Sunday, 12 April 2015

I am fail!

Bah! I fail on at least two counts: 1) I have not been keeping this blog updated; and 2) I have decided to throw out my first attempt at a genealogy log and start from scratch.

I have been working with my log tool for a little while and it just isn't cutting it for me. There were a number of problems with my initial approach, not least of which was search - it was too cumbersome to search through past research efforts to find what had been found or not found. I really need to rethink how and what data I am recording so that it will be easy to search past sessions. Using this tool for a few weeks I was able to tweak the data I was capturing for each session, so I'll use this as a proof of concept prototype and rebuild something more appropriate to my needs.

I didn't end up going down the NoSQL path, primarily because I saw no issues with a SQL solution for a project like this. SQL is one of my strengths, so why not leverage my knowledge? Yes I do want to learn NoSQL, but I am already branching out with Rails on this project, I don't feel the need to introduce too many new technologies at once.

So where to now? Well, I have archived the code of this attempt and will start with a clean slate. The web-based approach felt right when I was using it - I could access the app from home or out at the library on my iPad, so I got that part right at least. Responsiveness was okay too, so I will continue with Rails for Log Mark II. I have been thinking that there is a lot of overlap between a research log and a research planner, so the two might become one, however for now I will just implement the log and leave planning for a later version.

I learned quite a lot doing this first draft - I hope I get more things right the second time around. 8^)


  1. Amos,

    You're doing it right. We developers plan something, but it's only once we start implementing it, do we see the issues and complications. If we're lucky, we can retool, but if not we will have to redo or even redesign.

    Often it's better the 2nd time around. You will find it takes half the time and is twice as good as the original would be.

    In a micro basis, that happens to me when I code for an hour without saving and the power goes out. I recode it in 30 minutes and the new code is way better.

    Go for it!


  2. ;^)

    I've been in this game long enough to know that. As Fred Brooks said "plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow."