Friday, December 13, 2013

Why bother to have specifications ...

Ugh ... a very annoying e-mail thread from earlier this week.  For the record, I'm not attacking the other fellow on the other end of this thread.  They're just doing their job too.

Company: We noticed in your open-source software that you output X incorrectly.  Please look at this other open-source software Y to see how it should be output.

Me: Please look at standard Z.  According to standard Z, I'm doing things correctly.  Here's the code snippets to show it.

Company: Hmm, you're right.  I guess a number of vendors are not properly sending the data in the right format.  Unfortunately, we can't get all those vendors to change the format.

Me: Well, how about I add a workaround option on the command line.  Those who are knowledgeable of this subject matter can specify it if they want to.

Company: We tried out your workaround option and it's almost correct.  A few bytes were flipped in the output.

Me: Huh, that's strange.  The first few fields are sent little-endian, but the latter few fields are sent big-endian.  This is really weird.

Company: For legacy reasons, it appears large company A has been doing this, so I guess vendors have followed suit.

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