Error Errors

Error message:Bad Opaque
Error Message 1

I got this error message box again. Can anyone tell me what it means?

I actually sort of know what it means, where it originates, and why. But it is a good example of bad programming practice and poor program development management that an end user sees a message like this.

What is wrong with the message? “Bad Opaque”. Yep. This message is worse than opaque, it is a black hole that sucks energy into oblivion. “Bad Juju” (not to be confused with juju) would be just as appropriate and more comprehensible. Where did this message come from? The title on the box provides a clue “Failed to enter room”. I was in a “virtual room” a while ago but the meeting is over and I have closed all of the visible windows. The message box is “on top” and will will not release focus. So, even though it is NOT OK, I click OK because that is the only thing to do.
Some time later, I discover an all-gray window with a title “Failed to connect”. Yep. The programmer clearly failed to connect the “Bad Opaque” message with the application. At least I guess they should be connected as the 3 windows appear to occur around the same time among the 10-12 windows I typically have open on my desktop with no indication on the task bar or system tray.
So my interpretation of this, which may or may not be accurate, is that the meeting I was in has ended, the window-less program that makes the connection tried to re-enter the now closed virtual room. Failing that in an unexpected way pops the “Bad Opaque”.
Somehow the connector or the room-enterer did not get the message that the session was over.  A bit more transparency and better error messages would be helpful.

Some Microsoft products have gotten better about making it clear what the error is and what the consequences of “Cancel”, “End”, “OK”, etc are. But not everybody there has gotten the memo yet, or if they have they have not read it and taken it to heart.

Picture of: Uncorrectable Error has occured UpdateHandel:handle not allocated Press Enter to Abort
I like this one too.  It certainly gets your atten- tion.  I comp- lained about it to the system administrator for several years.  I am sure that it is no longer an issue because that account moved to Google Mail eliminating the application that was uncorrectable.  At least this message is clear about what it means and where it comes from.  The problem with this one is that while I may not be able to correct the error, the programmer who failed to anticipate the condition but was able to provide an error message could correct the code to make sure that the LookupHandle was allocated or perhaps provide a suggested corrective action to the user.  At the very least, the programmer could suggest the external cause, if that were the case, so that external corrective action could be taken, preferably before but in any case after “Abort”-ing the application.

But my all-time favorite is this one.

Windows message box Cannot quit Microsoft Office
Yes you can!

Typical of Microsoft’s lack of quality control, due to some unexplained condition, you fall into a routine where the debugging software has been left engaged. The good news is that you can use Open Office on Linux to eliminate this message, Microsoft Office, AND best-of-all eliminate Windows.

Leave a Reply