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If Bad Software Developers Built Houses...

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

Programming 578

Richo99 writes "The editor at UI Hall of Shame takes us for a walk through a house designed by bad software developers. It appears Ed is getting a bit tired of really bad software designs in popular shareware titles. It is interesting because how much of a crime these apps perpetrate isn't obvious until you apply the same logic to everyday things, like the design of a house. I especially love the access to the garden. "

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578 comments

And the heating system (5, Funny)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771777)

And if you want to heat the house, you have to light a fire in a firebox outside and then manually pump a bellows to force heated air into the house. The spec had an automated heating system with natural gas, a pilot light, and fans, all controlled by a thermostat, but management only assigned the developers to your project for three weeks and the only way to get the project "finished" in the allotted time was this kludge. But don't worry, it will be fixed in v2.0, which is currently calendared for 2007 by management... unless something they consider more important comes along.

- Greg

Re:And the heating system (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771852)

Will there be a "bug fix" for this problem I am having with the toilet?

Re:And the heating system (4, Funny)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772050)

Well, obviously if he designed a house...

The roof would cave in when more than 30 people knocked on the front door.

Re:And the heating system (5, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772158)

I'm wondering when there will be a bugfix for the author's writing style.

I havent seen so many runon sentances and bad capitalization/punctuation and mispelings since Third Grade, theyre really anoying and distracting from the Article, I want my articles written good.

Re:And the heating system (2, Insightful)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772217)

I want my articles written good.

In that case, maybe you shouldn't be reading articles that are posted on the internet. Go back to the print media, where they have editors.

Re:And the heating system (3, Funny)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771866)

I'm sure the guy will have no problems heating his house with the flames that are shooting from his web server right now.

Re:And the heating system (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771885)

While moderated funny. I think I see the real point. A lot of the time of software failure is basicly management going to the development team and tells them to cut corners to get it done. So you could be the best interface developer on the planet. But if they tell you that it needs to be done now. when you are halfway threw. You end up breaking rules because it is quiker to program .

You beat me to it. (4, Funny)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771956)

I was about to say something similar.

I once asked a management type why was the dealine chosen even the specs weren't even done yet! Their reponse was "that's how we'd meet the ROI (Return on Investment) requirement for the project. I said "Maybe the project isn't worth doing and the VP is an idiot!" , but it came out of my mouth as "Oh I see! I learn something new everyday!" Of course, we missed the deadline and the ROI target too.

Re:You beat me to it. (2, Funny)

jnik (1733) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772109)

"Oh I see! I learn something new everyday!"

"Specifically, today I learned that the VP is an idiot." (or was that really something new?)

Re:And the heating system (1)

achacha (139424) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772052)

Bad software design can be directly lined to non-technical people designing it in the first place and then giving the developers very little room to work. Sales, marketing, business, legal or management teams should suggest some ideas and let the developers work out the design; then have a UI team build an interface to the given design. It's not a hard concept, but one that is too often misunderstood in the corporate world and thus we have so much bad software...

Yeah, but... (4, Insightful)

DavidNWelton (142216) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772065)

... people have been doing houses for several thousand years. We've got the basic idea down pretty well. We've been doing graphical computer systems for how long? 30 years, maybe? And computers, how long have we had those?

Not to excuse poor design, but sometime's it's easier to piss on stuff than figure out how to fix it.

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772143)

sometime's it's easier to piss on stuff than figure out how to fix it.


This is true of almost everything. For small fires and overheated truck engines it's a dead heat.

-Peter

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

CameronGary (8441) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772178)

True, but couldn't some of the things we've learned from building houses have been applied to writing software ?

I sometimes think the free-form nature of software leads to a lot of these problems. If you don't build a wall properly, it will fall down. It's constrained by reality, as I like to say. The computer and software create their own reality and only have to compile and not crash to 'work'

Of course... (4, Funny)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771812)

If Microsoft programmers built houses, the walls would be blue with white trim, and the garage would have to have CHKCAR run on every instance of the door opening.

