The "unclear on the concept" topic


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Let me explain by way of example. We've got data that has start and optional stop dates. I'm sure you can imagine any number of things, like a job ("I was a QA Tester 1 from $date1 to $date2", "I was promoted to QA Tester 2 on $date2 + 1") and so on.

    A client complained that they couldn't put in a stop date on something, so they just used a later date as a stop date, but that had (entirely predictable) consequences elsewhere. So I looked at what they were doing, and they were putting in a stop date that was before the start date--that's even more or less exactly what the error message was: "Stop Date specified is before the Effective Date"[1]. I told her that the proper thing to do in her case was to set the Effective date to be the same as the Stop date, which apparently caused a stack underflow because her reply was essentially as the original complaint.

    [1] the code is littered with user messages with stupid capitalization like that--I fix them when I get a chance.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    This is the gibberish she wrote back to me: "What you are saying makes sense regarding how the system works; however, if identifying this change to [thing] effective 1/31/16 is concerning. This change does not take effective until 2/1/16; however, the last day of [thing] is 1/31/16 and we do not want the [thing] to show as being [effective in] the month of February 2016. If we use the date of 2/1/16 as the [thing] termination date, we suspect that the [report will show] as if [the thing was still active] in February (this is what happened for 2015). Can you advise which is the best method to follow?"

    Yes, the solution is what i just told you not 5 minutes ago: when you make your new record, make the start and stop dates be 1/31. You cannot have the stop date be 1/31 and the start date be in February, and if you set both dates to be in February, you will get the exact thing you don't want in the report, because that's how the report works! If you create a record that says [thing] is active in February, the activity report will indeed show [thing] being active in February. Since [thing] ended in January, the proper stop date to use is the last day of January.

    My reply centered around the sentence "You cannot stop [thing] before it starts."


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @FrostCat said:

    stack underflow

    +:book: EDIT: for pendants, I'm aware it's a real thing, I'm just in favor of using it to describe stupid people

    Also, wow. That email was... Uh... Impressive.

    I think it may actually rival some of Swampy's posts. Are you talking to a Markov chain?



  • I make my bread and butter on sitecore.

    Sitecore is a monstrous CMS that for the most part is just regular .NET.

    There is a pretty good analytics package that is part of the CMS and can score content well and can even A-to-B test content.

    Our team sent round an A-to-B testing quick primer that was a rehash of something from wired magazine so it should be easy for non-programmers to get.

    One of the management higher ups wanted them on different URLs.

    We explained that anything different would skew the test if someone directly linked it. She insisted.

    One of our affiliates directly linked it.

    Now A-to-B tests aren't allowed as they are a waste of time, I left about 8 months ago.


  • :belt_onion:

    :woman: Hey, the "last contact change date" and "last contact call date" don't match
    :boy_tone1: Ummm... how do you mean?
    :woman: Well, it says last change to the contact was today, but the last call is yesterday!
    :boy_tone1: Well... did you change the contact information today?
    :woman: Yes.
    :boy_tone1: And when did you last call that contact? (NOTE: this data point is filled in automatically by the PBX monitoring service, it's not user-editable)
    :woman: Yesterday
    :boy_tone1: So... what exactly is the prob...
    :woman: THE DATES DON'T MATCH!
    :facepalm: (Yes, I went bald in the process)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @sloosecannon said:

    Also, wow. That email was... Uh... Impressive.

    I don't know what happened there. She doesn't usually talk gibberish like that.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Onyx

    Hey, the "last contact change date" and "last contact call date" don't match

    You probably can't control this, but "last contact change date" probably should simply be called "last update". That's what our system does, and (as far as I know) nobody's ever failed to grasp what it means.


  • :belt_onion:

    @FrostCat I actually improvised the translation, there's no actual English version of the software at this point. But yeah, it's as close to "last update" as I can get in Croatian (there's no single word translation of "update").

    And yes, I explained what it means, multiple times. Still the same complaint. From the same person.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Onyx said:

    Still the same complaint. From the same person.

    Ah. So relabel the field "last time you hit the Edit button".



  • @FrostCat said:

    So relabel the field "last time you hit the Edit button".

    INB4: "but i didn't hit it, I clicked it"


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @AyGeePlus said:

    INB4: "but i didn't hit it, I clicked it"

    I think you can figure out the non-snarky way to modify what I wrote.



  • I just mean there's no helping some people. If you said 'clicked' she'd try it from her iPad and complain she needed to go find a mouse to plug into her iPad to click the button and why didn't it let her poke the button?



