Monday, July 11, 2011

Of All the Strange Things

I had this weekend off. I needed the time away from work because we've been working a project that is mentally draining. I needed some time to do something other than look at computer code from morning til night. So what did I do this weekend? I looked at computer code from morning til night.

There's a tool that I use that allows for the development of plugins to extend its capability. There's a feature that I've wished the tool had for a long time, so I decided to try adding it. It seemed like a simple task. I thought I would just mess with it for a few hours and see where I got.

I don't know what I was thinking.

I ran into problem after problem. The first problem was in figuring out how to get a plugin to work in the first place. There is documentation online about how to do it and I found a simple "Hello World" example, so I thought it would be easy. Unfortunately, the tool and the documentation are not in sync. So after several hours of messing with it, I found other code that I was able to get to work. Then there was the issue how to add an item to the menu. And then the issue of how to get a menu item to call the code I wanted it to call. At last, it seemed like I had gotten to the problem at hand, but the tool wasn't displaying what I though it should display. For a long time, I thought it might be because I'm rusty with Java. I spend most of my time working with C++ and assembly, so it takes me a while to get back into the Java mindset.

But it appears that most of my code was working, it just isn't calling something that the tool requires it to call to update the display. I'm still not sure what that is. That will have to wait for another day. It just seems so strange to me that I would spend all week at work messing with problems that are difficult to understand, only to go home and do the same. On the bright side, it might make a good topic for a book.