Posted on Leave a comment

Take THAT you evil code!

Yes! I have been fighting a horrid coding problem and the code just lost! I beat it! I mean this is the type of problem that makes you have bald spots and want to give up programming for something less painful like digging latrines in third countries. This is like I’ve been trying to build a car engine but everything is in metric and all my tools are SAE and the client doesn’t care about the engine but really wants to know why the paint isn’t on the car yet. Oh how I want to be beyond the paint and putting the last bit of polish on the application. Today I should be able to make much progress. Oh wait, no I have to be at the body shop by 8am! Guess my workday will begin at 10am. How frustrating!

Posted on 1 Comment

Why didn’t you just do that in the first place?

Years ago I ripped all the paneling out of the downstairs, tore out cabinetry, plumbing, a sink, and a wall. I waterproofed the concrete block wall first by filling any cracks with a mortar then painting the block with a thick waterproofing sealing primer. The wife asked, "why is this taking so long?" I then created studs for the new wall which included a walk-in closet and a nook that the previous setup did not include. The wife asked, "why is this taking so long?" I pre-drilled the studs for wiring and ran electric, cable (to multiple drops), and ethernet (to multiple drops). The wife asked, "why is this taking so long?" Next I insulated the walls and hung the drywall. The wife asked, "why is this taking so long?" Finally I was able to do the tedious step of applying joint compound (spackling) to fill the gaps and cover the drywall screws. If you mess up the joint compound, the mistake will be clearly seen when paint is applyed. I sanded and sanded and reapplied compound and sanded and sanded. The wife asked, "why is this taking so long?" Finally I was able to put a coat of paint on. The wife asked, "why didn’t you do that in the first place?"

Often my programming is very similar. A lot of detail goes into the framework of the site, that is the behind the scenes stuff that nobody ever sees. As a matter of fact, if I have done my job well, anything complex should be hidden from the user and the website should leave them with a "wow that’s easy! I could do this!" feeling.

My current project involves using ColdFusion to fetch a large amount of data from a data provider (some other company that has a really big database which frequently updates) in an xml format then parse it to save the results in my client’s database. I have made it over a huge challenge! But all my work is invisible to the frustrated client. I’ll put up the visible side shortly and I fear the client will ask, "why didn’t you do that in the first place?"

Posted on Leave a comment

That thing programmers do

I’m doing that thing programmers have to do all too often. Today I’m staring at some gibberish and in as brief a time as possible I am absorbing it into my very essense. I can feel my brain swell with the influx of knowledge! Information overload. The synapses cannot fire fast enough and information gets arbitrarily filed in odd places.

Ok. Let’s see. When I was 8 years old after playing Axes (and Allies) I was thinking about searching for my descendants while skipping through the xpath in the woods.