• Ghost Ware Wizard (cs)

    sounds like a typical user can do all system.  too bad its like most user can do all systems where simplicity is not available.

    <First?/>

  • Z (unregistered)

    This makes me feel much better about the "ERP" system that I have been updating that involves Access front end, SQL Server 2000, and about 50 users.  All initially programmed (in the loosest sense of the word) by someone who now claims 12 years of experience working on these types of systems.

  • Erik (unregistered)

    This is the exact same concept as the Metastorm eWork product, which is used by at least a couple large law firms.  (One of which I'm about to leave.)  And the exact same false claims about end-users designing their own workflows.  Only these visio diagrams are SO much clearer.  Neither the people who design and sell these things, nor the people who buy them, have any comprehension of the complexity of a real-world business workflow.

  • Saladin (cs)

    Before coming to this site I didn't even know that you could use Visio diagrams in a manner such as this abomination.

    I have to admit that it must have taken some serious ingenuity, though -- even if you asked me to think up the most idiotic and ill-designed system, I probably wouldn't have considered using Visio diagrams.

  • sir_flexalot (cs)

    the trouble is that this probably really does represent what the workflow looks like at that business.  If you have a simple workflow, any of these tools can be great.  Unfortunately, 1) the tool is abused anyhow, resulting in a mess, and 2) the workflow of the business isn't clearly defined at all, so the diagram inevitably becomes a holiday-light-tangle of nodes, etc.

  • cory (unregistered) in reply to Z
    All initially programmed (in the loosest sense of the word) by someone who now claims 12 years of experience working on these types of systems.
    If this person "now claims" 12 years of experience, does that mean they started working on the system 12 years ago? 
  • jedediah (cs)

    I think I see the WTF. . . They're using Javascript to filter out specific content.

  • akatherder (unregistered)

    I'm probably stating the obvious, but it looks like an automatically generated diagram in Visio.

  • themagni (cs) in reply to Saladin
    Saladin:

    Before coming to this site I didn't even know that you could use Visio diagrams in a manner such as this abomination.

    I have to admit that it must have taken some serious ingenuity, though -- even if you asked me to think up the most idiotic and ill-designed system, I probably wouldn't have considered using Visio diagrams.

    That's why the consultants get the big buckazoids. They think outside the box

    Mind you, that box is clearly marked: "sanity" and encompasses most of the known universe.

    This WTF gives me the giggles every time I think about it. Thanks for including it in the list as the penultimate WTF of the year. 

  • Steve-o (unregistered)

    When will people/companies learn that they need to simplify the underlying processes and archaic ways of doing business instead of creating masks to hide it? Fellow programmers and technology evangelists... I think we've created monsters!

  • Drew K (unregistered) in reply to sir_flexalot

    sir_flexalot:
    the trouble is that this probably really does represent what the workflow looks like at that business.  If you have a simple workflow, any of these tools *can be* great.  Unfortunately, 1) the tool is abused anyhow, resulting in a mess, and 2) the workflow of the business isn't clearly defined at all, so the diagram inevitably becomes a holiday-light-tangle of nodes, etc.
    And if there were a decent business analyst and an IT manager with any balls, they'd have told the business that it's not possible to automate a process that isn't clearly defined.

    Every major project I've worked on, along the way we found problems with the existing process.  You get the interested parties together, decide what you want the process to be, and write that.

  • Steve-o (unregistered) in reply to Saladin
    Saladin:

    Before coming to this site I didn't even know that you could use Visio diagrams in a manner such as this abomination.

    I have to admit that it must have taken some serious ingenuity, though -- even if you asked me to think up the most idiotic and ill-designed system, I probably wouldn't have considered using Visio diagrams.

     

    I agree with you. If this actually worked as designed, I congratulate the developers. But, shame on the consulting firm who perpetuates this crap and allows their customers to think this is ok. 

  • wiregoat (unregistered) in reply to Steve-o

    What is Iowa specific text?  Do they have a different dialect?  Should the program analyze the text and determine that is from Iowa and block it?  I have met some Iowans.  That does seem appropriate.

