Expectation Hacks

Classic software development conversation at the 37signals Campfire:

File upload limits were discussed and a simple solution was figured out…
Ryan: what are we trying to avoid with a limit? won’t a gigantic file just time out anyway?
Jason: thats’ the problem. “Why didn’t my file transfer work?” “What happened to the file I uploaded” “Why didn’t the upload finish?”
Ryan: less software idea..we could just say there’s a limit. and then if people try something bigger and it works, then good for them
Jason: I like that best. done.

We do stuff like this too. I call them expectation hacks because people don’t expect something to work (especially when it’s simpler than they expect), but it does, so they feel like they got away with something. That cuts you some slack on real support requests.