It ain't ready until it's ready

In software circles the most common question put forward by users must be "when will the next/new release be ready?" and the most common answer from the developer ought to be "it's ready when it's ready!" and that's developing in a nutshell – it’s incredibly hard to set a deadline for a release and meet it. Indeed, there are a few who actually master this difficult "art" but I'm not one of them! Still most developers like to set a deadline, well aware of that it most likely will be missed and even may shill off some users/customers! So why is that and by the way, why has this site been down the last 11 days?

Well for software development I imagine (as I can only speak for myself really) it's because you need to have a "goal" that helps you stick to what is realistic to obtain in improvements within a certain (although relative) time span. Furthermore, to convince yourself and take it "seriously" you need to somehow involve the users of you program for whom you are doing all these "cool" things, unless you are all in for the money of course. At the same time, and if the latter doesn’t apply, there need to be enough space for creativity to flourish and seriously, it has to be fun!

Anyone with some imaginary powers can figure out that the above is an equation not always so easy to even out... and when you finally is ready and it's released, the joy won’t stay around for too long but is soon to be replaced with the fear of having forgotten something, because there is always, always something, something we call “a bug” to show up, sooner or later. As a developer, you know deep down inside that you will never be ready, there is no end and you have forgotten about the beginning long, long time ago. Wow, that sounds almost as Astrology or Life itself, I don’t know about you but for me it explains it all!

As I do this for a living the software offered here aren’t for free and still it’s not expensive but the upgrades are cheap, I think I can almost brag about that! At the end of the day you cannot do something like this unless you are inspired and that’s why all Astrocalc 6.2 users now can log in and download the latest and greatest version of the program. Ready to install on top of your current installation and it will fly like never before. I’m already waiting though because as said above, I know, sooner or later one of you will find something... but hopefully I have already sneaked away on holiday before that... maybe you should as well.

Now that was about software programming, web programming and web site building, that's a completely different bag and to be honest I’m not too fond of it! I will not even try to explain why, just let’s say it’s very different from desktop software programming and possibly they appeal to different personalities – but I can’t even say I am sure of that. Still it’s something that has to be done as we like to have a nice website with some nice functionality.

To obtain that you no longer use plain old html as it once was, and as there are so many out there who already have done most of what can be done everybody tries to take advantage of that and reuse the wheel rather than invent it again. To make a long story short, we end up with a website framework, which is put together and maintained by the effort of many people. The Astrocalc website today is built on such a framework.

So far so good, it’s great, except there is seldom a “one size fits all” solution but you have to make your own modifications and because so many people are involved that “something called a bug” is a much more common “creature” then with desktop software. That’s basically what’s behind the latest down period of the site while it was upgraded. The upgrade as a whole went fine but there were a few bigger modifications needed and many small adjustments. There was also one rather serious bug with the web shop that simply had to be solved before opening again.

However, even now as we are “open for business” again I don’t feel it’s all complete and done and indeed there are several pieces of content that should be added but it will have to wait until after holiday. The most important reason to open is so current users of Astrocalc 6.2 can download the latest update of the software (from the customer area after log in).

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. The upgrade at a whole went fine but there were a few bigger modifications needed and many small adjustments. There was also one rather serious bug with the web shop that simply had to be solved before opening again.

However, even now as we are “open for business” again I don’t feel it’s all complete and done and indeed there are several pieces of content that should be added but it will have to wait until after holiday. The most important reason to open is so current users of Astrocalc 6.2 can download the latest update of the software (from the customer area after log in).