On top of that, there's also the whole "backdoor left wide open" stigma that comes with the Windows house.

Re:Of course... (2, Funny)

Thijs van As (826224) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771906)

Don't forget the big cross right above each window pane!

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771935)

Ooww! that's cool, i think i might try that in my house.

Re:Of course... (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772031)

Yes you diss MS programmers now, but what will you say about these same programmers who are going to work for Google? Will you then praise them as great coders?

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772208)

But of course. It's all a matter of managment. Poor management makes bad developers out of everyone!

Re:Of course... (2, Funny)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772121)

vs. a linux house where you'd have to ring the doorbell while turning up the thermostat and unlocking the front door all at the same time just to turn on the light in the bathroom.

If webmasters built houses... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771816)

I wonder where dead links stack up... ;)

As someone who builds houses and software (5, Insightful)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772166)

I have a bit of knowledge in this area.

Building houses: Very detailed specifications with standards that have been honed over 30-40 years (family business).
Software dev: Requirements that are never actually pinned down.

Building houses: Sub-contractors that get paid based on the job, if they fuck up they fix it for free (or lose a valuable account).
Software dev: If it's broke/bug ridden fees are still paid to develop fixes (unless support built into contract which means you're paying more up front in case there are mistakes).

Building houses: Customers understand that if they change their mind when the home is in development the cost gets exponentially bigger as the house nears completion. We get bids for change orders and they sign ammendments to their contract approving changes and paying in advance for said changes.
Software dev: Frequently missed requirements necessitate changes in whole sections of code or UI design.

If software development weren't so fluid/dynamic it would probably be much like building houses. However a house hasn't changed that much since the 1950's for the most part where computers & software development were happy to be using punch cards. Plus I wouldn't wish city inspectors on anyone in the software industry. Those who can do, those who can't work for the city and are pissed off about it. I love watching city implemented projects with these so called "experienced engineers" who fuck up and have cost overruns on every project they do. It's a good thing city engineers don't have to make a profit or they'd be out on their asses.

wow, that house went down fast... (2, Funny)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771822)

wow, one comment and it's already /..ed

that's like a 2mph wind knocking over the house, right?

Re:wow, that house went down fast... (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772114)

Well, they might set up 301 redirects, but they would land you in the bathroom when you were trying to go to the kitchen. :)

What about underpowering? (1)

mi (197448) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771824)

Only two replies, but the site is dead already. I wonder, what his analogy would be to that...

Re:What about underpowering? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771933)

He's still working on a good UI for his webserver. He hasn't got the 'Prevent Slashdotting' button looking quite right yet so the whole program is useless.

Re:What about underpowering? (1)

axonal (732578) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771982)

Thousands of spectators trampling on your lawn to see your awful house?

Stop with the drivel! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771828)

Slow news month? Slow news year? Whatever it is, I'm sick of "here is an amusing blog post!" news articles. This was neither news nor stuff that matters.

slashdotted already (1)

unk1911 (250141) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771831)

I think what we are seeing instead of what happens when poor software designs are applied to building houses is what happens when poor webserver configuration is applied to a website.. It's slashdotted with 1 post!

--
http://unk1911.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Already slow; Full Text of Article: (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771836)

Lets take a walk through a house built by our illustrious legion of very ordinary Software Developers we've seen over the last few posts..

You arrive at a friends new house and step up to the front door.. well, you do after finding it around the side of the house..

You press the door bell but dont hear the reassuring ding dong sound coming from inside the house, you ponder if you missed hearing it and wait a few moments before politely pressing it again, this time you're SURE, there was NO doorbell sound coming from inside. You peer at the doorbell, its a button, how much more complicated can it be? You DOUBLE CLICK it and hear a loud DINGDONG coming from inside..

Your Friend, Herbert's footsteps approach the door from inside and you straighten your tie ready for the door to open. Herbert unlocks the door and the damn thing swings OUTWARDS knocking you back a step or two. Apologetically the owner explains that's how it was when they bought the house "it fools everyone and it'll be a great source of converation at our Dinner Parties".

