"Fixing Bugs and a New Baby Named Teela"

Tom Comeau - April 15, 1996

    One of the great things about working at the Institute is that my bosses are pretty flexible about how we do our work, as long as things get done when they are needed.

It's late at night on the 15th, and I haven't been at work since the 10th, because on the evening of the 11th my daughter, Teela Justine, was born. Teela and her mom are both doing great.

I've been catching up on my e-mail. Mark (who leads one of our mini teams) described a problem he was having with the software I just delivered. I'm pretty sure it was just a configuration problem, and suggested some changes he might make to get things working.

Suzanne has a question about a problem the testers found. This turned out to be a real, though minor, problem. When the Ingest software has finished with a dataset, we generate a response file so the OPUS people know we are done. One thing we put in the response file is the date and time at which we finished the ingest. The dates are slightly off, and she knows why, but she had a couple of options for fixing the problem, and wanted my opinion on how to do it. I sent her a quick note about what I thought.

These two problems were minor, but they show the importance of having an independent tester look at our software before it goes into the real system. Fixing these problems on the real system would disrupt the work of many scientists and operations people, so we _really_ need to be sure bad software doesn't slip through.

And now I'm going to be off for three weeks to get to know my baby. I'll still be reading my mail every day or so, and if you send in a question about the Archive, you might get an answer from me. But this'll probably be my last journal for a while.

I'll be sure to do a journal about my first day back -- the shock of working again after a few weeks off will probably be interesting.

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