Why Can't Error Messages Be Fun?

i prefer firefox than others

i prefer Mozilla firefox than others

I would love to switch to Chrome but I am just totally hooked on firefox and it has all of my plugins that I use all the time.

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It looks like google has released chrome without much testing before, i installed last week but today got back to internet explorer, i do not like google chrome :frowning:


Well ! Error messages should not be fun! as it confuse us also, I really don’t like Chrome Navigator at all actually uninstalled !


I have heard a lot of buzz about the Google Chrome, I have not tried it yet but according to what people has been saying, I am force to go checking it out.

I know what you mean about error messages! Working with Silverlight when it was new was a horrible experience. The error messages were SO generic.

Another Google error which gave me a giggle was the one on off-line GMail stating that it can’t handle attachments when in off-line mode.

I’ve uninstalled it since for other reasons so can’t get a screenshot.

(first post here. Fantastic blog btw!)

Chrome’s alright, but I don’t know how you justify saying that it’s easily the best (and a boring comic with a lot of rhetoric is not evidence).

The thing about fun error messages is that they’re fun the first time you see them, and maybe the second and third, but after seeing them for the thousandth time, they become REALLY irritating. They start to make you wonder if the developers could have taken the time they spent on the stupid error screen and actually, you know, FIXED the bug that’s required you to restart the app seven times.

Of course, being a rational developer I already know that there are different developers working on the cutesy error screens and the socket code (or whatever), but it’s amazing how quickly a few instant shutdowns or generic Win32 error dialogs can turn a rational human into an irrational nutcase.

It would be nice if Opera’s messages were fun, but when you set up Opera to suit you, you cannot go back. (Just get the Carthago skin, remove the buttons you don’t need, remove the status bar, put links in tooltips, remove the search widget, remove the close button on tabs). All modern browsers can be used to merely view web sites, but Opera is the only one suitable for actually browsing the web.

The best thing Chrome has learned from Opera is Paste and go. Firefox lacks this.

The 2nd best thing Chrome learned from Opera is searching from the address bar. Who needs another text entry widget beside the address bar?

What I really want is for Opera to make their own wrapper around mobile Safari for iPhone. That, would rock my world.

Chrome is nice. But back to error messages. You’ve gotten this one wrong, Jeff. 100%

The cute and funny error messages lose their charm when you get them repeatedly and you’re trying to do something important (at least, to you). And when relaying the information to Customer Support or posting in a forum, everyone sounds retarded.

I love programming. I think the task should be pleasurable, and the software should be friendly and fun to use (if appropriate). However, when something goes wrong, well, the problem needs to be spelled out plainly and simply with as much detail as needed. Anything else is just annoying.

I agree on the error messages, but you also have to consider your audience.

If Microsoft had an Aw, snap reference in a dialog, would some customer complain that (in their mind) it violated some corporate guidelines or was offensive to some group of people?

Probably. It’s not Microsoft’s fault of course, but it causes friction and possibly bad press they don’t need. So I can understand them being more boring.

Isn’t that a double-standard? Perhaps, so perhaps you’re still right. Still, it’s a reasonable concern.

ALSO, I’d like to add another component to your list of things an error message should do: It should tell the user how to potentially fix the problem.

In your example, it’s not just saying something is frozen, it’s providing you a way to fix the problem.

Even if the problem cannot be fixed inside the scope of your application (i.e. file busy or file not found), you can still explain what busy means or suggest closing an application.

The early versions of AutoCad used the error message AutoCad gives up when an internal command caused errors.
This was apparently changed after an Autodesk competitor (VersaCAD) gave away buttons that said VersaCAD Never gives up


Seen often enough, these fun error messages will have the same effect on the end user as any other browser’s error messages; novelty wears off quickly, leaving you with the root of the problem regardless.

And as others have said, Chrome is hardly that revolutionary; Firefox, with its easy to use extensibility model, was much more of a revolution than Chrome’s cute little messages.

‘Chrome is a joy to use, and in my opinion at least, it’s the first true advance in web browser technology since the heady days of Internet Explorer 4.0.’

Yeah, moving the tab bar to the top of the window is such a breath of fresh air. Seriously, what’s so fucking advanced about chrome? I don’t see it.

I was really excited when I read about and first tried chrome when it was launched, but it didn’t take long to switch back to FF. They go on about how if a tab becomes unresponsive it’s in it’s own little space so it’s safe, but that was NOT my experience.

I found that if I was running flash and javascript and generally using Chrome in the way I use FF (watching youtube videos, surfing around etc. with 10 tabs open at any one time), it would grind to a halt on occasions. So I never even saw the annoying/brilliant (delete as applicable) error messages!

So that combined with a lack of ad-block plus and stumble-upon means I’m back with FF+adblock+noscript+stumble and a much happier surfer as a result :slight_smile:

Out of interest, did anyone else have issues running lots of .SWF / javascript? Could it just have been a configuration issue on my machine?

I have been using chrome since it came out. I love it :stuck_out_tongue:

I think webmasters are the most people who use it.

I remember back in the days when I ran BeOS there was some application or other (can’t remember what it was) that occasionally would bork something.

The error was some long and very technical thing, I can’t remember what and it’s not important.

The thing that always made me laugh though was the button to dismiss the message. It didn’t simply say “OK” or “Cancel” or whatever - it said “Nuts!”

Cracked me up every single time.

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So, after reading many of the answers, I have to conclude that the OP was wrong as 90% of people disagreed.

Thanks for bumping this topic at least – there was quite a bit of old spam to clean up! Chrome was a new thing in 2009, and it is currently a much more mature browser here in 2020…

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