You politely chuckle and hope they get the damn thing fixed.

Herbert invites you into the house, you step unsurely into the hallway and peer around.

The ceiling has a sort of mauvy pink color, not dissamilar to your Grandmother's slippers, the walls are mostly red.

Herbert offers you the grand tour of his new home and gestures towards what you assume is the Lounge room thru a doorway off the hallway. You wander in suprised to find that you're in the toilet.. nervously Herbert chuckles and explains that to get to the Lounge you have to pass through the 2 Way Toilet.

You emerge on the other side of the toilet into a long narrow room that stretches the length of the house, its about 5 feet wide and 45 feet long. At the far end of this poorly lit room you can see a Television. The only light coming into the room is from a small window at about knee height.

Herbert explains the Lounge Room is really an extension that wasn't planned very well, he invites you into the kitchen through a revolving door. You step into a large circular room after missing the first few exits of the rapidly revolving entrance. In the middle of the room is a large Island Bench, its working surface is about 5 foot high. there's no other furniture in the room, but there's 9 doors evenly spaced around the room. Herbert explains that through each door is an appliance, there's the Fridge Room, the Oven Room, the Freezer Room, the Dishwasher Room, the Food Room, the Microwave room etc.. Its a pain Herbert says, taking things from one to the next, but you get used to it he says... you feel doubtful.

Herbet is keen to show you the Master Bedroom, but he's not sure which door its through, he tries three then finds the right one.

As usual, the damn thing opens outwards.. You dutifully but somewhat hesitantly follow Herbert through the Master Bedroom, you wonder what bizarre idea you're going to be introduced to next.

Herbet gestures around what appears to be an empty room with a self-satisfied smirk on his face. You peer around trying to work out what bizarre idea the builder has foisted upon the house now. "Where's the BED, Herbert?" Herbert theatrically claps his hands together twice and stamps his foot.. the bed silently descends from an opening that appeared in the ceiling, you jump
out of the way just in time and the bed neatly touches down in the centre of the room. "Neat hey!" Herbert prompts you.. "Ah yeah, thats great Herbert".. You gingerly sit on the bed, it promptly collapses.. "Ah, yeah that happens a bit, you get used to it."..

"Come and see the Garden!" Herbert excitedly exclaims. Herbet opens a small trap door hidden under a rug and descends a small ladder.. you follow him down. The Garden has a concrete floor and fake concrete trees. There's a wall around it and it has fake grass glued to it.

You run screaming from the house.

So, what did we get.. a house built by a moron. Nothing looks, feels or operates like the 10 million other homes you've ever visited. Things are odd shapes and despite 5000 years of achitecural evolution our designer throws it all out and assumes he knows best and that a lounge room can be long and thin etc. Funny colors are used, nothing is where you EXPECT it to be, doors in the house open in wierd directions and arent predictable, and worst of all, things in the house just dont work very well.

MOD DOWN ATRICLE TROLL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771986)

"he knows best and that a lounge room can be long and thin like Tacos penis"

Nice.

Re:Already slow; Full Text of Article: (4, Funny)

saintp (595331) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772037)

Aaauugh, the typos! Comma splices! Run-ons! My bleeding eyes!

These guys know what they are talking about (2, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771839)

Just look at the beautiful design and layout of their site.

Error establishing a database connection! This probably means that the connection information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect. Double check it and try again. * Are you sure you have the correct user/password? * Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname? * Are you sure that the database server is running? WordPress Support Forums

Beautifully crisp, clean, clear and consise

slashdot kg/am (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771849)

kg/am

Doesn't this apply to anything... (3, Interesting)

InVinoVeritas (781151) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771851)

A bad clothes designer turns out crap. A bad automobile designer turns out crap. A bad actor turns out crap. A bad software developer turns out crap. And?

His blog follows a flawed design... (5, Insightful)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771854)

Oh the irony.

