Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

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Just a quick update about current projects.

First, the university events calendar that has been my primary responsibility since rejoining Cornell isn't going to launch this summer as we desired. The people here responsible for its servers have not got them ready in time, which is most discouraging. It's not exactly clear why they didn't, but the result is that because of limited windows we can release the new system, we now have to wait until late in fall term.

Second, as a new thing to work on, they gave me a problem that's been bugging them for a while. Apparently a couple of other developers took a look at it, but could not fix it. To wit, the system that lets people search our personnel directory has three known places (i.e., names of specific people) where it fails, for reasons unknown.

Well, the first one took me less than 10 minutes to fix (needed to add a field to the LDAP call). The other two took an extra day to figure out, then another one to code, after we spent some time discussing the pros and cons of a couple different approaches. In the end, the problem for those was too generic a search causing the server to time-out, before it could even say there were too many results. The solution: look for an instant match first, then expand the search. This results in a guaranteed find, with other results returning as well. Best of both worlds.

As part of figuring out what to fix, they asked me to flowchart the code. I haven't devised a flowchart since learning to code in 10th grade in high school! So that was (really :-) a fun exercise. Here's my result.

Kind of hard to see, but read columns down, then up, then down, from top left to bottom right. Got it all on one page!

On the personal front, I've decided to push through my long-delayed Shoals virtual tour. To that end, I've set up a quick web site and attached Google AdSense words to it in case a page about this project itself might generate a few clicks and some small amount of revenue on the side.

Next is to produce the full-screen, high-res panos on a CD and get them to the people on campus to sell in the island store.

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