11 July 2007

Spec troubles and software talk

Yah, not much with the blogging of late. Sorry about that.

Work's been hectic but interesting, so I haven't been doing much surfing or time-wasting during the day. When I get home, I'm pretty burnt, so it's maybe an hour of poking at the spec and then a couple of hours of tv or reading before sacking out. Here's a quick update, though.

The spec is killing me. The first draft was a fine, moderately entertaining story - about characters for whom I'd not spare a rat's ass - that had no laughs. The plot's somewhat complicated, not too bad for a sitcom, but at the extreme end for a sitcom pilot. I used the M*A*S*H pilot as my guide - no character intros, they jumped right into a fairly complex plot, the audience got to pick it up as they watched - but I've realized I need to back off that a bit. I'm currently pulling out one of the three leads and introducing him in the episode. I'm not sure whether the semi-complex plot is going to have to be tossed aside, or if I can rework it. There are definite advantages to keeping that plot, not the least of which the character payoff it provides for another of the leads. I'll have to see.

On the work front, I've been playing with some libraries I'd not used before that are vaguely interesting - IBatis as an abstraction layer on top of JDBC and Lucene for text indexing and searching. I've barely scratched the surface of Lucene, but I'm pretty impressed with the ease-of-use of IBatis.

I also wrote a nifty little transaction manager to abstract IBatis out a little bit more for my needs. It allows me to span db calls across a single controller transaction without the headache of overriding all my methods and doing a bunch of null tests to determine whether to create/commit xacts or defer that to callers. It strikes me that the same strategy (a word I'm overusing this week, I think) I used with IBatis's SqlMapClient would work with straight JDBC and Connection objects. If anyone's interested let me know and I'll send the code your way.