This is the first error in my collection! I’m not sure why it inspired me. It is a pretty typical error message.
This specimen is of the pop-up error message variety, when you click something and get it instead of what you want. In this case I was trying to start a terminal program in the K Desktop Environment (KDE 2) on a Silicon Graphics machine. The title bar of the pop-up box says “Sorry – KDE Panel”. I like an apologetic message that doesn’t make you feel like it’s all your fault, even though you are probably screwed regardless.
The real test of an error message, though, is whether it gives you any clue how to repair the situation. I have no idea what DCOP is, but I checked all the running programs and found that there is indeed something called
kdeinit: dcopserver running. So it’s running, but it cannot be used to reach ‘KLauncher’. I also found a program called
klauncher, but running it did nothing. Here my instinct was to restart KDE entirely, but I had a kind of important job running and didn’t want to risk interrupting it, so I just used another terminal.
How many times we do just give up in the face of an error, and find another way to do it? Often. There just isn’t time to figure out what’s really going on. Sometime I look to Google for help, and usually find many others who share my plight and few answers. Or, if I continue to dig, I get more information than I can digest, and again wave the white flag.
Sometime I find a solution. Maybe this collection will give me an idea how often.