Stupid Error Message

I just used my wife's PDA to send an SMS to my two Dungeons & Dragons players. The SMS application is set up with an email-like interface, so after typing out my message, I made an assumption and added both phone numbers to the To: line, separated by a comma. When I hit send, I received some sort of warning dialog that I didn't understand and can't remember, possibly about unrecognised recipients; so I ignored it. Then, I got what has become my favourite error message ever. I will paraphrase it:

You separated the recipients with a comma; replace the comma with a semicolon and try again.

I don't usually talk out loud to computers and machines, but this time I did. I believe I said something like "Do it yourself you stupid thing." If it can detect the exact problem, and also suggest the single, precise solution, why not just do it silently for me? Even my wife agrees, it's a stupid error message. This is the sort of thing that makes Google applications feel so good to use — they just work. More application developers should keep that in mind.

... Matty /<

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Matthew Kerwin

CC BY-SA 4.0
When a program tells me I've made a mistake, and there is precisely one correct solution, why doesn't it just do it for me?

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