It is a known fact that software developers get more cynical and sarcastic as they get older. Why? Because it is impossible ever to deliver a perfect product when you develop software. It is prone to bugs, especially early ver- sions. I have been running Micerule Tables for three consec- utive shows now. This is includ- ing Halifax, where a powerbank provided electricity in the tent, for the label printer. It has been working flawlessly. In fact it is a relaxing experience to see it keeping track of breed classes and challenges, and spewing out labels without me having to ruin anyone’s prize cards with my appalling handwriting. Not worth mentioning then, if it works, you think. Well, this is during the shows. The system does a bit more than just printing labels. It also allows judges to enter their comments via the website and it then creates the show report for the magazine from those. Obviously, not without allowing our editor-in-chief to cast her eyes over the finished results and even still edit anything that needs her input.
Missing Show Report
Unfortunately, the last update did not just improve the capabilities of the input form (thanks to some great feedback from early adopters John Webster and Sarah Cudbill) but it also introduced a fatal bug that deleted Sarah’s entire show report just after she sent it off. “Loss of data” will accelerate any bug to ’high alert’ level at any software company. It is the most serious category. Unfortunately, that’s what it was and the lack of a show report for Sheffield is the result of it. My apologies for this mishap.
As unfortunate as this may be, it has led us to do some refactoring, including the Leader Board, which now loads three times as fast (you may not see it yet, the new version has probably not gone live by the time you read this.) and there is even more in the works. More about this at a later time.
Why Micerule Tables?
Oh, and you may wonder why the System is called Micerule Tables? Well, there is nothing more persistent than a provisional name. The default password for the website just after I migrated the member- ship database was “micerule” for everybody. This is a long time ago but the young student whose help I had enlisted (and who is now becoming a professional developer, with a masters degree in computer science) chose it as the working name for the new system. It stuck and I kind of like it. After all, mice rule, don’t they?