Argh! Some people just don't follow instructions



  • Last year I developed a Javascript-based promotional interactive popup (what they called a "magnet app") for a high-profile client who wanted the app to be included on a wide range of partner pages. I made implementation of the magnet crazy-easy:

    1.) Copy and paste the following JavaScript code near the top of your HTML file.

    <script type="text/javascript" src="[path_to_js]"></script>

    2.) To trigger the magnet to launch, invoke the following Javascript code:

    ourAwesomeMagnet.launch();

    For example, if you want a certain link to launch the widget, use the following HTML code:

    <a href="#" onclick="ourAwesomeMagnet.launch(); return false;">[text or image to link]</a>

    Basically, I assumed whoever was implementing this had absolutely no prior knowledge of HTML and the only skills the client needed to implement this was mastery of the clipboard. I felt like this assumption was more than generous. After all, this client was a large corporation in the tech industry, and our primary contacts were in its IT department. They had already shown their competence by doing some pretty good and thorough inspecting of our product to ensure it is secure and doesn't have any major exploitable code such as cross site scripting or cookie manipulating. I had absolutely no worries that they couldn't get this simple task done. Even if they forwarded the task to some layperson, if they encountered any difficulty, their in-house IT department could walk them through it without involving us.

    Of course, since I'm posting this, this was proven wrong. Several months have past and here's a list of WTFs which accumulated from various IT staff who tried to follow my steps above:

    Problem: Magnet was throwing all sorts of errors and there were a ton of rendering bugs.

    Solution: After a detailed investigation lasting 6 seconds, found the following code:

    <a href="#" onclick="ourAwesomeMagnet.launch(); ourAwesomeMagnet.launch(); ourAwesomeMagnet.launch(); ourAwesomeMagnet.launch(); 
    ourAwesomeMagnet.launch(); ourAwesomeMagnet.launch(); ourAwesomeMagnet.launch(); ourAwesomeMagnet.launch(); 
    return false; return false; return false; return false; return false; return false; return false; return false;">click here</a>

     

    Problem: Client complained magnet doesn't launch at all when clicking the banner.

    Solution: After another 6-second investigation, found the following code where the banner was placed:

    <a><img src="link/to/banner.jpg" /></a>

     

    Problem: Client sent an email that simply said: "Link takes me to gibberish http://path.to/page.html "

    Solution: Found the following befuddling code* in lieu of my instructions:

    <a href="path/to/magnet.js" onclick="ourAwesomeMagnet.launch(); return false;">[link]<script type="text/javascript" src="ourAwesomeMagnet"></script></a>

     

    Problem: Staff member in Client office reported a small graphical glitch present on the magnet.

    Solution: We didn't see any rendering bug in any browser. After requesting a screenshot, client reported the glitch went away after pasting the screenshot but remained on the widget. Further investigation revealed that the user was actually looking at a smudge on his monitor. A damp cloth resolved this issue.

     

    Problem: Client wanted magnet to launch as soon as the page entered, but doing so caused the browser to freeze and eventually crash.

    Solution: Replace**

    setInterval(ourAwesomeMagnet.launch, 1);
    with
    window.onload = ourAwesomeMagnet.launch

     

    Problem: Client's friend could not get magnet to work; in fact client observed that the code made the whole page look like crap.

    Solution: Could not reproduce the problem, but client was adamant about us fixing it. We asked client to provide info on system/browser specs. After some teeth-pulling and struggling to have client provide said info, finally gave us info that user was using Netscape 4.5 on a Windows Me machine. Fortunately, the client (eventually) agreed and understood that the browser was very obsolete and was not supported.

    To add to the WTF, our contract had a clause which charged a very high fee for this level of troubleshooting to discourage them from calling us all the time asking us to fix their own code for them after disregarding our instructions.

    A few times when we'd point out these problems with the code, they'd say it was the CMS which screwed up. This is definitely plausible, but our troubleshooting consisted of us simply looking at the damn page source, which they obviously failed to do each time they asked us to look into it and fix their shit. Once we showed them the problem code, they were quick to fix it. If there was anything good to say about the whole thing, the client was (usually) polite about these issues. The only time they were really belligerent and upset was in the last issue, mainly because it was actually someone else in the company who we hadn't previously talked to.

