• Bob (unregistered)

    Their system needs a wooden table. Oh and frist.

  • The real wtf fool (unregistered)

    Did they paid for it up front? I can't imagine they would have paid out after seeing the finished product. In that case the cowboy just wasted his time building the crock of sh*t - should have just disappeared with the money in the first instance.

  • SNF (unregistered)

    That there is some sweet blink tag attributes.

  • lol (unregistered)

    The blink tag distracted me when i was reading the article :(

  • anon (unregistered)

    This guy sounds familiar... a few years ago, my parents wanted to get my sister a laptop as a graduation present, and they decided to go with someone she knew from work. Similar to this guy, after getting the money he dropped off the face of the planet. After hearing nothing from this guy for months they eventually ended up getting a old, used, broken laptop from him (probably worth less than half of what they paid him)that ended up being a system he was supposed to be fixing for someone else. Long story short, that person pressed charges, my parents piggy-backed, and he's in jail now. Hurray for disappearing tech guys...we'd never be able to maintain such a bad rep without them....wait....

  • jtl (unregistered)

    To save people from having to view source...

    <blink wtf="No support for blink tags in IE? IE users don't know what they're missing! Score one for Firefox and Opera!">blink</blink>.

  • MmmVomit (unregistered)

    The one blinking word was distracting enough that I had to scroll past it. I can't imagine what this monstrosity would have been like to use.

  • jtwine (cs)

    Horrible use of colors on controls and window backgrounds?

    Blinking text? (WTF!)

    Treating a path like a password?

    Access database backend?

    Well, all that just SCREAMS Visual Basic developer (and I use the term loosely) to me... :)

    -=- James.

  • Anon (unregistered)
    Each product in the suite had one thing in common with all of the other products in the suite — the seizure-inducing UI and being completely useless.

    It seems "InterMath" is contagious.

  • sir_flexalot (unregistered)

    $10,000 is unbelievably cheap for a software solution that size... no wonder it was a piece of crap.

  • DOA (cs)

    This article was like a massive traffic accident. Started with a head-on collision at 100mph. Then a 20 car-pile up. Then the truck carrying jet fuel jackknifes into the mayhem seconds before the high speed train smashes into the ensuing firestorm. Then the 747 appears on the horizon...

  • Peter D. (unregistered)

    When I read stuff like this it makes me wonder how I am not paid more for what I do. :(

  • nick davis (unregistered)

    Perhaps the school's willingness to only spend $10k on a system of this magnitude might have created this entire situation?

  • DaveE1 (cs)

    Is the Home_ArticleSummaryContainer css causing your H2 headers to be white on white?

  • MoffDub (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • TakeASeatOverThere (cs) in reply to Peter D.
    Peter D.:
    When I read stuff like this it makes me wonder how I am not paid more for what I do. :(
    That's because you're a loser. ;_;
  • HerrSchmidt (unregistered) in reply to jtwine

    Well, to me "Visual Basic development" is an oxymoron, like "Microsoft Works"...

  • AMerrickanGirl (unregistered)

    Why didn't Jason fix any of the software? Wasn't he hired to maintain it?

  • ClaudeSuck.de (cs) in reply to jtwine
    jtwine:
    Horrible use of colors on controls and window backgrounds?

    Blinking text? (WTF!)

    Treating a path like a password?

    Access database backend?

    Well, all that just SCREAMS Visual Basic developer (and I use the term loosely) to me... :)

    -=- James.

    It shouldn't. This was the typical backyard programmer, some guy who could "also program". When you see a strange mix of colors on the screen this is always an indication that it was done by such a person. And they believe they are good and that they do the right thing. This guy was even taking money for it. These people think that when you can hold a mouse then you can program. What makes me always laugh is when it comes to "design" and "architecture" as these people often have the wildest ideas of how a UI shall be designed, or the database, or the code and so on. You just can't help them.

  • Zylon (cs) in reply to HerrSchmidt
    HerrSchmidt:
    Well, to me "Visual Basic development" is an oxymoron, like "Microsoft Works"...
    Gosh, you sure are clever! Hurr hurr hurr hurr hurr!
  • AMerrickanGirl (unregistered) in reply to HerrSchmidt
    HerrSchmidt:
    Well, to me "Visual Basic development" is an oxymoron, like "Microsoft Works"...

    I'm tired of people lumping all VB apps and all VB programmers into one dismal group. There are plenty of well designed VB apps developed by talented professionals. You just don't hear about them on the Daily WTF.

    I develop primarily in VBA. Mostly Access front end and, if I get my way, SQL Server back end. Yes, Access is not the most desirable back end, but sometimes the company's vision or budget won't allow us to develop in the environment we'd prefer.

    Sometimes you have to work with the tools you're given. And there are plenty of incompetent software developers who create shitty apps using Java, C#, C++, Ruby, Lisp, Python and every other language known to man. VB/VBA people are just easy pickings because it takes the least amount of training to hack together a database, so a lot of bottom feeders end up creating crap. But not all of us!

  • real_aardvark (cs) in reply to nick davis
    nick davis:
    Perhaps the school's willingness to only spend $10k on a system of this magnitude might have created this entire situation?
    Reading about the results, I'm hoping that this might be a classic case of anonymization.

    What's the minimum wage these days; $5.85 or something? Jeez, you can get a whole 1709 hours of work done for that -- easily enough for the boffo functionality required (as long as you remove Access and replace it with an actual database). One of the few cases I can think of where writing the entire system in PHP actually makes sense.

    I'm thinking the school needs to reconsider their tendering process.

  • webrunner (cs) in reply to DOA
    DOA:
    This article was like a massive traffic accident. Started with a head-on collision at 100mph. Then a 20 car-pile up. Then the truck carrying jet fuel jackknifes into the mayhem seconds before the high speed train smashes into the ensuing firestorm. Then the 747 appears on the horizon...

    Have you ever played Burnout?

  • FredSaw (cs)
    ...was finally able to trebuchet themselves into the 21st century...
    Wow, I didn't even know trebuchet was a verb!
  • Bappi (cs) in reply to AMerrickanGirl
    AMerrickanGirl:
    There are plenty of well designed VB apps developed by talented professionals. You just don't hear about them on the Daily WTF.
    I wonder why that is? Oh wait, TheDailyWellDesignedAndDevelopedApp.com is thataway-->
  • snoofle (cs) in reply to FredSaw
    FredSaw:
    ...was finally able to trebuchet themselves into the 21st century...
    Wow, I didn't even know trebuchet was a verb!
    If "WTF" can be used as a noun, then "trebuchet" can be a verb!
  • snoofle (cs) in reply to Bappi
    AMerrickanGirl:
    There are plenty of well designed VB apps developed by talented professionals. You just don't hear about them on the Daily WTF.
    Wait, a majority of the folks here generally agree that VB tends to generate many more WTFs than other languages for a variety of reasons, including the short entry curve, and as such, is in and of itself a WTF.

    If "VB" == "WTF", and you develop well designed quality VB apps, then you build well designed quality WTF's?

  • jtwine (cs) in reply to ClaudeSuck.de
    ClaudeSuck.de:
    jtwine:
    Horrible use of colors on controls and window backgrounds? Blinking text? (WTF!) Treating a path like a password? Access database backend? Well, all that just *SCREAMS* Visual Basic developer (and I use the term loosely) to me... :)
    It shouldn't. This was the typical backyard programmer, some guy who could "also program". When you see a strange mix of colors on the screen this is always an indication that it was done by such a person. And they believe they are good and that they do the right thing. This guy was even taking money for it. These people think that when you can hold a mouse then you can program. What makes me always laugh is when it comes to "design" and "architecture" as these people often have the wildest ideas of how a UI shall be designed, or the database, or the code and so on. You just can't help them.
    When people started viewing VB as less of a prototype or POC utility and more as a RAD utility, the first applications generated (IME) tended to overuse colors, graphics, and text effects in strange ways -- the applications were a colorblind person's worst nightmare, and pretty hard on the rest of us, too.

    So when I first hear about things like strange gradients/colors, odd text effects, etc., it sounds like an inexperienced (or worse, experienced) VBer to me. IME, the less experienced C++ developers have more trouble with things like colors, graphics and text effects because those things are harder to "get to." By the time they learn how to get to them, they tend to have better ideas on how (and NOT how) to use them.

