It’s 1845. I’m in the office. I’m writing, from scratch, the first piece of documentation on the core configuration file of our product. The file has been there for several years (i.e. before my time). Customers have been trained on how to edit it. But this is the first document that tells you what the settings mean.


On top of that, I’m coming across settings that I, and it seems, nobody else around here know what they do, or even if we need them. We have settings that are there despite being replaced by new, easier and powerful ones because “…[we’re] not sure if another part of $Product uses them without [us] knowing…”

Dear $deity….

11 Responses to “*sigh*”

  1. mumsey_onroad says:

    Sounds like management should be convinced to invest in a core rewrite of the program, not just the documentation. Of course, we all know that will never happen because they wouldn’t be billable hours (and everyone is too busy running around fixing the symptoms instead of tackling the real disease).

  2. asthmatickitten says:


    You could always do a search in the code for $GLOBALS – it probably won’t catch everything, but it’ll give ${developer_with_muppet} a good laugh, or something…

    … don’t mind me. It’s not my problem for another week yet 😀

  3. bronchitikat says:

    Oh the joys!

    Common complaint this – there IS documentation, but it either doesn’t document all the bits, cos it was written to shut up Management & not by engineers for future engineers; or it isn’t up to date with this model!

    Oh, & everyone who ever worked on teh project left, years ago, & may possibly be dead now. Whatever, they don’t want to talk about it!

  4. taffyboy says:

    Core….? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..



    *wipes tears*

    Oh, Elaine, you are funny. Core rewrite. Heh.

  5. taffyboy says:

    Today’s muppetry (CBA award?) is brought to you by J:

    Me: *documenting* Hrm. Why are there two new varaibles here for the hostname and the Windows system root? Oy, J…
    J: …because you can’t pick up environment variables in java.
    Me: *boggle* *ponder* *walks over to RR* Hey, R, can I get the value of the hostname and the windows system root in a java process?
    RR: Sure. Either by a system call, or we can pass it in in the wrapper script, lookie here see…
    Me: OK, thanks, R, can you show J and liaise with him so I can get this environment variable out of the setup_local file please?
    RR: ….er…sure?
    Me: *walks off*

    Why am I having to do this now instead of J doing it when he should’ve done? And no, “your google-fu is more pwerful than mine” isn’t a suitable answer. Reasearch is a skill, one that can be taught and learned.


  6. taffyboy says:

    Aha, perfect, thank you ${developer_with_muppet}:

    I think “attention to detail” is what J is missing…

  7. mumsey_onroad says:

    Well, I’m glad I could bring a moment of mirth (however brief) to your otherwise dull and boring life of documenting redundant program commands. 😉

  8. ziggadon says:

    Reasearch is a skill, one that can be taught and learned.

    As is research.

  9. mumsey_onroad says:

    You know it’s impossible to edit comments, Sean.

    And you missed pwerful, too, if you’re going to be that way …

  10. asthmatickitten says:

    J: …because you can’t pick up environment variables in java.

    What do they teach kids in schools these days… System.getProperty is your friend…