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The order of things · Jul 7, 19:05 by Shannon Wynter

I work hard you know (anyone who knows me, knows I’m a work-a-holic) – as a coder (duh).

Part of a coders job is to do everything one can to make everyone elses life a little easier. Automate this, report on that, calculate this, etc…

Well twice in recent times at work, I’ve tried to take a few minutes out from making everyone elses life easier, and do something to help make mine a little more bearable.

First attempt: Try to drum up support for an overhaul of the administration system. You see it’s currently indexed by username, which seemed like a fantastic idea at the time. It resolved all the problems we had with people changing their IP address (the original system was indexed by IP because well, that’s where the accounting came from). The idea behind the overhaul was to move everything from a named based index to a unique numerical ID based index.

Why on earth would I want to do that? Well for starters, so people other then myself can rename users, then there’s the added ability to recycle usernames (through ‘flagged’ deletion of users rather then physical deletion of users – sort of thing that lets us keep old records in the database rather then having to remove them to get on with life – which again is a job only I can perform).

I hear you say that I should just script it so others can delete users and rename them. The renaming them bit isn’t so hard, except you have maildirs and all sorts of fun extras to rename… But the deletion? Don’t be silly. I don’t like the idea that we have to physically delete users as it is, the thought of letting someone else have the ability to arbitrarily delete things frightens me.

So in summary: Re-index database = removal of one of the most frequent and annoying not so much time consuming but time wasting tasks I have to do.

Result: Not long after I started it, I was told to stop and work on ‘money making projects’ – so in the mean time I keep getting interrupted by annoying time wasting tasks…

Passing thought: Of course, while this means more freedom to the staff and admin to do things like deletions and renames, it also means it’s work that they themselves will have to do – perhaps that’s why it was shot down.

Wow. That’s a lot of text – I thought I was going to squeeze all this in one article – I guess not.

Forward to Part 2 of ‘The order of things’

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