    Many of the VBers I have experienced, however, tend to treat them like a kid with a hammer -- everything start looking like a nail. They do it with COM and they do it with colors. :)

  • Calvin (unregistered)

    Verbing weirds language.

  • zoips (unregistered) in reply to FredSaw
    FredSaw:
    ...was finally able to trebuchet themselves into the 21st century...
    Wow, I didn't even know trebuchet was a verb!

    Verbing weirds the language.

  • unklegwar (unregistered) in reply to jtwine
    jtwine:
    Horrible use of colors on controls and window backgrounds?

    Blinking text? (WTF!)

    Treating a path like a password?

    Access database backend?

    Well, all that just SCREAMS Visual Basic developer (and I use the term loosely) to me... :)

    -=- James.

    Something only an incompetent, crap, NON-VB developer would say. I you designed decent software, you know that design and programming skills are completely decoupled from implementation technology.

  • TakeASeatOverThere (cs) in reply to AMerrickanGirl
    AMerrickanGirl:
    HerrSchmidt:
    Well, to me "Visual Basic development" is an oxymoron, like "Microsoft Works"...

    I'm tired of people lumping all VB apps and all VB programmers into one dismal group. There are plenty of well designed VB apps developed by talented professionals.

    Why are they using VB if they are "talented professionals"? Does their talent end on the Basic level?

    You just don't hear about them on the Daily WTF.
    I haven't heard about them at all.
    Sometimes you have to work with the tools you're given. And there are plenty of incompetent software developers who create shitty apps using Java, C#, C++, Ruby, Lisp, Python and every other language known to man. VB/VBA people are just easy pickings because it takes the least amount of training to hack together a database, so a lot of bottom feeders end up creating crap. But not all of us!
    I'm sure there are some talented professionals developing little wonders in LOGO as well, only there's so many of fuckups that it's no use treating the language or the developers seriously. The same with VB, as you said yourself.

    Something only an incompetent, crap, NON-VB developer would say. I you designed decent software, you know that design and programming skills are completely decoupled from implementation technology.

    But the ratio of crappy VB programmers to VB programmers is not decoupled at all. Neither is the ratio of crappy VB programmers to crappy programmers.

  • real_aardvark (cs) in reply to snoofle
    snoofle:
    AMerrickanGirl:
    There are plenty of well designed VB apps developed by talented professionals. You just don't hear about them on the Daily WTF.
    Wait, a majority of the folks here generally agree that VB tends to generate many more WTFs than other languages for a variety of reasons, including the short entry curve, and as such, is in and of itself a WTF.

    If "VB" = "WTF", and you develop well designed quality VB apps, then you build well designed quality WTF's?

    FTFY...

  • OzPeter (cs) in reply to AMerrickanGirl
    AMerrickanGirl:
    I'm tired of people lumping all VB apps and all VB programmers into one dismal group. There are plenty of well designed VB apps developed by talented professionals. You just don't hear about them on the Daily WTF.

    I know what you mean .. But I doubt that most people understand that.

    I prefer the analogy that if you gave a bad music student the most expensive piano you could buy, you would still hear crap from them. But if you gave Mozart a crappy piano you would still get some of the best music in the world.

    Its talent and understanding that stands out, not the tool set.

  • real_aardvark (cs) in reply to AMerrickanGirl
    unklegwar:
    jtwine:
    Well, all that just *SCREAMS* Visual Basic developer (and I use the term loosely) to me... :)

    -=- James.

    Something only an incompetent, crap, NON-VB developer would say. If you designed decent software, you know that design and programming skills are completely decoupled from implementation technology.

    Well, I'll grant you it's not something that an incompetent, crap, VB developer would say. Other than that, your boolean logic appears to be mildly flawed. Nothing to do with your choice of programming language, of course.

