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Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

Last post 12-05-2012 4:04 PM by locallunatic. 22 replies.
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  • 12-01-2012 3:49 PM

    • atipico
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-30-2010
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    • Posts 126

    Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    There's this guy who sits next to me on the office. He was trying to run some PHP software, and in order to do so, he was installing Apache, MySQL and PHP on a VM. He installs apache and gets the message "Could not determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using 127.0.0.1 for ServerName". He turns to me and says: "Hey, can you lend me a hand? Apache is not running on my machine". He then opens a browser window to "127.0.0.1" (or localhost, whatever) and the apache welcome message is displayed. I say "well, Apache is running" (or maybe he said it himself, but not quite confidently). Then he says "but it didn't install properly, it shows an error message and fails".

    Giving the benefit of the doubt, maybe this guy's English isn't very good, I translate the message for him. No effect. I ask if he's running it on a VM: "yes". Then ask if his VM has an internet domain assigned to it "Hm, well, no". Then...? *blank stare*

    In the end there were no errors in apache, MySQL nor PHP, the PHP software was installed and running, but the guy had forgot to properly configure it in the admin panel. It was displaying an error message suggesting some problem with MySQL settings, so it was OBVIOUSLY caused by apache not being installed, of course.
  • 12-01-2012 9:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    The thought process in these cases generally seems to go

    Perceive error message --> total cognitive lockdown

    As a school IT technician, I see that a lot.

  • 12-02-2012 8:05 AM In reply to

    • Zecc
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 06-12-2007
    • and hasn't left since.
    • Posts 2,063

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    flabdablet:

    The thought process in these cases generally seems to go

     

    Perceive error message --> total cognitive lockdown

    As a school IT technician, I see that a lot.

    I sympathize.

     

    "Can you help me connect the computer to the video projector?"
    "Sure"
    *turns on projector* *turns on computer* *preventively turns on external speakers*

     

    If mixed metaphors were illegal, I'd be having an indigestion.
    typeof NaN == 'number'
    var ò_ó, ಠ⁔ಠ, ᄒᆺᄒ, ᅙᅳᅙ, ᖛᨓᖜ, ꖴᅩꖴ, ఠᨋఠ; // Naming your variables is serious business
  • 12-02-2012 8:26 AM In reply to

    • atipico
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-30-2010
    • United Republic of Bananas
    • Posts 126

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    flabdablet:

    As a school IT technician, I see that a lot.

    Been there too (not on a school, but as repairman), seen that QUITE a lot. Still, one would expect it from the average-joe-end-user, but less of it happening on an IT-related team, and from a person that got a IT-related university degree (and I don't, so he earns a bit more than me).
  • 12-02-2012 3:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    atipico:
    He installs apache and gets the message "Could not determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using 127.0.0.1 for ServerName".
     

    I take it he didn't understand he got that message when starting Apache, not when installing Apache. 

    atipico:
    Then he says "but it didn't install properly, it shows an error message and fails".

    Okay.. that answers my question. Find a clue by four labelled "fail" and a rubber dildo with "warning", thwack him with both. Although he may experience similar sensations, hell understand they're not actually the same thing.

    As an aside: direct him to a LAMP stack (or even XAMPP) if he's doing some hasty devwork.

    If he's doing proper devwork that will be eventually find its way into production via staging, there should be a dev environment already pre-built that accurately matches production environment. IME, it's not always developers that handle that part - if anything, that responsibility should be delegated out to people that know what they're doing (webserver admins, DBAs, etc) - leaving the coders to deposit their productive output[1] into the right place for testing.

     

    [1] stop it. I know what you were thinking. Yes, you at the back there. STOP SNIGGERING.

  • 12-03-2012 3:10 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    flabdablet:
    The thought process in these cases generally seems to go

     

    Perceive error message --> total cognitive lockdown

    As a school IT technician, I see that a lot.

    Next week, we're moving office from a flood-prone road (there are no rivers in this country, but there are dry river beds, and guess where the office is located?) to a shiny new office smack bang next to the airport, in the sense that you have a terrific view over the tarmac and the runway from the terrace on the sixth floor (where we will be).

    The IT people are the very first wave to move, for this very same reason. So, as a senior developer, I'll probably be helping out my colleagues sticking in cables and such.

     

  • 12-03-2012 4:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    flabdablet:

    The thought process in these cases generally seems to go

     

    Perceive error message --> total cognitive lockdown

    As a school IT technician, I see that a lot.

     

    It's not just at schools. about 60% of all questions on CodeProject or StackOverflow go like this, as do about the same proportions of questions I get at work. If I start answering the question with "read the error message again" it's time to put on your hard hat because the clue bat is coming your way.

     

  • 12-03-2012 4:47 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    Severity One:
    a terrific view over the tarmac and the runway from the terrace on the sixth floor (where we will be).

    The IT people are the very first wave to move, for this very same reason.

