A minor pet peeve: “Send us the XML!”

I still haven’t gotten around to writing my pet peeves post, but in the meantime, here’s a really short one… A single, work-related pet peeve.

Send us the XML so that we can try to find the problem!

This has come up in two different contexts at work recently:

  1. We use a web service, so we are the customers. I won’t say what for because that’s not something I can disclose. So let’s just say that we use this service to send some requests, and sometimes, the response from the external party is useless. They return unprocessed results for everything we sent them.
  2. In the other case, we have a customer using our service. Once again, never mind what exactly it does. We send a result to their “listening” service, and then we get back a HTTP 200 (OK). And they claim they never received it.

In both cases, they ask us: “Please send us the XML”. In case one, they ask for the XML that was generated in code and sent to them. In case two, they ask for the XML that they sent us.

What I really want to tell them is, “Fuck off. There is no XML anymore.” I mean, the C# code either interprets the XML and then works with objects without saving the XML anywhere, or in the other direction the XML was generated automatically from objects defined in code and sent over the wire. This is a production server and the XML is temporary data used only for submission. You shouldn’t be asking me for the fucking XML! (You especially shouldn’t be asking for the XML that you sent to us.)

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About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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