Aristos Queue Posted November 20, 2019 Report Share Posted November 20, 2019 Lately, I've been using a phrase "oh, that's a left-handed scissors feature." I've found it to be a useful concept, so I'm posting it here to the LV community generally. When software engineers create software, we aim to create software that is usable by our customers. To use the colloquialism: the software should delight the user. We sometimes miss. But just because the software isn't designed as the user expects does not mean that it wasn't designed somehow. Often, I find myself fighting my tools (Visual Studio, Perforce, web browser, operating system, etc.) because it just isn't doing what I expect, and I'm constantly working around some issue. I've realized that sometimes, if I stop and think about how the software is designed, I can use the system the way it was intended, not the way I want to use it. I'm still not happy, but I'm working a lot less and hurting less. I've begun referring to such designs as "left-handed scissors". Sure, 90% of humans are right-handed, and, since there's only one pair of scissors, the scissors should have been designed to be right-handed. Or the system should let you configure left-or-right. Something should be different! But it isn't different. So as a user, I have a choice -- to hold the scissors in my right hand and try cutting or to hold the scissors in my left-hand and try cutting. I can fight the system and stress my hands and make the software work, damnit, using my right-hand, or I can use the left-hand. Using my left hand, I'm still having to work harder than I'd like, but at least the edges aren't digging into my fingers. There are features in LabVIEW that are left-handed scissors. We -- LabVIEW R&D -- should have done something different. You know that; we know that (now). But the decision was made, and there hasn't been developer bandwidth to fix it. And it sucks. But it can suck a lot or it can suck a little, depending upon whether or not you acknowledge that it was designed for the wrong hand. Packed project libraries are left-handed scissors. XControls are left-handed scissors. There's others, but those are the two big ones that I most commonly have to help customers with. Both are great features if you use them as intended. But no one wants to use them as intended... we all want to use them in ways that they just don't want to be used. They can do the job that we want them to do, just not in the way we want them to do it. In the case of XControls, you have less pain if you just accept the frustrating event model that they're predicated on. In the case of packed project libraries, you have less pain if you just accept the limitations of their dependency paths and design build specs accordingly. I'm not going into either of those statements in this post... I and others have talked about both in various other forums. My point here is to coin a phrase that I've found useful. And if you hear me talking about left-handed scissors, now you know my intended meaning. 🙂 1 Quote Link to comment
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