It is broke and we won’t fix it.

Noticed the following?
“What you need to do is uninstall the program, reinstall it and then the program will work”
or
“Uninstall it, remove every single trace from your machine, reboot, reinstall”
or
“Use a greasemonkey script”
And ALL the above apply to some programs when their coders / devotees / screaming fanboys are asked things like “Why does it keep crashing” or “I can’t uninstall a faulty extension”. The top 2 to Firefox and Thunderbird commonly. And some people whinge at rebooting Windows.

The top two above are assuming some sort of installation error aren’t they? Yet don’t people tend to use installers? The second one actually involves editing the registry! Do they say how to remove all traces? Do they offer suggestions? Do they warn? Do they care?
The top two are laziness. “Hey, I’ve a problem with WordPress. It says ‘Headers already sent’ – what do I do?” That’s easy – tell your host to get a new server, format it properly and then install the OS properly this time. That’s what the top two answers are doing – lumphammer approach. I could understand it if I saw this sort of thing at the end of an exhaustive thread, but a couple of posts? laziness.
And greasemonkey is useful. And abused. Some scripts are there because basic functionality has been left out, or ‘features’ left in.

Thing is, if you are telling someone to remove/uninstall then they should also be told about data loss – you cannot assume they will know. “Ah!” they say “their information is actually in %/appdata” – but what if it’s their data that is the problem? Their uninstall/reinstall will be for nought. And didn’t people used to castigate the likes of Microsoft for using ‘hidden’ data folders when now we have Open Source programs doing precisely the same? (And as I blogged before, Ubuntu is equally guilty).

When you have your data fully backed up it’s very very easy to say “Nuke it all and start over”. If you have that attitude then the only reason you hang around in forums and newsgroups is to boost your ego without giving a damn about the person on the other end. People like that are almost as annoying as those that say “Search” in a bid to up their post count.

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