Thursday, May 25, 2006
We have an entry field in our application that allows the user to enter a time of day. By default, it comes up with the current time. We received reports from QA that the entry field often came up with "garbage." After a few days of requestnig additional information, they gave us an example:
Unfortunately, we couldn't reproduce this in our development environment. We examined code, we tested the application extensively, but couldn't get it to show us this behavior. Every time we tried it, we'd get a good-looking time, like this:
This remained an open issue for a couple of weeks.
Finally, last night while driving home from work, it hit me. The problem was that the field was not properly handling the case where the hour needed a leading zero. When it was displaying "72:6-", the actual time was "07:26".
Why couldn't we developers reproduce it during our own testing? Because we are never in the office before 10:00!
I think it's because I spend waaay too much time thinking/writing military time. In fact, I spend a considerable amount of brain converting from "East Coast" to "Central Time". Apparently the folks at HQ think the rest of the country understands eastern time.
That's why I type the time with timezone (eg: 1434 CDT) and the date as "26 May 2006".
I often write dates as "2000-05-26". I'm surprised at the amount of confusion this creates among non-computer people.
[Filing cabinet category]-[date]-[file identifier].[extension]
TPS-2005-12-12-Cover sheet memo.doc
TPS-2005-12-13-Cover sheet memo.doc
TPS-2005-12-14-Cover sheet memo.doc
It's a poor man's version control. (Of course, svn is free, getting a svn server installed in my office is not a trivial task...)