    AMerrickanGirl:
    Sometimes you have to work with the tools you're given. And there are plenty of incompetent software developers who create shitty apps using Java, C#, C++, Ruby, Lisp, Python and every other language known to man. VB/VBA people are just easy pickings because it takes the least amount of training to hack together a database, so a lot of bottom feeders end up creating crap. But not all of us!
    Just to be refreshingly non-anti-VB (pardon my construct), this is a reasonable point. Two points, however:

    (1) Sometimes you can refuse to take a job if it involves "tools" that make your spleen spontaneously combust. Written anything in Cobol lately? (2) There's not many bottom-feeders in the C++ world, because bottom-feeders don't get past the compiler. (It is, however, true that there's a lot of crap C++ code out there -- but that's at another level.) As for direct VB competitors such as the others you mention, I'd rather hire someone versed in those languages than someone versed in VB. It's just less of a risk. Even if, at the end of the day, I have to make the poor sods write a VB program with an Access back-end.

    My first point is snide, I know. My second point is actually more of a comment on the institutional stupidity of the software industry itself.

    Why try for excellence when you can make do with bottom-feeders and duct-tape?

  • JamesQMurphy (unregistered) in reply to jtwine
    jtwine:
    ClaudeSuck.de:
    jtwine:
    Horrible use of colors on controls and window backgrounds? Blinking text? (WTF!) Treating a path like a password? Access database backend? Well, all that just *SCREAMS* Visual Basic developer (and I use the term loosely) to me... :)
    It shouldn't. This was the typical backyard programmer, some guy who could "also program". When you see a strange mix of colors on the screen this is always an indication that it was done by such a person. And they believe they are good and that they do the right thing. This guy was even taking money for it. These people think that when you can hold a mouse then you can program. What makes me always laugh is when it comes to "design" and "architecture" as these people often have the wildest ideas of how a UI shall be designed, or the database, or the code and so on. You just can't help them.
    When people started viewing VB as less of a prototype or POC utility and more as a RAD utility, the first applications generated (IME) tended to overuse colors, graphics, and text effects in strange ways -- the applications were a colorblind person's worst nightmare, and pretty hard on the rest of us, too.

    So when I first hear about things like strange gradients/colors, odd text effects, etc., it sounds like an inexperienced (or worse, experienced) VBer to me. IME, the less experienced C++ developers have more trouble with things like colors, graphics and text effects because those things are harder to "get to." By the time they learn how to get to them, they tend to have better ideas on how (and NOT how) to use them.

    Many of the VBers I have experienced, however, tend to treat them like a kid with a hammer -- everything start looking like a nail. They do it with COM and they do it with colors. :)

    That's been my experience too. I was once working on a statistical app -- I was doing the calculation engine (in C++), while someone else did the front-end in VB. We wanted to display the name of the currently active (Access) database on the toolbar, but the problem was, the full path didn't fit. The VB programmer actually put a marquee control in the toolbar, to make the path fit. The colors? Neon green on black. Thankfully, my boss nixed the idea, and instead instructed him to use elipsis marks (C:...\access.mdb) to make the path fit, in default toolbar colors, with a tooltip for the full path.

  • Ozz (unregistered) in reply to OzPeter
    OzPeter:
    But if you gave Mozart a crappy piano you would still get some of the best music in the world.
    Wow - and I thought Mozart was dead...
  • Cygnus (unregistered)

    $10,000 for three months of work? The school got what it paid for. If it had hired a qualified developer, the cost would have been three to five times higher.

  • Havok (unregistered) in reply to AMerrickanGirl
    AMerrickanGirl:
    HerrSchmidt:
    Well, to me "Visual Basic development" is an oxymoron, like "Microsoft Works"...

    I'm tired of people lumping all VB apps and all VB programmers into one dismal group. There are plenty of well designed VB apps developed by talented professionals. You just don't hear about them on the Daily WTF.

    I develop primarily in VBA. Mostly Access front end and, if I get my way, SQL Server back end. Yes, Access is not the most desirable back end, but sometimes the company's vision or budget won't allow us to develop in the environment we'd prefer.

    Sometimes you have to work with the tools you're given. And there are plenty of incompetent software developers who create shitty apps using Java, C#, C++, Ruby, Lisp, Python and every other language known to man. VB/VBA people are just easy pickings because it takes the least amount of training to hack together a database, so a lot of bottom feeders end up creating crap. But not all of us!

    im with you buddy.

    Anyway, i want an screenshot! Man this sounds like the worse application ever made.

    Looks like if something half-assed made for MS DOS could do a lot better.

