Guillaume “Zifro” Desrat’s former blog

Monday, WinDEV.

Filed under: work, WinDEV, code, Ruby — Zifro September 11, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

I’m currently working on software to help our customers save time, by extracting data from their databases, to generate a big file and then send it to a partner, who’ll print all the letters and checks.

Honestly that’s a big advance for our customers, something like one day work saved.
But as my company will handle some of the administrative part, I have to write the checks parameters, like the name, the address and stuff.

One of these parameters is the (sort of) checksum of the magnetic ligne at the bottom of the check ; it aims at checking the check authenticity.
The algorithm I was given by our bank director office is the following :

rlmc = 97 - (N x 100 - 97) where N is the concatenation of the 31 digits of the magnetic line (check number and two bank codes).

So I code it, run it, and WinDEV : string to number convertion and big numbers handling TADA !
It appears that WinDEV doesn’t handle big numbers (string to number convertion sucks hard too).

So, “just to try”, I typed in the same thing in irb :
irb(main):001:0> s = "6459010034010041908006791980430"
=> "6459010034010041908006791980430"
irb(main):002:0> rlmc = 97 - ((s.to_i * 100).modulo(97))
=> 54

Oh… it works :p

Drink. Smoke. Talk. Ahaha :-) WTF ?

Filed under: work — Zifro September 6, 2006 @ 9:07 am

Okay, I want to warn you, the following events are as real as stupid. Keyword : “stupid” (maybe not in fact…).
So, after we lunched and worked all the afternoon (no, wait, not all the afternoon, I spent half an hour talking to a colleague I haven’t seen for weeks, as she was in holidays), we planned to go to my project manager’s. We were alone, drinking (he had three Hogaarden, I preferred Ballantine’s).

And we discussed the current projects and the conversation went to the point I wanted to : what the boss thinks about me.

Ready ?

You do not invest yourself in your tasks.
Fairly true, it’s far most interesting to spend all day long answering Ruby questions on the French mailing lists, reading Rails related blogs or even jokes on the Internet.

You keep on repeating WinDEV is pure shit.
Yep, true, sadly true. I would have keep on telling people to open their eyes if he didn’t tell me to stop. Okay, I’ll stop. I swear ! :) But, sorry man… WinDEV is the worst thing.

You keep on saying our software suck. I know it, everybody know it.
Really ? Ok, I won’t say anything about the lack of documentation and code comments and analysis and… and… and…

You’re too self-confident and a bit arrogant.
True, absolutely true. Having worked on Access/VBA bad designed code, I thought I was able to face anything. I was wrong ; oh dear, so wrong. Maybe having coded some stuff in Perl and Ruby (like an applicative micro-kernel) turned me into a too self-confident developer. But on this point I must admit I’m arrogant. Remember the three virtues of a programmer, according to Larry WALL (nobody knows him at work, of course) ? Laziness, Impatience and Hubries. Nothing to add, your honor.
To be honest, I imagined it would be easier than it is actually. I thought there were documentation, well-established todo lists and all that. Sorry to have learned to work the right way.

Your experience here will be valued here anyway. You’ll show your next employers you can adapt to various environments

Oh, sorry, you mean I’ll show I can work bad, write crappy code, unmaintainable software and stuff ?
And, by the way, the question is not “will this experience be valued” but “won’t another experience be better valued”. Sorry to care about my resume. And personal interest. I’m a bad guy, yeah, I admit.

So, I told him I wouldn’t have stayed at this position if I hadn’t known the team before, if I had been hired at this position at first, and, then, I told him about the Monday affair (see two posts below).
Yes, I did. Of course, I made him swear not to repeat it. So I know it will change his way to deal with me, to speak of me with the boss. He’s my friend but… you know… plans within plans :-)

I feel better. Damn, I’m not in the right place. Let’s make my way through it for the time I find something much better. Let’s fake I’m happy to come everyday. There may be an opportunity to go back to my previous position for the time I look for another job, but nothing clear for the moment. On the pros, it would be overall better paid (lesser, but lesser charges too) ; on the cons, I would be on the roads to visit clients half the month. But, “nothing clear for the moment”.

Ok, for laughing sake only, some words my big boss (who was first a developer in the company) had :
Acutal developers need no comments.
Yes, it’s crappy, but you know, we never had time to make it usable.
Make it work first ; make it beautiful [maintainable] after, if you have time.
It *MUST* work on Friday. [when helping me on a project]
Good morning ! [10 am]
See ya tomorrow [15 pm, not the same day].
It’s worrying hu
I leave, you call me if you need [early, too early to be reported here)
What ? You need the second company car to visit a client ? No, sorry, I need it now I have a baby.
Thank you [once].
And much more I can’t write it, especially one related to a fine the police sent us I had to pay, meanwhile some of the upper management dodged the same one. :)

Life’s cool, life’s sweet, don’t waste it working where you don’t feel comfortable ! Well, smoking was stupid, even if I enjoy a cigarette with a drink.

