• more randomer than you (unregistered) in reply to Dracolith
    Dracolith:
    TopCod3r:
    1. If you have a web site, there are too many browsers and incompatibilities with javascript, etc. So distributing a CD-ROM solves this problem because it will work on any Windows PC that has a CD-ROM drive, which is all of them.

    It's not everyone. Many people use PCs that don't use Windows; OS X, for example. Many people use Windows PCs that have no CD-ROM drive or other media drive.

    2. If you have a web site, anyone can view it, so even your competitors can gather intelligence about your products.

    Yes. Everyone can view a web site, including your customers and prospective customers, and it is much more convenient for them to look at a web site than to attempt to load a CD-ROM.

    Which may not even be allowed. In many companies, programs cannot be run from CD-ROMs except by sys admins, Windows System policies applicable to your customer on their business workstation may prevent your CD from working (or at least, it will fail to autorun).

    As for your competitors: it doesn't matter that you didn't mail a CD to their HQ, they will still get it if they want one. Some of your legitimate customers will actually be providing information and details about your marketing to your competition, while seeking a better deal.

    Also, some of your "customers" may be people working for your competitors in disguise. Your competitors may have even found someone at your company they can learn all they need to know about what's on the CD from.

    3. If you have a web site, you have to worry more about security and being hacked.

    You still have to worry about it without a web site; if you have computer networks, even completely private ones, it is possible they may be used without your knowledge to benefit an adversary: whether through technical exploits or social engineering. Some of your employees have internet access, don't they?

    Consider the attack model: employee (an insider) gains access to sensitive information and sells it, perhaps they send it out via e-mail. Merely not having a web site is no protection against this attack model.

    Proper security involves implementing a firewall and separating your internal networks from untrusted networks. It also involves segmenting information internally, so An employee in Department A can't read information that only employees in Department B should see. (Marketing doesn't get to see the legal department's records, for ex)

    Your web server (if you have one) should just be part of yet another untrusted network, if it never has privileged access of any sort to your trusted networks, then you are no less secure than before.

    Web sites start to become a risk only when proper isolation is not in place, or the web site explicitly access internal data (for example, for a customer to place an order using the web site)

    4. If you have a web site, you have to hire web developers. With a CD-ROM application, you can use VB developers, who can create a more graphically rich experience for the customer.

    Less consistent experience. VB developers are likely to be more expensive than HTML developers.

    It is just as expensive to design the visuals, whether VB is used or not, but HTML certainly provides more easily used tools, and it is much less expensive to design an impressive website than to design an impressive VB application.

    It really is quite simple to execute. On the last Wednesday of the month, everyone who has a CD-R drive (which includes all IT employees) has to burn their share of the CDs that have to go out the following Monday. So we assign a quota so to speak, and how to do in regards to your quota goes into your 360 feedback session later in the year.

    That's nuts. Much better to have a CD-R duplicator and one assistant assigned to do that.

    The opportunity cost involved in having system admins burning loads of CDs is tremendous, they should be doing other work that is more valuable to the business.

    While burning of CDs should be relegated to people who either have run out of real work to do, or to less-expensive staff who won't be distracted from more important duties.

    So much text, so little clue.

    </luctus>
  • Bappi (cs) in reply to Microsoftie
    Microsoftie:
    Said tool is called PoliCheck, and it's overly sensitive. You get errors if your strings include words like "red" (potentially-offensive synonym for communist) and "wife" (heterocentric, the approved term is "spouse or life partner").
    "Wife" isn't heterocentric, it's male-centric. Or you think married women don't use your software?
  • Tourist (cs) in reply to iToad
    iToad:
    DDF:
    I don't think that is quite as bad as the "You should never see this message" type errors which are proof of either the programmers arrogance, lack of skill or both - not just his poor memory.

    I use the more politically correct phrase "Internal Error", followed by an error code. Yes, I have seen them pop up later.

    poop up?

  • Me (unregistered) in reply to Bappi
    Bappi:
    Microsoftie:
    Said tool is called PoliCheck, and it's overly sensitive. You get errors if your strings include words like "red" (potentially-offensive synonym for communist) and "wife" (heterocentric, the approved term is "spouse or life partner").
    "Wife" isn't heterocentric, it's male-centric. Or you think married women don't use your software?

    I like to think it's lesbian-centric, which then makes the software kind of erotic... at least to me it does.

  • Sparky (unregistered)

    There are a few things about test data and impossible error messages that everybody should know:

    you WILL forget to change or remove it it WILL show up when demoing the software to the client (this has happened to me many times)

    We have a policy of using funny, but non-insulting test data. The funny part ensures that nobody in their right mind could mistake it for real data, just in case it accidentally makes it into a production database (which has also happened more than once).

