Ben Langhinrichs

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E-mail address - Ben Langhinrichs






August, 2005
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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Mon 22 Aug 2005, 03:12 PM
The hardest thing about selling a product is often communicating its purpose to people before they know they need that purpose.  If you do it successfully, they flock to buy the product when the need for that purpose arises.  If you don't do it as successfully, you are lucky to have them happen upon your site by accident, which is a much more iffy proposition.  For example, yesterday, I received an e-mail from a potential customer:
We're looking for a way to compare 2 fields (plain or rich text) and somehow highlight the differences (by changing the font, fontstyle, using a highlighter, etc.), as opposed to just saying they're not the same.  I saw on your website that you have something called "contextual hypermatching" and wondered if that might do it, or if the Midas Rich Text LSX provided that type of functionality in some other way.  Do you have any ideas?
The good news is, this customer had the basic assumption that our product might be able to solve a problem with rich text - a darn good assumption, if I may say so myself.  The bad news is, the customer had no idea that we specifically addressed that particular functionality.  We have obviously NOT communicated this feature as well as we have communicated HTML generation or MIME e-mail generation or dynamic table generation.  People come to us for those purposes, but tend to stumble on us for rich text comparison.

I don't have any great answer as to how to change this (or I would have implemented it long ago, but I will point to a couple of blog entries that clearly describe this functionality, in case you are a reader who is scratching your head in puzzlement right now:

The rich text has changed, but how? - best place to see exactly how this works from the outside, from how it looks
Top 10 Ways to use Midas - #10 - good place to see what the code looks like

In addition, these are links to the on-line demo and the downloadable sample for Review It!, which demonstrates the feature:

Review It! on-line - This is an on-line demo which gives a simplified version of a rich text comparison
Review It! sample db - This is a downloadable sample with which you can try the feature out for yourself

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