  • Gsquared (cs) in reply to wiregoat

    Anonymous:
    What is Iowa specific text?  Do they have a different dialect?  Should the program analyze the text and determine that is from Iowa and block it?  I have met some Iowans.  That does seem appropriate.

    In the industry I work in, there are different legal disclosures/disclaimers needed depending on the state the customer lives in.  It's probably something like that.

  • ParkinT (cs)

    Iowa

    That says it all !

  • MyztikJenz (cs) in reply to ParkinT
    ParkinT:

    Iowa

    That says it all !


    Indeed it does.
    *currently lives in Iowa, looking for the escape hatch*
  • noehch (cs) in reply to MyztikJenz
    MyztikJenz:
    ParkinT:

    Iowa

    That says it all !


    Indeed it does.
    *currently lives in Iowa, looking for the escape hatch*

    I-80
    ...pick a direction and drive.

  • dustin (unregistered)

    if you stare at the bottom right visio diagram you can find the paula bean being called in there. Not really sure why this is supposed to be an integral part of the system. I think theres some NO Quacks in there too. However, the wooden table is missing :( I think they will add that in version 2.0 though.

     

    captcha: random

  • tmountjr (cs)

    You know, it took since August to get rid of the painful spasms of seeing that diagram. Now you had to bring it back? I will haunt your grandchildren for this abomination!

  • Jerim (unregistered) in reply to jedediah

    Right. I believe the issue here is that all the content is displayed in Javascript which is a programming language, of sorts. You can't use an HTML parser to filter anything unless it is in HTML form. You would have to write a Javascript function to filter out the content. Or you would have to first parse all the data into HTML, filter it, and then put it back into Javascript. Good luck with.

    If my belief is correct, then management would have to hire a javascript programmer to create a function, which they know costs money. So they mistakenly believe they can get anyone with HTML knowledge to this. Or better yet, since HTML is so easy to learn, the office secretary can do it in about 10 minutes. They may not even understand that what they are looking at is Javascript and mistakenly believe that anything on the internet is HTML. Welcome to the business world.
     

  • Zylon (cs) in reply to Jerim

    Anonymous:
    Right. I believe the issue here is that all the content is displayed in Javascript which is a programming language, of sorts.

    "Of sorts"?

     Oh joy, just what we need, another nose-in-the-air he-man ivory-tower god's gift to programmers. Wheeee.
     

  • SomeCoder (unregistered) in reply to ParkinT
    ParkinT:

    Iowa

    That says it all !

     It could be worse... you could live in Utah.... :(

    *cries himself to sleep*

  • foxyshadis (cs) in reply to noehch
    noehch:
    MyztikJenz:
    ParkinT:

    Iowa

    That says it all !


    Indeed it does.
    *currently lives in Iowa, looking for the escape hatch*

    I-80
    ...pick a direction and drive.

    Drive long enough and you'll end up in downtown San Francisco. You couldn't possibly get any further from good ol' Iowa. :p

  • jkupski (unregistered) in reply to Drew K
    Anonymous:
    Every major project I've worked on, along the way we found problems with the existing process.  You get the interested parties together, decide what you want the process to be, and write that.

    I wish the whole world worked that way.  Most of the time, everybody claims that either:

    a) the process is fine as is, or
    b) it will be far more expensive, painful, time consuming, etc, to change the process, compared to writing the code to work around it.

    Of course, what happens after this is that the program takes three times as long to develop as anyone claimed, costs ten times as much, and results in ten people sitting in a weekly meeting for the next five years to discuss it.
     

  • themagni (cs) in reply to Zylon
    Zylon:

    Anonymous:
    Right. I believe the issue here is that all the content is displayed in Javascript which is a programming language, of sorts.

    "Of sorts"?

     Oh joy, just what we need, another nose-in-the-air he-man ivory-tower god's gift to programmers. Wheeee.
     

    I think the language is just a tool. You use the right one for the job. You don't see carpenters having arguments over whether a finishing saw or a ball-peen hammer is a better tool. 

    Let's just keep this discussion away from the WTF at any costs. 

  • Drew K (unregistered) in reply to jkupski
    jkupski:
    Drew K:
    Every major project I've worked on, along the way we found problems with the existing process.  You get the interested parties together, decide what you want the process to be, and write that.

