journal for 2002-12-09


I went into work yesterday and got all the important changes done to Kotter. It didn’t do everything it needs to, but it did enough to demo. Then, today at the meeting about it, I found out two important things:

  1. Almost everybody on the project thought the spec was broken.
  2. The project leader didn't know anything about Kotter to begin with.

I could’ve stayed home.

Still, I guess it could’ve been worse. We came out looking competent, I think. It’s frustrating to be told what’s needed, to implement that, and then to be told that the original plan was a mistake. A real circulated spec and sign-off procedure would help eliminate these woes. Despite this, just about no one ever follows procedures like that.

Speaking of sign-offs, I held up Sales for a day, today, as specs sat on my desk for review. D’oh! We get these specs that require custom reports, and tradtionally we accept them without finding out if the reports are within our capabilities. Obviously, implementing them becomes my job, and I generally get the notice that I need to do them about an hour before we have to ship.

Quality was being helpful by getting my input this time. Unfortunately, I was bogged down. Still, I got things passed along, including my plea for better controls on reports. Report writing is rarely enjoyable, especially when the reports are tedious, poorly explained, and rushed. I know there are people who do nothing but write reports for a living. Ugh.

I started splitting MASH up into chunks, to cut down on the huge size of the script. It was nearing 130K, and I’m sure that was having an impact on speed. I split it in two so far (105K and 25K), and I’m hoping to get it into five or six pieces tomorrow. Mostly, I’m stealing the idea from mdxi. Well, actually, it’s not like it’s not a thirty year old design principle. I was just made to think about it while reading some of mdxi’s code.

I took some pictures on work’s digital camera this weekend. Despite it’s huge price tag (something like $650), I wasn’t able to make the camera work for me. Or, more accurately, I had a lot of focus problems. Some pictures came out nicely, though. I especially liked Baby Cthulhu and this picture of the unspeakable: Mt. Dew fit only for Canadians.

I had sent Matt, my host in Cardiff, pumpkin pie fixings. He got them last week (although his office received them weeks ago and didn’t bother telling him) and made the pie this weekend. Apparently, it went over quite well. I’m glad to have spread love of pumpkin pie across the pond.

That’s about it. Other stuff has gone on, but that’s all that springs to mind from today, and I should try to sleep before tomorrow, I guess.

Written on December 9, 2002