In a fit of momentary enthusiasm for a project name, I
figured I'd call it a
little silver bullet, like silverbullette or silver pellet.
I dashed off to
inww and registered the domain name.
After a few "shiny poo" comments, the next morning I
realised that I really
didn't like the domain name. inww hadn't yet charged my
Visa, so I wrote
them an email asking for the domain registration to be
They informed me that domain names couldn't be
that no refunds
were possible and that I would have to go register a new
domain name. It pisses me off that it's not possible
bit of data,
because of procedural inefficiency. They didn't think of the
for something like that, hence they have no procedure in
place for it.
If they tried to put that procedure into place, the
probably barf as it had no requirement to handle that kind
of action. This
poor interface leads to the one-way points, points where the
what they want and then are stuck with the consequences.
Before computers, it was possible to pull a piece
back from the
out-tray, take a piece of paper from someone else's in-tray,
notes in the margins when the form didn't cover something.
Now, none of this
is possible anymore. When I write an email and hit send,
it's posted. I
can't cancel the send, I can't get it back out of their
email, I can't
quickly scribble a correction onto the mail, etc.
Having no "undo" sounds so trivial, and yet I've
$120 coz someone
else's system doesn't have it. To avoid this kind of thing
in future, I have
to incorporate that one-way problem in someone else's system
decision making process. My life is consequently that
fraction more complex.
Sure, it's my fault for buying the first stupid
name in the first place,
but wouldn't it be nice if they were capable of
accomodating my request?
Computers are having a more direct impact on
than I imagined possible. No "undo" in a program equals
no "undo" on a sales request equals poorer service.
I'm used to affecting other people's
lives with my computing skills, but I'm not used to having
my life screwed up by deficiencies in other people's
Programmers are used to be being the programmers
people are the
users. Now society is being computerised, programmers are
users just as
much as anyone else.
Good systems architecting and
programming practices is
as vital, if not more so, than engineering or
architecture. A building falling apart kills a few people.
Bad computer systems grind down the whole of society in a
morass of ever-increasing difficulties and friction. The
computer failures that have led to rocket launches
failing are only a
glimpse of the money being wasted by inefficient computer
Put a good user interface on your systems and
quality of your