Programming is like magic

After a certain point, software programs can get so convoluted, and have so many “authors” that it’s a miracle the thing still runs. Nobody actually understands how the thing works, and if it breaks, nobody can figure out why or how to fix it!

I feel like this must be happening to the photo printing software right now. There’s certainly evidence of badly-tested bug-ridden code that’s making something that SHOULD be easy – printing digital photos, uncropped, on the 4×5.3 size paper. However, it appears that the same program is being used by all the local print shops, and at some point in the past, it got an insufficiently polished update.

I don’t really understand it – digital cameras have been around for a very, very long time now. And most places advertise their capability to print digital-size photos – 4 by 5.3 – in place of the traditional 4×6. You’d think that “digital” size would be something the user could select – but no, the way the programs are coded, the user is stuck with the regular photo sizes, and the system automatically offers to change 4×6 photos to true digital during checkout. Which is stupid, but if the program were running properly, wouldn’t be a problem – you can’t preview your “new” photos, but then, it’s supposed to print the whole thing, so why would you need to?

Except something went wrong. It could literally be as simple as a single line of code.

Instead of printing the original photo file… when you select “change to true digital” the system takes the 4×6 version of you photo (which is already cropped) and crops it again to fit into the digital template.

It’s really irritating, because printing the original files ought to be the easiest thing in the world… but now it’s not, because the printing systems are badly coded. For those of us who care about our photography and carefully compose shots using the full screen of our cameras, automatic cropping is an Unforgivable Sin.

And I really, really don’t want to have to go through all my photos and manually add “white space” to them on the edges so that they’ll fit the 4×6 template, although that’s what my SIL did to get her photos printed. And I don’t want to have to write my OWN computer program to do that automatically, when I really should be able to get the photos printed properly in the first place!

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About pancakeloach

pancakeloach.wordpress.com :)
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