Work Journal for 2014.1.16


With the custom course for Customer H on hold, I'm back to working on AO. 

AO is a product that has earned a particular amount of ire from me. It's poorly maintained, buggy, and outright weird when it comes to what it is trying to accomplish. I could go on a long tirade about it (and have, but I accidentally closed the editor without saving), but there's little point. In the end, it's a product I care very little about. 

I've written three classes for AO, and each one is some of my worst work. I was still new to My Corporate Benefactor then, and I wasn't entirely sure how to operate in this new, larger company. I felt the distinct need to fit in as much as possible, down to compromising how I wrote the classes for fear of editorial reprisal. Of course, that fear was misplaced if understandable at the time. Today I'm much more comfortable with what I can and cannot do within the classes I write within the standards provided. I was even able to influence them to some small degree last week at the CL summit. Also, unlike the first time, I have some instructor feedback on which to work. I don't know instructor M all that well, but he and I have a much better rapport than the previous instructor and I ever did. Hopefully that'll mean that something actually accomplished this time, instead of me developing in a vacuum. Doing so results in some pretty terrible material as I don't have any direct contact with the students. 

So far, the plan is to develop largely on AO 7.6. It's the most widely used version of the product, and much of what we teach doesn't touch features that changed in the most recent version of 7.7. I could spend some time building a new 7.7 image, but I'm unsure how useful that'll be in the long run. An existing 7.6 demo image exists, and I can provision it pretty much whenever I want to. It might be worth it in any case. Unlike 7.6, the new version looks much more complicated to get working. Multiple servers are required in order to get the system functional due to changes in the system requirements across components. Server components must now run on 64 bit platforms, while the Dev studio is only capable of running on a 32-bit machine. It looks like it's possible to install the product on a minimum of two machines -- one for the server, one for the Dev Studio. Unfortunately, the problem is that while I can configure and provision a new server, I cannot access it due to a hostname problem. Maybe T our tech guy can chase that down in the meantime.