    * Yes, the script was pointing to the variable to our magnet instead of the JS file, and it was the link which was directing the user to the JS source, hence the "gibberish". The onclick was not working because ourAwesomeWidget.launch() was an undefined function, so it was throwing an error before returning false.

    ** Note: For those of you who are not familiar with Javascript, setInterval invokes the passed function every X milliseconds (in the above case, every 1 millisecond), whereas window.onload ensures the DOM has fully loaded and invokes the code a single time when it has loaded.



  • @RHuckster said:

    [snip long list of idiotic support requests]

    To add to the WTF, our contract had a clause which charged a very high fee for this level of troubleshooting to discourage them from calling us all the time asking us to fix their own code for them after disregarding our instructions.

    This is not a WTF, you are providing Tangible Value.



  • @RHuckster said:

    Last year I developed a Javascript-based promotional interactive popup (what they called a "magnet app") for a high-profile client who wanted the app to be included on a wide range of partner pages.
     

    You are everything that's wrong with the Internet. You and your company should be burned to ashes, and those ashes smashed to subatomic particles in an accelerator. That being said:

     @RHuckster said:

    Problem: Staff member in Client office reported a small graphical glitch present on the magnet.

    Solution: We didn't see any rendering bug in any browser. After requesting a screenshot, client reported the glitch went away after pasting the screenshot but remained on the widget. Further investigation revealed that the user was actually looking at a smudge on his monitor. A damp cloth resolved this issue.

    That's aweomse. You will be mostly spared when the particles start smashing.

     

     



  • @RHuckster said:

    Last year I developed a Javascript-based promotional interactive popup
    I find it nearly impossible to even parse that sentence.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    You are everything that's wrong with the Internet. You and your company should be burned to ashes, and those ashes smashed to subatomic particles in an accelerator.

    Nice that you just assume it's an unsolicited popup advertisement. That's not the case. This is more an opt-in sort of promotion that people who visit the pages that host it are already in the market for what it promotes, and is launched after a user actually clicks a link (the scenario where the client wanted one to be launched upon page load was on a landing page that is pretty much only accessed via a link)



  • @RHuckster said:

    @Lorne Kates said:
    You are everything that's wrong with the Internet. You and your company should be burned to ashes, and those ashes smashed to subatomic particles in an accelerator.

    Nice that you just assume it's an unsolicited popup advertisement. That's not the case. This is more an opt-in sort of promotion that people who visit the pages that host it are already in the market for what it promotes, and is launched after a user actually clicks a link

    Cool, can I win an iPad if I opt-in?



  • @Speakerphone Dude said:

    Cool, can I win an iPad if I opt-in?
     

    Good job! Your sig caused me to disable the display of post signatures.

    Not that there's much loss here, but I thought I'd let you know that yours is the straw that broke the camel's back. And it's a big fat, heavy straw.

    Ok you know what, I need to see sigs so that I can instantly know if some idiot spammer has dumb links in their sigs, so instead I'm going to ask you if you maybe can reduce the size of your sig image. Thanks!



  • @RHuckster said:

    Basically, I assumed whoever was implementing this had absolutely no prior knowledge of HTML
     

    You have in interesting definition of "no prior knowledge of HTML" that appears to mean, in fact, "some basic knowledge of HTML".

    In other words, your explanations as you typed them in your post require some basic knowledge of HTML.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Speakerphone Dude said:

    Cool, can I win an iPad if I opt-in?
     

    Good job! Your sig caused me to disable the display of post signatures.

    Not that there's much loss here, but I thought I'd let you know that yours is the straw that broke the camel's back. And it's a big fat, heavy straw.

    Ok you know what, I need to see sigs so that I can instantly know if some idiot spammer has dumb links in their sigs, so instead I'm going to ask you if you maybe can reduce the size of your sig image. Thanks!


    You can just filter it with adblock



  • @dargor17 said:

    You can just filter it with adblock

    I expected adblock to find its way into this thread, but that is not the route I had assumed.