    The uploading/downloading access database is truly a good reason to kill that programmer. It's a lack of respect to the entire pc world.

  • Yuriy (unregistered) in reply to sir_flexalot
    sir_flexalot:
    $10,000 is unbelievably cheap for a software solution that size... no wonder it was a piece of crap.

    My thoughts exactly. That's what you get for going with the lowest bid (or with your nephew's best friend's cousin's roommate).

  • OzPeter (cs) in reply to Ozz
    Ozz:
    OzPeter:
    But if you gave Mozart a crappy piano you would still get some of the best music in the world.
    Wow - and I thought Mozart was dead...

    As long as he is remembered he is still alive!

    (and that is not some lame excuse to explain my mixed use of tense in the original statement :-) )

  • SomeCoder (unregistered) in reply to JamesQMurphy
    Comment held for moderation.
  • helpfulcorn (cs)

    The school I worked at we had a similar piece of software, but it was lime green. Fortunately, we were able to read buttons, but there were many other problems. This was the late 90s and most of the machines we had were running Windows 95 or 98 and had usually 32MB RAM. The software itself was a single large executable written in Visual FoxPro, IIRC the size was something like 300MB.

    Needless to say, the software simply would not run on teacher machines, what we did ws setup Terminal Services and used a server with something like 16GB RAM to handle it all, but even then, if all the teachers had it open, it would easily lag.

    It took nearly a year for the developer to work out all the bugs. The icon was a smiley face and he REFUSED to change it to anything else, sometimes to the point where he'd scream at us on the phone about it.

  • Blobster (unregistered) in reply to TakeASeatOverThere

    Choice of tools is not always up to the developer. In addition many developers realize that most languages (including VB) are Turing equivalent. A talented developer can implement any system in any language*, why shirk away from a given language merely because of it's reputation?

    The "ratio" or sheer quantity of relatively unskilled VB programmers is not relevant to consideration of the language itself. It's just stereotyping.

    I don't use VB in my personal hobby projects, and it definitely is not my language of choice, but I use it exclusively at work. Somehow, despite using "WTF" technology, our software has been in production for over 10 years and is currently the market leader within our niche. Our system is very stable, and has several hundred satisfied businesses as customers. And it's still maintainable. So now you have "heard about" a non-WTF VB application. Is it still no use "treating VB developers seriously?"

    • Unless an application needs to run non-deterministic algorithms or hypercomputation.
  • Steve (unregistered)

    In addition to all the other WTFs in this article, may I point out the nutritional absurdity of offering pizza, chips, and soda as a lunchtime option.

    No wonder we're turning into a bloated bunch of fatsos.

    Oy vey

  • Bean There (unregistered) in reply to AMerrickanGirl
    AMerrickanGirl:
    There are plenty of well designed VB apps developed by talented professionals... I develop primarily in VBA. Mostly Access front end and, if I get my way, SQL Server back end.
    If you are referring to products (VBA, Access and SQL Server) that run only on Windows, you've already bought into a lifetime of WTFs.
  • Saaid (unregistered) in reply to zoips
    zoips:
    FredSaw:
    ...was finally able to trebuchet themselves into the 21st century...
    Wow, I didn't even know trebuchet was a verb!

    Verbing weirds the language.

    I guess this makes English a loosely typed language.

  • jhc (unregistered)

    "After blowing over $10,000 on the project just to go back to pen-and-paper..."

    The 'real wtf' here is that somebody bid this job for $10K (!?) with delivery in a few months. An idiot submitted the bid and another one (or other ones) accepted it.

  • Harry (unregistered)

    So how about a caption contest for the picture?

    "The REAL WTF is that they never found the InterPorn feature"

  • Kingsley Zissou (unregistered) in reply to AMerrickanGirl
    AMerrickanGirl:
    HerrSchmidt:
    Well, to me "Visual Basic development" is an oxymoron, like "Microsoft Works"...

    I'm tired of people lumping all VB apps and all VB programmers into one dismal group. There are plenty of well designed VB apps developed by talented professionals. You just don't hear about them on the Daily WTF.

    That's because they don't exist - like tooth fairies, Santa Claus, free government money, and start trek transporters. Sure, the idea sounds great, but reality doesn't allow it.

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