Perhaps this gentleman should present us with a GOOD DESIGN isntead of just complaining about BAD DESIGN.

His blog is poorly designed.

I had a nice eloquent post all written. I hit the "Say It!" button (There is no 'Preview'), and I get to the next page. The next page complains that I forgot to add my email address, so I click 'back', and I'm presented with a BLANK FORM. Everything I wrote was lost, probably because of some wacky Javascript used in his blog form.

I feel like I entered a bathroom that's 5 feet wide and 100 feet long with a TV at the end.

I love his design!

Re:His blog follows a flawed design... (2, Insightful)

RootsLINUX (854452) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772066)

I agree. It's easy to bitch about poor design than it is to make a good design yourself. I feel this guy's pain though. I've had my fair share of having to deal with poorly designed/documented software before. A few weeks ago I had to compile this benchmark suite where there was no makefile, no documentation, the only comments in the code were "/********/" to seperate sections of code, and to top it all off, the file extensions were ".cp". So I was like great, is this C code or C++ code? I wasn't able to tell from browsing two files so I said to myself "well, if it's C++ there has to be a class in there somewhere, right?". So I did a `cat *.cp | grep class` and came up empty handed, so I used the c compiler. It was only after the compilation failed with a strange error that I looked up and discovered that the code was trying to referencing something in the c++ library.

Anyway, due to experiences like that where someone's lack of intelligible design cost me time that it shouldn't have (for god's sake, write your own makefiles!!!) that I become so.....irate when I have to deal with someone else's poorly designed code. I take those painful experiences in mind when I design my own code now though.

Re:His blog follows a flawed design... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772132)

you could have saved some typing and just done
grep class *.cp

Re:His blog follows a flawed design... (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772116)

Perhaps this gentleman should present us with a GOOD DESIGN isntead of just complaining about BAD DESIGN.

Nah, lets just knock his website instead.

Slashdotted already and barely any comments yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771856)

Wow, everyone must be RTFAing before posting. When did you lot get conscientious?

if slashdot editors built houses (4, Funny)

professorhojo (686761) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771859)

would every room be duplicated 2 or 3 times?

(LOL.. just kidding! don't troll-rate me please! :))))

Re:if slashdot editors built houses (1)

Gyga (873992) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772028)

YES! Now I don't have to share the bathroom with my sister.
--
Scincerly, Gyga

If builders built buildings.... (3, Funny)

thewiz (24994) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771870)

the way programmers wrote programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

Soory, I can't remember who said that, but it is so apropos.

Re:If builders built buildings.... (3, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771931)

the way programmers wrote programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

Well thats the problem with a lot of programmers, they write instead of building software. Lashing code into an editor is not substitute for a little though and a solid development process.

Re:If builders built buildings.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772118)

"Lashing code into an editor is not substitute for a little though "

pppfpfffffhaha hahahahahahahaaAHAHAAAA!!!!!

Re:If builders built buildings.... (2, Interesting)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771999)

It's one of "Murphy's Laws". Specifically, it is "Weinberg's Second Law". I found it on this page [flowcalcs.com]. You might have to search the page. I cannot find a direct link via html.

Already hosed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771875)

It looks like maybe he got bad general contractors to build his web server...

Just like the ad... (1, Redundant)

guyfromindia (812078) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771877)

Error establishing a database connection! This probably means that the connection information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect. Double check it and try again. * Are you sure you have the correct user/password? .....NO
* Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?.....NO
* Are you sure that the database server is running?.....NO

Jef Raskin spoke of such things YEARS ago! (3, Informative)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771882)

Jef Raskin was well-known for pointing out the many flaws of contemporary software GUIs. For those who do not know, Jef Raskin was the man who designed the GUIs for several different Apple operating systems. By the fact that Microsoft borrowed such concepts from Apple, his innovation has also highly influenced the Microsoft Windows platform.