  • You didn't say what "thing" was, but let's suppose it is a price.

    So as I understand her message, she wanted to record a price in February that never existed in February, because her concern was that if she does 2/1 to 2/1 it would exist for 1 day. So she wants to put in 2/1 to 1/31 so it exists for zero days.

    My immediate question would be: Why do you want to record a "thing" that never existed?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    My immediate question would be: Why do you want to record a "thing" that never existed?

    She doesn't. Let's say, not a price, but how long a particular price was in effect. Maybe it was on sale for a week.

    For reasons she didn't bother to explain, she tried to make the sale start date be, essentially some random date. (Maybe there was a meaning to the start date she chose, 2/20, but she didn't tell me.) The sale definitely ended on 1/31, but you can't stop a sale before it starts, so the software quite reasonably told her so. Further, when she entered in a start date of 2/1, which should've been illegal too, IMO, but apparently isn't, for reasons I CBA to check) she then complained that the monthly sale listing showed the item on sale in February. Well, of course it did, because that's the way you entered it! If the sale was from $any_date until 1/31, then you have to use $any_date as the start and 1/31 as the stop.

    I just checked and these people have used our software since at least 1999 (that is, her contact information is in there as of that year), so there's not really any excuse for this.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    My immediate question would be: Why do you want to record a "thing" that never existed?

    Why, so you can calculate discounts off it of course!





  • I had a client who worked for two non-profit organizations that were similar in their function, but completely different entities. We were tasked with maintaining their website for only one of them. She sent us an email that went something like this:

    "Last week we updated our website on [company we're not affiliated with] and all of a sudden I cannot log in anymore. I know you changed something on [website we actually maintain]. Could your changes have caused this?"

    The change we made, by the way, was just updating the copyright date to some PDFs in their download section, and it was a month ago. The manager said, "It's like she asked 'I can't open the door to my in-laws' summer cottage. Is this because you replaced the windows in my office?' "




  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    In other "unclear on the concept" news,


  • area_can

    @FrostCat Google seems to be determined to make their search as infuriatingly useless as possible. My guess is that it's not applying the - operator.

    Or who the hell knows, apparently surrounding stuff in quotes and searching that on Google doesn't actually do a verbatim search. They used to have a special search option that would only look for the stuff you explicitly typed, but then they removed that because who could possibly want that right. /rant


  • sockdevs

    @bb36e said:

    My guess is that it's not applying the - operator.

    which is odd, because google claims to still support it: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433?hl=en

    ooooh.... that refers to google searching, not image searching...

    because using the same operators would be :doing_it_wrong:



  • @accalia said:

    because using the same operators would be :doing_it_wrong:

    UI consistency is for the Other Guys.



  • @bb36e said:

    @FrostCat Google seems to be determined to make their search as infuriatingly useless as possible. My guess is that it's not applying the - operator.

    Or who the hell knows, apparently surrounding stuff in quotes and searching that on Google doesn't actually do a verbatim search. They used to have a special search option that would only look for the stuff you explicitly typed, but then they removed that because who could possibly want that right. /rant

    I suspect the reason has nothing to do with the - operator. I think the articles in question probably omit mention of "finger" or "fingernail"; common use these days in cosmetic circles is just "your nails". Remember that -fingernail is a text search; if the actual literal word "fingernail" doesn't appear in the text, the operator would do nothing.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    I suspect the reason has nothing to do with the - operator. I think the articles in question probably omit mention of "finger" or "fingernail"

    A quick test seems to show you’re probably right. However, even a bit of lateral thinking doesn’t help in this case: I tried clicking on one result (the one with the pink flower that's third in the top row of @FrostCat’s image) and that page turns out to use the word “manicure” quite a lot — it’s even in the site’s name and the page title. So let’s try something:


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @Gurth said:

    A quick test seems to show you’re probably right.

    Maybe. Checked against the Advanced Search UI:

    And I still got the same fingers and manicures...


  • mod

    Either way, a better plan is to add words that relate to the intended meaning. More people probably GIS for "nail art" than they do "nail and hammer", so it took a guess at what you meant.


  • :belt_onion:

    @Yamikuronue said:

    it took a guess

    Feature request: add a "Stop helping!" checkbox to Google.



  • @Onyx said:

    Feature request: add a "Stop helping!" checkbox to Googleeverything

    "Helpful" software inevitably does everything wrong and can't be convinced to do it right.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Yamikuronue said:

    Either way, a better plan is to add words that relate to the intended meaning. More people probably GIS for "nail art" than they do "nail and hammer", so it took a guess at what you meant.