  • @dargor17 said:

    You can just filter it with adblock
     

    Can I filter you?



  • @RHuckster said:

    Nice that you just assume it's an unsolicited popup advertisement. That's not the case. This is more an opt-in sort of promotion that people who visit the pages that host it are already in the market for what it promotes
    That's what all spammers say.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Speakerphone Dude said:
    Cool, can I win an iPad if I opt-in?
    Good job! Your sig caused me to disable the display of post signatures.

    Not that there's much loss here, but I thought I'd let you know that yours is the straw that broke the camel's back. And it's a big fat, heavy straw.

    Ok you know what, I need to see sigs so that I can instantly know if some idiot spammer has dumb links in their sigs, so instead I'm going to ask you if you maybe can reduce the size of your sig image. Thanks!

    It would be better to just eliminate signatures all together since they serve no useful purpose.  If someone repeatedly posts messages containing the same exact picture and/or text, it's called spamming.  Why does putting it into a "signature" make it any different?

     



  • @RHuckster said:

    @Lorne Kates said:
    You are everything that's wrong with the Internet. You and your company should be burned to ashes, and those ashes smashed to subatomic particles in an accelerator.

    Nice that you just assume it's an unsolicited popup [b]advertisement[/b]. That's not the case. This is more an [b]opt-in sort of promotion[/b] that people who visit the pages that host it are already in the market for what it [b]promotes[/b], and is launched after a user actually [b]clicks a link[/b] (the scenario where the client wanted one to be launched upon page load was on a landing page that is pretty much only accessed via a link)

     

    Popups-- advertising-- opt-in-- promotion-- instead of navigating.

    I stand by my original ash-ssessment.

     



  • @dhromed said:

    You have in interesting definition of "no prior knowledge of HTML" that appears to mean, in fact, "some basic knowledge of HTML".

    Fine, I guess in order to know WHERE to copy and paste you need some basic knowledge of HTML. That does not negate the fact that the same people who were having these problems previously demonstrated said knowledge and, again, just needed to copy and paste our code in order to make it work, and proceeded to completely butcher the pasted code to the point it was totally and utterly inoperable.

    @Lorne Kates said:

    Popups-- advertising-- opt-in-- promotion-- instead of navigating.

    I stand by my original ash-ssessment.

    If you were on a site like Amazon and you clicked a link to look at similar/competing products to the one you are looking at, and instead of it taking you to another page, it showed it to you in a popup, would you still consider that worthy of becoming a casualty in Higgs Boson research? This thing was about as innocuous as that.



  • @RHuckster said:

    @Lorne Kates said:

    Popups-- advertising-- opt-in-- promotion-- instead of navigating.

    I stand by my original ash-ssessment.

    If you were on a site like Amazon and you clicked a link to look at similar/competing products to the one you are looking at, and instead of it taking you to another page, it showed it to you in a popup, would you still consider that worthy of becoming a casualty in Higgs Boson research? This thing was about as innocuous as that.

     

    Yes.  Can I right click, open in new tab/window, and compare side-by-side?  Can I right click, copy link location, and email someone saying "Yo, check out this awesome product!  Ctrl-v"?

    (I might be exaggerating the point a bit, but it is a valid example what what's wrong with the Internet today-- and besides, exaggerating is what EVERYONE does ALL THE TIME!

     



  • @El_Heffe said:

    It would be better to just eliminate signatures all together since they serve no useful purpose.
     

    It helps me figure out who the hell is talking. Either people have a grey avatar, or it's a wall-of-text which, by the time I'm done reading, my mind has gone into a hazy stupor and I can't remember the name of the now off-screen person.

    Also, without signatures, I would never have discovered that laser technology was so advanced.



  • @RHuckster said:

    becoming a casualty in Higgs Boson research
     

    Terminal velocity after jumping out the window guarantees that you'll never reach the energies required to add any siginificant data to the total body of experimental results.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Yes.  Can I right click, open in new tab/window, and compare side-by-side?  Can I right click, copy link location, and email someone saying "Yo, check out this awesome product!  Ctrl-v"?

    No, and no... although the popup did have a "Share with Friend" button which provided a URL that would effectively open the popup automatically upon page load, and this could be shared via email or facebook.

