Theory of a Deadman, “Savages”
I’ve seen some computer interfaces that suffer from this problem:
This is dangerous, you see, because the text that says push here is the glass. Which is not really where you want to push; the user should push on the bar.
So when you’re testing, make sure to evaluate the design of the interface to ensure that the instructions are clear and that the text appropriately indicates what the user should do.
Not just close enough.
New reader Aron notes the error on this very site:
Perhaps WordPress is passing judgment on gimlet. More likely, though, the template has a bug in it. I’ll go looking for it eventually.
Not Roxette, old man.
Halestorm for a Mondy morning.
Pop Evil, “Footsteps”:
Shinedown, “Cut the Cord”:
In the 21st century:
— John Farrier (@JohnCFarrier) September 7, 2015
— John Farrier (@JohnCFarrier) September 8, 2015
Adding one and two star movies to Netflix watch list. Thankfully still haven't sunk to Van Damme or Segal movies.
— Jim Holmes (@aJimHolmes) September 8, 2015
Jeez, I need a jump front kick with guitar and some direct-to-video 80s action films, stat.
“Winner Takes It All” by Sammy Hagar. From the Stallone film Over the Top. Which was not, in fact, direct to video; it was a major theatrical release.
The instruction in the installation wizard is Press Execute.
There is, of course, no Execute button in the wizard. Nor, for the last four or five decades, is there one on the keyboard.
Lessons, of course, include:
- Check to make sure your application’s text matches the interface, including instructions and error messages.
- Test the installer.
According to Michael Jackson, they’re not good.
That’s “You Can’t Win” also known as the Crows’ Anthem from The Wiz.
While sitting in a restaurant, I saw that the closed captioning on the sports program was frequently emitting a string of random characters in the speech:
Forensically speaking, we could assume that this bug occurs in one of the following places:
- The software transliterating the text to speech. That is, when the software encounters a certain condition, it puts a cartoon curse word into the data.
- The network transmitting the information. That is, the transmission of the data introduces garbage.
- The device displaying the transmitted information. That is, the television or satellite box that introduces the captions into the picture inserts the junk every two lines or so.
Okay, I’ll grant you the fourth option: That the broadcasters were actually cursing that much. However, given that the FCC has not announced fines daily, I’m willing to say that it’s nonzero, but unlikely.
The beauty of a defect that could occur almost anywhere, between disparate parts of the product and across different teams and technologies, means that it could ultimately be nobody’s fault. Well, if you ask one of the teams, it’s one of the other team’s fault.
You know, a little something squirrelly happens, you log a defect, and the server, interface, and design teams spend megabytes reassigning the defect to each other and disclaiming responsibility. It drives me nuts.
So what do you do? You find a product owner or someone who’ll take charge of it and pursue it across fiefdoms or who’ll put the screws to the varied factions until it gets fixed.
Because everybody’s got something they’d rather be working on than somebody else’s problem. Even if it’s everybody’s problem.
At least, I hope this is the result of the screen size being different in production than it was in the spec.
Otherwise, the implication would be that the interface was not tested.
Remember when you’re testing that the spec or requirements are merely suggestions, and you should go afield of your testing matrix as often as you can.
Victor Frankenstein’s creation speaking in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein pretty much sums up my testing approach:
I will revenge my injuries: if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear; and chiefly towards you, my arch-enemy, because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred. Have a care: I will work at your destruction, nor finish until I desolate your heard so that you shall curse the hour of your birth.
Nineteenth century curses are the best.
Here’s a statement of work from Frankenstein himself later in the book:
My present situation was one in which all voluntary thought was swallowed up and lost. I was hurried away by fury; revenge alone endowed me with strength and composure; it moulded my feelings and allowed me to be calculating and calm, at periods when otherwise delirium or death would have been my portion.
Recrudescence is the revival of material or behavior that had previously been stabilized, settled, or diminished. In medicine, it is the recurrence of symptoms in a patient whose blood stream infection has previously been at such a low level as not to be clinically demonstrable or cause symptoms, or the reappearance of a disease after it has been quiescent.
I don’t normally mention the mouthfeel of words, but this one has it.
I’m looking forward to using this when reopening bugs whose behavior recurs.
Also note I plan to mispronounce it as re-CRUD-escence.
“Hell is where I was born/Hell is where I was raised….” Hellyeah doing “Hush”:
Sick Puppies, “You’re Going Down”
I recently replaced an old timey thermostat that measured the temperature in Roman numerals with a new thermostat that the blister case said was programmable but that doesn’t know Java, Ruby, Python or C# at all (which is just as well, since any programming I did in those languages would undoubtedly set my household temperature to
Inside, though, note the guide to the internal switches, particularly the last:
To turn the battery monitor off, you have to set the switch to the on position. To turn the battery monitor off, you have to set the switch to the on position. It’s akin to clicking Cancel and getting a confirmation dialog box that has a Cancel button which is to cancel the cancellation and an OK button that is to actually cancel. If you mix in some confusing message on the dialog box to confound the user.
Look closer, though.
There is no switch #4 on the board.
Never mind, it’s more like a 404 error then.
It’s good to see our friends on the hardware side of things getting into the slapdash action we’re accustomed to in software development.
And by ‘good,’ I mean terrifying.
Billy Corrigan’s working life is not unlike ours, as he explains in Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”:
Apparently, the Twitter Promoted Tweet on mobile devices now features Fact Checking:
Otherwise, there’s some sort of bug displaying variable values in the tweet, and that would be impossible for a bug to make it to production like that.