Friday, July 18, 2008

The past week in review

hiya. been almost a week since my last post here. ah well. just wanted to bring you up to date with what's going on here, "here" being my life. grrrr. my neighbours decided today to have a party (an all-nighter by the sound of it), meaning there's going to be quite a bit of noise around.

in case i didn't mention it, i was in school last week. saw a couple of the guys, stayed over at Biyi's place while i was there. he seems to be getting along with his final year project and other stuff in his life. i'm happy for him. anyway, while there, i got some anime and have started watching Black Lagoon and Katekyo Hitman Reborn. i've also started Monochrome Factor and almost completed Hayate The Combat Butler. however, the anime series that currently has occupied my time is Code Geass. i started on Saturday and have almost completed season 1. i don't think i'd want someone like Lelouch as my opponent. my current fantasy revolves around a showdown battle of wits between Light Yagami (of Death Note) and Lelouch Lamperouge. sadly, this just reminds me of just how far behind i am with anime. Bleach, Eyeshield 21 and D.Gray-Man are all examples of abandoned anime projects. maybe you now understand one of the reasons i hate my job.

Wednesday: some local government people came around the building where i work and started complaining about the environment. so i don't bore you, they locked me and some other people in the compound. i had to jump over the gate to get out. i heard they later opened the gate - which is good, since almost everyone left in is female. every time i look at my right arm i remember - because i got scratched getting out. fro crying out, it's over 10 years i last did something like that!

Tuesday: i found that Visual Studio's debugger is superior to SharpDevelop's in one respect: if you're debugging applications within the environment, SharpDevelop's only catches uncaught exceptions. So if you're using System.Timers.Timer.Elapsed (for example), you'll never catch any exceptions. Visual Studio's, however, has no such compunctions, and will show exceptions even though the Elapsed event handler suppresses all exceptions. i can tell you that that's what saved my bacon on the current project i'm handling.

Monday: this project is my first experience with Oracle (even though i've had the express edition for almost a year), and if there's one thing i've learnt: always use 4-digit date literals in Oracle, especially if (like me) you're from a MySQL (or other database) background! i spent the whole weekend plus the greater part of Monday wondering what bug in Oracle i uncovered, only to find it wasn't a bug, just an Oracle quirk.

i've a custom class in my application that stores database connection parameters (previously in individual variables) - server, port, username, password and whatnot. since i'm moving to deploying the application solely on SQL Server 2005 Express (maybe PostgreSQL when i have the time to learn it) for now (no thanks to the many quirks of Sybase), i'm now simply hosting a SqlConnectionStringBuilder in the class. you really can't beat KISS.

while i'm still a newbie at regular expressions, i can definitely say they're great when they're used rightly. if i had to write custom code to validate phone numbers, i'd probably have a minimum of 20 lines of code, plus new if clauses (or similar) to write if the networks change. thanks to regexes, i can validate Nigerian GSM numbers - with or without country code - with about 3-4 lines - including creating the System.Text.RegularExpressions.Regex objects i want to use. and if i need a new case, i'll just have to change the pattern string. a pity more Nigerian developers don't seem to know about regexes - unless i'm wrong.

i need sleep! 'nuff said.

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