I planned to post today about confusing alerts and error messages, but first I scanned through the TechNet blog feed and I discovered a post that fit right in with my topic.
It's a simple post. Three sentences. Six hyperlinks. And the writing tickled me because it was incongruous. I didn't understand it, probably because I'm not the intended audience (and I don't know for sure who would be...), but it was fun to try and decipher "Slime Mould and the Mechanical Turk".
And that leads right into talking about confusing alerts and error messages in Data Protection Manager (DPM). On our newsgroup, a sharp-eyed member of the community pointed out that the following alert description contains a confusing number of "or"s...
Discovered new or deleted volumes or shares or shares have been remapped.
A grouped version:
((New or deleted)(volumes or shares)) or (shares have been remapped).
Too bad that isn't proper punctuation.
We're definitely rewriting it in the next version of the product. The point is, alerts and errors already in the product will probably not get the scrutiny that new alerts and errors will. So if you use DPM and encounter an alert, error message, or other text that you find confusing or misleading, tell us! We'll fix it.