Friday, March 29, 2013

Hot Chips and Sand 126-130 Draft Comparison

Hot Chips and Sand
Copyright © 2013 Mary Hughes
All rights reserved

Three days later, Vickie sat down side by side with Cliff at the conference table.  “Okay, if“If we want to call this section of code both here and here, I think we should pull it out into a subroutine.”

            It was three days later.  They hadThey’d been working and working outexercising together for a whole week.  Vickie had never enjoyed herself so much, though she’d never let the man responsible know.

            Now he leaned over her, warm and companionable, and markedhighlighted a section of code on the print  out. screen[M1] . “If we pull this line, and this and this, I think we’ll have essentially what we need.”  He bit off the edge ofHe reached to one side, grabbed his tuna salad on whole wheat with sprouts and ranch dressing., and bit off the edge. [M2] 
            Vickie chewed on the tip of her eraser.  “What parameters?”

            Cliff pickedreached across her to pick up her sandwich, also a tuna on whole wheat with sprouts, and mayonnaise[M3] . waved it under her nose. “You should eat this instead.  of eraser. More nutritional value.”

            “Yeah, but higher in calories.”  She patted her tummy. “Too many fudge sundaes are starting to take their toll.”

            “Really?” He brightened. “Can I have it then?”

            “You’re worse than my dad’s dog.  Oh, okay,” she conceded when he started to pout theatrically, “You can have half.”  He brightened visibly.  “. The design calls for the same sort of thing to be done here, and, move your soda, here.  Should we combine functionality?”

            It’s mostly ice anyway.” [M4] He put the soda on the floor. to one side. “You’re playing devil’s advocate again, right?  I thought we’d decided to limit subssubroutines to one and only one function each.”

            “Yeah, just testing.  Can I have your brownie?”

            “Victoria Lynn.  You won’t eat your sandwich, because it’s too fattening, but you will eat two brownies?”

            “I was just thinking of you, Cliff, and your boyish figure.”

            “Victoria Lynn Johnston…”

            “Yes, mother?”  She smiled sweetly.


            “Can I have your peach then?”

            “Half.”  He sliced it awkwardly with a plastic fork.

            “Watch it!”  Vickie wiped peach juice off the print out and design documents. flat panel screen. “Have some respect.  You paid $80 an hour200 for the people who designed these docs.this monitor. We’re only worth $3080 an hour.”

            “We’re actually free right now.  Well, except for the cost of lunches.”

            “And breakfast today and yesterday.  And, if we’rewe work as late tonight as we were last night, dinner, too.”

            “Okay, you’re on.  Where do you want to go?”

            Vickie didn’t even have to consider.  “Let’s go to the“Mmm. Chinese? Italian? Sushi?”
“What’s wrong with pizza?”
“The pizza place in town.”

            ?” Cliff made a face.  “Not the one where they“They mistook the cardboard circle for a crust and made it into a pepperoni pizza?”.”

            Vickie had heard the story from Tess, too.  “Well, it’s not like it got to the table.  They thought the crust was still frozen and set it.”
“Because it caught fire in the oven to broil, and it caught on fire.  But no, I was thinking of.”
“Okay, what about the place where they make that divine stuffed spinach pizza.”?”

            Cliff’s eyes lit up.  “And that terrific double cheese garlic bread?”

            “Yep.  But,” her eyes narrowed, “But not until you write this subroutine[M5] .”

            “Oh, that’s easy.” “Easy.” He swung a chair around to the nearby terminal and sat down with a  graceful plop.  Afterthe keyboard in front of him and after a few minutes of key‑strokes, he turned. tapping, grinned at her. “All done.”

            “Not again.”  She groaned.  “That’s the third time!”

            “You haven’t tested it yet.”

            “I know it will work.  They all“It’ll work. They all work. It isn’t fair, you know.”

            He polished his fingernails on his shirt, admired them for a moment, and then smiled wickedly at her.  “Fastest coder in the MidwestEast.”

            “You really missed your calling.  You shouldn’t be heading up a multi‑million, multinational corporation.  You should be a grunt programmer, you techno‑dweeb, you.”

            “Compliments will get you nowhere.  I’m still waiting for the calling routine.”

            She pulled the keyboard over.  Ten minutes later, she looked up expectantly.  He was just polishing off her brownie.

            “HeyThat’s my brownie[M6] !”

            “I’m doing you a favor.  Your girlish figure, you know.  Drink your soda, and let me check your code.”

            “Well, don’t“Don’t you dare comment on the indenting.”

            “Speaking of comments, where are they?”

            She scanned her code, and blushed.  Even the most immature programmer put in some comments, to explain the program logic; otherwise the code might as well be worthless.

            “Uh, it’s self‑documenting?”

            He looked sternly at her.

            “Would you believe I was going to go back and put the comments in?”

            He shook his head slowly and glared.

            “Uh, well, you see…”  She nudged the thick print out overhis soda off [M7] the edge of the table.  It fell to the floor with a loud thud, pages scattering. splash and the clack of ice. “Oh, gosh, Cliff.  Clumsy me.  Could you pickclean that up?”  While he was distracted, Vickie grabbed the opportunity and gleefully commented the hell out of the code.

            Cliff finished foldingpicked up the print outlast ice cube, then stopped and gazed at the screen suspiciously.  “This wasn’t commented before.”

            “Oh, Cliff, of course it was commented before. . You must be having delusions, yes, that’s it…delusions brought on by a guilt complex developed from stealing my brownie.”

            He leaped up, grabbing hisher half‑full soda and holding it over her threateningly.  “Yeah?  Well in about a second, you’re going to have delugions.”

            She laughed, delighted. . “No, no, please!”  She wiped the tears from her eyes.  “That soda’s half yourmy day’s salary.  Don’t waste it!”

            He gazed at the cup in his hand as if seeing it for the first time.  “You’re right.”  He placed it, reverently, on the table.  “And the equivalent of two lines of code from you.”

            “Why, you…”  Vickie’s imprecation repertoire suddenly evaporated.  “Oh, yeah?” she sneered.

            “Snappy comeback.” .” Cliff had finished compiling and linkingsat, pulled the calling routinekeyboard over and started the compile and subroutine, and was testing.  link. Then he ran their test.
Vickie sighed.  That man could make code jump through hoops, roll over and beg.  Was there anything he couldn’t do?

            Apparently there was.  “Hey, Vickie.  It’s not working right.  See, when I put in this value, it’s supposed to return a true, but it seems to bypass this section altogether.”

            Vickie stared at the offending source code. Well hip-hip-hooray, he wasn’t perfect. The problem jumped out of the source code at her.  She stabbed at a line with her finger.  “Here.  See?  It’s supposed to say ‘if be ‘greater than or equal to,’ but it just says ‘greater than.’ to’. And,” she stared more intently, “this is your subroutine!”

            He made a face.  Then he shrugged. “Well,“So you say. I guess it’s a good thing we’re working together.”

            “You guess it’s a good thing?”  What an ego.  “? It would havewould’ve taken you ten minutes to find that bug.  Ten minutes.  At least.  And you just guess it’s a good thing that we’re working together?”

            “Okay, okay.  Here.  Have a sip of my soda.”  Suspiciously, she took a drink.  “Hey, not so much!”  He pulled the cup away.  “Okay, now you’re paid.”

            She kicked him in the leg.  If it had landed, he would have had a good sized bruise.  The agile creep, however, leaped nimbly out of the way.  How did he move that much mass that fast?

            She sat down, grumbling, at the terminalkeyboard, and corrected the code.  After recompiling and testing, she moved on to the next module.  Cliff was right with her.  He pointed at the screen.

            “Should we use a system library call here?”  She was already typing it in, so she just nodded.  A few seconds later, she continued, “and a…”

            “…duplicate error check,” he finished.  She nodded again, pleased.  The code was coming so easily, it felt like it flowed from her fingertips to the keyboard.  Cliff pulled the general subroutines book from the shelf.

            “Say,” she stared at the design doc, “I think we’ll need the sector find subroutine.  Oh, thanks.”  Cliff had the book open to the page she wanted, and she proceeded to type the call in. .[M8]  When she had completed the coding, she sent it to compile, and swung out of the chair.  Cliff, in a synchronous, fluid motion swung into the chair, and executed the test just as the compile finished.  It ran perfectly.

            They got through three more modules.  Then, suddenly, as they were writingSuddenly the defragger, the CRTdisplay flared into a screenful of scrolling gibberish.  Just as suddenly, it stopped. Vickie cleared the screen, andto a single line glowedpulsing alert icon.

            “E‑mail,” Cliff offered.
            “I know.”  She baredVickie hovered over it with her teeth.  When he didn’t offer any more wisecracks,mouse. The tag displayed, “From John” so she punched in the mail access.  “It’sclicked. A window popped up. She read, “System alarm from Tess,” she relayed, surprised.  “‘John. Vickie, it’s after 9:00.  Get out of here.  p.m.. Go home!! Love, TessJohn.’  Oh, Cliff, isn’t that nice of…nine o’clock!”

            Cliff had already cleared the table and was half‑way out the door.  “Pizza time!” he crowed.

            Vickie shrugged, then smiled and logged out.  “Oh boy. Overtime pay!”

 [M1]Technology has made greenbar obsolete.

 [M2]Again, cause before effect. As originally written, he bit off the edge of a ?? because the reader hadn’t been told there was a sandwich there yet or even that they were eating lunch.

 [M3]Getting rid of repeated description.

 [M4]Setting up the replacement for the greenbar.

 [M5]I’ll have to revisit this before final publication. If they’re in a gui-driven object oriented environment this won’t work as well.

 [M6]Just said “her brownie” in the preceding sentence. Don’t have to bash it.

 [M7]And we make the replacement for the greenbar. Sigh. Miss that greenbar (not J )

 [M8]There’s a difference between adding enough tech for verisimilitude and self-indulgence J

No comments:

Post a Comment