austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

We're gonna open the book and read every word we can see

It's not paranoia when they tell you outright that they're talking about you behind your back, right?

Here's the setup. My project at work is done enough that most of my days are occupied with the many ways a little XSL and CSS can produce untraceable and impossibly complicated bugs that make the appearance intolerably awful. So, my boss has started sharing the site with the people who really want what I've been making and haven't had the chance to convince their bosses to pay for it just yet. And he's been passing on to me feedback, although it is often something like ``there's ambiguities in the marker presentation'', to which I e-mail back, ``I have no idea what this means'', which he never answers.

But he recently let slip that he's got a little Facebook community of these early experimental users where they can drop a quick note when they find things and chat with him about it. I don't have the snide disdain for Facebook that a guy who still uses nn and emacs for Usenet for crying out loud might be expected to have; what I mostly wanted to know is, what's the page so I can read the feedback? I don't figure to get an account, but if that's the best way to find out what real actual users expect or find baffling, well, that's responsibility for you.

Only he won't share. It's somehow a little private section of his Facebook page and don't worry, he'll pass back anything they find that needs fixing. Ah. Fortunately, as best I can tell, all they want is more data in the system, which is easy to do and doesn't require new programming, just adding database files to one server and lines of Javascript identifying them to another page. All I'm left with are his e-mails at random moments of the night which he admits in he day he can't understand. It's made Outlook Express the most absurdist part of my day.

Trivia: Following the British evacuation of Philadelphia in 1778 the city estimated property damages and theft during the nine-month occupation to amount to £187,000. Source: Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris --- The Rake Who Wrote The Constitution, Richard Brookhiser.

Currently Reading: Weird Tales, Editor Marvin Kaye.

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