Slaying Dust Bunnies
Last week I had something really exciting happen. On Wednesday night, not only did I have a football draft, but something fantastic happened. We won a 32″ LCD tv. And by we, I mean Julie won it for me. So this weekend started off on Friday getting a new HD box from comcast and assembling a nice tv stand to replace the ill fitting armoire that housed the old clunker of a 27″ tv. That meant that Luke would gain possession of the old armoire which would be refitted to hang his shirts (since he was closet-less as of two years ago). This of course you realize, required cleaning and maneuvering a room that’s too small to fit all the toys, especially the Star Wars Legos. Who would have thought that it would take an entire Saturday and Sunday to get that room cleaned. Certainly not me. Ok, well, not the entire weekend. I did take breaks to sit and watch the NFL network (in HD, of course) and giggle that I can read the jerseys now. And I did use my woodworking skills to build a pine derby car shelf, which turned out to be awesome.
My weekend made me laugh at times. For everything I tried to accomplish, it seemed like it opened up another can of worms. When I moved the armoire, I had to figure out someplace to put the old stuff that used to be housed there, which in turn made me have to clean a space elsewhere, which in turn had me move something, and throw other things out. This is directly related to what happens when we have to go and make changes to programming after something has already been built. Regardless of how the video games got there in the first place, they were there now, in that big box in the middle of the room, and they had to be moved. Each step had an affect on something else.
Reprogramming an interactive website because we need to add in a new field happens the same way. Lets say we have to add one field to an update page. We start with whichever end (data or display) and work our way to the other end. If we add a field called ‘author’ to this fictional journal profile page, we have several other areas that cascade in addition. First we add it to the form page, simple enough html, usually we can copy and paste another field. Then, in order for the form to work, we have to add it to the form action page. This means that there should be error checking added. Depending on how the data is set up, it may be here, or in another page that we have to add it to the database programming. Usually we have an add query, an update query and a read query. All of which needs to be updated. Depending on the type of programming that is being done (wireframe, object model etc) we may have to make additions to other code to read and write the data to an object. Then we have to add to the listing page, because there is always a listing page. Sometimes we will have a ‘view’ page as well, perhaps as a printout or an overview. That needs updates. So for one little field, many things must be done, taking a great deal of time. Maybe it’s not a whole weekend just to add an author to a detail page, but it’s certainly a weekend to add an armoire to a boy’s room.