If a tree is transparent about falling in the woods but no one other than Christina Pickles hears it, will it make a sound if it bops you on the head?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/12/18 10:16 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/12/18/6775338.aspx

Apologies for the mixed metaphors in the title. It seemed much more clever and catchy in my head but I couldn't seem to recapture the words!

A while back on Friends (the episode The One Where Ross Got High) the following exchange took place:

Ross: Mom, Dad, remember that time you walked in my room and smelled marijuana?
Mr. & Mrs. Geller: Yes. {both glare at Chandler}
Ross: Well I told you it was Chandler who was smoking the pot, but it was me. I'm sorry.
Mrs. Geller: It was you?
Monica: And dad, you know that mail-man you got fired? He didn't steal your Playboys, Ross did.
Ross: Yeah, well, hurricane Gloria didn't break the porch swing, Monica did!
Monica: Ross hasn't worked at the museum for a year!
Ross: Monica and Chandler are living together!
Monica: Ross married Rachel in Vegas and got divorced... again!
Phoebe: I love Jacques Cousteau!
Rachel: I wasn't supposed to put beef in a trifle.
Joey: I wanna go!
Mrs. Geller: That's a lot of information to get in thirty seconds.
                  All right.
                  Joey, if you wanna leave, just leave.
                  Rachel, no, you weren't supposed to put peas in the trifle. It did not taste good.
                  Phoebe, I'm sorry, but I think Jacques Cousteau is dead.
                  Monica, why you felt you had to hide the fact that you had an important relationship is beyond me.

Mr. Geller: And we kinda figured about the porch swing.
Mrs. Geller: Ross. Drugs. Divorced... again.

You can also watch on YouTube here

I recall when I first saw that episode thinking it was so hilarious that despite the fact that it was indeed a lot of information to get in a short time, that Judy Gellar had processed it all.

She held up quite well, all things considered!

Now I wonder how many Judy Gellars are out there developing software?

Shawn posted the other day in zh-Hans, zh-Hant and the "old" zh-CHS, zh-CHT about the change in the .NET Framework (post 2.0, updated in a security patch) with the name change of these cultures.

If you look at the post it goes through a lot of the convoluted issues inherent in the solution here:

When the change first appeared (in Vista), there were tons of problems internally as localization efforts, resource tagging, and resource loading seemed entirely broken around these various cultures every time I looked at mail. This change really caused a ton of problems inside of Microsoft.

Very few Judy Gellars in that crowd.

And they also caused problems for customers here (search for the old names in Google you'll find a ton of hits, many of them bugs).

A real dearth of Judy Gellars out there too.

Now much of the problems that happened internally and externally related to the mixed version issues that I'm sure you can imagine when dealing with all of the 1.1, 2.0 pre-change, 2.0+ post change, and Vista, often needing to deal with the results on two different platforms not being the same.

With that last point of course being the most painful -- since it would mean everyone would have to go through this same problem again some day.

Add to it the not-entirely-a-change-of-topic post the next day, Cantonese and Manderin [sic] language tagging, which hints at future additional upcoming changes and issues with new tags to distinguish Cantonese from Mandarin, and the mixed story expected in the future. Note especially:

Applications and systems may also need to change to provide "cmn" resources if "zh" was asked for, or vice versa.

If this sounds to you like the the kind of problem between zh-Hant and zh-CHT not being able to both reference each other, you are not alone. The only way that one problem could be solved is if the other one could have been. Though I guess there is the hint there about "applications" so perhaps we are leaving the problem on their doorstep for the upcoming problems too?

We've come a long way since the days when I'd fix a bug in Windows source code and notice an unrelated comment about a hack that was in place for compatibility with some application running on Windows 95 expecting different results than NT that we were still working around. I'd be shocked that we were bothering, but somehow warmed that we were trying that hard to not break people.

We do have more transparency now (with Shawn being really frank about what "we" would like to see happen eventually), but it isn't like people are going to be engineering their applications to take this future planned break into account.

But on the whole I think that if I had to choose between transparency about future plans for breaks and secrecy without breaking stuff, I might well opt for the latter.

Because not everyone is Judy Gellar (more to the point not everyone has the writers behind them that Christina Pickles had!).

And not everyone reads blogs -- Shawn's or mine.

And not everyone recompiles every application to deal with newer versions of underlying platform pieces that eagerly change to follow new standards.

And most importantly, not everyone is going to see that tree if/when it falls on them....


This post brought to you by 𐂷 (U+100b7, aka LINEAR B IDEOGRAM B176 TREE)

# Ian on 18 Dec 2007 3:35 PM:

"Peas"?, sounds like "Beef" to me

# Michael S. Kaplan on 18 Dec 2007 3:55 PM:

Whups! Good point. Fixed now...

# Max on 18 Dec 2007 4:52 PM:

Isn't it "bad bad" to post a link (a live link) to a copyrighted work? (a piece of)?

# Michael S. Kaplan on 18 Dec 2007 5:11 PM:

Since Youtube includes info ON THEIR PAGE for how to embed, I tend to think its okay? If not, they remove the video anyway....

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2007/12/19 NO doesn't mean maybe, and it certainly doesn't means NB!

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