    A recipe database, for example, will have recipes for making coffee, thee and sandwiches. A contact information table will have records for Donald Duck, Lilo and Stitch, etc. (we just might get sued by Disney for copyright infringement).

    That way, you won't have to change the testing database while you're trying to get other things done in time for a demo, either.

  • RPJS (unregistered) in reply to Sparky

    Years ago I built a quick-and-dirty offender record system for the county probabtion service*. For test data I used Rimmer from Red Dwarf with offence codes such as "being obnoxious". The probabtion people loved it.

    • This was an interim system to hold the line until an all-signing, all-dancing national system was eventually rolled out, which it was years late and over-budget and I learnt didn't do half the things my little one-month of solo effort app did!
  • Taz (cs) in reply to jaykay
    jaykay:
    I looked for C.L.I.T.O.R.I.S. but couldn't find it anywhere...

    You looked in the wrong place. :)

    TRWTF is to sanitize this worthless article, I mean who says "poop" IRL other than some 4 yo?

    Worthless because were it not for Top Cod3er's troll post, there wouldn't be anything worth to discuss. Poop (ooops!) happens. BFD.

  • ender (cs) in reply to Sparky
    Sparky:
    We have a policy of using funny, but non-insulting test data. The funny part ensures that nobody in their right mind could mistake it for real data
    Don't count on it - there were a few stories on this very site about stuff that was shipped to mr. Testing Test on Test Avenue 111.
  • blah (unregistered) in reply to Similar, but less serious story
    Similar:
    One day I was developing software that had to do with "assignments" so I had an "ass" variable that held the current assignment.

    Everything was great.

    Until the day some unepexpected error popped up with a stack trace referencing "ass" popped up on a screen. It sais something like "Null pointer in ass." or some other slightly-offensive phrase. I got a good talking to about that. Luckily, we hadn't shipped the product yet so there was time to both fix the bug and change the variable name.

    But I learned an important lesson to even make sure my variable names didn't have potentially offensive language.

    You let the client see the stack trace?! WTF...

  • dkf (cs) in reply to Taz
    Taz:
    TRWTF is to sanitize this worthless article, I mean who says "poop" IRL other than some 4 yo?
    I suspect it was in the original submission, and quite possibly in the triggering event way back. After all, sanitizing to "poop" is just thoroughly dumb.
  • TD (unregistered)

    Oh my, Pat should clearly have been dehired for such blatant unprofessionalism. I'm guessing that Pat was pretty young and not long out of college at the time (it is ususally schoolkids who find it amusing to pepper their code with profanity and "cute" variable/function names). But being young and inexperienced is absolutely no excuse for littering production code with profanity and junk. If you're smart enough to write program code you should be smart enough to realise how retarded this behaviour is. On the rare occasions I see this in our codebase I flag it for review and then immediately fail it. If it were ever to make it into prodcution, people would lose their jobs.

  • Someone You Know (cs) in reply to RPJS
    RPJS:
    Years ago I built a quick-and-dirty offender record system for the county probabtion service*. For test data I used Rimmer from Red Dwarf with offence codes such as "being obnoxious". The probabtion people loved it.
    • This was an interim system to hold the line until an all-signing, all-dancing national system was eventually rolled out, which it was years late and over-budget and I learnt didn't do half the things my little one-month of solo effort app did!

    Was it the system or the offenders who were quick-and-dirty?

  • Jasper (unregistered) in reply to shadowman
    shadowman:
    Erik's company had scored a project for a multinational software company called "The Big M" around the office.

    Novell?

    No, Movell. :)

  • rainer (unregistered) in reply to Doesn't matter
    Comment held for moderation.
  • brettdavis4 (cs) in reply to TopCod3r
    TopCod3r:
    At my company, one of the many things that our IT department does right, is we have guided the business to continue to use CD-ROMs instead of a website for advertising our products. When I was asked to make the business case for this decision, it was simple:
    1. If you have a web site, there are too many browsers and incompatibilities with javascript, etc. So distributing a CD-ROM solves this problem because it will work on any Windows PC that has a CD-ROM drive, which is all of them.

    2. If you have a web site, anyone can view it, so even your competitors can gather intelligence about your products. Now, we are able to see our competitors website, but since we don't send CD-ROMs to them, they are in the dark!

    3. If you have a web site, you have to worry more about security and being hacked. How many news stories are there out there about companies who have exposed customer data. I have guaranteed that will not happen to us.

