Division of Labor

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When you create common functions, it’s important to make sure any wrapped queries do one thing at a time.

Today I was working on a function I originally wrote that queried something based on a primary key and returned related data for 1…..n records.. It was then modified by someone else so that it had successive left joins. Consequently, other pages and functions assumed it was returning one row per entity found, while it was actually returning one row per another entity per entity.

I made the assumption that others would not make existing 1-dimensional queries multi-dimensional.

So basically, instead of getting the expected n items from this function, I got more like 8*n due to the 2 left joins. Equally exciting is the fact that the majority of that stuff was NULL.

When you are expecting a certain retval, don’t update a function to return something completely different or your coworker will spend 2 hours figuring out why your application isn’t working right.

The Soldiering Life

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Ambling madly all over the town
The call to arms you likened to a whisper
I likened to a radio
You were a brick bat, a bowery tuff, so rough
They called you from a cartoon
Pulled out of your pantaloons

But You
My brother in arms
I’d rather I’d lose my limbs
Than let you come to harm

But You
My bombazine doll
The bullets may singe your skin
And the mortars may fall

But I
I never felt so much life
Than tonight
Huddled in the trenches
Gazing on the battle field
Our rifles blaze away
We blaze away

- The Decemberists, “The Soldiering Life”

Nothing Gold Can Stay

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Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

Hero banks on real characters

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Sure, the flying judo crap is a lot to swallow at first, but it goes down easy with some sugar-like cinematography so sweet it reminds you the fighting is only metaphoric.

And so it has always been with many old-school martial arts films – the fighting is something sacred that extends a part of the soul that cannot be expressed with words or art. It is representative of the synergy between the voice, the body and the heart, and it’s not surprising that it takes the writers to such extremes.

In some scenes you see people walking on water, jumping from tree limbs, flying through frozen water droplets, and changing autumn’s orange to blood red… bullshit right? Wrong. It’s all believable. Why? Because you forget about your world and you become a part of theirs.

Too often in American movie making you see directors and producers trying to mimic the real world, selling characters that remind us of the people in our lives, going through terribly mundane struggles like lover’s quarrels, retirement or the loss of a loved one.

Sooner or later the audience focuses on the plot and the tragedy and loses track of the characters. At this point, the story dies and fades into a category of film. The ending is only 1 of 3 possibilities, the main character lives, and he gets the hot chick while fighting bad guys who can’t shoot, right?

Big deal.

And what of meaning? What about virtues, morality, justice, the greater good, loyalty, honor, purity and heart? They fall between the cracks of a billion dollar budget and an industry whose outward energy ironically erases the very emotions it tries to induce with quality ‘acting’.

So when a film like this comes along – something original – something with real characters that aren’t so real that they are predictable or mundane – I have to appreciate it. I look, listen, imagine, and for a moment, I forget my world and become a part of theirs.

And maybe, just maybe, I learn from their lie what I cannot from my own.

You can learn from fiction what you cannot learn from truth.

187

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Rio and Junio were busy the other night. I woke up to a rodent crime scene in the back room. It was a little unsettling, but hey, what would the web be without pictures of dead mice?

Jerry didn’t make it out of this one.

New Mozilla Site Released

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The Mozilla Foundation released their new site this week. It was a good improvement on the previous template — I’d consider it another step in the evolution of the site.

Of course, this means that work begins on another revamp of the Bugzilla main page. At first it seemed overwhelming; “oh no, not again….” After poking around, the majority of the hard work is really already done. Now the job consists of adjusting the site template, which is vastly simplified when the site has a solid structure and utilizes includes to reduce redundancy.

It will be fun, just a matter of finding the time, then doing it. It should progress rapidly this weekend, as I finally got my CVS access back and have a window of time to dedicate to this (and do it right).

Check out bugzilla.org in the near future, and don’t forget to…

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