August 5, 2003
@ 12:58 AM
Phil writes
It's fun to blow of steam by slamming whatever has recently annoyed you, but even Microsoft is actually made up of real human beings, mostly doing the best they can while stuck between a rock, a hard place, and a manager or two with very different goals than yours. While it feels like "IE sucks goats, and nobody should ever use it" is more likely to get noticed than "the IE CSS bug that messes up scrolling makes it really hard to do CSS layout", the fact is that the first will just get you ignored by anyone who can actually do anything about it, while the second, turning up in someone's Feedster search for "IE CSS bug", has a chance (however small) of being heard
I agree with Phil that with the advent of blogs and news aggregators it is fairly easy for those of us at B0rg Central (or any other software developer) to find online rants about our tecnologies we'd have otherwise missed because the poster didn't post to one of our newsgroups. Phil is also right that it easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar.

Case in point, Robert McLaws posted some problems he had with XmlTextWriter and StringWriter which was answered by the PM responsible for the XML writer classes. Another example, Dave Burke has problems with regular expressions and gets a response from Kit George the PM responsible for a large number of the Base Class Libraries in the .NET Framework.

On the opposite side of the fence are posts like Scott Bellware's tirade against MSDN that contained the following gem
In a recent botched suicide attempt, the entire MSDN Library staff blew off the left half of their collective brain with a small caliber squirrel hunting rifle. Although the MSDN Library staff is still marginally functional, and the incessant drool does not seem to be causing any interference with their computing gear, the disintegration of any capacity for composing a reasonable knowledge taxonomy has begun to wilt the usability of the once grand library.

Examples of this are evident in the burying of topics such as the Application Blocks for .NET under the "Building Distributed Applications with .NET" Node. A more spurious classification would be hard to fathom. It is, however, an interesting study on the functioning of a human brain without the capacity for classification and categorization
This post was made on .NET Weblogs (now Weblogs @ ASP.NET) which is home to the blogs of a number of MSDN folks like Matt, Shawn and Duncan which probably means they read the main page of the site regularly and saw Scott's rant. I also happened to forward the rant to MSDN's head honcho when I saw it. I remember that Sara was taken aback by the amount of bile in Scott's post and I felt the same way. My thoughts were similar to those expressed by Phil Ringnalda in his blog post, "It's fun to blow of steam by slamming whatever has recently annoyed you, but even Microsoft is actually made up of real human beings, mostly doing the best they can". People can only take so much negative feedback before they shut down and stop listening. If you want to help change how things are provide constructive criticism not destructive flames.

PET PEEVE: I hate when white guys walk up to me when I'm in a techno club and assume that because I'm [one of] the only black guy[s] there I'm there to sell drugs. If one more idiot walks up to me when I'm dancing and asks me if I know where to score some coke, somebody's gonna be smacked upside the head.

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Disclaimer: The above comments do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. They are solely my opinion.