If you don’t hear from me after today…

…it’s because I’ve had to commit Seppuku to appease our Japanese customers.

A few days ago, based on a code review (which I unfortunately did on our 5.0 code base instead of the 3.6 code that they are using) and an examination of the customer logs, I confidently said that this mysterious changing value that they are seeing is due to one of them mucking around with changing values in Webmin. I found at least one case where that had happened, and like House my default assumption is that the user is always lying, because that’s usually the case. My confidence was reported up the line by my boss, and from him to the Japanese support people, and from them to the customer.

So yesterday I was taking another look at the logs, and I found that as well as the case where they had messed around with the values themselves, I found another case where the values had changed “spontaneously”. Oh oh. And then I remembered the cache of these values I’d put in in 3.1, and how hard it had been to get everybody who used the cache to understand that if they used the cache they had to listen for a particular message, and when they got that message they had to call a method to flush and reload the cache, and how some of the other developers don’t seem to get the concept of Singletons and how something they call in one thread can affect something that happens after that thread is dead and another one spawned off, and because of that in 4.0 I’d gotten rid of the cache entirely.

After apologizing, I’m going to have some backporting to do.

Why is it that when called on to apologize to the touchy Japanese customers I feel this Basil Fawlty voice in the back of my mind saying “Don’t mention the war” over and over again? I have trouble reconciling the delicate sensibilities of the Japanese and with the brutal butchers who bayonetted Canadian nurses in Hong Kong at Christmas 1941 or who casually beheaded surrendered prisoners being force marched in Bataan. I guess that’s not very culturally sensitive of me.

One thought on “If you don’t hear from me after today…”

  1. It’s not about cultural sensitivity – it’s about acknowledging that the Japanese customers you have to deal with are NOT the butchers you mention – they just happen to have been born within a few hundred miles of them, which is hardly their fault…

    Merry xmas, btw 🙂 (Or “Happy Holidays”, or whatever you’re saying over there these days…)

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