    4. If you have a web site, you have to hire web developers. With a CD-ROM application, you can use VB developers, who can create a more graphically rich experience for the customer.

    It really is quite simple to execute. On the last Wednesday of the month, everyone who has a CD-R drive (which includes all IT employees) has to burn their share of the CDs that have to go out the following Monday. So we assign a quota so to speak, and how to do in regards to your quota goes into your 360 feedback session later in the year.

    Anyway, it has worked out well. A tried and true approach.

    If this was 1997, that might a good policy.

    BTW if you are having VB Developers create these CDs, I take it that these CDs are only Windows compatible. I hope none of your current/future customers use Macs or Linux, because they will not be able to use your cds.

    So

  • anon (unregistered) in reply to BentFranklin
    BentFranklin:
    Dear TopCod3r/Brian, I read comments at wtf so I can see how other people think about things. I'm not elite, I'm not even a professional coder, so I don't always know the "right" ways to do things. I'm just trying not to wtf myself. So I learn a lot in the comments. The learning is the fun part for me, although some posts do make me laugh pretty hard too.

    If you're learning from comments on TDWTF then given that most of the time TRWTF is the comments, I can safely say UR DOIN IT WRONG.

  • Doesn't matter (unregistered) in reply to rainer
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Code Dependent (cs) in reply to Microsoftie
    Microsoftie:
    You get errors if your strings include words like "red" (potentially-offensive synonym for communist) and "wife" (heterocentric, the approved term is "spouse or life partner").
    No, sorry, won't work. "life partner" is offensive to polyamorists and serial monogamists.
  • TopCod3r (cs) in reply to BentFranklin
    BentFranklin:
    Dear TopCod3r/Brian,

    I read comments at wtf so I can see how other people think about things. I'm not elite, I'm not even a professional coder, so I don't always know the "right" ways to do things. I'm just trying not to wtf myself. So I learn a lot in the comments. The learning is the fun part for me, although some posts do make me laugh pretty hard too. But not yours.

    I'm sorry that my posts don't make you laugh. But I am encouraged that you are able to learn from them.

    Bappi:
    Dear TopCod3r,

    My company desperately needs a person with your depth and breadth of knowledge in all matter IT. Please inform us of how you would see your job with us. what responsibilities you would like to assume, and how you would like to be remunerated. I will have my secretary draw up a contract forthwith and have it couriered over, if that is acceptable to you.

    Awaiting your response in eager anticipation, (s) Awestruck.

    I hope this is a joke, because I am loyal to my current employer. Since I started as a junior developer, I have been promoted to junior developer II, programmer I, programmer II, senior programmer I, and then I passed over senior programmer II and directly to lead developer, which is where I am now. It is hard to find a good place to work, so I am staying here for sure.

  • TadGhostal (unregistered)

    He called the SH*T POOP!!!!

  • peterb (unregistered) in reply to Bappi
    Bappi:
    "Wife" isn't heterocentric, it's male-centric. Or you think married women don't use your software?

    Actually, "wife" would apply to my sisters wife as well. :-)

  • Code Dependent (cs) in reply to BentFranklin
    BentFranklin:
    There are better ways to be funny. You're smart enough to approach your subject obliquely instead of just saying the opposite of what is true.
    Hiya, Bent,

    You might hone your humor detection skills on this website, where the author always presents his humor as a deadpan, funeral-serious news report. It could give some insight into Top's approach.

  • KenW (cs) in reply to Ben
    Ben:
    Those few minutes I spent reading that "story" are minutes I will never get back. Damn, I wish there was a "this is just a bunch of irrelevant shite" filter so I could ignore crap like this.

    Hopefully, you'll run out of those minutes soon enough we won't need a filter for your "shite".

    If you don't like the content, either don't read it or don't visit this site. Your posting idiocy doesn't improve things; it just adds "irrelevant shite".

  • KenW (cs) in reply to amet
    amet:
    I think I've read this before...

    Yay for you!

    Does your mommy know you're online by yourself?

  • KenW (cs) in reply to jaykay
    jaykay:
    I looked for C.L.I.T.O.R.I.S. but couldn't find it anywhere...

    You have to find a woman first.

  • KenW (cs) in reply to Ian Tits
    Ian Tits:
    Are you for real?

    In the Real World, the first thing anyone learns is to lie and cheat and pretend you're someone from "the public" to stitch up your competitor company.

    You must be thick to think you're not sending your own data to your direct competitors.

    You must be really thick to have missed the other 100 or so posts mentioning that the post you're responding to (without including a quote) was a joke.

    Read before posting. You won't look so stupid that way. Maybe.

