Summary - Easter Egg Recognition

Subject: Summary - Easter Egg Recognition
From: Barbara Stuhlemmer <barbara -at- group -dot- com>
To: "Writers List (E-mail 2)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 13:58:58 -0400

Wow, thanks for all your opinions.

It is a fairly clear outcome. 17 to 2 for "Go for it". There were a few
suggestions of caution but it certainly sounds like it is an acceptable (if not
a company recognised) practice.

Here are <snips> from most of the messages I received. There was too much to
post everything that was said.
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"Popular" isn't the word for it... "endemic" maybe? Easter
eggs exist in most software, and my take on this issue is that
even where management would like to stamp out the practice,
they're willing to look the other way because it keeps the
programmers happy. So it's generally unofficially tolerated
even where the official policy is to stamp it out. (Even mighty
Microsoft isn't immune; Excel has a pinball game built into it,
and Word has a flight simulator...

Geoff
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Some companies give credit right up front. I've noticed this more in
graphic arts software (initially from Aldus, but continued by Adobe),
and of course in games, than in business applications. It is generally
implemented either in the splash screen or in Help-> About. In the
latter case, it is sometimes concealed as an Easter Egg of sorts. (An
Easter Egg is usually something more extraordinary and humorous than a
credit list.)

As for whether you should ask your management, I'd suggest that it
depends on the culture at your company. If the programmer is doing this
as a subversive act against management he or she despises, I'd say stay
away. If the supervisor is a cool person who like to give recognition to
people, I'd say go for it. You'll have to judge that yourself.

Dick
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When I worked directly for a software company, the programmers would put in
easter eggs for themselves and (less frequently) others who worked on the
project all the time. In my experience they've nearly always been
unofficial, they're meant to be kind of a private insider surprise. I would
not go to your supervisor for permission, just be honored that they respect
your work enough to give you insider credit!

Jane
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First, EEs have been around for a long time and are one of those cool,
secret things that are recognized as an honor. Here's a website that has
some info for you--I just pulled up something quick just so you could do a
quick read.

<snip>

You should go for it. It could be one of those things that your boss might
be suspicious of for a lack of awareness. Rest assured, though, it's legit
and a sort of special way for programmers to be recognized.

http://www.eeggs.com/


Donna
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Easter eggs are pretty standard. Do a web search on the term and you'll find
tons of pages with the key combos to a number of software programs. You
could ask your manager how he/she feels about easter eggs or if he/she has
ever heard of them and see what is said.

IMHO, I'd say go for it - as long as you are not putting something
defamatory in, it shouldn't be a problem.

Elizabeth
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It's quite common Barbara,, congratulations

C. Brown
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Well, it is very common (there are entire web sites dedicated to telling people
about the easter eggs in software). And, I doubt that any company would object
to having one (basically, they're done so that there is slim to no chance that
someone could stumble upon the egg accidentally). I'd give my information and
leave the responsibility for the act of adding it into the program to the
programmer. If management came to you, you could always claim that you assumed
since the programmer was asking you for the information, that it was okay with
upper management (also known as playing dumb :-).

Incidentally, I was in the easter egg for my last company's product. If you
went to the About screen, and held down the Control key and double-clicked on a
certain area of the dialog, you'd get a neat little animation that included the
names of everyone who worked on the product.

-David
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Easter Eggs are fairly common.

Microsoft does it for all of their applications, where if the end user hits
a certain combination of keys, all of the developers names pop up.

On our products if you press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-c, a popup launches with all of
the contributors names floating around in different colors.

It is kinda cool getting recognition, even though the Easter Egg is not
documented anywhere.

Barry
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If someone asked me, I'd say, Hell, yeah.

Say the company splits with me on less-than-amicable terms. They may slag
me if they were called on as a reference. Although they won't be able to
lie and say I didn't work there, they'd put a negative slant on my efforts.
You never know. Consider it as a backup. It would slightly offset any
feelings of frustration or aggravation you may feel at your job.

If you have an Easter Egg, it will be irrefutable proof that you
contributed, and you can indicate (biography-style) what you did and what
you were good at.

Also shows you can work well with developers.

Jane
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Hmmm, I think it's pretty common. In help files I've participated in
developing, there has generally been a page, not linked to anything else
and unreachable unless you know the code to type into the "find" field,
that lists the authors.

I'll be interested to hear what other people think, though.

Misti
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I did this once for an OS/2 Help system I wrote. I put a small graphic at
the bottom of a topic that was a link to a contributor's page--it was not
evident that the graphic was a hot spot. I listed the people involved in the
Pubs Deptarment (the editor & me) and gave a generic thanks to the "software
developers" and "reviewers".

Our company was acknowledging the Tech Pubs team in our printed manuals at
that time, so I had management approval. We left out the software team names
for privacy reasons.

Have fun!

Beryl
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imho, i wouldn't do it. it sorta makes me think of college-level coders
sitting around thinking up neat tricks - instead of figuring out how to make
the product better.

Dan
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Are easter eggs an acceptable industry practice? Yes and No. Yes because
"everyone is doing it" and No because some people think that: easter eggs waste
disk space with extra code and programs; programmers should improve the product
rather than waste time doing an easter egg; and those responsible for a
product's development should not receive individual recognition.

Garrett
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If you don't mind having your name attached to the product, let them do
it. It can give you a real sense of pride, as well as fostering team
spirit and all of that nonsense within the development group (of which
you are apparently a part).

Enjoy it...

Mike
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If it feels weird... don't do it.... er, something like that. Microsoft and
many
PC game companies do this type of thing. Its probably due to being in a
creative
environment.

Its best that you fall inline with your company policy and practices. My guess
is that there isn't one for this situation. Having pride in your work is
commendable, however, if you feel that it could cause even the most remote
chance of embarrassing your company's reputation, don't do it.

Brian
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Of course, not one end user objects to the bloat.
Just my 2 cents

Peter
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None of the companies I've worked for have received customer complaints
about the bloat due to easter eggs. Due to feature creep and other kinds
of unnecessary software obesity, yes, but not due to any easter eggs.

Mike
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Barbara Stuhlemmer
Technical Writer, The Software Group Ltd.
(barbara -at- group -dot- com)





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