Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Nice Touches

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I have used quite a bit of software over time and this has lowered my expectations notably. There’s all the theory about what can and should be done. And then there’s reality where people don’t have enough money or time to implement their stuff properly (which, sadly, is rarely advertised or even admitted) and where implementing a small nice feature requires considerable effort. This reduces the chance of the ‘small nice feature’ being implemented - particularly when said feature is very specific and will not be used frequently.

It’s rare that you run into such features. But when you do, you can breifly smile during the agony of machine usage. I had such an experience a while ago when using Sandvox which I use for a bunch of photo websites with plenty of photos in them. And what would the absolute nightmare in this situation be? Right: The application not being able to locate the photos I am using in the site.

And exactly that happened. I have no idea why this happened as Sandvox seems to use proper Mac aliases internally which take into account both the path and file number, but it did happen. After having been through the hell of manually having to tell iTunes about the location of dozens of song files (which had not been moved in any way) at some stage, you can imagine how I sighed when a sheet came up informing me that hundreds of images could not be found after opening a photo site in Sandvox.

Missing media sheet from Sandvox

After the sighing and a bit of cursing I set off to serve the software once more. But after locating the first file a good thing happened: Sandvox used the location I had pointed it to for that file to check whether it could find the remaining files at the same location. And it could. Which made my preventive cursing somewhat superfluous as the the application had just solved the problem for me.

Sandvox telling that it found other missing media files (the screenshot is some months old, so I assume they fixed the typos by now)

While I imagine that the situations in which this code is needed are quite rare, its existence turned a potential disaster into a good experience - that of just having escaped doing a repetitive perfectly automatable task which programmers so frequently love to let their users do.

July 13, 2009, 20:36

Tagged as sandvox, software.

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