October 31, 2003

I always feel sorry for Americans if I find out something about their current president which he tried to hide. Now I've found out, that he changed publications about Iraq which spoke about the "end of combat". Now everywhere it's written that he spoke of "end of major combat".

But people recognized, and they are making up their own thoughts about this.
Like here. They even were blocking search engines from finding informations about Iraq, probably to hide it, if they change informations afterwards.
After 2600 Magazine contacted the Whitehouse adminstration, they re-enabled the searches and gave an explaination here.

This whole something reminds me of the book "1984" from George Orwell, where all past informations were corrected to reflect the current political situation and that it had always been like that.

Accordingly to some logs, Bush really said "major combat" in his speeches, but the presentations on the Whitehouse's site were "combat". Now they just corrected it.
I wonder if they wanted to calm the people by omitting the "major"...

October 28, 2003

Taskzilla refreshed

The new TaskZilla design looks great, my helping hand got familiar with the bugzilla templates quite fast :)

I feel the pressure from the top, merging everything into a project-based approach, more and more. And I still feel uncomfortable with that.
I don't like it, I want to work on a product, get feedback from the customers and enhance it. I know, that the potential of the product is much more, than currently, but there is no time to work on something like that.
Everything has to happen during a (paid) project, crap.

Well, relocations are happening here, people are moving out of their rooms, to other blocks etc. and other people are moving in. Seems, that the people staffed for a project are "collected" to the same places. But this approach is not good for the people, who are staffed for several different projects.
You can talk directly to the people of the project at your place, but it's harder to talk to people of the other projects, because phoning them is not always successful and mail-responses take some time.
TaskZilla smoothens this a bit, but... well, its not a nice solution.
And much time is lost with moving, reconfiguring network access and so on. Luckily I'm not affected, but I feel some sort of isolated a bit, since few are left around me who work on the same project (and none, who works on the same product).

Last Saturday, there was a big "Personality Test" on TV. I took a look at it, to "find out more about me". Well, I'm a Rational/Inventor (german, detail). Expected something like this, but didn't think that it fits that good. Only few things are wrong, ie. I don't think, that I'm charismatic ;) But that lies in the eye of the viewer.

Want to take a test yourself? Here (german).

October 22, 2003

Taskzilla progress

Wohoo... The TaskZilla train is rushing in, usage increases, migrations are running and task numbers are rising :) Now got a helping hand for the design of the stuff. I'm not really a good designer, I'm much better in implementing an already created design. But being creative (in arts stuff) myself is not my thing.

Seems, that I will have to introduce an separate "New Task"-page for PM's to better meet their requirements and to split the PM-stuff apart from the initial developers-page.

Offtopic: My girlfriends C++ - teacher is a moron. Or is it common to build the double-include-prevention like this:

#ifdef include1_define_h
#include "include1.h"

additionally inside the headerfile itself there is another check, where it belongs to. *brrrr* Imagine the code-block in one of our source-files where 20+ includes occur. And now the teachers reason for such idiotic stuff: "Because the application runs faster if it has not to open the include-files twice".... Gosh, C++ is not VB, go back to your QBasic editor, if you don't know the difference between interpreted and compiled languages! Save your and (more importantly) your students time.

October 16, 2003

More and more people gather knowledge about TaskZilla, fine :) Trainings were already held for some groups and some minor quesions arose but nothing to worry about.

On the other side I'm personally worried because I now more often stumble across the project- vs. product-focussed approaches of our development.
We, developers, have a product-sight onto that, what we develop, so we want our product as the top-level category in TaskZilla.
Project managers have a project-sight onto everything, so projects should be the top-level category.
Now try to merge these two views into one, if you deploy a single, but customer-adapted, product during several projects. Where do you enter your tasks? Into the product or into the project.
Even worse, how do you get out all outstanding tasks, if they are scattered over products and projects? It's not that easy.

I think, that if this project-based approach of our development succeeds, development of our (still) great product will stagnate and if one of our customers wants an improvement in a few years, they are on their own. Bad for them, they have a working but outdated environment and no one's left to update it. An expensive migration to another provider has to follow and I doubt that any of our customers has the budget to survive such a migration.

Depression, good ol' friend, welcome back...

October 13, 2003

Yeah, Internet Explorer gets the blame on Valves HalfLife 2 sourcecode theft:

If they had used Mozilla or derivates, they would have had the game out earlier and better :)

October 10, 2003

I got the first positive feedback from some TaskZilla users, it seems that it is usable, at least for developers. There are no project managers using it for their projects yet, I'm quite curious, if it works as well for them...

Yesterday a small "party" was held in a pub from our company, it was quite nice. I'm just if there was a deeper reason behind this party, like motivation or so.

Times are still a bit tough, last week six secretaries were fired, this creates a depressing mood. Company management is still quite unpredictable.

The current "plan", if you can call it that way, is that work should be done project-oriented rather than product-oriented. And the people who do the work are taken from some sort of "pool". People are shifted from one project to the next.
I don't think that I'll like it, if this becomes reality. Firstly this is not good for the quality of our product. People develop something. They finish it and go on on other projects. Then the customer comes back and wants some enhancements. People, other people not the same which developed the product, are taken from the pool. And since they don't have the deeper knowledge of the structure and algorithms in the product, they scratch a bit on its surface and hack in something to satisfy the customer. Such hacks and fixes and patches cannot be good for quality and extensibility. At some point the product becomes unmaintainable and then ... well, *boom*.
But our managers and CEO's and CTO's ... are so focussed on this idea of a project-driven approach, that they don't see, that this can not work for long terms. It would work perfectly for consulting, but for development... forget it.

I'm unsure if I want to know how the result will look like for this company :/

October 3, 2003

Current Taskzilla status: running on the cluster, database not yet replicated, no own dns entry yet, BUT IT'S UP!
Another small tweaks like the version to project stuff was done, some still being ahead.

Well, at some point it was said, that we'll be up within 14 days and we've hit the timeline with I guess less than 1hr off. Whew. Not that I think, that anyone cares anyway ;)

Note to self: If you have to deal with project managers AND developers on the same stuff, expect your initial schedule to grow every day by about 10 to 20 percent. The requirements of both, although they can be mapped to exactly what you have, are that things SOUND their way. For example, if you have a top-level category, the PM's want it called 'project' and the developers want it called 'team' or 'product'.
Damn, its just a CATEGORY, you can name and use the entries for what you want, independend of what the interface says it would be. Sigh, but it just doesn't work that way, if you have to deal with PM's...

October 1, 2003

It seems, they have a nice failure solution. The Server is up again, and now I can access pages again, where I got a "Site not found" prior to the downtime.
My new CV is up. Perhaps I can take a job in Australia soon for a few months :)

I just tried to upload an updated version of my CV to our international Ressource Server and there was a "Search"-button laughing at me. So I hit him.

Since that moment, the international Ressource Server is unreachable... I'd fire the person who has set up an unsecure "Search"-button ;)