But anyways, he always stated that GUIs are there for the user, not the developer. GUIs are supposed to be intuitive, so as to allow the user to be far more productive, rather than hindered. Such ideas are not new. Mr. Raskin spoke of such things decades ago.

Re:Jef Raskin spoke of such things YEARS ago! (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772203)

For those who do not know, Jef Raskin was the man who designed the GUIs for several different Apple operating systems.

Which he "borrowed" from the Xerox Alto [cedmagic.com].

Broken? (0, Redundant)

SpartanVII (838669) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771884)

Can anyone else get the article to load? I get this error message...

Error establishing a database connection! This probably means that the connection information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect. Double check it and try again.

Are you sure you have the correct user/password?

Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?

Are you sure that the database server is running?

Vaporhouse... (2, Funny)

alexhs (877055) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771892)

The architect of the house couldn't be joined,
The foundations aren't ready yet,
The site is slashdotted already.

ISO 9002 (2, Insightful)

Diakoneo (853127) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771902)

But if all the quirks are well documented and distributed to all members of the team, well by gosh this is quality work!!! And better yet, if you can trace all the requirements through to the test cases, we can even slap a CMM Level 5 on it!!!

Availability? (2, Insightful)

scovetta (632629) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771910)

Perhaps part of a good user interface would be availability?

If the owners of this site built a house, it would only allow one person in at a time. The door would remain locked until they left.

Re:Availability? (1)

tetlowgm (4161) | more than 8 years ago | (#12771968)

Well, if you have 30,000 people line up to visit your house, I think you would have problems as well.

Slashdotted? Seems like bad software design. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771918)

If some Software Developers built houses?

Lets take a walk through a house built by our illustrious legion of very ordinary Software Developers we've seen over the last few posts..

You arrive at a friends new house and step up to the front door.. well, you do after finding it around the side of the house..

You press the door bell but dont hear the reassuring ding dong sound coming from inside the house, you ponder if you missed hearing it and wait a few moments before politely pressing it again, this time you're SURE, there was NO doorbell sound coming from inside. You peer at the doorbell, its a button, how much more complicated can it be? You DOUBLE CLICK it and hear a loud DINGDONG coming from inside..

Your Friend, Herbert's footsteps approach the door from inside and you straighten your tie ready for the door to open. Herbert unlocks the door and the damn thing swings OUTWARDS knocking you back a step or two. Apologetically the owner explains that's how it was when they bought the house "it fools everyone and it'll be a great source of converation at our Dinner Parties".

You politely chuckle and hope they get the damn thing fixed.

Herbert invites you into the house, you step unsurely into the hallway and peer around.

The ceiling has a sort of mauvy pink color, not dissamilar to your Grandmother's slippers, the walls are mostly red.

Herbert offers you the grand tour of his new home and gestures towards what you assume is the Lounge room thru a doorway off the hallway. You wander in suprised to find that you're in the toilet.. nervously Herbert chuckles and explains that to get to the Lounge you have to pass through the 2 Way Toilet.

You emerge on the other side of the toilet into a long narrow room that stretches the length of the house, its about 5 feet wide and 45 feet long. At the far end of this poorly lit room you can see a Television. The only light coming into the room is from a small window at about knee height.

Herbert explains the Lounge Room is really an extension that wasn't planned very well, he invites you into the kitchen through a revolving door. You step into a large circular room after missing the first few exits of the rapidly revolving entrance. In the middle of the room is a large Island Bench, its working surface is about 5 foot high. there's no other furniture in the room, but there's 9 doors evenly spaced around the room. Herbert explains that through each door is an appliance, there's the Fridge Room, the Oven Room, the Freezer Room, the Dishwasher Room, the Food Room, the Microwave room etc.. Its a pain Herbert says, taking things from one to the next, but you get used to it he says... you feel doubtful.

Herbet is keen to show you the Master Bedroom, but he's not sure which door its through, he tries three then finds the right one.

As usual, the damn thing opens outwards.. You dutifully but somewhat hesitantly follow Herbert through the Master Bedroom, you wonder what bizarre idea you're going to be introduced to next.

