Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I can't yet call it Jes' Law

Has this been said before?
When you're working with more than one tool, the worst tool will use up the most of your time

I've seen this both at work and on some personal projects lately.

  • At work, we're adding an API to a PHP application so that we can control it from Ruby on Rails -- the API layer is supposed to be thin and clean, so we can do all of the complicated logic in Rails. Even so -- I've spent 90% of my time in PHP-land for the last month.

  • I just threw together a toy at http://jes5199.com/sunrise/ . I needed a calculator that could predict sunrises, and the first thing I found was a CPAN module DateTime::Event::Sunrise. But suddenly my light little Sinatra and Javascript app includes a nightmarish perl script and a patched version of the Sunrise library, since the package is abandoned and mildly broken. I spent easily six hours in perl, compared to two hours doing everything else. And I'm still not certain that there aren't edge cases where a sunrise gets skipped.

  • Corollary:
    If a job has good parts and bad parts, the bad parts will dwarf the good.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    first post

    I want to talk about
    • new programming languages

    • code tool practices

    • disposable software (software as performance art)

    • general ranting