posted Mar 04, 2001

LinkBack woes: The Ultimate Woe
3/4/2001; 10:25:26 PM

Well... I've got a confession. I toasted a 20 GB hard drive, with many unique copies of many things that I have now lost forever, including several tens of personal, irreplacable music files that I wrote and tons of other things. A quick slip of the finger was all it took, and now it's all gone, despite several days of frantic attempts at recovery.

The sick part is, I do back my important stuff up. Unfortunately, for one good reason or another, all three of my independant backup systems are down. Not failed, just down, and I hadn't had time to re-replicate everything.  Lesson learned, I suppose.

Anyhoo, it's spring break, so I'm going to re-write LinkBack from scratch... which, believe it or not, was pretty much the plan anyhow. Perhaps in the final analysis this will be a root gain.

A bit of software engineering wisdom I've learned in my oh-so-extensive experience with software (that's sarcasm!): Sometimes, the best thing that can happen to you is a complete loss of source code. Re-implementing from scratch frequently produces a superior design, with superior flexibility, speed, and ease-of-comprehension. And it usually doesn't take as long as you think it will to re-implement.

Of course, the hard part is throwing the code out. I've only done so voluntarily twice, each time with excellent results. I also clearly recognize two points in my life where I should have tossed the code, but didn't, and paid for it.

Many software design methodologies advocate a prototype that you later burn. My experience is that this is very good idea.

Anyhow, hope to have it done by the end of the week, which means you can hope for it by the end of the year Actually, if I get back into school with this undone, it could be a while, esp. as I think I've figured a way to combine school and hobby this semester, and write a plug-in for Radio Userland as an assignment. Still gotta talk to the prof on that one and see if he's OK with a project done in an environment he knows nothing about. He'll certainly green-light the project, as long as he's OK with that.


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