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Beta Noir

Thursday, November 16, 2006
You may have noticed, CrimeSpot has been updating only intermittently over the past couple of days. The main culprit: Blogger Beta. When a Blogger site indexed by CrimeSpot upgrades to Blogger Beta, it changes the format of the site feed (from Atom 0.3 to 1.0). This causes the collector program to gag, then barf, then roll over and play dead. To use a technical term, that's the root cause. The proximate cause is Davide Terrenoire, who upgraged night before last.

From this you could draw one of two conclusions:

A) David Terrenoire is an evil genius bent on Web domination.

B) CrimeSpot is so fragile that a pygmy hamster can crash it with one tiny paw.

They're not mutually exclusive! Unfortunately error handling in "classic" ASP / VB Script sucks, so it's difficult to trap and respond to every possible event.

Fortunately I have finally begun the process of rewriting it in that fancy new .Net language that my good friend Bill Gates keeps going on about. Soon, only the evildoers will pay for their sins.

(BTW, writing a program is different than writing a story - the beginning and end take all the time, and the middle just rolls right along. The beginning is rough because you have to dig into the problems until you understand them. The end takes forever because there's always another error (or three) to run down.)

posted by Graham Powell at 6:10 PM