If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.


Limited User? Limited programmer if you ask me.

Less mad son's birthday and the Wii hasn't turned up, so I had to fall back on an old promise to install Steam and pay for a copy of Garry's Mod. Whatever that is.

What it is, is an easy install, together with -- in Steam -- the crappiest LUA bug ever. Obviously it needs to be installed as an admin, and equally obviously, after a deplorable spyware incident, the less mad son is not an admin. So I installed it myself, tested, and then we flipped over to his account to run it there. Well, to cut a long story short, to run Steam as a non admin, all you have to do is make sure that BUILTIN\Users have read-write permission from the install directory (\Program Files\Steam) on down. That's a bit of a palaver on XP Home, as it's hard to get the security tab to show, and I ended up going nuclear with a copy of subinacl, but conceptually it's the simplest possible LUA bug -- the installer doesn't bother to set the right permissions.

I'm not a bigot. Steam runs on Linux as well, so I can see that creating local application settings might not be the right thing to do. But I don't think it was too much to ask the testers to check that files shared among users were permissioned to BUILTIN\Users. Not to BUILTIN\Administrators.

In my opinion, programmers who test code using administrator accounts should never be admins again.

Still, at least Steam is free. Matlab costs £2-12K depending on what you buy, and our unfortunate application packager is going to have to spend days figuring out what part of the machine registry it's writing user settings to before I will sign it off for use in the firm. Slimy negligent gouging incompetents.

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