The other day I was working on a website that used a third-party tool. I’ve been building websites for nearly 20 years so using and integrating third-party code is quite normal for me.

I wanted to enable specific functionality in the third-party tool so I fed my question into a search engine and loaded some of the suggested results. They all pretty much gave the same solution so I followed their instructions as closely as I could.

And the solution didn’t work.

I searched online for more solutions but they all said the same thing. This was a real head-scratcher so I decided to check the official documentation for the third-party tool. Guess what? The official documentation also gave the same solution everyone else was parroting.

Too bad it wasn’t working for me.

Finally I decided to dig into the source code. The tool was open source and I’m comfortable with code. Guess what I found: the suggested solution had been deprecated. That’s fancy programmer talk for “this used to work but we’re removing it because reasons” which isn’t uncommon in the software life-cycle. The code had been deprecated so recently that even the official documentation hadn’t been updated.

So what about all those solutions I found online? Technically they were still correct but for an older version of the tool.

This got me thinking:

  1. There are old, default solutions/habits we all have. And 90% of the time they work fine. But for the times they don’t, try something new and different.
  2. Just because everyone else is saying it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you at that point in time. Listen to older, wiser & more experienced folks but be honest when their suggestions aren’t working.
  3. This is for the programmers out there: keep your freaking official documentation up-to-date!




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