Thursday, May 9, 2013

Calling All Geeks - Submit your entries for Error Message Hall of Fame!

 Entry #1: CATIA / SmarTeam "Dead lock" error

Yes, I have finally done it.  I have finally decided to start an Error Hall of Fame (or Shame?).  Have you ever been scratching your head trying to figure out what that incomprehensible error message means?  Ever seen one that simply makes you laugh out loud (literally, not just "lol")?

(Apollo landing computer infamous for Error 1202 that almost aborted the landing mission)

I am soliciting your input - what criteria should we capture?  Do you have any nominees for Best and Worst Error Messages?  Here is what I am thinking about for data to capture:
  • Software and version
  • Title
  • Content
  • Cause
  • Fixes (if known)
  • Helpfulness - on a scale of 0 (total obfuscation) to 10 (totally clear)
  • Narrative or commentary
Here are the Acceptance Criteria for a submission to be inducted:
  1. The error must occur in software.
  2. There must be a recorded component - spoken errors like on a phone system can be recorded as a digital sound file, screen video or screen grabs are best.
  3. You must include all information, especially the software and version.  If it is very esoteric or obscure, perhaps the software manufacturer as well.
  4. If the cause is not known, put Unknown.
  5. If fixes are not known, put Unknown.
  6. E-mail them to

Send me your suggestions - attach screen shots or recordings whenever possible.

Our first entry:
  • Software:  CATIA V5R20 and SmarTeam V5R20
  • Title:   CATIA / SmarTeam "Dead lock" error
  • Content:  SmarTeam Error(4). Dead lock.
  • Cause:  Unknown, thought to occur with frequent Connect and Disconnect from SmarTeam
  • Fixes:  End Process on CNEXT and SMARTEAM, restart apps.
  • Helpfulness:  1
  • Commentary:  Because the term "deadlock" is meaningful in computer science, I don't rate this error as a 0 Helpfulness.  It does help that we know there is a deadlock.  Somewhat.  OK, not really, but it kind of tells us something better than other entries.

No comments:

Post a Comment