Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Family Vacation / More Programming

- I am still here in Utah.

If their flight left on time, they have been in the air for about an hour. This morning we all woke up early. As the siblings and parents made their last minute trip preparations, I shrugged climbed out of bed, showered, and got ready for my day. I knew there wouldn’t be time to shave, so I threw the electric razor in my bag, and it was off to the races. Yesterday started out as a beautiful spring morning, but when I got to my car at 1:30 AM, there was enough snow on it that I had to clean the car off before I could drive home. I figured there would be more snow on the car this morning, and indeed there was. I managed to get the garbage taken out, partially shovel the walks, and move my car. The family packed up the mini-van, and we were on our way. They are all going to Orlando for the next week, leaving me with the dog, cat, and house to take care of. It has been a long time since I have been “on my own”. Though I wish I were going to be in sunny Orlando enjoying the muses of Walt Disney World, I know that there is work here to be done.

Jon and I are still plugging away at our group project for Software Practice. We toyed around with MSXML last night for what felt like an eternity, mostly due to the fact that we were both being stubborn about the idea that ‘it must work’. We kept saying ‘maybe if we try this’, or ‘how about changing that’. I think we both had reached the flash point with the whole thing at midnight. I think the words uttered were something like “Screw it, if MSXML isn’t going to give us what we want, we will just parse it by brute force.” An hour later, we had parsed, working XML string to Object code. It isn’t the prettiest or even most efficient code, but it gets the job done. Still, I am wondering how the MSXML stuff works. With the help of the professor we were able to get some code that would parse out attribute values nicely, we were also able to query down to the node level, but if there must be a quick and efficient way to drill down to the value in a string that is XML encoded.

The project is due on Saturday morning at 8:00 AM, and the pressure is on. We are making progress, and last night some important designs finally came to light. There is still a lot to do, but a couple more late nights, and we should have it done. It is a lot of work, and at times you just want to throw the laptop across the room, but when you see your project compile and run, somehow it is rewarding, and it drives you to keep going.

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