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Search - "is this 1995"
So a few days ago I felt pretty h*ckin professional.
I'm an intern and my job was to get the last 2003 server off the racks (It's a government job, so it's a wonder we only have one 2003 server left). The problem being that the service running on that server cannot just be placed on a new OS. It's some custom engineering document server that was built in 2003 on a 1995 tech stack and it had been abandoned for so long that it was apparently lost to time with no hope of recovery.
"Please redesign the system. Use a modern tech stack. Have at it, she's your project, do as you wish."
Music to my ears.
First challenge is getting the data off the old server. It's a 1995 .mdb file, so the most recent version of Access that would be able to open it is 2010.
Option two: There's an "export" button that literally just vomits all 16,644 records into a tab-delimited text file. Since this option didn't require scavenging up an old version of Access, I wrote a Python script to just read the export file.
And something like 30% of the records were invalid. Why? Well, one of the fields allowed for newline characters. This was an issue because records were separated by newline. So any record with a field containing newline became invalid.
Although, this did not stop me. Not even close. I figured it out and fixed it in about 10 minutes. All records read into the program without issue.
Next for designing the database. My stack is MySQL and NodeJS, which my supervisors approved of. There was a lot of data that looked like it would fit into an integer, but one or two odd records would have something like "1050b" which mean that just a few items prevented me from having as slick of a database design as I wanted. I designed the tables, about 18 columns per record, mostly varchar(64).
Next challenge was putting the exported data into the database. At first I thought of doing it record by record from my python script. Connect to the MySQL server and just iterate over all the data I had. But what I ended up actually doing was generating a .sql file and running that on the server. This took a few tries thanks to a lot of inconsistencies in the data, but eventually, I got all 16k records in the new database and I had never been so happy.
The next two hours were very productive, designing a front end which was very clean. I had just enough time to design a rough prototype that works totally off ajax requests. I want to keep it that way so that other services can contact this data, as it may be useful to have an engineering data API.
Anyways, that was my win story of the week. I was handed a challenge; an old, decaying server full of important data, and despite the hitches one might expect from archaic data, I was able to rescue every byte. I will probably be presenting my prototype to the higher ups in Engineering sometime this week.
Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server.
There is no technology on Earth that speaks worse of Microsoft than is this crap. Nothing they ever made (not even Comic Sans) is as bad as Sharepoint.
No proper editor. Everything is slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow. To run it you need a state-of-the-art server. There is no way to make the UI modern, as Sharepoint itself is built upon 1995 era HTML. Tables in tables in tables in tables in tables. And even if you do a web part that's readable, it will be wrapped in shit and presented to the client anyway.
It's so easy to break too. Most of the time I was just watching why the fuck it didn't work. Huge problem with caching as well. Deploying any change requires 10 minutes of manual labor.
I get why companies want to use it. Out of the box it's got quite a few very nice features, and aside from the problems setting it up, and hardware requirements, it works decently well.
But I won't come near it unless I'm paid 100$ per hour or starving to death.10
There is this brilliant calendar with people's past predictions about technology. Some of my favorites:
- 1957: I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year. Editor of Prentice Hall
- 1977: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” — Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corp
- 1995: “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” — Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, inventor of Ethernet1
There's little irritations that happen when working with clients over time that let you know that they're stuck in the past and definitely not the kind of client you want to have long term.
My personal favorite example:
"Can we put an icon that shows the weather on the banner of the website?"
Note: I don't make "websites," information portals, content pieces, etc.
It doesn't to matter what type of application it is; time tracking, HR, mortgage application, industrial control system, etc. I don't know why, but every single client I've ever had where I've been saddled with one or more people who have no business being anywhere near the term "stakeholder" asked for this stupid, banal, 1995 web portal fuckery. Their shitty little mushroom stamp contribution wasting everyone's time.
What's worse, they want it be prominent in the screen real estate. It can't just be a responsibly sized waste of space like the screenshot's top example (from a company whose entire business is weather, nonetheless). No, it has to be the busiest fucking thing in the control space, as in the example inferior.
