That strange and rather disconcerting title is a reference to an old Monty Python sketch. A policeman is interviewing the head of a chocolates company that makes rather… unconventional… treats. The executive describes one of their chocolates and happens to mention that it includes lark’s vomit.
Policeman: Lark’s vomit??!?
Policeman: Well, it don’t say nothing about that here.
Executive: Oh, yes it does. On the bottom of the box, after monosodium glutamate.
Policeman (looking): Well I hardly think this is good enough. I think it would be more appropriate if the box bore a large red label: “WARNING! LARK’S VOMIT!”
Executive (genuinely puzzled): ?? Our sales would plummet!
I was put in mind of the sketch after coping with a couple of webinar technologies this week that each required a different version of the Adobe Flash Player in order to work correctly.
One of the programs crashed every time I tried using a particular function. Tech support told me to delete the current version of Flash that was installed on my computer (10.1.85) and install an older version (10.0.45). Sure enough, that fixed the problem and I was able to continue.
Then I had a webinar with another provider. Midway through the public presentation, I tried to show a video clip. Even though I had tested this ahead of time, both my primary and backup computers suffered a fatal crash of the browser, kicking me out of the webinar completely. Fortunately, my triple-level backup planning let me continue by referring to my hardcopy slide printouts while the moderator advanced the slides for the audience. Afterwards I was told that the software required the latest 10.1 version of Flash.
In both cases, I was unable to find documentation or warnings from my providers that a specific version of Flash was required. More to the point, if the vendor is aware that their software requires a specific version of Flash, why don’t they build a check into the program startup? Adobe has programming interfaces to detect the user’s version… Use them!
Don’t tell me the version requirement is tucked away in some knowledge base answer on the tech support site. I want a “large red label on the box” so that I can avoid crashes and lack of functionality in the first place. Vendors… Get on the ball.