'Funny' error messages and why I hate them

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by SilentRiC, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. SilentRiC

    SilentRiC First time out of the vault

    May 19, 2013
    Okay, I don't know you and you don't know me but I am here to make tired references and complain about error messages, and I'm well stocked on references.

    Anybody here use Chrome? If you do, you'll be familiar with two things - website crashes and the "Aw snap" error message that so hilariously accompanies it. Upon searching online for other people venting their shared
    irritation, I was aghast to find little besides pages and videos dedicated to celebrating the funniest error messages. This will not do.

    I can only assume that all the people slapping their guts and busting their thighs at these cutesy wacky error messages are not actually encountering them when the program they're using screws up and crashes.
    If I had a dime for every time a program crashed and I responded by chuckling at its decision to crack jokes about its failure, I would have zero fucking dimes.

    Programmer humour tends to be lame enough as it is (and yes I stole a joke about "dimes" despite clearly not being American) but is it so hard for them to see that the absolute worst time for them to start waxing comedic is when the user's just lost data, lost their video feed, or at least had their time wasted?

    Half the irritation winds up stemming from the stupid wacky message itself. If I order a pizza and the delivery guy drops it on the floor as he's walking to my door, seeing them look me in the eye and say "Oh noes! I just goofed up, shucks!" isn't exactly going to soothe my frustration yet dailymotion thinks that's exactly what you want to hear when your video feed goes kaput.

    I'd like to hear a reasoned defence of this awful crap, but I'd like even more to hear the entire forum agree with me. Just don't be complaining about having to hear a man complain because, y'know, the title was a bit of a give away.

    Next up: 'Enjoy is not an instruction and certainly doesn't deserve its own step'

    -RiC
     
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  2. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Oct 26, 2016
    This is woefully petty. Regardless of what the error message says I'm still irritated that it failed. I'm not going to get more angry because the message is some variation of "I fucked up lad."
     
  3. Ratty Sr.

    Ratty Sr. Formerly known as Ratty Moderator Orderite

    Apr 23, 2003
    I agree, especially on Chrome error messages. Having a page crash on me isn't "cute" and seeing a fucking pixelated emoji doesn't make me feel any less annoyed. What would make me feel less annoyed are instructions on how to fix the damn problem. Incidentally, Google is really bad at giving those. More often than not you're forced to rely on solutions posted by resourceful users.

    You may disagree with this, but I greatly prefer error dialogs and (in more recent times) notifications you get in Windows. Yes, I like to send those error reports, and so should you. Not only because sending an error report is more empowering than googling around for a solution, but because the company actually takes those error reports seriously. Yes, chances are an actual, living Microsoft employee will read your error report. You may even get a direct, personalized response advising you on how to fix your problem. It may not sound like much, but it beats the hell out of developer jokes and sad emojis.

    That said, guru meditation is still the apex of error messages and nothing else will ever come close: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Meditation#/media/File:Guru_meditation.gif.
     
  4. SilentRiC

    SilentRiC First time out of the vault

    May 19, 2013
    I think "petty" is irrelevant when we're talking about an automatic reaction in response to a deliberate decision on the programmer's part. Considering it feels to me like a slap in the face, the feeling of a slap in the face isn't petty even if in your subjective experience it doesn't feel like that. I don't decide to feel irritated after all.

    Have you ever been streaming something live (it could even be through traditional TV) and had the feed go out at a crucial moment? I just can't see how most people would be amused if the software then made fun of its own failure to work properly. It's like somebody cracking a joke when you're in pain - sure the pain itself is the main problem but at that moment the last thing you want is somebody taking the piss.

    Computer programmers tend to have really unfunny senses of humour in my experience anyway (sorry Ratty if you're one of them!) but inserting comedy would fit a lot better upon a successful installation or update than when you've caused a problem and inconvenienced the user.

    Now if you want "petty" then stay tuned for my "Enjoy is not an instruction" rant.