Groan.

Jul. 3rd, 2003 12:59 pm
swestrup: (Default)
I'm awake. I wasn't planning to be up before, say 2:00 pm, but I just got a nasty phone call, and I'm not likely to get back to sleep now. Well, the person himself was quite friendly, the information provided was what was nasty.

You see, I was given a week to write a website and was told that MCI had generously donated space on a server. Great. Are there any technical docs for the website? Nope. So, I set up a testbed at home and write up the website. Test uploads to the hosting site never run, and it takes a day (or more) per attempt to find out what is wrong. I'm told something different each time.

EVENTUALLY I discover that they only support Perl up to V5.005, while I've written the site for V5.6+ It will take a week (at least) to recode everything, so we're now hosed. Well, one of the Managers at MCI very graciously offers to let us use his home machine, and redirects MCI's routing to said machine. So, we do a port to THAT machine (which DOES support V5.6) and eventually get everything up and running. We went live and the site is now being used.

Yesterday, I got an automated customer-survey questionnaire from MCI. I strongly considered not filling it in, since I had nothing nice to say about MCI, and we hadn't been paying for the service we weren't getting. Finally, I decided that in the interest of their OTHER customers, I should let them know how disappointed I was with the service. Frankly, fixing just a few minor things (like providing technical docs) would greatly improve their service.

Hence the phone call this morning. It turns out that our helpful Manager is head of Quality Assurance for the division of MCI we were working with. Thus, my complaint went straight to HIM, and he's now pissed at us because its gone on his record or something.

Sigh. Need I say that his attitude to constructive criticism is, in itself, a problem? I've done QA work myself. I know how to handle complaints. Taking them personally and getting pissed off is not a reasonable plan. It results in being angry all the time.

Anyway, now I don't know if we're going to be able to continue to use the website, which is currently operational. Nor do I know if the various mailing lists that MCI set up for us (which have worked flawlessly) will continue to operate.

What's worse is that the man on the phone was the head of the TorCon3 group that I wrote the website for. He's already overworked and overstressed and I've just made his life harder. Whats even more worse, he knows about our troubles with MCI and agrees with me, and not with the Manager (who turns out to be a friend of his, ... yet more complications).

And here I was starting to feel good about myself. The website is currently only a shadow of what I was aiming for (due to time constraints) but I've been receiving lots of positive feedback. People I admire have been telling me they admire my work. Now its all beginning to seem futile.
swestrup: (nude)
The website is finally UP!!!! I can't show it to anyone at the moment, since its an automated questionaire for TorCon panelists, but its up, and I can rest tomorrow.

The idea of a VCD/movie/dragon-half/skinny-dipping/VCR/Wallace&Grommit marathon at [livejournal.com profile] denizsarikaya's place tomorrow sounds good. I prolly won't wake until noon, considering I'm not in bed yet and I've been up 25 hours, but it shouldn't take me long to get there after that. Of course, I'll check e-mail and notices here to see that its actually happening.

Whee!
swestrup: (Default)
It is far too late to be this early. I am only NOW going to bed. Urgch. It took roughly 24 hours of sustained effort, but I think I've succeeded in porting the TorCon website from Windows to OSX. Not bad considering the original target was a Solaris box...

Yay me!

Jun. 18th, 2003 01:18 am
swestrup: (Default)
I'm beginning to feel that I'm on top of this whole fsking worldcon website project. I have, if not mastered http, html, javascript, CSS1-2, cgi, perl and dtd, and least gotten to the point that they are familiar and I have a good idea of what it is I'm doing.

I also managed (with more than a little difficulty) to summon up the courage to phone up the people at mci and ask why my scripts weren't running. Not only did I manage to get a coherent and reasonable answer, but I was given a propper developers account and everything, so that I have offical people to talk to if something goes wrong.

So, 98% of the code is written. Everything, in fact, except for the final crucial last step of actually producing the output that is the whole reason behind this project. I have one day left before we go live and, I figure, about 1/2 days work left.

I actually feel like I'm on top of things. Come the weekend though, I'm gonna wanna REST.

Whimper

Jun. 16th, 2003 02:45 am
swestrup: (Default)
You remember when I posted about the 1/2 day it took to figure out how to get referrer numbers to work in Mozilla? Well, I don't have a half day now. I'm trying to get a 1/2 assed working prototype by the time the worldcom offices open this morning. That gives me until 7:00 or 8:00 am, and its almost 3:00.

Well the latest version of my html site is rather complex in that it involves multiple form panes coordinating with each other, and without using javascript. This involves the panes recursively calling each other... Anyway, I'm now getting 'Redirection Limit Errors', and so I naturally assumed I had an infinite recursion somewhere. Nope. Worst case I could find was 3 redirection.

Then it hit me, when I was last tweaking my internal browser parameters I came across (somewhere!) a setting for maximum redirections=8, and I set it to 3, thinking that should be enough for anybody...

And now I don't know how to unset it.
swestrup: (Default)
I'm now awake again and bleary-eyed after being up till past 5:00 am working on the web site. It was supposed to go live today. It wont. Still lots to be done. I just need to find some part to put to the grindstone that hasn't already eroded away...
swestrup: (Default)
Yuck, still working hard on the TorCon website, so I don't have much time for LJ.

I did want to take the trouble to wave hello to [livejournal.com profile] zadcat. I wonder how many other LJers turn out to be folk that I don't know I know?
swestrup: (Default)
Working on a website. Sigh. It seems I have to add CSS1 and CSS2 to the list of standards I have to master by thursday...
swestrup: (Default)
Got the files I've been waiting for, but now I don't have time to do anything with them. I'm due at the mouse house in an hour. Gotta run.
swestrup: (Default)
If you keep most any body part firmly on the grindstone, it gets worn down rapidly.

I got an awful lot done today, and its not quite enough to justify a meeting saturday afternoon to discus, so I'm getting up at 6:00 or something tomorrow just so that its in a better state for the 1:30 pm meeting. So, although I'm exhausted and would rather sleep for, say, 12 to 14 hours now, I'm gonna get 6. Yuck.

I can't believe I volunteered for this job.

Fnoorg!

Jun. 3rd, 2003 04:06 pm
swestrup: (Default)
So, this time [livejournal.com profile] _sps_ was NOT exactly correct, and he needs to apologize. I asked him to write a little XML parser for me on the weekend, and he threw something together from the XML::Parser Perl library I had, saw that it produced nothing, and told me that my library or interface to it was broken. I've now download and tested half-a-dozen examples of uses of this exact same library, and they work as advertised.

So, now I'm gonna have to read the docs and find out why the library didn't work as expected, and will have to do the work myself. Harrumph!

But at least I get to feel smug about catching [livejournal.com profile] _sps_ in an overt error. I don't get to do that very often.

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