  • KenW (cs) in reply to Taz
    Taz:
    You looked in the wrong place. :)

    TRWTF is to sanitize this worthless article, I mean who says "poop" IRL other than some 4 yo?

    Worthless because were it not for Top Cod3er's troll post, there wouldn't be anything worth to discuss. Poop (ooops!) happens. BFD.

    TRWTF's are:

    1. You assuming that the OP was sanitized. You do know what "assume" means, don't you?

    2. You saying there was nothing to discuss. Obviously, since you felt the need to post, you felt there was. Oops!

    3. You wasting our time posting your useless poop.

    Thanks for playing, though.

  • KenW (cs) in reply to brettdavis4
    brettdavis4:
    TopCod3r:
    At my company, one of the many things that our IT department does right, is we have guided the business to continue to use CD-ROMs instead of a website for advertising our products. When I was asked to make the business case for this decision, it was simple:

    If this was 1997, that might a good policy.

    BTW if you are having VB Developers create these CDs, I take it that these CDs are only Windows compatible. I hope none of your current/future customers use Macs or Linux, because they will not be able to use your cds.

    If this was 2028, you might have a clue.

    And who cares if Mac or Linux users can use your software if your software is written for Windows only? Which the majority of desktop software is, BTW, since you apparently are clueless about that too.

  • tgape (cs) in reply to Doesn't matter
    Doesn't matter:
    Note to everyone:

    TopCod3r's posts always have his tongue firmly in his cheek.

    That is all.

    Yes, that may be. But most people who post 'tongue firmly in cheek' don't have said tongue actually sticking through the cheek, and bolted on the other side.

  • tgape (cs) in reply to blah
    blah:
    Similar:
    ... the day some unepexpected error popped up with a stack trace referencing "ass" popped up on a screen. It sais something like "Null pointer in ass."
    You let the client see the stack trace?! WTF...

    It started with Java, which dumps a stack trace for any uncaught exception, and had no recommended way to fix this behavior, last I checked. Then Python came out, doing the same thing. Now, it seems like everybody and their neighbor's dog are doing it.

    Stack traces can be, in some select instances, very helpful for debugging purposes. Of course, they can be less than helpful in other instances. In my opinion, showing a stack trace to a customer is nearly as bad as swearing at them (although, nothing beats a stack trace which swears at them, unless you can make it personal.)

    Ideally, the message one gives a customer in the face of an unexpected issue like this indicates that it is an unexpected issue, and that the customer should contact the appropriate developer. Preferably, not by name; people change jobs. (I learned this one about six months into my current job - when I got a call from the old boss. He'd gotten a very distinctive error message with my name on it. If my replacement had simply searched for said error message, he would've been able to find the problem very quickly. It would've taken him a bit longer to fix it than it would've taken me - but he certainly would've been up to the task.)

    I've not received any flak for making my unexpected errors distinctive. I'm sure part of this is that most of them have never actually occurred. Still, that should probably be considered an advanced trick, as it seems many people cannot figure out how to be distinctive without being offensive. (And, oddly enough, their 'distinctive' frequently isn't very distinctive.)

  • Myrmidon (unregistered) in reply to TopCod3r
    TopCod3r:
    I hope this is a joke...

    I think we've all come to that conclusion 'TopCod3r'.

    TopCod3r:
    It is hard to find a good place to work, so I am staying here for sure.

    Gnarly Dude! Fer sure!

  • An Old Hacker (unregistered) in reply to rainer
    Comment held for moderation.
  • wingcommander (unregistered) in reply to Lincoln

    They were just as useful.

    captcha: luptatum

    sure glad I don't have it.

  • Francisco (unregistered) in reply to ClutchDude
    ClutchDude:
    [...]

    A retraction was printed the next week stating that "XXXXX College was not flattened, contrary to other claims."

    That was funnier than the article!

    LOL (to the point I coughed)

  • buttbuttin of the mbuttes (unregistered) in reply to Similar, but less serious story
    Similar:
    One day I was developing software that had to do with "assignments" so I had an "ass" variable that held the current assignment.

    Everything was great.

    Until the day some unepexpected error popped up with a stack trace referencing "ass" popped up on a screen. It said something like "Null pointer in ass."

    Haha, that is clbuttic.

  • stormwind (unregistered) in reply to ClutchDude
    ClutchDude:
    I was a layout editor for the college paper. The writers and section editor would never get their headlines done in time for me to finalize the layout, so I'd always throw some crazy gibberish like "President dismisses entire college staff." I figured there is no way they'd forget to change it. Then, one week, a headline "Giant Lizard Flattens Campus" made it into the paper.