    You make some decent points, and we actually did consider those and other issues when talking with the client, but they were quite demanding that this had to be a fully javascript-based popup. IIRC the main reason they wanted it that way was because the partners demanded users stayed on the page when they clicked the link and they were, for reasons unknown, unwilling to simply have the link load the page in a new tab. We just weren't super opinionated about the issue and didn't argue the matter further. We just made them aware of the pros and cons of making things fully Javascript based, and they considered them played solitare during the conference call and totally zoned out while we told them about that.

    That being said, your second question could actually be answered with a "yes" if the link were like this:

    <a href="?autoLaunchPopup" onclick="ourAwesomeWidget.launch(); return false;">[link]</a>

    Clicking it launches the widget as it does now, yet right clicking and copying the link location would return a valid URL which would effectively do what you expected it to for those coming to the page from afar. So, while the Javascript solution makes you SOL about the first issue, it doesn't fully prevent the second use case.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    It would be better to just eliminate signatures all together since they serve no useful purpose.
     

    It helps me figure out who the hell is talking. Either people have a grey avatar, or it's a wall-of-text which, by the time I'm done reading, my mind has gone into a hazy stupor and I can't remember the name of the now off-screen person.

    Also, without signatures, I would never have discovered that laser technology was so advanced.

    Now I'm conflicted about my new signature



  • @RHuckster said:

    Further investigation revealed that the user was actually looking at a smudge on his monitor. A damp cloth resolved this issue.
    You live in a cartoon, don't you?



  • @RHuckster said:

    We just made them aware of the pros and cons of making things fully Javascript based, and they considered them played solitare during the conference call and totally zoned out while we told them about that.
     

    Sometimes, you've gotta make the customer/client aware of the ramifications of their decisions then just stand back and let them hang themselves.

    Your original post pretty much boiled down to:

    Problem: we didn't follow your instructions clearly[1]

    Solution: we shall be delighted to - once again - charge you your contracted amount to unfuck your code and follow our own instructions properly.

    Profit!

    As a matter of interest, was there any scope to deliver this as a managed service for them rather than let them struggle and rely upon you for support? I'm guessing it could have been a cheaper option in the long run.

    [1] because we ( don't understand them | don't have the capability | can't find someone who can follow them properly | accepted them without first getting the supplier to guide us through the process )

     



  • @DOA said:

    @RHuckster said:

    Further investigation revealed that the user was actually looking at a smudge on his monitor. A damp cloth resolved this issue.
    You live in a cartoon, don't you?

    Sounds like someone has been watching Futurama recently (for some reason)



  • @Cassidy said:

    unfuck
     

    That which is fucked, cannot be unfucked.



  • @Cassidy said:

    As a matter of interest, was there any scope to deliver this as a managed service for them rather than let them struggle and rely upon you for support? I'm guessing it could have been a cheaper option in the long run.

    No, but I'll tell you that, given other WTFs of theirs which I will not indulge you with right now for fear of breaking NDA, the bargain of any project does not seem to be a priority for them. They're very good at overspending on projects that could be greatly streamlined, but when we point them out, they either don't listen or don't care. It could be a case of the "if we continuously max out our budget, we could ask for even more money" principle which I've observed in a lot of clients with deep pockets and bureaucratic organization, both public and private.



  • @dhromed said:

    That which is fucked, cannot be unfucked.
     

    But.. but.. but.. JAPAN!



  • @Cassidy said:

    But.. but.. but.. JAPAN!

    I think that instance of unfucking something that's fucked is even more profitable than our instance!

    Using it is not painful. In order to achieve the better result, woman should moan as if the real hymen is broken.

    But the real hymen is broken. Isn't that the whole purpose of this product?!



  • @RHuckster said:

    @Cassidy said:
    But.. but.. but.. JAPAN!

    I think that instance of unfucking something that's fucked is even more profitable than our instance!

    Using it is not painful. In order to achieve the better result, woman should moan as if the real hymen is broken.

    But the real hymen is broken. Isn't that the whole purpose of this product?!

