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davorg (18)

Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Friday February 11, 2005
06:20 AM

Technical "Support"

[ #23136 ]

I've written before about how sometimes it can be difficult trying to explain how to install an nms program to a user who has little or no previous experience of CGI programs. What is more surprising is the number of times that the users get "interesting" answers from their web hosting company's technical support people before they contact us. Remember that these are people who are supposed to understand the web programming environment.

We got an example today. A user is trying to install formmail and got an error which said "The requested URL [ removed ] was not found on this server". Confused by this she went to web hosts tech support for help.

They suggested that she ran the program from the command line as this would make it easier to determine what the error is.

It's not hard to determine what the error is. The error is that the web server has been asked to serve a file that isn't there. The URL in the form's "action" attribute is wrong. The program isn't even being called. Running the program from the command line isn't going to help track down this problem one little bit.

I despair that people like this are in work whilst more clued up people are looking for a job.

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  • very, very rarely make good telephone support people, most especially perl people. The ones who do get stuck with that job could do with a bit more training but noone ever wants to pay them decently or invest in their training as they'll simply move on more quickly.