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MeerCat (31)

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Journal of MeerCat (31)

Wednesday October 09, 2002
08:24 AM

Preparing to launch

After 3 months of various levels of testing, SwapsWire is almost ready to go live !

No perl left in the production code, but all the build system, release process, status web pages, bugzilla integration items etc are all written in perl. And of course, if I hadn't been able to knock up the prototype in a few weeks in perl, then we never would have got the go-ahead...

Wednesday April 03, 2002
05:32 PM

6 months later - being paid to stand still

Hmm... now have a team of 5 highly paid very competent programmers who have managed to re-write my perl'isms in C++ (which appears to have now become a very ugly language since being my native language for 10 years) - and despite 35 of the biggest companies in the world deciding that "this writing-it-in-house is the only viable solution", we still seem to be stuck at the "but you can't go any further until we all make our own tuppence worth of comment", combined with "I know you haven't been allowed to formally start the project, and we've changed the entire scope/timescale plan 4 times in the last 3 months, but you will still deliver by the date you quoted 6 months ago won't you"...

So tomorrow I have 10 project managers descending for PowerPoint presentations, rather than just the 5 of last time - this (in The City) is progress...

Oh well, wrote a decent multi-language, multi-platform, multi-compiler-per-platform build system in perl (after looking at cons and various other alternatives to make) that's humming along nicely, and some quite handy perl modules to drive perforce operations too without needing to compile up the API - makes life easier to map from "this is series of the command-line operations I do that I want to automate". So the nightly "label and clean build at the top of the tree, and email the results to the build-meister, plus (if it doesn't work) send a threatening email to anyone who has submitted changes since the last time the build worked" seems to buzz along nicely in surprisingly little code - did I mention how much I like closures ??

Tuesday October 02, 2001
09:41 AM

The problems of "already knowing about it"

So I prototyped, in Perl of course, over 4 weeks a complete reliable TCP/IP messaging system with specific characteristics suitable for our requirements (global private WAN carrying billions of dollars of trades per day) and modelled service lookup, error detection and correction, and a complete hub system - got grilled about the work by 5 head-honchos from the biggest potential users, and they report a couple of "key risks" of the prject as being

  • "Trust-me I’ve built one before" mentality
    Well, its better than a "trust me I've never done this before" mentality...
  • Implementing own reliable messaging may be more complex than anticipated
    Er... that must be why I built a fully working prototype of just that bit....

What do you do ?? Anyone would think I wasn't offering them a solution where they get twice the product for just 10% of the original cost....

Wednesday April 11, 2001
09:35 AM

This week I have mostly been...

[ #21 ]
  • Reviewing to see about turning it into a true proxy
  • Prototyping a comms framework to replace a $10 million dollar piece of useless software