One day at the software factory

Here where I work as a tech writer, there's a system in dev with a field on a screen which is a drop-down menu, and the selection defaults to "none". At that point a certain feature is turned off. If you select anything but "none" the feature turns on. For that feature to work, either or both of 2 other fields need non-0 values, and they are set to 0 to start. There's a note on the screen that says to check them. I take the view that the system should prevent the "non-none" choice from the drop-down being accepted if neither of the other values is non-0.

We do know that computers are good at that stuff... 5 minutes coding to do a check, and no calls to the support desk...

My boss agreed and took that view to a meeting. Meeting says no, not a bug, explain in the manual.

Oh well, it pays the rent.

aren't the fields disabled before selecting 'non-none'?


That would be waaaaaay too obvious a way to do it

Maybe heavy weight processes kick in, involving lots of people/resources, even if the coding change is as "trivial" as described. In large systems, this is essential to maintain stability. Your idea has already cost one meeting.

The "meeting" was right; this is exactly how it should work. I designed a smart timed relay to save energy, and this is how i did it: I stuck a note under the switch that reads "turn it off after a while". We don't need no stinking "technology"!

Fun fact is, probably half of the "meeting" folks use their smartphone instead of a piece of paper for their list of groceries.

Some people utilize their built-in memory for shopping lists,
but using the brain seems to go out of fashion in general. :grinning:

Whenever I tried to use my built-in memory for shopping lists, I later came back to the store to buy what I forgot. :crazy_face:

There was a debate once, in ancient Greece, about the pros and cons of writing. At the time, the technology was quite new. Some argued that it crippled the memory and made people lazy.

Change the labels to On and Off, let them pick either one? If they made a mistake, let the way out be quick, easy and obvious... maybe a cancel button too.

and besides, we all live forever.....

Wow. It's a good thing someone wrote that down! :wink:

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