Thursday, March 02, 2006

Meaningless Error Messages

Well, another thing about GNOME that's kinda sucky. I want to use a particular message as an example, but I don't want to be interpreted as picking on the author of that software. (Otherwise I would simply file a bug report.)

Consider this. Everytime my machine boots, or I log out (which only happens when GNOME or X crashes), I get the following message from GDM:

"The configuration file is not correct. Please fix the incorrect line and try again"

How is this supposed to help anyone? It might help someone who knows about the workings of GDM, but everyone else confronted with this message will have to embark on a voyage of discovery that may well take several days.

To be specific: Which configuration file? What is it called? Where is it? Which line is incorrect? How do I find out what the correct value(s) should be?

I reiterate: I don't want to bash GDM here. I'm sure many of you could think of similar examples from other software.