Log file e-mail WTF.



  • How many WTF's can you spot below?

    After writing a piece of software for a client and testing from our end, it was time to go through their testing procedures.  This was just one component of a large system with several exposed web service methods for their other software (developed in-house) to interact with.  We were not overly worried as we had unit tested this to a very large extent and only expected a couple of minor bugs and some GUI tweaks.

    After delivering the software and explaining how to use it, I receive an e-mail from their PM stating that it is not working at all.  I replied back to the PM asking for log files and a backup of their database, quickly get a response chiding me for sending it only to him and not using "Reply All" to CC the entire developent team of about a dozen people including the database admin, the server admin, their developers, and their QA group.  I then re-send my request request for the log file to everyone.  A little later the responses start rolling in.  I am first CC'ed (along with the other dozen people) on a message from the PM to the database admin asking for the database backup file.  Next comes a second message from the PM to the server admin asking for the log file.  Then I am CC'ed in a message from the database admin back to the PM with the database backup.  This is then forwarded to me (and CC'ed to everyone else) from the PM.  I then am CC'ed the copy of the server log file sent from the server admin to the PM, followed by a response from the PM back to the admin telling him that some of the information in the log first needed to be X'ed out.  I then was CC'ed on a copy of the log file as it was sent back to the PM with x's replacing some of the information. (It's amazing how easy it is to receive 200 e-mails a day regarding this project.)  Finally, I was sent a copy of this from the PM (CC'ed to everyone else, of course) except it was now as a Word document and not a text file.  Inside were screenshots of a notepad window containing the log file with the x's replacing some of the data and black rectangles drawn in word over still more of the data.

    Everything looked correct in the log.  Finally, after a couple of days of trying to figure out the issue and them trying to explain the errors over the phone, we determine that it the error is not occuring in our component.  Instead, it is something in their code that is throwing an exception after reaching the web service.  Apparently their testing involved throwing the entire chain of components all at once on a dev server and manually running about 10,000 peices of test data, recording the results in an excel spreadsheet and assuming that  any errors are generated by our component.

    I have many more WTF's that I could post about this client including their source control in which they create a new directory to hold each new version of files (stored as a zipped archive containg code and executables), the day we spent trying to convince them they really were running the database update scripts in the wrong database, and many others.  I was so glad to finally see the end of that project.



  • @j_johnso said:

    I have many more WTF's that I could post about this client including their source control in which they create a new directory to hold each new version of files (stored as a zipped archive containg code and executables)


    Unfortunately, this is common practice in many development teams that can't figure out how to install or use a proper SCM system. I've seen that all too often.



  • I could understand that if they were just using a standard folder or a file share, but they had a full blown source control system (VSS) up and running and created these new directories in the source control repository.



  • @j_johnso said:

    I could understand that if they were just using a standard folder or a file share, but they had a full blown source control system (VSS) up and running and created these new directories in the source control repository.



    Maybe they could not find a better way to do branching?



  • Inside [the Word document] were [b]screenshots of a notepad window[/b] containing the log file
    with the x's replacing some of the data and [b]black rectangles drawn in
    word over still more of the data[/b].


    What. Le. Fuck?

    I'm sorry, but you know, after having been a regular visitor of TDWTF for some time, one gets a bit desensitized to code foolishness, and the number of times I cried WTF recently has been dismally low.

    THIS, however, [i]takes the cake[/i].

    It's worse than the scanprinttablepicture-technique.



  • Wait... if they drew the rectangles in word, can't you just remove them yourself? It's almost like using background-color: black; to censor stuff in html documents (somehow I recall that this happaned in some US government document).



  • @SpComb said:

    Wait... if they drew the rectangles in word, can't you just remove them yourself? It's almost like using background-color: black; to censor stuff in html documents (somehow I recall that this happaned in some US government document).

    Why bother?  If I remember correctly, he received the original log file in one of those CC'ed e-mail messages?



  • @SpComb said:

    Wait... if they drew the rectangles in word, can't
    you just remove them yourself? It's almost like using background-color:
    black; to censor stuff in html documents (somehow I recall that this
    happaned in some US government document).
    IIRC it was actually in PDFs, but same thing.



  • @dhromed said:

    Inside [the Word document] were [b]screenshots of a notepad window[/b] containing the log file with the x's replacing some of the data and [b]black rectangles drawn in word over still more of the data[/b].


    What. Le. Fuck?

    I'm sorry, but you know, after having been a regular visitor of TDWTF for some time, one gets a bit desensitized to code foolishness, and the number of times I cried WTF recently has been dismally low.

    THIS, however, [i]takes the cake[/i].

    It's worse than the scanprinttablepicture-technique.

    I knew this girl once. She drew a picture in MS Paint, maybe 200x350 px. Just something funny while she was bored at work. She wanted to email it to me. So she opened the picture in Windows Picture And Fax Viewer, took a screen shot (full screen, 1280x1024) and pasted that into an email.

    True story. And this happens from other random people more often than I'd like to count.



  • and at the end of the day everyone receive the OVER MAILBOX LIMIT emails, and everyones rejoices!



  • I wish.  I work for a small company and have no e-mail quota.  I actually ran into problems with my hard drive filling up instead so I had to delete them locally.



  • This sounds a lot like the company my ex company worked for. They also CC'ed everything to everybody and keep their VSS in the same way - each new version zipped in the seperate folder. And the thing those people did to their databases...

    We only did black box testing for them, but all tests had to be done by hand, that is: print the tests scripts (term scripts here has nothing to do with programming, these were sets of scenarios and test cases written in word), run the program through each case and write by hand the checkmark if the step passed... As I understood, this was required by law as a proof that a live person tested it, but the fun part was that it all needed to be scanned afterwards and uploaded to their server, with an avarage script of about one hundred pages, and there was just one scanner in the office on 10 testers... The days we went home at 5:00 were declared holidays.



  • [quote user="dhromed"]

    Inside [the Word document] were [b]screenshots of a notepad window[/b] containing the log file
    with the x's replacing some of the data and [b]black rectangles drawn in
    word over still more of the data[/b].


    What. Le. Fuck?

    I'm sorry, but you know, after having been a regular visitor of TDWTF for some time, one gets a bit desensitized to code foolishness, and the number of times I cried WTF recently has been dismally low.

    THIS, however, [i]takes the cake[/i].

    It's worse than the scanprinttablepicture-technique.
    [/quote]

    Reminds me of a bug report I once received - there was a problem parsing some input file. The submitter (my boss...) attached a screenshot (JPEG, of course) of the application window which displayed the source code and the error message (in the log window). I guess he found that easier than doing strange stuff like attaching the actual input and log files as text. I mean where's the fun when you don't have to first OCR your bug report attachments before you can try to reproduce the actual problem?

    Then again, I should be lucky. The image was neither embedded in a .DOC file, nor placed on a wooden table.
     


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