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How, why and my pitfalls

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  • How, why and my pitfalls

    Hope this is not to long and boring, just given a little about me and How I did my approach to the converter 10 years ago. I made it short as simple to make it clear as mud I hope.

    I was working part time to keep few outdated systems running. The company (I use that term loosely) was in the midst of going to a Windows desktops. They also were working on making applications for Windows using VB.

    VBers approached me and asked for help. "Rumor is you might be able to help us with making a VBX" umm VBX what ? So I did, was not pleasant, I had to do a self teaching crash coarse on Windows, get a handle on their ideal of programing. If the company did not step up, this would of not happened. They give me a PC, Visual Studio and all the books I could keep. I had hacked the VS IDE and made it my one stop IDE and started to make my own add ins to use it for everything.

    Stumbled across PB and rewrote what I made for them, the ideal was or in theory VB folks could maintain and create new stuff and I would not have to be involved. Also in retrospect, I got to know and took a liking to the guys in that group. They all had lost their blue collar jobs and was retrained as VB programmers. It came clear to me why they lacked knowledge outside VB. So at first we thought each other was dumb as a box of rocks.

    Their Boss decided that they would make PB the standard. I did not have the time at this point to help them carry this out. They company was getting behind schedule and they wanted to go 5 directions at once. The bottom line they had poor planing and spent more time running in circles.

    My plan – work from home on this, get a head of the game. I could make it freeware or shareware. I thought it would be a rather useful tool. I really liked PB was more like C and more of my flavor.

    I took a forrn, filled it with basic controls and menus. Put a message box in every event,
    the event name was shown in the message when triggered. (Master test Project)

    I also had plenty of stuff from work to test on as well.

    This is basically the steps I took to tackle it.

    Convert the GUI and the events. > went with sdk style btw later on to DDT

    Then added color and attributes of the GUI.

    Placement of the code in the right spot.

    Then I went for getting the code that abused the GUI code to work

    Next step was to work on basic code it self.

    This took a year or less and stopped improving it when manually editing a converted project took a few minutes to fix. The results varied between 60-95% . They where still busy with other stuff and had not officially started to move stuff. Projects from work was 90% or better getting converted.

    The rude awakening, source code is not all equally made. Some other department sent their applications to this location. It appeared that this maybe the main center for IT operations.

    My mistake. I assumed keyword... everyone defines variables, no one uses OOP unless there is truly a good reason and the source code would compile. Was rather a humbling experience. Had a conversion of 2% tops.

    I went back to just generating the GUI and used events. Gave that to the VB guys. Just flipping days later the company was bought and ended up being shipped overseas. So I tossed the converter project on a shelf. End up rotting there.

    I ended up porting applications across platforms as a contractor. Went to work for a real company. I ended up moving applications from Solaris to Windows as I was forced into retirement.

    Here is my thoughts ...BTW I have thick skin.

    Thinking back... grief and some thoughts.

    PB has many more features added.

    The VB code should meet some standards ?

    Trouble areas.....What sticks in my mind from 10 years mind is like a steel trap. a rusted one.. nothing gets in or out.

    The source code must compile in VB. The source code that did not convert better than 2% was actually sabotaged, found that out and it did not matter any ways.
    Undefined variables ... sorry leads back to option explicit
    Excessive module level globals
    OOP code
    casting variables to something different species
    Win sock
    VBX was no way to really support that at the time.

    I do believe this can be done to convert to 100% , Just going to be very time and detail consuming.

    I know I need to get in the svn system and take a look at the code.

    I was wondering what was open to be looked at or if there is some direction you would like me to to go here. ( OK my wife tells me to go there all the time so we can pass on that) <G>

    PS... no signs on my code here, still looking. I haven't seen the Makeddt code or such either, so there is a glimmer of hope yet !
    A dozen what.

  • #2
    Check Stan's last entry in the 'Source Code' thread in this forum.
    He has all the current files zipped for perusal by members. Just put it there yesterday.
    I just finished my first look at it in weeks.
    In some future era, dark matter and dark energy will only be found in Astronomy's Dark Ages.


    • #3
      Thanks Rodney
      A dozen what.