I just about finished the next blog post. The entry had everything. Marvelous content. Humor. Natural seques. I was to the last paragraph and decided to flip from HTML mode to Preview mode. I noticed I forgot to close a “b” with a “/b” making most of the text bold. I decided to fix it.

Ready, Aim, Click!

Since you’re not reading that post, you’re guessing something went wrong. You’re correct. Instead of clicking the “HTML” tab, I smacked the “Close” button. Did the software notice the time I’d spent working on the post? Did it set a “dirty bit” so it would ask “Do you really want to do this dumb action and lose all the work you’ve done?” Obviously not. Gone faster than a snow flake in North Carolina in August.

What’s Up With That?

This reminded me of a recent project I tweaked. After entering data, the user pressed a “save” button. When the screen refreshed, the section just saved redisplayed, but didn’t show the entered data. Fortunately, I had access to the database and could see the data did get stored correctly. But the user connected via the Internet would have no idea that everything was actually OK. I corrected this defect prior to working on the “wish list”.

Mea Culpa

I remember my introduction to “userless” programming. It happened back when RS-232 ruled connecting computers. My code could detect errors and inform the user “Incomprehensible Input. Please scan again.” My client took me aside and said “Don,no one using this program will understand the message. Can you reword it?” And then I understood. When I leave the office, I am in a different world. No one knows everything everyone else knows. We don’t make the same assumptions. And worse, we all act different!

As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and they are us.” I started writing this entry as a rant about losing a blog entry. And here I am going, “Yeah, I’ve done it too.”

So What to Do?

  • Obviously, I save more often. (I never did save the original post.)
  • Oh Look! There’s an icon on the tool bar for bolding text that automatically include the proper close.
  • Wow! CTRL-B, the industry standard for bolding does the same thing.
  • I have friends using Blogger. I could see how Blogger would let me shoot myself in the foot.

Anything like this ever happen to you? Have a story you’re willing to share? Innocent people can be protected. Email me.