Will it appear to be a *big* mistake ?

Filed under: work — Zifro September 5, 2006 @ 9:33 am

Well, here it goes. A new week.

Starting on Tuesday because it took a day off yesterday. And it was worth it (I’ll post something about that later today).

I was phoned Friday morning by NTsys, a company where Fraifrai, someone I get in touch regularly on IRC (and, btw, an Open Source defenser, he worked for the ADDULACT), works.
He told me back in early July that his company was looking for new teammates, so I applied.
First, my profile was said to be interesting, but it didn’t go far, mainly because they wanted someone with a bigger JAVA experience.

And, now, as one of their customer needs a three months work with WebDEV to be done, they offered me to start with this mission, to join their team (mainly because I have PC SOFT’s W*DEV skills.
Unfortunately, WebDEV seems to suck as much as WinDEV (refer to previous posts, there are many about how much WinDEV is pure shit).
I was very interested Friday, but thinking of it all week-end long (I was to give them a yes or a no on Monday), I decided to drop this opportunity.

Why ? To be sue to get exactly the job I want, the job I’ll like to have, the one that will make me happy. A Perl, Ruby or Ruby on Rails developper position.

Of course, it was better paid than my current job ; salary is not all for me.
Should I have accepted it anyway, to escape from here ? Even if it would lead me to work for three months on someone I don’t want to handle again ?
Wait & see…

Are you trying to communicate ?

Filed under: work, geek — Zifro September 1, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

One of the bosses of the main company I work for came in the office this morning to greet us ; he noticed my Slackware tee-shirt.

him : oh, you’ve got a pingoo !
me : no, it’s a Tux…
him : a Tux ?
me : a Tux !
him : ???
me : Tux is the name of the pingouin that symbolizes the Linux operating system
it’s a free, both as in free of charge and freedom, operating system
When it smokes Bob’s pipe, it’s the Slackware Tux. They all have a different way to
draw it
him : I know what Linux is, do you use Linux at home ?
me : I used to, but I’ve switched to OpenBSD… it’s for people with a bigger beard !

(he publicly made fun of me the first time I had let my hair and beard grow)

Next time I’ll bring chunky bacon or a gorilla at the office…

Things are going the right way

Filed under: IRC, work, Studies — Zifro August 9, 2006 @ 1:29 pm

Companies call me on a regular basis to offer me job opportunities, after they saw my profile on Great.

I have a second chance to present my night courses project on September 12th. Great.

I keep on hanging on #obsd @ Freenode with cool guys. Great.

So I gonna have a new job before Chistmas (if I decide to leave this one without having found the ONE GOOD JOB), have much work to achieve (the two Rails projects I’ll present are to be re-designed) and fun (sng, brandini and the others are definitely worth knowing).

New project, new horrific code lines

Filed under: work, WinDEV, code — Zifro August 7, 2006 @ 12:00 pm

I’m now working on a new project. Well, it’s something new for me, but the software I’m diving into has been used for years to retrieve data from our shops each night.

The code is pure shit.

For example, there is a procedure that compare two dates, contained in two global variables, and returns the result in the variable passed as parameter. See :

procedure compare_dates (result)

// comparison code…

result = …

Better seeing that than being blind, hu ?

Yay ! Week-end !

Filed under: work — Zifro August 2, 2006 @ 7:47 pm

Yeah ! It’s the week-end.

That was a hard week at work, but I finished coding fixes and evolutions for the piece of software I’m assigned to work on.

A 3 days week-end is exactly what I expected.

I’m still alive

Filed under: work, WinDEV — Zifro June 1, 2006 @ 9:48 am

I’m still alive.

I’m still wondering why I’m going to work, daily. Oh, to have money… I had forgotten that.

Well, WinDEV still depresses me, but I’m thinking of workin on my own on various projects (related to the domain names I bought :,,

Spread the word : WinDEV sucks.

WinDEV sucks (again)

Filed under: work, WinDEV, code — Zifro May 22, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

Yes, it sucks. I played a bit with its Object-Oriented features… damn ! You can’t test the class the objects belong to (typevar returns wlInstance and nothing more) , you can’t create objects and send them to a method (you must tie them to a var)…

You don’t use ::Creator, but var = gimme a (yes !).

Sorry, PC Soft guys, this is not what I call OOP.
Well, maybe it’ll be fixed in WinDEV 30, but it depresses me a lot to work with that.

Playing with a mobile camera

Filed under: work, *BSD — Zifro May 16, 2006 @ 1:21 pm

A colleague played with his Sony mobile camera. Jérôme and I were straight in the shot.


It looks like we’ve just signed a contract to put OpenBSD on all our customers computers.

(it looks like I’m just dreaming…)

<<< Previous Page -