August 27, 2003

One of the things that people using Extreme Programming talk about is not making planning for future expansion of features when creating something.

The argument is something like this: 'adding extra flexibility to allow for future features adds complexity and should be avoided. Objects should be simple enough that adding something later is simple if needed.'

The problem with this is that, in the case that's biting me in the ass at work, that the object in question wasn't made generic enough to begin with. There was a specific decision made about this object that made it's functionality very specific and inflexible.

So, of course, now I come along and need to use this object, but, you guessed it, I will have to either make massive changes or sub-class the object, because it was not made flexible to begin with.

Now I can see that the problem isn't with the 'keep it simple' principle of Extreme Programming, but rather with that idea getting corrupted with the idea that to keep it simple it needs to be specific. In doing so you kill the very flexibility that the 'keep it simple' approach makes inherent.

Posted by ed at 01:33 PM

The project I'm working on is getting to be a bit much. I have to do time estimates for the project breakdown and task list, but some of the stuff I have to estimate is so hairy and complex (and ugly, to be honest) that I'm in a Catch 22: I need to estimate how long it'll take to do, but I won't know that until I actually do it. I just don't know enough about the code base yet to have a good handle on what's involved. I suspect I'm going to get my ass kicked when it comes time to make this stuff work. Aarrgg! Ok, I feel better now...

Posted by ed at 10:47 AM
August 25, 2003
My Sister's wedding

We had a blast this weekend in Tennessee. My sister decided to have the wedding there in a little chapel in Pigeon Forge. Everyone stayed in cabins in some wooded hills that were really cool. Lots of booze was consumed and much fun had all around. I'm exhausted and I have a full blown sinus infection as well, but it was worth it.

I have to admit even I got a little choked up at the wedding. But just a little. Don't look at me like that! Do I have to come over there? All right then...

I'd blog some before and after pictures of someone who learned the evils of devil rum, but I'm afraid the person in question would get into trouble for it. They are hilarious. And I have made copies. They will be held as insurance. You never know when this sort of thing might come in handy. The really funny thing is that it was my 73 year old bible thumping father who was feeding everyone rum. He was pushing Cuba Libras on anyone who came within 10 feet of him. Priceless.

And, no the pictures aren't of Vicki. Shame on you for thinking that!

Posted by ed at 03:59 PM
August 21, 2003

That's what time I had to get up this morning. I had to drive my Mom, Dad, Sister, and nephews to O'Hare this morning. They had to be there by 5AM, so we had to leave by 4AM, and I had to get up at 3AM. I am so tired I can't see straight.

This sucks goats.

Posted by ed at 07:12 AM
August 20, 2003
Legacy Code

I hate having to wade though legacy code. Today I have been changing some objects I wrote to support some features I'm adding to the project I'm working on. Once my objects were updated I had to get the old legacy code to work with them. Gack.

I have never appreciated the MVC paradigm more than now. The mix of business logic in the interface code and the visa versa is giving me fits.

The good thing is that my boss is big into refactoring and knows full well where the code base needs work. He's also willing to devote project time to cleaning up and improving the code. That's a wonderful thing.

Of course, that means that someone will still have to slog through all that legacy stuff in order to clean it up. Still, it will be quite satisfying to rip out that old nasty code.

Posted by ed at 04:05 PM
August 18, 2003
strace is your freind

It's amazing how you just have to pour through system calls sometimes to get a good answer to a problem.

Posted by ed at 05:16 PM
"That's so gay..."

I was in a meeting with the head of my dev group and my manager and since we all use iTunes we share our music on the network. Well, at some point they started bagging on each other's music and one of them says "That is so gay", and then we got into this big discussion about what bands were 'gayer' than other bands. Then we started discussing the fact that saying something is gay is insulting to gays. Then we decided that it didn't matter and got back to discussing work.

This kind of silly shit happens all the time. Have I mentioned that I like my job?

Posted by ed at 03:59 PM
August 14, 2003
Why isn't it friday yet?

I am so ready for it to be friday. It feels like it should be.

Posted by ed at 04:57 PM

I just got the worst craving for Japanese soul food. Specifically the Samurai Tofu (deep fried, of course) from DiaChan(sp?) in Studio City.

I miss the food in L.A., or rather the variety of food in L.A.

Posted by ed at 11:16 AM
August 12, 2003
Groundhogs and Darwin

There are at least two big groundhogs that hangout along one of the roads I take to work. I only see them in the afternoons on the way home, though. They just nibble away at whatever is it they eat and watch the traffic go by. They seem to be smarter than the raccoons, at least in terms of not playing on the road and getting killed.

Which brings me to another thing I noticed: there aren't anymore dead raccoons on the roads, or at least not as many. I haven't noticed any new ones in a while. So, does this mean all the dumb raccoons are dead? Or have the raccoons moved away (to get ready for winter or something)?

On a side note, I'm glad to report that I haven't seen any dead rabbits. It seems little bunny foo foo is smarter than a raccoon WRT roads.

Posted by ed at 06:48 PM
August 11, 2003
Ye flipping gods...

I'm going to be driving the project that I'm working on. The other developer is being reassigned to another project that she knows well, so I'm it. And the project has gotten much bigger lately. I have no idea where to even start. I have to break down a task list so that we can create time estimates, but a lot of what needs to be done is, well, ill defined. I guess I'm a bit nervous, as this is a big responsibility for me to have, being the new guy.

Posted by ed at 05:32 PM
Sleep, or the lack thereof...

The only bad part about Vicki being home? I don't get any sleep. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just really tired right now.

Posted by ed at 09:12 AM
August 09, 2003
Where to begin...?

Vicki pointed out to me that I haven't been blogging. I should, but I hate using the dial up connection at the house, and at work I'm usually too busy. I'm working with another developer at work on a pretty big project and it has been keeping busy enough that I don't have time for much goofing off.

So, what's been happening lately... Well, I bought new tires. My old ones were slipping whenever the roads were wet, which is every other day it seems. And I found a nail in my back right tire. So I figured it was time for new tires. The new ones have this huge monster tread which will be good in winter, I guess. All I know is that I don't spin my wheels when the roads are wet anymore, dispite all my attempts to do so. I guess I got good tires, huh?

Oh, yeah. I'm gonna buy a house. Or a condo. I figure that I can have enough for a decent down payment saved up in about four months. And since prices aren't stupidly high out here I can actually get a good house at a decent price. It's kind of crazy to think that I will own my own home for once. I'm looking forward to it. I can't wait to hang my Gunniess mirror in the basement bar. Did I mention I'm going to have a basement bar? No? Well, I am. And a computer room. And I'm going to set up a webcam outside a window so you can see what it's like outside. And I'll have broadband. There's a company out here that does wireless broadband, so if I can't get DSL or cable I can get that. I hate modems.

Posted by ed at 11:33 AM