The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog


Microsoft programmer Raymond Chen's blog often sails right over my head, but I read it anyway. He's fairly senior at Microsoft, and he's written a good bit of the Windows operating systems. Plural. So I learn from him.

This story, however, should have wider publication than just us industry geeks:

During the development of the product he was working on, the programmers needed an image for a comparatively rarely-used piece of the user interface. Since programmers aren't graphic designers, they inserted a placeholder bitmap which would be used until a real image arrived. And since programmers are nerds, they used a picture of a television character who was popular at the time.

The testers naturally ran the program through its paces, and when that piece of the user interface appeared with the placeholder bitmap, the testers smiled a little.

Time passed, and people became quite accustomed to seeing that television character's face appear when they exercised that little corner of the program. An oddly appropriate face to alert you of an unusual condition.

And then the project reached its completion, and the master CD was sent off to the factory for mass duplication.

You can see where this is going. Think: lawyers. And read the rest.

Comments are closed