Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I thought, coming in today, I'd be able to handle a newsgroup issue about old QFE's not having additional info docs in them - easy breezy day, run down some info, fill in some doc forms, piece of cake. I had left early Monday evening to catch game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals (Calgary should have won it Saturday night, but it was entertaining, at least), so there was some late mail waiting for me when I hit the door. Knew I should have called in sick...

OK, here's the scoop on part of XPE SP2 - the install is handle by our XPE QFE installer. We're not delivering a completely new database this time - we're delivering a database update, so you don't have to uninstall SP1 to get SP2. Now, the XPE QFE installer is just a small app that reads an INF, then imports some SLD's into the DB. In the case of SP2, it's about 200Mb of SLD files, but the principle is the same.

Now, we want you to be able to get back to SP1 without having to uninstall the whole thing, so we added this cool feature, where the installer would pop up a dialog before the install started telling you to backup your DB. We even wrote a doc on how to do it and put a link to it in the dialog. Cool so far - it had all been tested and has been working fine for two weeks now...

Last night, one of our guys took a look at the dialog I had designed (did I mention that the XPE QFE installer is my project?) and said, "That's crap". Unfortunately, he was right - it was crap. It looked like something from a Junior College VB class. It had to be redone, which meant talking with the dev and tester to get everything lined up again, then updating the design spec for the new stuff that needed to be there so the dialog looked OK. Minor panic attack first thing in the morning, but I'm tough, and I've got the meds to prove it.

There was also some questions about my uninstall doc (yes, we tell you how to uninstall SP2 from your DB too - calm down, not that tough). Seems someone in our "extended" family (i.e. someone who uses XPE but isn't on the XPE team) didn't read the instructions and assumed I had missed a step. I hadn't, and that problem went away quickly as well.

And then I had time to write the additional info docs...

Oh, and if you haven't heard, Devcon 2004 is scheduled for the end of June in sunny San Diego. Although I'd prefer to continue heading south to Tijuana, I'll be stopping in San Diego to talk, run a lab or two, meet and greet, and basically do what I'm paid to do - try to make XPE make sense to everyone.

We're giving out XPE SP2 CD's at Devcon - not Beta, but not RC either. Something in the middle with pop-ups that look like Junior College VB projects (RC and RTM will have the real installer).