    The IT people are moving first so they can enjoy the view for the longest? Or is because they're the ones most likely to gawk at the pretty planes, so the sooner they move, the sooner they'll get tired of them and get back to work?
  • 12-03-2012 7:14 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    No... I just gave some background info about the new office. I could also have said that its across a McDrive from a McDonald's, but that has nothing to do with the IT section either. We're just considered to be the ones best suited to deal with mundane computer problems. Never mind the fact that the IT stuff we usually do is in a different category.

    Don't get me wrong, I find it rather flattering that we're considered to be the best suited to move first, instead of the people that are the best dressed (the commercial and marketing folks).

  • 12-03-2012 8:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    Severity One:
    Don't get me wrong, I find it rather flattering that we're considered to be the best suited to move first, instead of the people that are the best dressed (the commercial and marketing folks).
     

    ... to move first, into the half-finished building, where you will be the forerunner in experiencing the delights of

    - constant drone of jackhammers and power ratchets

    - a wide variety of fumes and odors! Industrial cleaner! Paint fumes! Mixing agents!

    - thin layers of drywall compound dust on everything. Your computer. Your lunch. You lungs.

    - Eastern AND western exposure before the blinds are installed. How shiny is your monitor?

    - outages in one or more utilities each and every day. Worried you won't be able to wash your hands because the water's out? That's okay! The power's out too, so you couldn't even find the bathroom if you wanted to!

    - once everything is finally past the "canary" stage, and you've settled into a nice corner office with a view-- THAT'S when the well-dressed team and the sells-stuff team comes in, congratulates your team on a job well done-- and then "rewards" you with a brand new office in the basement. Sure, the office isn't quite completed yet (so get ready for all of the above joys again, minus the windows), but Sales does need a spacious place to set up shop (because their team actually makes money), and CEO needs a view to impress the clients / gaze upon while he mulls over the fate of the peons.

     


    HardwareGeek:

    <blink> and you're dead!



    "Where is grumpy cat?"
    - Mozilla's MOST ADVANCED USER!
  • 12-03-2012 9:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    JimLahey:
    If I start answering the question with "read the error message again" it's time to put on your hard hat because the clue bat is coming your way.
    That's unfair with many, maybe even most, error messages. It's common for error messages to use jargon the user doesn't know, use alternate terms the user doesn't know, require contextual knowledge that isn't present in the error message, rely on the user psychically knowing what should have happened instead, and sometimes they're flat-out lies (those ones bother me the most*.)

    I mean it's one thing if you're talking about an error that reads, "your mouse is unplugged. You must plug in your mouse to continue." It's a whole 'nother can of beans if you get one of these lovelies from Lotus Notes: "error accessing product object property". Good fucking luck figuring out what went wrong there.

    Point is, error messages are almost always fucking awful. I don't blame people for not bothering to read them, since they don't solve people's problems 95% of the time.

    *) My particular favorite was one I got from Zune app when using a USB headset and unplugging it while the Zune was playing. It would tell me I didn't have a sound card! Which is not only a lie, but completely, 100%, irrelevant to the actual error. (Which was in actuality: the programmers who wrote Zune are dumbshits who didn't know hot-swappable USB sound cards existed and didn't write any code to handle it because they're dumbshits.)

      <-  I couldn't make my shit work, so here's a Godzilla head.
  • 12-03-2012 9:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    Lorne Kates:

    ... to move first, into the half-finished building, where you will be the forerunner in experiencing the delights of

    - constant drone of jackhammers and power ratchets

    - a wide variety of fumes and odors! Industrial cleaner! Paint fumes! Mixing agents!

    - thin layers of drywall compound dust on everything. Your computer. Your lunch. You lungs.

    - Eastern AND western exposure before the blinds are installed. How shiny is your monitor?

    - outages in one or more utilities each and every day. Worried you won't be able to wash your hands because the water's out? That's okay! The power's out too, so you couldn't even find the bathroom if you wanted to!

    Dude he lives in Malta. That's probably a step-up from just walking around in the street.
      <-  I couldn't make my shit work, so here's a Godzilla head.
  • 12-03-2012 9:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    blakeyrat:
    That's unfair
     

    It might be to you, but when I've had my concentration broken for the nth time in a day only to go over to a colleague's desk and paste their error message into google to find countless correct answers to their all too common problem, I get quite mardy. Plus we've just had end-of-year drinks at our place, I'm no longer fit to drive and the bullshit I'm writing all over the internet today is even less tolerant of anyone who isn't exactly like me than usual.

     

  • 12-03-2012 10:04 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    JimLahey:
    paste their error message into google
    If you have to paste it into Google, it's a badly-written error message. That was kind of my point.
      <-  I couldn't make my shit work, so here's a Godzilla head.
  • 12-03-2012 10:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    blakeyrat:
    JimLahey:
    paste their error message into google
    If you have to paste it into Google, it's a badly-written error message. That was kind of my point.
    Of course, worse are error messages where even that doesn't help. (Eg "Catastrophic failure" "Unexpected error" "Error: Success")
    Signatures are stupid.
  • 12-03-2012 2:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    blakeyrat:
    JimLahey:
    paste their error message into google
    If you have to paste it into Google, it's a badly-written error message. That was kind of my point.
    And HIS point was that his (presumably tech industry) coworkers are so gormless that they can't Google their own damn error messages.

