Programmers – Who reads your messages?

Posted by bob korbus on 14th December 2009

Shared File Found-RIDICULOUS WARNING MESSAGE 01 Look at the message I got when removing a program from my computer…

So, what the heck am I supposed to do about this?  (continued below)


I’m a software engineer and I don’t know what to do about this.  How is a non-technical person supposed to react to this message?

First of all, the message “You should only keep this if you know another program needs it” is intimidating to the user who has no idea what the file is for and what other program might be using it.  The only person who could reasonably know how to answer this question would be the developer of another installed program that uses the file.  All of the information to make this decision is on the computer, so it’s the computer’s job (and by that I mean the operating system’s job) to make the decision.

The solution to this problem is to have the operating system make this decision, or if the operating systems cannot make the decision, the developer of the program being removed should have written a routine to see if any other program on the computer needs it and make the decision.  One thing’s clear:  a computer user should never be expected to make this decision.

An another note, I’m also shocked that the user is given the opportunity to check a box that says to always use the answer given, since it would seem to me that the choice would not necessarily be the same every time for every file but rather should be decided independently for each occurrence of this situation.


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