Sometimes I browse books on Amazon dot com that I want to purchase in the future. Since I am an old school kind of guy, I like to print out the book information so I can look at them on paper later. However I have found that Amazon has problems printing the book detail web pages. I usually get a blank sheet when I try to print an Amazon web page. Sometimes I get a single sheet which is part of an advertisement. I seldom am able to print out the book information. So I resort to copying the web page to a Microsoft Word document. Then I print the Word document to get the information.
Now since Amazon is such a big company, I am sure they know about this problem. Perhaps this is some sort of scheme to force me to buy the book right away. Or maybe they do not want me to print the info and go to a local bricks and mortar book store. Whatever the reason, I suspect this phenomenon does not adversely impact their sales. It might even increase sales. But I just do not like it. I guess I could report the problem to Amazon. But if this printing problem is done by design, I might try to find a way to penalize Amazon. I could take my business elsewhere. Lucky for Amazon, the rest of the service from them is pretty good.
I want to take these bad experiences to heart. The software I work on should never behave like this. If you press print, I would want my software to accurately print what the user sees or expects. Now my project’s software suite is client server. So it may be easier to guarantee success. But that is not to say that we will not migrate to the web sometime in the future. At that point I will want to ensure my users printing experiences are good. It is best to be a customer first so you can feel the pain from problems. That makes you a motivated maintenance developer.
So far I can remember some problems when our customer does printing. Mostly they revolve around performance issues. Sometimes printouts do not show up and take a day to reset before the users can try to print again. I think it may be time to roll up my sleeve and get to work on our own printing problems. I do not want to be the kettle calling Amazon dot com black. To do so would be hypocrisy.
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