    I wish the whole world worked that way.

    I'd be happy if my little corner worked that way.  That's the great thing about offering suggestions on the web: they don't actually have to work, they just have to sound good.

    Actually, even though they never did fix the process, it was worth it to get the CFO, president, two vice-presidents and five division heads in a meeting, describe "exactly how things work" based on what each of them had told me separately, then watch them take turns saying, "That's not how we do it." Yes it is. "It can't be, that won't work." But that's how we do it. "It is?" Yup. "Well, shit."

  • noehch (cs) in reply to foxyshadis
    foxyshadis:
    noehch:
    MyztikJenz:
    ParkinT:

    Iowa

    That says it all !


    Indeed it does.
    *currently lives in Iowa, looking for the escape hatch*

    I-80
    ...pick a direction and drive.

    Drive long enough and you'll end up in downtown San Francisco. You couldn't possibly get any further from good ol' Iowa. :p

    okay...
    you say "West"...
    Anyone for "East"??

    Personally, I'd go South-East...I'll deal with the weather once I get to Florida.
  • Steve-o (unregistered) in reply to SomeCoder

    If you think Utah is bad, there are 4 direction to start driving and I'd prefer you start now!

  • SomeCoder (unregistered) in reply to Steve-o

    Anonymous:
    If you think Utah is bad, there are 4 direction to start driving and I'd prefer you start now!

     I'll start driving in any of the 4 direction[sic] as soon as you hand me tons of free cash.

  • Corporate Cog (unregistered)

    After my second read of this post (yes, I read it again even though I remembered it well) left me thinking that it wasn't that bad.  Granted, it's not something that can be maintained by just anyone (and therefore, I suppose failed to meet it's requirement), but no diagram could even be generated for the behemoth I and 10 other monkeys maintain.  If one could be generated it would surely give healthy people heart attacks.

    I'd have to see just how difficult it would've been to maintain the system as originally intended in order to judge, but my initial reaction is that the wtf is that it's being maintained through bubblegum subsystems stuck onto it rather than modifying the diagrams.

  • Steve-o (unregistered) in reply to SomeCoder
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Portional Sence (cs) in reply to Corporate Cog
    Anonymous:

    After my second read of this post (yes, I read it again even though I remembered it well) left me thinking that it wasn't that bad.  Granted, it's not something that can be maintained by just anyone (and therefore, I suppose failed to meet it's requirement), but no diagram could even be generated for the behemoth I and 10 other monkeys maintain.  If one could be generated it would surely give healthy people heart attacks.

    I'd have to see just how difficult it would've been to maintain the system as originally intended in order to judge, but my initial reaction is that the wtf is that it's being maintained through bubblegum subsystems stuck onto it rather than modifying the diagrams.

    I agree. It's evolutionary creep. A project, originally intended to be short-lived, has somehow survived, and new features have been *bubble-gummed* on to it. I suspect it's not uncommon.

  • I have the hat to this day. I have the hat. (unregistered) in reply to jkupski
    Anonymous:
    Anonymous:
    Every major project I've worked on, along the way we found problems with the existing process.  You get the interested parties together, decide what you want the process to be, and write that.

    I wish the whole world worked that way.  Most of the time, everybody claims that either:

    a) the process is fine as is, or
    b) it will be far more expensive, painful, time consuming, etc, to change the process, compared to writing the code to work around it.

    Of course, what happens after this is that the program takes three times as long to develop as anyone claimed, costs ten times as much, and results in ten people sitting in a weekly meeting for the next five years to discuss it.

    c) One of the principal creators of the existing process still works there and perceives you as the enemy for insulting his baby.

  • webzter (cs) in reply to Portional Sence
    Portional Sence:

    I agree. It's evolutionary creep. A project, originally intended to be short-lived, has somehow survived, and new features have been *bubble-gummed* on to it. I suspect it's not uncommon.

    My boss calls that the decorator crab pattern. We've experienced it on many systems.