    My college's newspaper managed to do this...except the headline read something to the effect of "(actual headline) and some other shit". Needless to say, the administration wasn't happy.

  • Barf4Eva (unregistered)

    POOP!!!

  • Bob (unregistered) in reply to Bob N Freely
    Bob N Freely:
    MS has an internal tool they have to run on any project that will be released to customers. It looks for this kind of stuff in the code. It has a database of offensive words in dozens of languages, so sometimes you get unexpected results.
    Wouldn't this *encourage* people to write obscene debugging messages, since there is an additional independent test path to catch the issues?
  • TopCod3r (cs) in reply to Bob
    Bob:
    Bob N Freely:
    MS has an internal tool they have to run on any project that will be released to customers. It looks for this kind of stuff in the code. It has a database of offensive words in dozens of languages, so sometimes you get unexpected results.
    Wouldn't this *encourage* people to write obscene debugging messages, since there is an additional independent test path to catch the issues?

    This gives me a good idea for our build script. We have been having problems with a few of our developers writing insulting comments about other developers on the team or DBAs, so I think on Tuesday I'm going to add something to the build script that checks for any places where a developer or DBAs name is used (or their first initial and last name) and email me so I can remove it immediately.

  • The WHistler (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Xenobiologista (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Marshall (unregistered) in reply to diaphanein

    Not necessarily. I'm "working" with Delphi 2006 Enterprise and amongst the myriad of ways in which the Delphi IDE crashes was an ASSERT error (somewhere in C/C++ code judging by the message). Lots of memory leaks, pointer errors, index out of bounds and ... you name it, the IDE has crashed because of it.

  • Stephen Leary (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi

    There isnt a The Real WTF™ here at all.

  • Paula Bean (unregistered) in reply to TopCod3r
    TopCod3r:
    This gives me a good idea for our build script. We have been having problems with a few of our developers writing insulting comments about other developers on the team or DBAs, so I think on Tuesday I'm going to add something to the build script that checks for any places where a developer or DBAs name is used (or their first initial and last name) and email me so I can remove it immediately.

    WTF? Your using a 'Build Script'?

    No wonder your getting that sort of 'poop' in your deliverables.... Id have thought a dev lead with your experience would know that the only way you can create a truely safe deliverable is to put it together by hand ....

  • Lewis (unregistered)

    Once when I was working on a client's website on my localhost, I was trying to fix a Javascript bug which got me really wound up (as bugs do). Anyway, to 'debug' this bug I was using alert() with random words to see which functions were being triggered. The more wound up I got, the more aggressive the words I used became. It wasn't until I got a phone call from a client asking why whenever he visited his website it called him a "c*nt", that I realised I had accidentally uploaded the file! To say that was slightly awkward to explain would be an understatement! In the end I convinced him that it was a mis-spelling of 'count' that was causing the message.

  • Jake Vinson (cs) in reply to kimbo305
    kimbo305:
    I think the story makes a lot more sense when the word is more vulgar, like "shit," and not "poop." I'm ok with anonymization in the stories, but I think here it hurt to censor a curse.

    It was me (not Alex), and no, I didn't censor it - "poop" was the exact word used in the submission. If it had been "shit" I would've censored it for people with puritanical content filters at work, however. Probably would've gone with "feces," which I think is still pretty funny.

  • quadeddie (unregistered)

    Worked at a shop that was very young and no processes in place. Poop hit the fan when we demoed the CRM site on our dev db where we had stores like "Doug's Whorehouse" which sold double sided dildos.

    From then on out, code and data was painfully mediocre.

  • Steve (unregistered) in reply to akatherder
    akatherder:
    iToad:
    DDF:
    I don't think that is quite as bad as the "You should never see this message" type errors which are proof of either the programmers arrogance, lack of skill or both - not just his poor memory.

    I use the more politically correct phrase "Internal Error", followed by an error code. Yes, I have seen them pop up later.

    We did that too. We started assigning sequential errors to the code "Internal Error: E001", "Internal Error: E002", etc. It was a mild pain in the ass to figure out what the latest error number was, so someone decided to just hammer on the keyboard "Internal Error: 2873JD83HJD". Eventually we ended up with "FUK" in one of the error codes. The person who call it in said "Hey I got a 194 f*ck error".

    That's when you use the name of the function/routine in which the "internal error" is being thrown as part of the number, like "Internal Error: divide01". If you have more than say a dozen internal errors in one function, it's probably time to refactor that function or come up with more specific error messages for some of those errors.

  • �������� (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • wholesale jordan shoes (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.

Leave a comment on “We Burned the Poop”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article