[FoRK] Re: Customers... bah!

Corinna < corinna.schultz at gmail.com > on > Thu Sep 7 00:02:45 PDT 2006

Sat N <sateesh.narahari <at> gmail.com> writes: 
> Why wasn't your software outputting the right error messages ?.

The direct answer:
In our case, the server software is supplied by a third party - we're resellers,
and we do the initial installation and setup. The error message probably
originated in their client-side dll (since the server connection was severed at
the time). The error code explanation is in their help file (and easily findable
via Google, btw. Their tech people should have had the initiative to look it up,
and put 2 and 2 together.) Not many of our customers have outside technical
people, so our system is designed to get installed and then left alone. There's
a fragile-ness to it that I need to find a way to fix.

The less direct answer:
Our software is not properly designed/architected. It's one of those "evolved"
kind of things. (Plus the Valley - the one in Texas - is not known for its vast
pool of people with technical prowess, to put it mildly.) I'm doing my part to
make it nicer (currently I'm in the middle of analying our database usage and
cleaning up database-related things). We don't handle database errors gracefully
- if the connection gets broken, the app freezes or crashes. I need to figure
out a way of automatically reconnecting and/or recovering from errors.

I've learned a fair amount about general refactoring while I've been in this
job. A worthy skill, but still... I fix bugs or write/improve utilities when I
feel like I need a change of pace.


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