Herbet gestures around what appears to be an empty room with a self-satisfied smirk on his face. You peer around trying to work out what bizarre idea the builder has foisted upon the house now. "Where's the BED, Herbert?" Herbert theatrically claps his hands together twice and stamps his foot.. the bed silently descends from an opening that appeared in the ceiling, you jump out of the way just in time and the bed neatly touches down in the centre of the room. "Neat hey!" Herbert prompts you.. "Ah yeah, thats great Herbert".. You gingerly sit on the bed, it promptly collapses.. "Ah, yeah that happens a bit, you get used to it."..

"Come and see the Garden!" Herbert excitedly exclaims. Herbet opens a small trap door hidden under a rug and descends a small ladder.. you follow him down. The Garden has a concrete floor and fake concrete trees. There's a wall around it and it has fake grass glued to it.

You run screaming from the house.

So, what did we get.. a house built by a moron. Nothing looks, feels or operates like the 10 million other homes you've ever visited. Things are odd shapes and despite 5000 years of achitecural evolution our designer throws it all out and assumes he knows best and that a lounge room can be long and thin etc. Funny colors are used, nothing is where you EXPECT it to be, doors in the house open in wierd directions and arent predictable, and worst of all, things in the house just dont work very well.

Software is much more complicated (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771970)

Building software is NOT like designing a house.

The problem of designing a house is, by and large, a solved problem. Sure, there are requirements like soil structures, energy efficiency, and building codes, but by and large a given house has few if any "new" problems, and the combination of problems to solve isn't huge.

Designing software is much more complex and a software designer or team is likely to have at least one, if not many, problems that have never been solved before.

A better comparison would be designing a city, or perhaps a high-rise office building or manufacturing plant, and even that only compares with modest-sized software projects.

After all, most houses have only one architect for the overall design and a handful of specialists designing subsystems like the electrical layout. Most modern good-sized software projects have a lot more people contributing to the overall design.

Re:Software is much more complicated (4, Funny)

Ralph Yarro (704772) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772145)

a software designer or team is likely to have at least one, if not many, problems that have never been solved before.

Don't call them "problems", the correct name is "users".

The house that love built (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12771991)

Since the link was dead due to poor design.

Ned decides now to go into his house. He has a little trouble getting
through the door but manages to get in. The crowd cheers. Homer
takes Ned into his living room.

Ned: [gets sweater caught in a nail] Ooh, looks like a loose nail.
Homer: Yeah, one out of twenty five ain't bad! [hammers in a nail]

Homer shows Ned his kitchen, which is "just as you remember it" --
except for one tiny modification: a toilet next to the refrigerator.

Ned: Was that, uh, was that toilet always next to the refrigerator?
Wiggum: Uh, Ned, you ever try lugging a toilet up a flight of stairs?

Rod and Todd's room were designed by Bart and Lisa, replete with a
carpet that doesn't completely cover the floor, a crack in a wall, a
slanted door frame and a "Krusty the Clown" poster.

Rod: [taking down poster] I don't like this clown!
Bart: Ah, I wouldn't take it down if I were you. It's a load-bearing poster. [a crack ripples through the upper wall and up to the ceiling]

Homer, Apu and Ned walk alongside the uneven walls and five to six sided doorways. Static makes Ned's hair stand up and his moustache hair stick out. The static is coming from the room filled with electricity.

Apu: This is the room with electricity. But it has too much electricity. So, I don't know, you might want to wear a hat.
Ned: Uh-huh. [walks further down the hallway]
Floor feels a little gritty here.
Moe: Yeah we ran out of floorboards there, so we painted the dirt. Pretty clever!

The hallway starts to become extremely narrow and small.

Ned: Oh, something is definitely wrong with this hallway.
[opens a 4-inch-tall door]
Barney: Come on in! It's your master bedroom!
[Ned shuts the dollhouse-sized door]
Ow! My nose!
Ned: Well, I've seen about enough.

