I hate that name. Anti-pattern sounds like not-a-pattern. It’s a pattern, just not a good one.
I’ve actually heard “anti-pattern” used like it’s a good thing because someone thought it was hip to write anti-patterns. This pattern of writing hip sounding names for bad things is itself an anti-pattern.
#1 Don’t release your code until you’ve used it yourself. It’s like a battle plan: It never survives the first encounter with the enemy.
#1a Share your code before it’s released so someone can tell you if you’re being silly, before you’ve spent a week on it.
There are many web site behaviors that most if not all people would agree are “unethical” or at least irritating. Really, I draw the line between unethical and just irritating when irritating is to the site/company’s benefit.
- Spam - Re-selling your email address and demographic information, or even the site itself sending you numerous unwanted and unhelpful emails.
- Hidden Cancellation - Where the hell is the cancel button!?
- Unclear Billing Itemization - I’m looking at you AT&T. How much do I owe you? For what? When? And which of these numbers is an itemization of those other numbers, because this does not add up.
But my number one most unethical behavior, and probably the most insidious because a lot of people don’t seem to realize that it is bad is…
Not really cancelled, cancellation!
Are you scratching your head about that one? Ya, that’s why I called it insidious.
So, you’ve gone through the whole cancellation maze. You called them up and they sent you a link that is not available on their website, or transferred you to their super secret cancellation department that is only open on alternate Tuesdays in odd months, or they directed you through several levels of clicking until you got to a page that looks like it may not be working correctly given all the missing images. Somehow, you got that thing to take your cancellation and you have waited a month and made sure they didn’t “accidentally” bill you again. You’ve done it, your account is cancelled!
But is it? Can you still sign in to the site? When you do sign into the site, can you still see your billing information on record? How about your home address?
You could be forgiven for thinking that this isn’t a big deal. After all, they’re no longer billing you, or sending you email, or providing whatever service you had.
It’s a few years down the road. You don’t really even remember ever signing up for that service, but somehow your crazy college girlfriend has managed to track down your address, or an employer does a Google search and finds that somehow you’ve been posting blogs about blowing stuff up in your spare time, or someone seems to be purchasing doggy outfits using your card… by the hundreds. How did this happen!?
You effectively left all of your vital information and credit card number sitting around in someone else’s keeping. Maybe they fell on hard times, or started to go down hill and slack off on security, or sold a hard drive they forgot to wipe. or came under new management that just doesn’t care about their customers (or rather, former customers).
From now on…
Start demanding that your account be cleaned up after you cancel. They should be able to guarantee, preferably in writing, that they no longer know your address or billing information. They should also disable your account so that no-one, not even you, can sign in without going through at least an emailed reactivation process.
Because I can. Also because it’s been pointed out that I rant in my readme files. It’s true.