I debated titling this entry “Its all in how you ask”. When I was asked to help, one computer was failing to export a mere 140 records to an Excel spreadsheet. There was nothing complicated about this, but it failed.
I was told it worked until recently, but failed for the last few days. It would just start spinning the Mac beachball and that was it. One time it eventually crashed. However, it worked fine on another Mac.
After looking at the crash log and watching the steps to reproduce the error, and reproduce it again in a new Mac account, I went to check Google for any reports of the same problem. I searched for something like “FileMaker Excel lock-up”. None of the entries in the first two or three pages seemed to be related to this. After a few minutes, I tried Google again, but used “freeze” instead of “lock-up”.
BINGO! One of the first entries is from FileMaker.com. It details the need to upgrade 8.5 to 8.5v2 if used on Mac OS X 10.5.
ARGH! The twist on this is that experimenting shows that I would have found it by referral if I had entered “FileMaker 8.5 Excel lock-up”.
So, its all in how you word your search query. ie Its all in how you ask. Now all we need is a pre-defined language of some kind for reporting these problems so its easier to find the report we want.
Oh, and if me searching for “lock-up” instead of “lockup” seems odd, remember that in Google search terms, a hypen has special meaning. Its a wild-card for space, hyphen or no-space, so “lock-up” will match “lockup” or “lock up” or “lock-up” . I always search for Mac-OS-X so it can match all the variations of MacOSX and MacOS X and Mac OS X, etc.