We won't need to know



  • One of our data tables can be updated from three different processes. As part of the updates, we set fields to indicate who, why and when the change was made so the users can see the source and details of the most recent change to a given record on their displays.

    Then one of the QA folks said that this isn't necessary. I pointed out that the reason the updates were stored on the record was so the users would be able to see this information, and trotted out the requirements indicating as such.

    The QA person goes to the user point-person who says "No, we don't need to know that information all the time; don't do the updates for one of the three processes."

    I decided to save my breath, commented out the update in the relevent place, and documented that the field would be out of date about 1/3 of the time.

    It doesn't take 3 days before someone notices that a given record appears inconsistent across tables and files a bug report. I note upon the report the rationale, and the ticket number instructing us to not do the update.

    Some users want it consistent; others do not. The business analysts don't want special case logic (e.g.: based on a saved preference), and so the war continues.

    I had this exact situation at a prior position; I vaguely remember posting it here a long time ago.

    Some things never change - these idiots keep paying us to repeatedly do the same work over and over.

    God I love this industry!

     



  •  You're like Lawful Evil, aren't you?



  • Fascinating!  Why are they so adamant about not having the audit fields updated?  My spider sense tells me they are full of self-contradicting arguments...



  •  Sounds more like a corporate pissing match.  Time to find out who has the most pull, regardless of who is right!



  •  Add a second set of who/when/why columns, and have two sources update both while the third updates only one?

     



  • @emurphy said:

    Add a second set of who/when/why columns, and have two sources update both while the third updates only one?
     

    PLEASE don't give them any ideas.



  • @dhromed said:

     You're like Lawful Evil, aren't you?

     

    More Lawful Neutral, I'd say.



  • @Someone You Know said:

    @dhromed said:

     You're like Lawful Evil, aren't you?

     

    More Lawful Neutral, I'd say.

     

    I only played NeverWinter Nights for 10 minutes, spending 10 seconds in the alignment selection screen. It was an interesting set of options.



  •  @dhromed said:

    @Someone You Know said:

    @dhromed said:

    Lawful Evil

     

    Lawful Neutral

     

    NeverWinter Nights

    Wasn't that a standard choice in AD&D? Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic, Good/Neutral/Evil. It changed my view of humanity to realize that you could in fact be Chaotic Good.



  • @Xyro said:

    Fascinating!  Why are they so adamant about not having the audit fields updated?

    E.g. your product table has a (redundant) field "average sales quantity" that is updated daily by a batch job running at night.Updating this field is, technically, an update to the product table, but some people might argue that the information "the nightly batch has updated the avg_sales field" is relatively unimportant and unnecessarily overwrites more important changes, like changing the product description.



  • @b-redeker said:

    It changed my view of humanity to realize that you could in fact be Chaotic Good.
     

    Hey, if you put any two plausible axes together you can make every kind of implausible property combination.



  • @b-redeker said:

     @dhromed said:

    @Someone You Know said:

    @dhromed said:

    Lawful Evil

     

    Lawful Neutral

     

    NeverWinter Nights

    Wasn't that a standard choice in AD&D? Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic, Good/Neutral/Evil. It changed my view of humanity to realize that you could in fact be Chaotic Good.

     

    It was, yes. D&D 3rd Edition had an identical system. 4th Edition kept the same basic ideas, but strongly discourages letting players play evil characters (to the point of not mentioning it as a possibility in the first 4th Edition Player's Handbook).

    "Neutral" in this context can mean two completely different things, and different role-playing games (and even different versions of the same game) have taken it differently. It can be taken as meaning something like "apathetic" — the character just doesn't care whether his actions are good or evil (or lawful/chaotic), that doesn't enter into his decision-making process at all. This is how most people play it, because it's the easier of the two options. 