Or maybe I'm just wrong and people desperately want to know if the sky is going to piss on them if they leave the cave.
Anyone else have a pet peeve in regards to recurrent, pointless functionality?2
Went on this 2 day business show...
Next to me a 100 inch tv... 4k quite awesome jittery video at points ? Codec or cable is wrong...
What was on the right of my stand ... To the cake.
"How to make money online"
He proceeded to state things like I now have 20mill my dream car etc ...
*Me trying not to laugh\be disgusted*
His power point ... Well a 10 year old can do better looks built in 1995
People were buying into it ! How the fuck does someone who has apparently 20mill give such a shit design to people and they listen...
I seriously wanted to go on and say... Don't listen to this fraud this, piece of shit snake oil salesmen.
But I didn't... And.. I regret it. On the bright side ... My stand had the shortest setup in the whole place bet by far the best websites!
Sydochen has posted a rant where he is nt really sure why people hate Java, and I decided to publicly post my explanation of this phenomenon, please, from my point of view.
So there is this quite large domain, on which one or two academical studies are built, such as business informatics and applied system engineering which I find extremely interesting and fun, that is called, ironically, SAD. And then there are videos on youtube, by programmers who just can't settle the fuck down. Those videos I am talking about are rants about OOP in general, which, as we all know, is a huge part of studies in the aforementioned domain. What these people are even talking about?
Absolutely obvious, there is no sense in making a software in a linear pattern. Since Bikelsoft has conveniently patched consumers up with GUI based software, the core concept of which is EDP (event driven programming or alternatively, at least OS events queue-ing), the completely functional, linear approach in such environment does not make much sense in terms of the maintainability of the software. Uhm, raise your hand if you ever tried to linearly build a complex GUI system in a single function call on GTK, which does allow you to disregard any responsibility separation pattern of SAD, such as long loved MVC...
Additionally, OOP is mandatory in business because it does allow us to mount abstraction levels and encapsulate actual dataflow behind them, which, of course, lowers the costs of the development.
What happy programmers are talking about usually is the complexity of the task of doing the OOP right in the sense of an overflow of straight composition classes (that do nothing but forward data from lower to upper abstraction levels and vice versa) and the situation of responsibility chain break (this is when a class from lower level directly!! notifies a class of a higher level about something ignoring the fact that there is a chain of other classes between them). And that's it. These guys also do vouch for functional programming, and it's a completely different argument, and there is no reason not to do it in algorithmical, implementational part of the project, of course, but yeah...
So where does Java kick in you think?
Well, guess what language popularized programming in general and OOP in particular. Java is doing a lot of things in a modern way. Of course, if it's 1995 outside *lenny face*. Yeah, fuck AOT, fuck memory management responsibility, all to the maximum towards solving the real applicative tasks.
Have you ever tried to learn to apply Text Watchers in Android with Java? Then you know about inline overloading and inline abstract class implementation. This is not right. This reduces readability and reusability.
Have you ever used Volley on Android? Newbies to Android programming surely should have. Quite verbose boilerplate in google docs, huh?
Have you seen intents? The Android API is, little said, messy with all the support libs and Context class ancestors. Remember how many times the language has helped you to properly orient in all of this hierarchy, when overloading method declaration requires you to use 2 lines instead of 1. Too verbose, too hesitant, distracting - that's what the lang and the api is. Fucking toString() is hilarious. Reference comparison is unintuitive. Obviously poor practices are not banned. Ancient tools. Import hell. Slow evolution.
C# has ripped Java off like an utter cunt, yet it's a piece of cake to maintain a solid patternization and structure, and keep your code clean and readable. Yet, Cs6 already was okay featuring optionally nullable fields and safe optional dereferencing, while we get finally get lambda expressions in J8, in 20-fucking-14.
Java did good back then, but when we joke about dumb indian developers, they are coding it in Java. So yeah.
To sum up, it's easy to make code unreadable with Java, and Java is a tool with which developers usually disregard the patterns of SAD.