh], oh, I needed a regex for a URL, that excluded trailing punctuation.  

jeff: uh huh

joel: is that the one you answered? everbody knows about that problem right? You're trying to make regular expression for a URL,  and dots and commas and question marks are all legitimate and common in URLs, but if you're trying to take some text that somebody writes, and make the URLs into hyperlinks, they will often write a URL and then a period or a question mark or a comma, that they didn't mean to be a part of URL.

jeff: right.  Well actually to be fair, I copied that.  I used a great tool Regex Buddy, which I still think is by far the best tool on the market.  And it has a library of common functions.

joel: Oh so this is actually a tool not a web site?

jeff: Well, regex buddy is a tool, and it has a corresponding website.  If you do a search on regular expressions it has pretty much the highest page rank of all the sites on just regex information, and for good reason.  It pretty much kinda wrote the book on, I mean he wrote his own regex parser because it can...  There's differences in the flavors of regular expressions on different platforms.  This is an engine that's flexible enough that it can actually emulate other libraries. 

joel: [laughter].  So it's like.  It reminds me of borland when they wrote turbo assembler, there was a command-line argument that that emulated the bugs from microsoft macro assembler.

jeff: right [laughter]