Wednesday, November 14, 2012

No trains today? No resources were found either.

Belgian's National Railway has decided to strike again today to assail Europe's oncoming austerity. I don't think there is anything wrong with sticking it to the man, or fighting for your right to party, if you believe it is just, yet the preferred tactics don't feel quite right. There must be more constructive ways to get your point across, instead of terribly inconveniencing all those people who give you a job in the first place, your customers. Any takers on proposing better alternatives?

With an average of 7 days of striking per year, it's self-evident that bashing our railway company has become a national sport. I hardly ever participate, but today I'm happy to make an exception. I have something tangible to show; a mini The Daily WTF. This weekend my girlfriend called me over to her desk to show me this.

Taking it out on their IT department might not be completely fair, but I couldn't resist. How do you succeed in putting your home page in production like that? It wasn't even fixed for quite some time. You can see by looking at the url and the source that they're using ASP.NET WebForms, but they must be rolling their own technique for localization. I can't imagine this passing through  acceptance without someone noticing, so it has to be a deployment issue. Was the production build only partially successful? Did those unfortunate few having to come in on weekends for deployment forget to carry out a manual procedure? Did someone bork the production configuration? Why did it take so long to rectify this? Was the gap between the teams responsible for development and deployment too wide? Was there no monitoring for these 'NOT_FOUND' errors? Are they even being treated as such? Did anyone even bother to smoke test after deployment?

Is there anyone else who wants to take a stab at guessing what went wrong here? 


  1. Maybe they pay a guy to do the localization, live, by hand, and that guy decided to go on strike. :D

    1. Or he was busy localizing another page at the time ;)