March 19th, 2005

Serious

I looove the bloat

One of the things that moving from COBOL to VB6 to C# has shown me is that software _has_ most definitely become more bloated. The amount of 'stuff' that goes on for a simple operation has most definitely increased, and writing code to fit in 32k of RAM is just not going to happen in any modern language. On the other hand, it makes _programming_ an awful lot easier. This means that I can produce far more code, that does an awful lot more, in much less time.

For instance, I'm currently writing a GUI that's going to collect information from a Customer Services person, check it all makes sense, and then pass it on to the mainframe for processing. One of the many fields to collect is the payment date - which has to be in a particular format and not in the future. In COBOL checking data formats isn't too hard, but if a user enters the date in the wrong format (dd.mm.yy rather than dd/mm/yy) I can't actually tell that easily. Under C# I was able to take _any_ date format and then spit it back out again in the format the mainframe wants.

The complete code for the validation was:

            DateTime checkDate;
            try
            {
                checkDate = DateTime.Parse(this.paymentDate.Text);
                if (checkDate > DateTime.Today)
                {
                    SetError(sender, "Date must not be in the future", e);
                }
                this.paymentDate.Text = checkDate.ToString("dd/MM/yy");
            }
            catch (FormatException)
            {
                SetError(sender, "Not a valid date", e);
            }


which requires me to do nothing that's not high level and exactly to do with the problem at hand.

In addition the use of events has been fantastic - Normally if I want to share code triggered by two different objects then I have to have a method triggered by each one and have each of those functions call the shared code. In C# I can just have the events trigger that shared code in the first place.

It's not perfect - I really miss being able to change a line of code in the debugger and continue, which I hear is coming in VS 2005, and I'm very much looking forward to the refactoring code (which works very nicely in the C# Express beta I'm playing with).

Now to finally get asynchronous windows sockets working, before it destroys my brain.
Sexy

Confession Time Again

I currently have 222 people on my friends list, 34 communities and 58 syndicated feeds.

There is no way on Earth that I can possibly read all of that every day.

So I don't.

Instead I have an 'Important' friends list, a 'People' friends list and a 'MorePeople' friends list.

On the 'important' list are the people I am in contact with on a regular basis and therefore have to keep up with, and those people who regularly post things I find excrutiatingly interesting (computer talk, thoughts on the universe, rants about comic characters - what I think of as 'content' rather than 'soap opera'). This is my first port of call when I hit LJ (along with my comic friends list, of course), because if I failed to notice that someone on this list broke up with their long-term boyfriend then I'd get in trouble (and hey - they might have posted a long screed about why aquaman sucks).

On the 'People' list are people who I find interesting enough to read their soap opera, or people who occasionally post interesting things, or are friends at one remove, or otherwise interesting, but the world wouldn't end if I wasn't up to date with their lives. Ths gets read once a day, most of the time, but it's not so high priority.

On the 'MorePeople' list are people who I added back because they looked kinda interesting, but actually turned out to not be _that_ interesting. Or people I added back when the world was fresh and shiny and new and I only had two people on my friends list, so adding a third person was A Cool Thing To Do. And I have a sense of nostalgia about them, or don't want to offend them, or am just too busy to read everyone, so someone has to get moved down for a bit. This list gets flicked through once a week or so, if I'm bored.

Now, none of these are permanent filings - people get shuffled around on a semi-regular basis - I'll realise that I look forward to someone's posts, so they get moved to Important. Or I realise that someone's posted nothing but quizzes for three weeks, so they get moved to MorePeople. I'm not saying who's where, because this is a coping strategy, not a competition - you're all lovely people, and the fact that I have limited time has no bearing on your global ranking in the kewlness stakes.

Feedback:

I read every post on my friends list, every day
17(25.0%)
When busy I simply skip my friends list entirely
11(16.2%)
I filter my friends list into groups and read some more than others
22(32.4%)
other (explain below)
18(26.5%)
Shade

Reassurance

Yesterday morning I got up and wandered into the livig room, where Ed paused Resident Evil: Apocalypse, turned to me and said "You look older."

So unless people are saying that to you today, you're doing fine :->
Humanity

Buggery Fuck

I had 11 people lined up for a game of Poker tonight. Or rather, I had 4 people who were definite and 7 maybes.

4 of those maybes became 'No's today when I phoned around to see who was actually going to make it. Three of them stayed at "Possibly, but probably not."

So I've cancelled the whole thing, and will reschedule for some other time, if I can be bothered.

Bah! Bah I say!