The Poetry of Errors

In an application I just launched, customers can enter a list of people (by username) whom they want added to their website.  This is a large box, so we included instructions for its use directly inside: “To add users to your site, select a role above…” The instructions appear in gray and disappear when you click the box to begin typing, just like the word “Google” in Firefox’s standard search box.

Unfortunately, I inadvertently let the user click “Add” with my instructions still in the box.  The application naturally treated all the words in the sentence as usernames.  After weeding out those that couldn’t possibly be valid, it listed the remainder alphabetically in a table.  The result was this, which I find has a surprising poetry to it:

above add and are as both click
every fine finished for here like many
names please role select separate site space
then to type user users want with
you your

I like best the end: “to type user users want with you your.”

Since we caught the bug internally before any customer did (and I say “we” meaning “not me”), the only consequence is that we have this lovely poem to help us remember.

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