Visual Studio in a Zombie State!

Never let a programmer write error messages. In our own software, we have one error message written by a former employee which reads, "Problem shutting down server! A cold blooded murder will now be performed." This, of course, indicates that the server is terminating the background thread.

I'm tragically amused when I see such error messages in software. Take, for example, Visual Studio. Open a project that is under source control. Make sure you have an older version of the project file than the tip. Now go into the project properties dialog and make a change. Visual Studio will check out the project file for you to edit, and in the process it will get the tip (a serious problem that I will blog about later). At this point, when you press OK or Apply, the following message will appear:

"Cannot access data for the desired configuration since it is in a zombie state."

Being a programmer, I think I can understand why my configuration might be in a "zombie state". I can also figure out that all I have to do is cancel the dialog and try again. This time, the project file will be checked out before I begin.

But while this error message may speak to the programmer who wrote it, it does not mean much to me.

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