    I eventually won by changing the search to something like "framing brad".



  • @bb36e said:

    @FrostCat Google seems to be determined to make their search as infuriatingly useless as possible. My guess is that it's not applying the - operator.

    Or who the hell knows, apparently surrounding stuff in quotes and searching that on Google doesn't actually do a verbatim search. They used to have a special search option that would only look for the stuff you explicitly typed, but then they removed that because who could possibly want that right. /rant

    General Google search is much better at handling the search verbatim than the image search is.



  • @Onyx said:

    @Yamikuronue said:

    it took a guess

    Feature request: add a "Stop helping!" checkbox to Google.

    the allintext: operator is pretty much like this. But I have to add it almost all of the time. I would prefer if I could make it the default.



  • @Gurth

    A quick test seems to show you’re probably right. However, even a bit of lateral thinking doesn’t help in this case: I tried clicking on one result (the one with the pink flower that's third in the top row of @FrostCat’s image) and that page turns out to use the word “manicure” quite a lot — it’s even in the site’s name and the page title. So let’s try something:

    Darn. Another good theory, shot to hell.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @FrostCat said:

    if identifying this change to [thing] effective 1/31/16 is concerning

    Indeed. The first of Trigintaunuary isn't a valid date - it's always started on the second...



  • @PJH said:

    @FrostCat said:

    if identifying this change to [thing] effective 1/31/16 is concerning

    Indeed. The first of Trigintaunuary isn't a valid date - it's always started on the second...

    1311-6?-?? was a long time ago and would probably be better to write as 1316-0?-??.



  • Mr. Boffo has a bunch of comics about "unclear on the concept:

    I particularly remember one where a guy said "I paid my taxes years ago and to this day they still send me the form! Talk about waste!"



  • @LB_ said in The "unclear on the concept" topic:

    Mr. Boffo

    :thumbsup_tone1: Oh, man, I haven't thought about that strip in years!


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @PJH said in The "unclear on the concept" topic:

    @FrostCat said:

    if identifying this change to [thing] effective 1/31/16 is concerning

    Indeed. The first of Trigintaunuary isn't a valid date - it's always started on the second...

    Off-by-two error, I believe. The base should be trīgintā trēs, rather than trīgintā ūnus. (Why? Romans, of course: http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/year-history.html)


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Onyx said in The "unclear on the concept" topic:

    Feature request: add a "Stop helpingI am @blakeyrat, fuck you and your unsolicited advice!" checkbox to Google.

    FTFY :trolleybus:



  • [...was just playing with "mobile"/small-window view on NodeBB. Clicked the "more options" button while creating a reply. This seemed to have posted it...]



  • @FrostCat Sounds like your user is slowly groping her way toward an inkling of the reasons for the existence of timestamps like 24:00:00.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @flabdablet said in The "unclear on the concept" topic:

    @FrostCat Sounds like your user is slowly groping her way toward an inkling of the reasons for the existence of timestamps like 24:00:00.

    I would not bet on it. She spent the entire time sighing and groaning as she laboriously checked which of the 6 Excel spreadsheets and 5 Word documents and 7 open emails, and so on, she needed to work with at any given moment.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    **Status:**strong text** (incidentally that took a lot of work to Markdumb the :disco::carousel_horse: way.

    Client just emailed me saying they couldn't find the correct update on our website, that I announced on like the 18th. Then I remembered, these guys have a hugely-customized version of our software that's two versions out of date, and otherwise-unsupported. They can't update because of all the customizations, and I don't have the ability to produce the update for their ancient version.

    This means I'm going to have to pull together a manual process for them, which consists of a schema update, and a pile of programs, that will all have to be manually applied. Then once that's done, they can begin the process of producing forms, one for each employee, that are required by law to be furnished to said employees...tomorrow. Also, due to the complexity of the information required, they will have to review the data on each of the 350 or so people by hand before generating the forms. (Half of our customers don't set up their systems the way we tell them to, meaning the automated analysis program that produces the report can't guarantee 100% correct results.)



  • @FrostCat said in The "unclear on the concept" topic:

    I eventually won by changing the search to something like "framing brad".

    0_1462764175643_framing_brad.jpg

    Not only am I hilarious, I'm really good at Paint.NET too.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @another_sam said in The "unclear on the concept" topic:

    really good

    If that were true you'd've shrunk the frame down more, to fit the picture better.



  • @FrostCat I was feeling particularly lazy and didn't want to expend more effort for such a cheap joke.

    Also why do I have to reload several times to make the reply button work?


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