This morning I sent an email to the CEO of Adobe after discovering that they have products that are supported on Windows and Mac but not on Linux. I'm sure it was an oversight and I trust that they will fix this problem immediately.
Subject: Russian nesting user interfaces?
Ok, this one's too good not to share. Names have been omitted in order to protect the innocent (that's me).
There's this networking-computer-appliance type of thing that we just racked up. It's got a web interface that you configure to get started, but you quickly find out that the web interface is very limited and they really want you to install their management software. So far this is sounding very early-1990's, right?
Ok, so you download the software and find out that it's a virtual appliance. So you install the virtual appliance...
...which once is configured, exposes another web interface....
...the web interface does nothing other than provide a download link to a Windows executable...
...when you run the Windows executable, it installs a Java program.
This is what Ford II likes to call "progress."
Someone obviously forgot to take a look at the user experience for this thing .
Or didn't care.
Where's Ford been, anyhow.....
Wow....gives new meaning to OBLITERATE! :-(
Meh. Won't be the same around here.
NetApp System Manager may be the world's most perfect example of how to totally blow it when writing "portable" code.
Ok, so it's available on both Linux and Windows. Good for them. The kind of super-smart people who run NetApp equipment tend to have a whole bunch of Linux machines around.
What do you get when you download the Linux or Windows version? You find that it's a JAVA application. Ok, really, NetApp? Couldn't you have just shipped it as a .zip file containing the .jar file, the documentation, and perhaps .cmd and .sh scripts usable on each platform to launch it?
No, they give you native "installers" for each platform. And it seems that their "portable" Java code requires a specific version of Java (currently v7, when everyone's already moving to v8) and a specific bit width (no running 32-bit Java on a 64-bit machine, no no no). What difference does it make if it's all Java bytecode?
But here's the cherry on top of this nonportable sundae: once you do get it running, do you know how the user interface is built? It talks to you through YOUR LOCAL BROWSER. That's right, kids: it's a web application. But no, you aren't allowed to install it once on a server somewhere and then point to it with any browser. You have to install it on your desktop and let it launch a browser.
So much for portable web apps. This is what our old buddy Ford liked to refer to as "progress."
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
I HATE END USERS
Yeah, that's a love-hate relationship, isn't it?
Love their money... hate the relationship.
I don't get their money. I'm not in the business of supporting end users.
But every now and then I end up involved in a conversation and then some clueless end user has my email address and thinks I'm their personal support team. Call the help desk.
I think I said that in 1985.
It holds just as true today as in 1985.