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Really pretty hard, or so it seems.
So I'm still working on this early 90's standard, which is pretty impossible to read.
It's basically like this:
You have a code being a certain data field, like 123456 for weight and 654321 for quality.
This goes in a header with two leading zeroes and the fields length (two digits) and precision (one digit).
So a part of a header could be: "0012345605200654321020".
Then comes the value lines, which is just the values, like "00322A ".
The complete (simplified) document would look like:
So taking the header and values we get the C# values of 3.22m for weight and "A" for quality.
I've got documentation with all fields, their lengths, possible values, and which fields are mandatory and optional or conditional.
So now I've got this entire document which is completely according to the specs, which must be read by some third party application.
And it fails with an ACCESS VIOLATION EXCEPTION!?
No "failed to parse value 'x' for field 'y'" or "missing mandatory field 'z'", just an access violation.
So I've got some example files that I know that work, so I decide to look at one and dissect the header and fields one by one (I've written a little program for that) and see if I can spot a difference.
I can spot two differences, the sample file has a lot of optional fields with invalid values and it's missing 20 characters in the value line.
We decided to add those optional fields to our own document, including the invalid values (but with correct length) and it works
Why on earth is an invalid document read without issues and does a valid document fail with an access violation?
You can bet your ass that's not the only thing wrong with this application
Anyway, I'm now waiting on a reply from someone who's on a vacation for the next two weeks or so.
The best I've ever heard was "I'm quite busy today, but can you call back tomorrow?"
When I called back the other day I got the receptionist telling me today was the first day of his three week vacation
It wasn't important, I only needed access to their systems so I could do my work.
So that meant my three week vacation started that day as well
A friend of mine recently started at a company.
His job was to streamline their AWS resources and deployments... Except it took months for him to get the access he needed to do his job
He's been "doing research" and writing blogs for two months until he could finally do his job.
I should mention he's a pretty expensive external consultant.
If I were his boss' boss I'd fire him on the spot for wasting my money and my friends time like that
That said, most managers I've worked under would get that treatment if I were their boss...