It’s another scary day at Lovecraft Software. The chief necromancer was listening to a groveling status report from a bunch of his lesser flunkies describing the architecture of our billing database. As near as I could tell, when some of the more obscure settlement features were ran, the entire thing would freeze up. This had been managed by the creation of a sanity-stealing demon horde emitting from the computer terminal if anyone happened to check to see if the batch job was running. The necromancer roared, “How dare you deliberately misarchitect this!” Of course, my problem was that I hadn’t noticed it was happening (I was fortunately always out to lunch when the key process crapped out), but for once the blame was being placed on the people who had made it work wrong in the first place and I was feeling the schadenfreude all the way to the bottom of my shoes.

Comically enough, the NEW way of handling it is that they’ve built in a class three imp that is released with a paralysis dart they use to stab the person sitting in front of the monitor. The freeze still happens, but the user recovers (an hour or two later) and is able to continue making sure that all of the various magical things that accounting departments do can take place. Given their reputation for unresponsiveness, this is considered to be a change that will be invisible to our end users.

The cause of the chief necromancer’s rate was NOT the deliberate misarchitecture: it’s that, when the accounting departments of our clients slowly went, one by one, batshit mental, we weren’t getting our money from them. Now, well, our software won’t work any better, but we’ll still get paid.

And I think at times that we’re not making any progress at improving our software.