Outside, Homer concludes the tour: "So, Flanders, what do you think of
the house that love built?" He pats the front door, which falls
inside the house, causing the second story to cave in. Finally, the
top story collapses, and the house is back to where it started from.
"Aw shoot!" is his response, scratching his head to find out what went
wrong.

The problem in a nutshell is (4, Insightful)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772006)

The problem in a nutshell, going with the analogy is that programmers are not architects.

They are brick layers and the guys who put in the pipes.

Imagine a house, built without a design as brick layers and guys who lay piples making it up as they go along.

Re:The problem in a nutshell is (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772061)

The thing is, it's "software developers" not just programmers. I think developers implies the whole scheme of designers, from the first ideas to the programming itself.

-Jesse

Re:The problem in a nutshell is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772168)

The problem with your analogy is that brick layers would copy a design that they know works. Bad programmers think that they are invovating and try to be creative.

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772007)

Some guy doesn't like user interfaces and craps out a laundry list of unfunny house/software analogies to finally arrive at the conclusion which might as well have been the whole article.

Is any real news going to be posted today?

as usual (2, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772011)

bad comparison. Just because you have a copy of VB.NET does not make you a software developer. A developer does more than just code which is what a lot of these "self-taught MS-fanboy geniuses" fail to hit.

This would be like comparing the typical HomeDepot customer to the architect that designed a nearby well standing skyscraper.

Yes it's fair to say there is a lot of shit software out there. No, it's not fair to say that's the example of a proper software development cycle.

So in otherwords, this is yet another sensational bit meant to get people like me who should be working, typing up lengthy replies on slashdot...

Tom

Written from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772016)

a person who probably has never attempted writing a single line of code in his/her life. This person does not understand that good code takes time to write and implement and if you want it done right you can't rush it. Who knows, this awkward house could have been built in a rush due to an contractor's wierd and tight schedule. He mentioned that several rooms had to be added on afterwords, well if the house was rushed in the first place, it probably wasnt built to allow upgrades and 'patches' (extension) so adding modules would be a hack at best.
Also who knows, the original owner of the house might have wanted it that way (some people have wierd tastes), and the constructors built it to suit his/her needs. Just because the functionality of something or the reason behind the placement of a room/object may not be apparent to you, it doesnt mean that it is there without reason.

And if web sites are setup by the unqualified ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772034)


Error establishing a database connection! This probably means that the connection information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect. Double check it and try again.

* Are you sure you have the correct user/password?
* Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
* Are you sure that the database server is running?

WordPress Support Forums

Developer checklist (0, Redundant)

zygoon (809512) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772035)

Let's see now...

Error establishing a database connection! This probably means that the connection information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect. Double check it and try again.

  • Are you sure you have the correct user/password? Yes
  • Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname? Yes
  • Are you sure that the database server is running? Not anymore!

After reading this story, (1)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772041)

I couldn't help but think of X11 copy/paste. I'd try and grab a trash bag to replace with a new one and each time I grabbed it, it'd make two!

tr0lL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772046)

= 1400 NetBSD truth, for all BSD add1cts, flame end, we need you BSDI is also dead,

If bad software designers built servers... (1)

carcosa30 (235579) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772056)

We wouldn't have to worry about RTFA because we already know what the damn thing is going to be anyway.

Hilariously bad interior design (2, Interesting)

Pengunea (170972) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772079)

One doesn't have to look far to see bad design manifesting in real life [lileks.com] with hilarious effect. The phrase "I'm sure glad I'm already colourblind!" in regards to bad interior design echoes with the sentiment behind "I'm sure glad I never have to work on that project!" in regards to bad software development. In both cases you want to aim the offending subject away from ones' face. However in the case of bad software development not everyone actually walks into the software's spiritual equivalent of the room with the faux fur mauve throw rug in the green-walled room with the gold curtains and the single rusted sink and has a proper around (only to run out screaming).

I recommend buying the book [amazon.com] if you like the sampling from lileks.com. I've seen the collection in it's eye-searing completeness and it's a riot.

