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Posted by gustav at 03:01AM, Saturday, December 06th, 2003

Rant: Documentum

For the record, and my own sanity, I here state that Documentum is the least proficient software vendor it has ever been my misfortune to deal with. From staggeringly hostile "customer support," to inept product development and lagging schedules, to outright disdain for the computer platforms their customers use, everything about them shouts ineptitude.

I'm not happy about saying this, and I don't do it to be cruel. I do it to keep from going mad. I do it because no one here, at least no one in a position to do anything about our vendor relationships, wants to hear it. I do it because free market ideals insist that vendors should be punished for this sort of sheer blundering uselessness, rather than enjoy multi-billion-dollar buy-out offers.

I can't really speculate why our company ever signed a contract with them. Part of the reason for that is that I can't understand why anyone would be harebrained enough to think that a uselessly, multi-level-abstracted, ever-changing API for a Java content management system with hooks into incomprehensibly platform-specific native code, from a vendor with no experience with the Macintosh platform, and disdain for its users, made a good choice for a company that creates a lot of digital content using Macs.

I can no longer pretend that, every day, I don't loathe going to work to do development in a system where, on tech support calls with its vendor, our service representative argues with me about where metadata like file type and creator codes is stored in the Mac file system. This, five minutes after admitting he's a complete novice to this strange world of Macintosh. Still, he feels the need to tell me that this metadata can't possibly be stored in my strange, and unheard-of, mythical "desktop file," because everyone knows it's in the resource fork. Okay, buddy. Whatever makes you happy.

Why oh why do capitalist markets not squash idiots like these guys -- vendors of overly-complex products that don't offer much more functionality than, say, a light wrapper around CVS would, and take every opportunity to communicate how difficult a customer you are for not being thrilled to bits with a Mac client that prevents you logging out, is only certified for new OS releases a couple months before they become obsolete, doesn't work with current versions of the software you bought it to work with, occasionally crashes requiring you to restart your machine (this on frigging OS X? You must be joking!), and, just to be insulting, steals Windows file-copy animation to use in this Java app.

Clearly, capitalism isn't what it used to be.
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