     

    "2. Should not be used by menstruating or [b]pregnant women[/b]"

    A fruit-rollup being used to trick your partner into believing you're a virgin shouldn't be used by PREGNANT women?

    THANKS FOR THAT TIP!

     



  • Many [women] seeing the ad are initially tempted by Joan of Arc Red, but worry about its effectiveness and safety. These worries are unnecessary. Joan of Arc Red was invented in 1993 and after nearly 20 years’ development and improvement, it is mature product, with most possible problems taken in account. Dear customers, rest assured with your purchase.

    Translation, we killed dozens of women with this product, but that was 20 years ago when it had flaws!



  • Hey guys. Two quick questions:

    1) There is real blood in that product. ... !!?!?!!??!?!?!??!????!??

    2) Why did I read that link? :(



  • @Xyro said:

    There is real blood in that product. ... !!?!?!!??!?!?!??!????!??

    No.

    Moreover, it will emit a small amount of “blood” which is similar to a mixture of real blood with vaginal secretions as with the real flow during the first time

    That, of course, begs the question just what do they use to simulate it, and what kinds of quality assurance do they do to test it?



  • why



  • @RHuckster said:

    That, of course, begs the question

    No, it doesn't.



  • @RHuckster said:

    That, of course, begs the question just what do they use to simulate it, and what kinds of quality assurance do they do to test it?
     

    QA people are used to have the fucking worst jobs.  Now the have the worst fucking job.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Cassidy said:
    unfuck
    That which is fucked, cannot be unfucked.
    Sort of like Community Server, eh?

     



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @dhromed said:

    @Cassidy said:
    unfuck
    That which is fucked, cannot be unfucked.
    Sort of like Community Server, eh?

     

    BAZINGA

     



  • @RHuckster said:

    @Xyro said:
    There is real blood in that product. ... !!?!?!!??!?!?!??!????!??

    No.

    VI. Composition of Joan of Arc Red

    Natural proteins (without any side effects to human body), synthetic membranes, hemoglobin, water-soluble sodium carboxymethyl, cellulose-based agents and so on.

    ????


  • How many ingredients of blood do you need before you can call it blood?



  • The ingredients come from blood, no? Or are there non-blood sources hemoglobin..?

    I better Wiki that... Let's see... @Wisdom of the masses said:

    Hemoglobin and hemoglobin-like molecules are also found in many invertebrates, fungi, and plants.
    I see. They probably just went through the trouble of extracting it from plants.



  • @dhromed said:

    How many ingredients of blood do you need before you can call it blood?

    Well, blood is 92% water, so when you drink water, you're almost drinking blood!



  • @Xyro said:

    The ingredients come from blood, no?
     

    So? Sugar ain't no cake. A pile of cacao ain't no chocolate.

    A small selection of other things sugar is not:

    - pancakes
    - Kofta
    - rice
    - candy
    - potato



  • @dhromed said:

    A pile of cacao ain't no chocolate.

    Of course not, it needs dried insect parts in order to qualify



  • If you're eating sugar that came from sugar cane, then you're eating a part of the sugar cane. Unless you live in the US, in which case you're probably just eating high fructose corn syrup. So you'd be eating chemicals sourced from corn.

    Also, synecdoche.



  • I knew, just like every other thread in this forum, this would get off topic sooner or later, but I never thought for the life of me it would so suddenly turn into a discussion of fake hymens and whether the fact that the product has hemoglobin in it makes it truly fake or not.



  • @RHuckster said:

    I knew, just like every other thread in this forum, this would get off topic sooner or later, but I never thought for the life of me it would so suddenly turn into a discussion of fake hymens and whether the fact that the product has hemoglobin in it makes it truly fake or not.

    BUT WHY IS THERE HEMOGLOBIN AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM???



  • @Xyro said:

    @RHuckster said:
    I knew, just like every other thread in this forum, this would get off topic sooner or later, but I never thought for the life of me it would so suddenly turn into a discussion of fake hymens and whether the fact that the product has hemoglobin in it makes it truly fake or not.

    BUT WHY IS THERE HEMOGLOBIN AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM???

    The real question is: does that company also sell a product to un-goatse male customers? If not, then it's sexist.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.