This morning I got an email from a client complaining that the XML-RPC interface we provided in our system is not working for him, as he is trying to write a Java client for it. I briefly looked at the exception dump, and very obviously someone tries to cast an object to something that it is not. So I replied, asking the person to fix up his own problem.

Few hours later the same guy hammered back with another email, claiming that he knows his Java, and the error is definitely inside our server code as it causes Apache's XML-RPC library to spill beans. That person is frustrated, and blamed on our lack of documentation that caused him spending excessive of time working on it. He is not pleased as I did not even look at his source code. Well, I won't deny on the fact that there exists minimal doco, but we did provide him a working PHP example. Maybe I should take a look at his code...

5 seconds later the problem is solved with a one-line change - he is casting an Integer to a String. But it took me another 10 minutes to write out a report with references to Apache's client library doco. That is such a trivial error that anyone who has done COMP1021 would have easily picked it up, and I hardly can imagine how it would stumble a multimedia company's director who has got a computer science degree.

Maybe certain people are just stuck on the wrong job.