  • WIldpeaks (cs)

    At least they (try to) use workflows, not al of use are that lucky

  • viraptor (cs)

    Even if it was auto-generated it's a WTF. In second screenshot you can see 2 funcs:

    CertificateLocaleStateCodeIsIn('OH'), BrokerCertifiedForOhio

    Same for other states - so they've got unified funtion for checking cert. state, but not for checking broker? ~50 nice functions of "if(state==".." and certifiedFor=="..")" :D

  • Mike5 (unregistered)

    Since it's the week of reflection....

     My eyes!!! The goggles do nothing!

    and 

    Brillant!

  • Backhoe Billy (unregistered)

    Cool, Where can I get me one of them ?

  • El Quberto (unregistered) in reply to cory
    Anonymous:

    If this person "now claims" 12 years of experience, does that mean they started working on the system 12 years ago? 

    He might of had 6 years of experience, just that he thinks twice as fast as everyone else.  When my dad heard that from his boss he said it was straight out of Dilbert.  Except it was said without irony.
  • 3eff Jeff (unregistered)

    Oy.  I am going to have nightmares.   Graphical, pointy-clicky programming interface?  Flow-chart as programming language?  *shudder*  I'm going back to my mips assembly and Linux kernel modules.  Not to mention raw hex.

    Oh, and as far as getting on I-80 goes, if you head south on I-280 once you hit San Francisco, you'll get to Silicon Valley.  The economy has been picking up around here the past couple years, so while the cost of living will make you gag, there are, in fact, jobs to be had.  So, while _I_ can't offer you a pile of cash, you might find someone here who could.  Not that it would make it past your rent payment...

    Jeff

    Captcha: pacman, well, I wasn't getting anything done today, anyway... Now where did that port to Excel go?

  • John (unregistered) in reply to viraptor

    ***FOR THE RECORD THE SYSTEM WAS NOT AUTO-GENERATED IN ANY WAY***

     

    Developers had to read the diagrams and move blocks around in a mess of arrows (as well as checking where each arrow went).  It was nearly impossible to just pick a module up and understand what was what.
     

  • DanixDefcon5 (unregistered) in reply to John

    Aaaaaah!!!! The diagram is sucking me in!!!

    When I read the original one back in August, this was something I had never seen. Since then, I moved to a bigger city, bigger company and am now outsourced in a *major* financial business.

    And I can say that this now looks like the network map. Yipes!!!

    Ah, my job's fun anyway, taking in mind that getting 404 errors now actually means I did my job *right* ...

  • werdan (cs)

    <shudder>  

    So was this created using the original version of Biztalk?

  • Portional Sence (cs) in reply to webzter
    webzter:
    Portional Sence:

    I agree. It's evolutionary creep. A project, originally intended to be short-lived, has somehow survived, and new features have been *bubble-gummed* on to it. I suspect it's not uncommon.

    My boss calls that the decorator crab pattern. We've experienced it on many systems.

    LOL. Well put. Ten bucks says: there's an army of observer crabs to defend it.

  • Yen (unregistered) in reply to 3eff Jeff
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Yen (unregistered) in reply to Yen
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Gizmo (unregistered)

    Hmmm -- my company is using something put out by PegaSystems that's supposed to do this.  Draw the Visio diagram, produce a system.  Uh-huh.

  • MA (unregistered) in reply to Gizmo

    PegaSystems was the Bane of my existance!  You could dedicate an entire website to PegaSystems WTF's

  • AC (unregistered)

    The best part of this story is that happy face

    Imagine it sloshing towards you, 15 stories high, its innards composed entirely of these grotesque diagrams

    Smile warping perversely

    It will consume you

     

     
    well, nightmares again tonight
     

  • N Morrison (unregistered)
    <font size="2">

    ...<font color="#800000">the consultants wanted to design it so that "even the most technically unskilled end-user could easily add and modify"</font> ...

    Over 25 years ago there was a program called "The Last One" (because it was the last program you would ever have to buy <G>). It ran on the TRS-80 Model I and was written in old Microsoft Basic. It wrote database programs IN old Microsoft Basic. Unfortunately you had to be a programmer to get it to do anything useful. It was insanely expensive and rapidly vanished.

    There's nothing new under the sun.

    </font>

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