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Application Trololo: "Do you want to GPF?"

Posted on 2013-02-05
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Last Modified: 2013-03-08
This is really just one to satisfy my curiosity. I'm looking at software written in the Year Dot using a product called Clarion.

As software is wont to do, it has the occasional bugs. One in particular tickles my funny bone every time it happens. It states something or other has gone wrong and then it asks the immortal question:

"Do you want to GPF?"

I find this hilarious. It's not like it's all hunky dory if I decide to pick "No" as an answer. The application, may it rest in peace, crashes and burns either way.

But still, I can't help but wonder. At some stage somebody, somewhere, must have thought that giving the user the option to GPF or not was a good idea. And I am curious as to what rationale may be behind this. Under what circumstance could giving the choice to GPF or not EVER be one that could be worth making? Enquiring minds need to know.

Extra points for answers in rhyme.
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Question by:WernerVonBraun
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TommySzalapski earned 800 total points
ID: 38855278
Here is my guess. Many applications will warn when something is going wrong and ask if you want to just give up or try to continue
"Do you want to continue running scripts on this page?"
"Try again or cancel?"
"Abort, Retry, Fail"

If you select cancel or Abort or some such thing, it sends some kind of signal to the application to tell it to close. In your case, they use the GPF signal to communicate this to the OS so it can close "gracefully" without corrupting your disk (or whatever). If you hit 'No,' it tries to continue even though it is likely to fail (and possibly cause danger to other processes/files).

They should have picked a different error message like "The application is doing something very wrong, you wanna keep trying and see what happens or cut your losses and give up now?", but software engineers often forget that normal people have to read error messages. If the error doesn't show up in testing, no one changes the text on it because no one else sees it.
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by:WernerVonBraun
ID: 38855344
I dare say it's one that dates back to some time last century when showing obtuse error messages to a customer had not quite become the faux pas that it is today, alright. :-)

But as a developer it brings a smile to my face every time it pops up. "Ohhhhhhh", I say, while stroking my beard pensively. "To GPF or NOT to GPF, that is the question. Whatever shall I do?"

[grin]
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by:WernerVonBraun
ID: 38855358
Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by clicking "Yes" end them. To GPF, to crash, no more!
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by:WernerVonBraun
ID: 38855390
And by GPF to say we end the Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks that Clarion is heir to? 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To GPF to sleep, to sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there's the rub, for in that sleep of GPF, what dreams may come, when we have shuffled out of memory, may give us pause ....
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