Today has been a pretty thoroughly crappy day. The boys are both sick, [livejournal.com profile] damashita and i are both dealing with being depressed and stressed.

On the positive side, i've gotten through two or three boxes of stuff and condensed them into one; and [livejournal.com profile] damashita's been kicking ass in getting stuff pared down.
So, Internet Explorer 7 is an official release product now, and one of the key 'selling features' is tabbed browsing.

Tabs are nothing revolutionary. Opera's had them since version 3 or 4, Firefox has them, and so on.

But IE 7 introduces a particularly amusing new twist on tabbed browsing which pretty much invalidates the purpose for having them. If you right-click on a link in a web page, there's no context item which enables the user to Open in New Tab, just Open (which will replace the page being viewed with the new one) and Open in New Window (which opens an entirely new instance of IE). I can't find any place to change this behaviour, either.

They've also changed the UI so that the address bar is just below the window title bar, and above the menu bar, assuming you turn the latter on- by default it's off. The icons on it are fixed and oriented differently than they have been in the past- and there are no options to change/rearrange/add other ones. Really bad when you're accustomed to having Home, Reload, Stop and the like near the forward and back controls. It's also not skinnable, although every other full GUI browser on the market which is endeavouring to have market share does allow user customization.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. If you're not going to give users the option to customize the UI to suit their preferences, it seems unwise to radically change where things have been in previous versions. I know personally I'm hitting F5 a lot more to 'refresh' pages because i'm not accustomed to where the new reload button is (and it took the better part of an hour to determine that it still existed at all). Who signed off on this idiotic design concept, anyway?

And before anyone asks, it's a work machine, and having one of the two using the updated version will probably come in handy. There's no way in Hell, Hades, Gehenna or Southwest Florida I'd put it on a personal machine which I wanted to continue using.
ravencallscrows: (snowleopard)
A most joyous of natal anniversaries to [livejournal.com profile] ithilien. :-)

Today ended up being a nine and a half hour workday because someone made me a mandatory attendee at a meeting from 4-5:30. Since I don't take lunch out and generally get in at 8ish in the morning, i leave around 4, which makes it possible to miss much of the traffic on the way home. Leaving at 5:30 pretty much ensures i hit the point where even the express lanes are at a near-standstill.

Even worse, it was a stupid-ass meeting. If director-level personnel are going to make policy decisions, they owe it to all the people who report to them and with whom they work that they know what the fuck they're talking about. By request, i brought a Visio diagramme which i spent nearly three hours of my day working on, mapping out the path reported incidents take from the point they're brought to light until they're fixed. So, of course, they decided to ignore the first two of the four columns of the workflow chart, and most of the fourth just to focus on the triage aspect. They can't decide whether we need to have triage meetings twice a week or only once. Course, they didn't have a clue how many issues get routed through the system in a month in the first place. For the record, for the month of August, there were seven issues routed to our triage queue, four of which were five minute fixes i did myself (which required fixing bad data, but no code modifications), one of which will be deferred indefinitely, and two of which are extensions of existing functionality.

We've been handling these for the last year in pretty much an ad hoc manner- for the most part, there aren't enough to require a formal process. The general structure of the department is built around two Microsoft frameworks- MOF, the Microsoft Operations Framework; and MSF, the Microsoft Solutions Framework; with the Agile methodology loosely applied on the MSF side. My position boils down to the intersection between the two, so I have to know both. My existing process for delivering user-requested changes can very easily be stated in MOF/MSF terms, and the 'Agile Manifesto' elements apply as well- it's about as streamlined as it can be considering i can't fix any code problems.

To make a long story shorter than it could be (since it's already starting to grow), the fixing stuff efficiently part of what i do is now technically separate from the triage process. It's still something i have to do/get to do, but apparently it's important to them to reclassify it as tertiary technical support. Intriguingly, i'm now supposed to both consult the development teams before touching anything within their demesnes, but also not supposed to interrupt developers during their work weeks. Exactly how the fuck i'm supposed to manage to do both simultaneously baffles me. What it'll boil down to is that i'm going to continue to do the same damn things i'm doing now, but once a week we'll all sit down and the business analysts on the two main development teams will tell me that they'll prioritize any new requests for change in their weekly planning meetings in a formalized, post hoc ergo propter hoc meeting rather than in an as-needed basis.

Stupid waste of my time. Style over substance is pointless, especially when there's damn little substance to begin with in what the development teams accomplish with regard to fixing user-reported incidents. Sometimes i wonder why i care still.

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Vanya Y Tucherov

December 2016

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