    Or it can be played as a character trying to "balance" the two extremes of the axis in question. Such a one would view "good" and "evil" not as moral absolutes, but more as two different aspects of the same thing, that should be kept in balance. As an example just for dhromed, this is how karma works in Fallout 3 — you can't really advance the game without taking actions that are not karmically neutral, so ultimately the only way to remain neutral is to balance out good actions and evil actions.



  • @ammoQ said:

    E.g. your product table has a (redundant) field "average sales quantity" that is updated daily by a batch job running at night.Updating this field is, technically, an update to the product table, but some people might argue that the information "the nightly batch has updated the avg_sales field" is relatively unimportant and unnecessarily overwrites more important changes, like changing the product description.

    Okay, I have to ask the obvious. Why does this data need to be overridden? What's wrong with a separate Log table that stores [i]all[/i] the product changes as distinct rows?  Then you can just pull the most recent change & filter by the source of the change? (assuming the log table is sufficiently detailed, of course)



  • @Someone You Know said:

    ultimately the only way to remain neutral is to balance out good actions and evil actions.
     

    I killed the water beggars brutally, but I redeemed myself by killing Enclave soldiers.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Someone You Know said:

    ultimately the only way to remain neutral is to balance out good actions and evil actions.
     

    I killed the water beggars brutally, but I redeemed myself by killing Enclave soldiers.

     

    Two wrongs don't make a right, but a wrong and a right make nothing at all. 

    The game's a little lopsided, morally speaking, as one might expect in a lawless, post-apocalyptic world. There are many more opportunities to do evil things than to do good things, especially before the Enclave shows up. Also, if I recall correctly, the base game has one really evil thing you can do (destroying Megaton) but lacks any good action of similar magnitude that doesn't end the game.



  • Chaotic Good was the best alignment, really.  You weren't as uptight and righteous as a Lawful Good person, not as rigid and "the law is the law" like Lawful Neutral, and not as "Meh, the good guys are better here" like Neutral Good.

    The rationale for Chaotic Good was, in effect, that the ends justify the means.  If you have to skirt that gray area for the greater good, it's worth doing.  On the flip side, Lawful Good would never bend the rules.  Lawful Evil uses the rules to gain advantages (most corporations fall under this) but still can be honorable (only "decent" evil alignment IMO), Neutral Evil has no problem bending the rules any which way, no matter who gets screwed over (the classic example would be a thief who joins a band and then later turns them in for a fat reward AND can get all the riches from their hideout when they're dead), and Chaotic Evil is pretty much "Rules?  What rules?!  Bwa-ha-ha-ha"



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    Lawful Good would never bend the rules.
    True Lawful Good changes the rules so that they don't inhibit goodness, so that the greater good may still be accomplished.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    On the flip side, Lawful Good would never bend the rules.
     

    Luckly paldins often weren't the brightest members of a party so you could just trick/distract them and get away with it.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    The rationale for Chaotic Good was, in effect, that the ends justify the means.

     

    Eh...to my way of thinking, which I don't claim to be canonical regarding any particular game system, that's not Chaotic Good; that's Neutral Good.

    If, for you, the [good] ends justify the means, then the question of whether an action is legal or not has no bearing on whether you decide to do it. You'll do the right thing if it's legal; you'll do the right thing if it's illegal. That's Neutral. Chaotic, on the other hand, indicates someone who is biased toward doing illegal things, just as Lawful indicates someone who is biased toward doing legal things. A Chaotic person is actively anti-authority. It's more than just the ends justifying the means.

    Say you're given a choice between two methods of accomplishing the same goal, both equally morally "good", but one violates the law and one doesn't. All other things being equal, if you're Lawful Good, you'll take the legal way. If you're Chaotic Good, you'll take the illegal way. If you're Neutral Good, you'll flip a coin or something.



  • @Volcanon said:

     Sounds more like a corporate pissing match.  Time to find out who has the most pull, regardless of who is right!

    This shit will crop up repeatedly when dealing with the mouth-breathing cretins (aka "end users") who (ab)use the software you write and/or maintain; the only way to deal with it (while remaining sane) is to ignore it and do other, real work. Since you appear to have BAs between yourself and the end users, make this issue the BAs' problem and forget about it. Either the BAs will eventually flip out and go tell the users to fuck themselves, and tell you to revert the change; or everyone will forget about it (except for the 1 bug report that comes in the same time every year from the 1 user in Finance, and once again, that's something for the BAs to handle.

    User stupidity? Not a WTF, sadly. (What is a WTF in my eyes, is how organisations are able to make vast sums of money when the majority of the people they employ seem to be brain-dead.)



  • @Someone You Know said:

    The game's a little lopsided, morally speaking, as one might expect in a lawless, post-apocalyptic world. There are many more opportunities to do evil things than to do good things, especially before the Enclave shows up. Also, if I recall correctly, the base game has one really evil thing you can do (destroying Megaton) but lacks any good action of similar magnitude that doesn't end the game.
    You can also bomb The Citadel, and put the MFEV into the water supply, both of which won't kill you or end the game, although both actions will actually have negative consequences. The first results in the BoS attacking you, which after fighting all of the Enclave on the mobile base shouldn't be a major issue, the other will cause you to die after drinking certain water sources too frequently. All three of those options set your karma back -1000 points (minimum value being -1000). There is also that one Perk at level 24. Conversely, saving Megaton didn't reward me any karma, and the only two times you can get +1000 karma are activating the purifier and bombing the mobile crawler base. IMO the EXP rewards are horrible (killing a Super Mutant is more difficult than killing a raider or picking a [easy?] lock yet rewards the same EXP). Also fire ants give the same EXP as normal giant ants. WTF.



  • @Lingerance said:

    @Someone You Know said:
    The game's a little lopsided, morally speaking, as one might expect in a lawless, post-apocalyptic world. There are many more opportunities to do evil things than to do good things, especially before the Enclave shows up. Also, if I recall correctly, the base game has one really evil thing you can do (destroying Megaton) but lacks any good action of similar magnitude that doesn't end the game.
    You can also bomb The Citadel, and put the MFEV into the water supply, both of which won't kill you or end the game, although both actions will actually have negative consequences. The first results in the BoS attacking you, which after fighting all of the Enclave on the mobile base shouldn't be a major issue, the other will cause you to die after drinking certain water sources too frequently. All three of those options set your karma back -1000 points (minimum value being -1000). There is also that one Perk at level 24. Conversely, saving Megaton didn't reward me any karma, and the only two times you can get +1000 karma are activating the purifier and bombing the mobile crawler base. IMO the EXP rewards are horrible (killing a Super Mutant is more difficult than killing a raider or picking a [easy?] lock yet rewards the same EXP). Also fire ants give the same EXP as normal giant ants. WTF.
     

    Right, but you can only bomb the Citadel or the Mobile Base if you have the Broken Steel DLC installed. (You can activate the Purifier and use the MFEV in the base game, but the game ends immediately thereafter.)

    Which is to say that the opportunity to do some good in the world and feel its effects will cost you roughly $10 more than the opportunity to do evil. You know what they say about the Dark Side being the quick and easy path.

    That said, it does make sense that destroying Megaton is a big karma change, but saving it isn't. After all, the town was doing just fine with the bomb there; by disarming it, you don't improve the situation anywhere near as much as you worsen it by setting the bomb off.



  • @snoofle said:

    Then one of the QA folks said that this isn't necessary. I pointed out that the reason the updates were stored on the record was so the users would be able to see this information, and trotted out the requirements indicating as such.

    The QA person goes to the user point-person who says "No, we don't need to know that information all the time; don't do the updates for one of the three processes."

     

     

    i wonder what their thought process was... something like "Hey, there's that feature that works, which we don't care about too much, but not completely, so let's not remove it, let's just break it!" ?


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