I've been reminded once again why I despise Microsoft's views on how to create software. Basically put, they like to make things pretty and simple to accommodate the average Joe who's never heard of "kernels", "proxies" or "security".
Tonight my Windows Live Messenger client has been playing up horrendously (and it's not the first time, either). In fact, for the last few days I've been getting error messages progressively more frequently, but tonight it's reached the point where I literally cannot send any messages without being accosted with "this message could not be delivered to all recipients".
The message could not be delivered to all recipients?
How deliciously vague that is. Why couldn't it be delivered? Was there a TCP fault? Did the message get lost in the network somewhere? Did it bounce from the client with an error? Was it filtered by MSN's central server for some arcane reason?
None of this potentially useful debugging information is made available and as such, like with many Messenger problems, the mystery goes unsolved even when it occurs to thousands of people.
See, Microsoft wouldn't want Joe to know that a proxy had failed to re-transmit the message. Joe wouldn't care. But I'm sure when Joe calls his geeky friend Bert over to fix his Messenger client and Bert has no clue what's going on either, Joe will care. Joe will care a lot.
Especially in the week that interim project reports are due.