Software (a rant) - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars
The Pub For General Discussion

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-07-02, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
Veteran Ford Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Searching for a new home
Posts: 3,657
Thumbs down Software (a rant)

Stepping onto Soapbox:

I know this is a car forum but all of the contributors here are also computer users so it's an appropriate place (amongst others) to have this little rant.

I posted a joke a little earlier today that laughingly referred to Software pre-release testing and it got me to thinking about just how bad it really is.
I've just been through a lengthy experience with another software vendor who, despite being the market leader in the CD burning market, do not have any Australian tech support. The closest support centre that spoke English was the US and this meant a number of 1.00 a.m phone calls at International rates.
All of that would be bad enough but a search through their knowledge base and the user forums revelaed that the problem I was having was common but still unresolved.

Now I understand the commercial pressures to release software in a competitive market and I am equally aware that the sheer number of possible hardware / software combinations that could be experienced make 100% testing impossible.However this industry needs to get it's collective act together and quickly. As consumers we have put up with fixing bugs ourselves for far too long.

Let's take our friends at Microsoft as a good example. Within 3 months of release there were two major software patches for Office 2000 that represented about 28% of the original code. If we put that into context we are saying that you could buy a new car and then at your own time and expense replace 28% of it under warranty. The manufacturer wouldn't tell you about it (you'd have to find out for yourself) and then you'd have to collect it from somewhere and install it in your own time. Would you accept this? I very much doubt it.
It has been argued that there is a significant difference in the price of software and motor cars when this analogy has been used but the same would apply with a $60 toaster or any other small appliance you bought.

The only thing that seems to have happened in the last few years is that software producers have been closing call centres and relying more and more on user based support groups and knowledge bases for self-help - which only allows them to further abdicate their responsibilities.

I don't have solutions for this one except to suggest the following -

1. As with any other consumer product we should be concerned with warranty and after sales service when making purchasing decisions (i.e do they have Australian based tech support).

2. Use the consumer laws we already have in this country to demand refunds or other remedies for non performing products.

3. Use the most powerful tool we have - public opinion. If you find a bit of ratty software don't just accept it - make as much noise as you can everywhere you can.

4. Send letters and e-mails to the senior management of the companies involved - both the local distributor and the producer.

As someone who has probably spent 8 months in total listening to hold music and searching knowledge bases to find solutions my own future course is simple. If it doesn't work - it's going back.

Steps off soap box.
russellw is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-07-02, 11:51 PM
CEO - The BSR Group
Mr Sparkle's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The sound of 1 cylinder bank´┐
Posts: 4,400
(The below relating to more custom development rather than off-the-shelf packages)

There are a few organisations trying to get development houses to sign with them and receive their "stamp of approval". They are basically trying to introduce some form of standards into the software development industry. The law and software development is sketchy at best, in terms of liability and support. From what I have experienced, the government leaves everything up to the client and the software house, having to create their own legal agreements.

As for these new standards proposals, I can't see them taking off in a hurry, as the industry moves more towards outsourcing overseas (read - India), and as project timeframes get increasingly more ridiculous and unrealistic.

You are dead right though, there is a real lack of quality coding around at the moment, and it is really starting to show. The IT "bust" on the Nasdaq hasn't helped this either.

Now powered by PCOTY WINNING SR20DET - 32% engine weight, 37% capacity, 50% cylinder count
Clicky clicky here for previous ride! I still miss her!
Mr Sparkle is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Fordforums Community > The Pub

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ug ... filtering software :( bhr The Pub 5 05-11-03 01:11 AM
Begin rant madEAs The Pub 11 05-16-02 10:22 AM
Computer Software russellw The Pub 2 04-07-02 09:16 PM
Early AM Rant XR5TopazBri The Pub 0 07-20-01 05:17 AM
Early AM Rant XR5TopazBri Ford Tempo Forum | Mercury Topaz Forum 0 07-20-01 05:12 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome