02/11/2007

Once upon a time in ... @Formula.

Whenever I feel blue about a technical project/problem I like to read (once again) a very interesting post by Damien Katz titled "Formula engine rewrite" (written in English).

The post is about the story of a single programmer (Damien) who had the chance to rewrite the @Formula language engine: it was a very though work, trying to better the @Formula language who was one of the milestone tools written in the "early days" by Ray Ozzie himself (at the beginning not for Lotus Notes, but for Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet).

That story is one of my favourite ones because:
  • it's well written, like a novel, a heroic one
  • it's a honest story, giving some hints on the "true life" in big sw companies
  • it shows the technical challanges the author had to face: the lack of his C++ knowledge, the bugs he had to reintroduce to be compatible with the old @Formula engine
  • it shows the existence of "villains" colleagues who think that Damien is just showing off
  • the happy ending: the acknowledgement by Ray Ozzie, the guru, who liked the nice work.
In small words: a single person can make a very good job, even if he/she works for a a very big company ;-)

Never give up!

References:
1. Formula engine rewrite : the heroic story for any programmer
2. Enhancements to the formula language in Domino 6 : what was new about @Formula
3. LotusScript DatabaseDesign Class : a very handy library for LS programmers
4. last but not least, CouchDb : the new work by Damien, a new "document database server".

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