Today I worked late for the first time ever. It, as anticipated, sucked. Not in a standalone “noooo this is a fate worse than death!” sort of way, but in a “why couldn’t this week have ended four days ago” fashion. Lead-in disclaimer for the following paragraphs: nerdery ensues…

If I live to be a hundred and remain lame enough to write about it in 2083, I’ll still be railing on about Internet Explorer. My distaste for it is such that no matter how many Africans the Gates Foundation provides with food, clothing, and Short Term Single User Software Licenses, Bill Gates will be on the short list of people I irrationally hate. Other members include the guy who decided Mark Wahlberg should choose the monkey over the blonde in Planet of the Apes, and whomever happens to be dating Natalie Portman currently.

You see, the problem I have with Internet Explorer is that it sucks. If you are working on a website, there are basically three phases. Phase 1: Design. Phase 2: Implementation. Phase 3: Fix all of the things that work in every browser but Internet Explorer. In a typical web development lifecycle, Phase 3 lasts as long as Phase 1 and 2 combined, and is far less rewarding.

So it is that this week I’m working on a surprise continuation of Phase 3 in a project that should have been done months ago. Sadly, its original iteration was written in InfoPath, a fine product by – who’d have guessed! – Microsoft. What I inherited was completely wrong for the business process, so I learned InfoPath while rebuilding from nothing. Only when I started trying to test it did I find that InfoPath cannot do math. Addition, multiplication, you name it, InfoPath’s XML processing ruins the living hell out of it. Format it to death and back again and one cent plus two cents will (sometimes, not always) add up to .030000072001 dollars.

Now, here I am, having wrenched the Access backend (can I mention Access without writing a separate paragraph of my hatred for it? -maybe!) into shape and the fronted into semi-functional ASP. Turns out my initial testers are incompetent beyond compare and didn’t mention to me that half of the friggin’ totals are calculated completely wrong. They also mentioned, only in passing, that any data entry mistake causes the main form to be completely reset in Internet Explorer.

The first issue, I could fix… if someone would, you know, tell me how the totals are supposed to be determined. The second, to my delight, goes to the very core of how Explorer processes ASP code, and is probably going to require a very ridiculous and painful amount of data retrieval. And only now do we get to this post’s title –

Sweet, sweet relief! In the middle of my crappy day yesterday, I noticed a poster in the hall about the office next door selling ice cream this afternoon. In the middle of my crappy day today… I had to leave the building just in time to miss out on ice cream. And then it was 5:30 by the time I got back downtown. And boy, was that the perfect way to end the week.

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