Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Two years ago, when I first worked on my company's vending-machine product, I was assigned to add some reports. The machine has a small printer inside that can be used to print information on sales, inventory, events, and other data stored in the machine. The reports I implemented have some sections that look something like this:
See those "----" and "-----" lines used above the sums? Eeearrgh! Those are ugly and amateurish. Every time I see those, I cringe. I'm ashamed. I have some excuses: we were working fourteen-hour days, I wasn't familiar with the codebase, and I always intended to go back and fix them when I had time. But still: eearrgh!
During a demo, one of the vice presidents actually suggested that I help the "junior programmer who did these reports" figure out how to draw nice-looking lines. When I sheepishly told him that I was the one who had done it, he didn't believe me.
Today I had to make some modifications to those reports, so I took the opportunity to finally undo my two-year-old sin. The reports now have honest-to-goodness solid horizontal lines, drawn using Windows GDI calls instead of an ASCII approximation, like this:
It made me feel good. As is usual with the really annoying long-term problems like this, it only took about five minutes to fix it.
I wonder which of my current mistakes I'll be fixing in August 2007.