Sunday, 6 July 2014

House project?

It has been a frustrating weekend...

I have watched TV (series 4 of House again, very sad ending to that series with Amber). I have watched the F1 which was one exciting lap out of 52 spread over 3 hours. I have answered a few questions from a friend and a customer on something technical. But I have done bugger all.

Actually, I find it odd how some things manage to create empathy and others do not. My well known lack of tact shows some lack of empathy, but actually, the last episode of series 4 of House did make me a bit teary. What the hell is getting in to me? It is not like I don't know they are actors FFS...

Anyway, I am sat here feeling that I have been massively unproductive.

I have a load of bits of code to do - but they are best done when my son is around tomorrow as I am working on a project that has a "back end" (me) and a "front end" in javascript (him) and it is best if we are actually working on it at the same time. We are taking a practical development approach of refining the design as we go to try and make sure we have developed a workable framework for the interface which can then extend to a range of products. We then document what worked as the protocol and build on that. We then need to make test systems. The current project is UK domain ordering, coming to an API near you very soon.

We already have an API called CHAOS for Andrews & Arnold stuff. Mostly, so far, it allows basic list of services and a some basic usage stats and CDRs to be extracted. It also allows a number of key field changes in the control database to allow management of various services. The framework for these is pretty sound now, but lacks any sort of "schema" system to define all of the fields. Adding that is the next step and then building in more services as well as back end "actions" required on some types of change and request. E.g. you cannot yet do a "ppp kill".

The ordering system for CHAOS is more complex. It does have a more generic schema type approach - for example, when ordering a domain there are a long list of attributes needed for the domain registration and the list is supplied in XML as part of the availability check. This has allowed James to make a generic javascript front end to ask the questions that are needed without having to hard code any of them.We have even built in generic error reporting. It also integrates with the accounts systems and can create the initial invoices with all necessary additional terms and caveats. Real soon now, we'll have XML based API to allow ordering UK domains with email and web space, and a nice javascript front end to use it. It also does JSON both ways to help javascript users.

I also have the "garage/den" project to get started, but with no skip or van I am unable to make a lot of progress. I hope I will next week. I did wonder about 3D modeling the room and work benches and so on - but I don't know the components I have to play with. I need to get the designed chap in and talk it through first. I know some basics - big work bench, more sockets than is sane, industrial air-con, book shelves, tools shelves, large storage pigeon hole type shelves, sky box and TV and sofa, even a bar area and optics :-)

Before we start, I have to pin down the "make good" of the garage which means some building regs stuff, may even mean relocating the boiler, new internal walls, insulation, floor, new front wall, door and windows, and who knows what.

I also want to sort security - the alarm system, door entry system and cameras.

But again, on all of these I am thwarted. No progress this weekend.

I even have a customer wanting some tweaks to FireBrick code, but having emailed me on Saturday he is now not replying. I think they are pretty minor, but I am hoping to make an awesome package for him as as result.

I also have work on the VoIP servers to improve response times, but whilst I would love to dive-in and do that (and normally I would have) I am feeling compelled to wait for my tech staff to be happy with the plan and how they will handle any fall-out before I dive in. Now that is very frustrating, but I know it is for the best and is in everyone's interests. I feel like House prohibited from diving-in to some treatment path before the lab results can be done - I know just how he feels. OK, well, I was watching House all weekend.

So, I feel frustrated by lack of progress this weekend.

Lets see how the week goes.

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