  • 12-03-2012 2:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    I also lack gorm.
      <-  I couldn't make my shit work, so here's a Godzilla head.
  • 12-03-2012 2:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    blakeyrat:
    I also lack gorm.
    Do you have feck?  Or maybe some hap?  I myself have ruth.

  • 12-04-2012 2:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    blakeyrat:

    Point is, error messages are almost always fucking awful. I don't blame people for not bothering to read them, since they don't solve people's problems 95% of the time.

    I actually quite like the idea that MS pinched from IBM, where the error messages include a numeric code you can go look up in the manual (or, in 2012, via web search). Doesn't matter how shitty the actual error message is (or even if it's just a bare number - remember AmigaDOS's Guru Meditation Numbers?) if it links you to a KB article that covers whatever the issue is in depth and with context.

    The fact that only techy types get value from error messages built this way doesn't matter at all, because only techy types ever get value from error messages anyway; civilians will generally enter a panic state as soon as any error message occurs, thereby becoming completely incapable of processing (or in many cases even noticing) its content.

    And this is not really their fault. I blame computer training courses that leave people knowing how to make a Word document featuring 16 fonts and Word Art, but gloss over unimportant side issues like how and where the computer saves stuff and the existence of Windows Explorer. These things teach computer "skills" as a collection of step-by-step recipes involving virtually no understanding of what's actually going on; students who start clueless therefore finish every bit as clueless, and therefore remain completely incapable of dealing with any deviation from the computer's expected responses.

  • 12-04-2012 10:00 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    da Doctah:

    blakeyrat:
    I also lack gorm.
    Do you have feck?  Or maybe some hap?  I myself have ruth.

    I have plenty of reck.

    Signatures are stupid.
  • 12-04-2012 10:03 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    flabdablet:
    And this is not really their fault. I blame computer training courses that leave people knowing how to make a Word document featuring 16 fonts and Word Art, but gloss over unimportant side issues like how and where the computer saves stuff and the existence of Windows Explorer. These things teach computer "skills" as a collection of step-by-step recipes involving virtually no understanding of what's actually going on; students who start clueless therefore finish every bit as clueless, and therefore remain completely incapable of dealing with any deviation from the computer's expected responses.

    It's a good thing nobody tries to teach programming the same way!

    Signatures are stupid.
  • 12-05-2012 2:08 AM In reply to

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    Lorne Kates:
    ... to move first, into the half-finished building, where you will be the forerunner in experiencing the delights of

    - constant drone of jackhammers and power ratchets

    - a wide variety of fumes and odors! Industrial cleaner! Paint fumes! Mixing agents!

    - thin layers of drywall compound dust on everything. Your computer. Your lunch. You lungs.

    - Eastern AND western exposure before the blinds are installed. How shiny is your monitor?

    - outages in one or more utilities each and every day. Worried you won't be able to wash your hands because the water's out? That's okay! The power's out too, so you couldn't even find the bathroom if you wanted to!

    - once everything is finally past the "canary" stage, and you've settled into a nice corner office with a view-- THAT'S when the well-dressed team and the sells-stuff team comes in, congratulates your team on a job well done-- and then "rewards" you with a brand new office in the basement. Sure, the office isn't quite completed yet (so get ready for all of the above joys again, minus the windows), but Sales does need a spacious place to set up shop (because their team actually makes money), and CEO needs a view to impress the clients / gaze upon while he mulls over the fate of the peons.

    It's not so bad. :) Once, though, when still in the Netherlands, I worked in an office when they were removing asbestos. That was not a lot of fun, especially since the extraction fan was pointed straight at our door. And those things are loud.

    In fact, the building has been finished for a while, and it's already occupied by some other tenants. There's a rather nice coffee shop downstairs, and shops selling electronic gadgets and such.

    And no, we won't be sent to the basement. In fact, there are only two categories of employees that will have a fixed desk:

    1. The CEO
    2. The software developers

    The reason for this is fairly simply: everybody has a laptop, but developers have desktops because we need the computing power. And so, we have fixed desks. Everybody else, including department heads, will have "hot desks" in an open-plan office. Or if it's not too hot, you could take your laptop outside on the terrace and work there.

    The people in charge of the move made a count of what percentage of desks is occupied on average, and organised it such that there are just enough desks for the average number of employees present on any given day. I pointed out that this means that you won't have enough desks 50% of the time, but maths is not their strongest point. Oh well, what do I care: I have my own desk.

     

  • 12-05-2012 4:04 PM In reply to

    • locallunatic
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 05-19-2010
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    • Posts 838

    Re: Warnings and Fatal Errors are the same. So are Apache and MySQL.

    Severity One:
    The people in charge of the move made a count of what percentage of desks is occupied on average, and organised it such that there are just enough desks for the average number of employees present on any given day. I pointed out that this means that you won't have enough desks 50% of the time, but maths is not their strongest point.

    Or the goal was to reduce what the average was, which running out of space will do.  Then they can size down again and repeat until everyone works from home and they don't have to rent space.

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