Archive for September, 2007

SourceSafe Branch Recursively

Did you know there is no way to branch sourcesafe projects recursively?  Or so you thought!

Here is a work around:

From Visual SourceSafe Explorer, go to View -> Search -> WildCard Search

SourceSafe Wildcard Search

Then search for Wildcard: *
(a single asterisk) with "Search in current project and all subprojects" selected.

Then it will give you a list of ALL of your files in that project.  Simply highlight them all and click on the Branch button.

The only caveat is that you need to make sure the files are not checked out in that project in order to branch them.

And again,.. I would recommend you ditch SourceSafe and go for something better, like Perforce, Subversion, or Vault


How Gmail Records Usage Statistics to Increase Conversions

Recording statistics are good for any project.  You can do it on a macro level or a micro level.  Normally, we do it on a macro level (i.e. recording page hits for the entire site.).  However, we also sometimes use these same tools – say Google Analytics, to track clicks on certain buttons, etc.

How about building your application with such logic?  At a past company, we used this information to record which menu items were most frequently clicked.  Just a simple insert into the database on menu item click (web application).  This allowed us to find menu items that were infrequently clicked, and we reworded them or moved the more important ones to more visible locations.

The term conversion is used to mean something you are trying to achieve, say a sale, or a signup, or whatever it may be.  You can use this idea to monitor the effectiveness of your pages and increase conversions.  You can also use this to improve your user interface – say if certain menu items are rarely clicked, it could be a usability issue.

As well, Google applies this trick!  They monitor (or so it seems) their “Sign up” button, and they change it multiple times and monitor the effectiveness of each one.

Take a look at the different sign up buttons I have seen on GMail:

Gmail signup 1

This is the simple basic “Sign up for Gmail” link

Gmail Pick a name

This is the more fancy “Pick a name” link.

It’s sort of like their Google Adwords works, it allows you to set up ads to advertise your site or products, and allows you to monitor the effectiveness of that ad compared to the same ad say worded differently.

The general rule is collect as much statistics as possible, and then decide what you want to do with it.  You can always delete it if you don’t need it, but most likely it will be an eye opener for you.  You can then tweak your UI until you get it exactly how you like.  As well, to follow in the footsteps of GMail, you can use it to get more signups (or more generally known as “conversions”) for your site!


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