This is just ridiculous (0, Offtopic)

dkone (457398) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772081)

Here I sit with 5 freshly minted moderator points and was all ready to moderate on this story. But as with every story except for the ones from Roland Pique (whatever his name is) the thing was unreachable. No offense, but what the hell is the point Slashdot. Maybe 5 people get to read the article, everyone else either goes off-topic or makes jokes about how they didn't RTFA. By deduction then, moderation must therefore be a joke also. They only true moderation points would be awarded to the person who posts a mirror, or pastes the article. My moderation points will now be fruitlessly given away to the posters, who like me did not get to RTFA. It is just cyclical and pointless. Now I have to get back to work before someone busts me for reading Slashdot.

As a compensation prize... (3, Interesting)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772139)

for hardy /.ers now trying to view a dead(?) site:

http://www.rha.com/ui_hall_of_shame.htm [rha.com]

http://www.pixelcentric.net/x-shame/ [pixelcentric.net]

http://www.raizlabs.com/interface/hall-of-shame/de fault.asp [raizlabs.com]

These sites all appear to have similar concepts. Don't worry, folks, I'm sure the Meatloafers will be busy guffawing in mulish fashion as they forward the house/UI anology to your inbox for the next ten years after it's no longer funnny.

I've seen a house designed by an amature... (1)

geneing (756949) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772142)

A friend of mine is an architect (a very good one by the way:). She had a client who bought one of these "design your own house" programs and used it to prepare plans for remodeling his own house.

In one place he had a triangular room with two doors going into it (was supposed to be his office).

In the other place he had bathroom on the second floor right above his new kitchen. The problem was that the drainage pipe from the toilet would have to go right through the center of his kitchen table (building code doesn't allow bending the toilet drain too much).

Some things are better left to professionals...

If bad web servers were posted to /. ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772149)

Error establishing a database connection! This probably means that the connection information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect. Double check it and try again.

Are you sure you have the correct user/password?
Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
Are you sure that the database server is running?
WordPress Support Forums

crash? (1)

GreatRedShark (880833) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772154)

what if the "house" crashed? how do you reboot a house? I'd love it if my house had a handy button around back that when pushed, recovered the house from the most recent disaster (flood, fire, termites, in-laws, etc...) that struck it.

For Starters (1)

daperdan (446613) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772156)

Maybe he should start with that lousy son of a bitch that wrote the php for his site!
Error establishing a database connection!

Doh!!!!!!!!

If this guy's server was a house... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772161)

what just happened to it is the equivalent of a wrecking ball going through it.

ego - my poop don't stink (1)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772174)

Article is down, but just the /. caption brings up a pet peeve of mine.

A lot of software developers don't know the first thing about human factors and/or good design.

Is it because the industry is saturated by people without training in the field? The benefit of the dot com boom?

I don't think so. When I took compsci, human factors was an optional course. It was the only course that covered information theory, and looked at aesthetics and functionality as units of work. I loved it.

But so few people even with training know about good design. I work with a lot of "engineers" and they have attitude "This software is great because I wrote it."

So ego plays a big part! But this also illustrates bad development process. Anyone who doesn't put the UI through a review ringer and or get people to test, use, and suggest is asking for crapware.

My .02

Professional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12772196)

That is why being an architect or engineer is a profession and you must get certified to do these public works type of thigs. Software engineering is a joke by comparison.

Culturally Insensitive Clod! (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772204)

From the article -
Herbert unlocks the door and the damn thing swings OUTWARDS knocking you back a step or two.
In Japan, front door DO swing OUTWARD, you culturally insensitive clod!

DB timeout reasons (0, Redundant)

FartingTowels (553440) | more than 8 years ago | (#12772213)

Error establishing a database connection! This probably means that the connection information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect. Double check it and try again.
* Are you sure you have the correct user/password?
* Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
* Are you sure that the database server is running?
* Are you sure your site is not slashdotted?
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