Detail of The Unruly Child” (c. 1635) by Rembrandt


Our company uses Slack. I’m an active member of about 5 channels, where I post comments, replies, and emojis. My comments and replies are either jokes or attempts at jokes. (To be fair, most are attempts, but both kinds of posts cost the company time and money.)

Many emojis lie waiting at my disposal, but I post the same three emojis over and over again: a snowboarder emoji, for some reason (unknown to everyone, even me); a grinning emoji; and a thumbs-up emoji. The thumb I select shows a skin tone a few shades darker than my own, so I don’t look racist in a company chatroom app.

There are other Slack channels I’m technically a part of, but I rarely visit, because you need to have a certain level of expertise to post in these channels. (Anyone at a specialized tech company whose job title includes the word marketing” has, relatively, no expertise of any kind. That’s not true, of course. But in my case, it is.) If I were to break the unwritten rule, and add my two cents in the channel called #thedevelopmentteam, I’d be about as welcome as a rat at a children’s picnic held on the edge of a cliff.

I can’t fathom why I was added to #thedevelopmentteam. Adding someone who does content and marketing to the channel is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps I’m a member for informational or monitoring purposes only. Being invited to a Slack channel in which you don’t fit, and shouldn’t really participate, feels like being invited to a party only because the subject came up, and you happen to be standing there, too. It’s a courtesy invitation. The hosts don’t actually expect you to show up.

But sometimes I gatecrash #thedevelopmentteam. I go in. I snoop around the perimeter like I’m casing the joint.

Recently I saw this term creep up: regression test.”

Without knowing better, the term regression test” sounds like it belongs to early childhood development. It also seems like some sort of exam that frustrated women administer to men, to prove their suspicions: not only that the men have become immature, they’ve actively dumbed themselves down. This exam may benefit a marriage, or to help break one up. I know what my regression test results would be. I’d pass. (And not in a good way.)

But in a tech environment, the ratio of men to women tilts lopsidedly. There aren’t enough women working in tech to force such a regression test on men. So, of course, a regression test must mean something technical. I looked it up.

According to Wikipedia, regression testing means:

… re-running functional and non-functional tests to ensure that previously developed and tested software still performs after a change. If not, that would be called a regression.

After a change, software developers want things to move forward. They want progression. What they don’t want is to step back. Go forward. That’s where the work is. I guess that’s why they test for backwardness.

It is impossible to market software that has obviously deteriorated. You will never see a software release that promises to deliver less, and do worse, than the previous version.

But if you did, it might look like this fake example:

Version 9.21.16 (2022 – 08 – 08GA

This GA release doesn’t include bug fixes, there are no improvements, why would there be? There are setbacks, though. And that’s a plus. About available configuration files when installing and enabling Unified Streaming software on linux operating systems: who’s to say? For more or less information, details below.

On Linux, the setup process has been made much more difficult through a few default configuration settings that are sometimes activated when enabling the mod_smooth_streaming module (i.e., Unified Origin). The finicky settings cannot be found anywhere. Neither in the mod_smooth_streaming.conf file installed alongside mod_smooth_streaming.so, nor anywhere else.

Other dubious changes amount to the following:

SCTE 35 & Custom Timed Metadata

  • For HLS client manifests, nothing new here. They still reflect the value of the segmentation_duration field when present in the segmentation descriptor. What’s worse, they sometimes reflect other stuff too. Random stuff. Just being honest.

Operating System Support

Restart and Catch-up TV

  • Bug fixes have definitely not been made in the way timed metadata is handled when creating a VOD clip from a Live source. Since the fixes have not been made, the issues identified in these areas in relation to media segment alignment, which previously resulted in an undesired output, are not resolved, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the undesired output has become — how shall we put it—even more undesired.

I work in a place where everyone, from the founders on down, knows more about our software solutions than I do. Am I proud of this? No. Who in their right mind would be? After a change” — starting work here — am I better? Have I improved? At certain things, maybe. Overall, maybe I’ve regressed. But thanks to the team of very smart individuals who work in this crew, I’m not been made to feel like I’m completely insufficient. (I can often achieve that feeling all by myself.*)

Progress is what they’re obsessing over, these developers, in Slack, in channels called #issues and #validator and #marketingbegone that feel like industrial backlots to me, where they skillfully hammer out details and speak their own specific language. Talking shop while they polish the product. Making miniscule tweaks.

Though I’m a member, at best I’m just a visitor in these certain Slack channels. And sometimes I’m a trespasser. I appreciate the invite, though.

When I show up to the party, I’m savvy enough now to know that I should shut up and observe, and do my level best not to throw a temper tantrum.

*This sentence was written specifically to elicit sympathy.

Got some tech jargon you want me to misunderstand? Email me your jargon. I’ll misunderstand it completely, I promise.