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DevLog #6 Fast, Cheap, Good. Pick 2


(Updated: )

Note: I moved this post from an older blog.

This week I kept working on my senior project. I didn’t accomplish a whole lot however. That’s because I was writing about the wrong thing. Instead of making something I could demo, I was stuck figuring out the exact details of my project.

In general, I’ve been struggling to make the trade-off between doing a good job and making something for people to use. In the previous weeks, I focused on making stuff that worked. While it worked the code was brittle and fragile.

I thought it wouldn’t take me very long but it not only took a long time- I realized that there was way more work to do.

The work I actually did was try to move the data from the website into a database. I hoped that it would be faster but my professor doubted it and thought it was strange that I was making a database for data that already came from a database.

The problem isn’t that it’s hard. The problem is that there are many components that make up a query. Most of my time was spent giving trivial bugs. The most interesting one was one involving course title which looked like this for some reason.

'\n Abnormal Psychology\n '

I spent 30 minutes trying to use regular expressions before I discovered .trim() which did the work for me. So that’s what they mean by

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I’ll use regular expressions.” Now they have two problems.

Jamie Zawinski

By using regular expressions, I have to learn regular expressions in addition to solving the problem I initially had.

I honestly don’t know what to do now. I have a presentation to give on the status of my project but I have nothing to demo. I’ll think of something…