Microsoft do make some rubbish software, don’t they!
This evening I sat down to work with the new Mithras pages that I am working on. This involves running a little web server on my PC, so that I can run some PHP scripts.
Last weekend I installed (with some difficulty) IIS, FastCGI and PHP on my Windows7 box. This evening I fired it up again … and it didn’t work. Permissions problems, you see.
You do not have permission to view this directory or page because of the access control list (ACL) configuration or encryption settings for this resource on the Web server
Now this is me, on my personal PC. I trust me. I am happy with anything I want to do. I am administrator, even. So … permissions problems? And why now? Why is this a new problem?
The error message gives me no idea what the problem is, and less what to do about it. I open the management console for IIS, and am presented with a baffling array of options.
After half an hour and much Google searching, I stumble across this, which gives the answer. I change the permissions on the home directory, add a user IUSR (why doesn’t IIS do this?) and another Everyone (ditto) and give both full control, and everything suddenly works. But I am now too frazzled to do what I originally had in mind.
A web server is the simplest of objects. All it does is listen on a port, and, when you ask for a .htm file, send it down the pipe. That’s it. That is the function that it performs 90% of the time.
All the rest is minority activity. We call these “edge cases”, in computing speak. 90% of the user cases is “copy file to port”. The rest is used much less.
Yet Microsoft have produced a piece of software that fought for half an hour with a highly technical user who simply want to serve up pages to himself on his own PC. WHY???
Of course the reason is obvious. The developers have added functionality, and added it, and added it and added it until the thing has become a monster. You could probably connect my PC to the web and run a full-fledged server on it now. But … I don’t want or need any of that. I just want to display some html and run some PHP scripts. Like most people do, most of the time, who start up a web server on their own PC.
Microsoft are very prone to this problem; to lose the main user case in catering to edge cases.