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This year is different


Thursday, December 24, 2009

I normally don't do Christmas greetings. Mind you, this is not because I am some kind of Scrooge waiting for a Christmas Ghost to visit me, or that I don't have Christmas Spirit, or anything like that. The answer is much simpler: Real men send New Year greetings instead.
If you think about it, it is all advantages:

  • When you wish a man a merry Christmas, you are wishing him a single day of merriness. When you wish a man a happy new year, you are wishing him 355 days of happiness, and 356 once every four years(*). Improvement ratio: 355.25/1

  • You get an extra full week to finish development of the greeting, squash bugs, optimize it and do extra QA.

  • There is much more material for the greeting. You can speak about all the things that happened in the past year, all the things you expect to happen in the next, and that is enough to write a book. What is your theme in a Christmas greeting? A Christmas tree? An old guy entering in the house by the chimney?.

  • It allows you to be different for the sake of being different. You know, like when they decided in Vista that they should change "My documents" to "Documents". That kind of different(**). And when people ask you why you didn't greet them for Christmas, you can say the greeting is delayed "just like the project", which gives you something to speak about.

But this year is different.

I could say that my reason for the change is that now I really "get" the Christmas spirit, or even that I feel that after more than 10 years doing Happy New Year greetings I feel its time for a change, but I would be lying, and thus I wouldn't get my gift when Santa checks his list by the second time(***).

So let's just say that I am under serious pressure to change my release date from some powerful people at the North Pole. There is a big conspiracy going on, but I am not allowed to say more or I might not get my gift after all.

In order to achieve my deadline, this year I have decided to repackage all bugs in this greeting as features, and ship it "as is" before the 24. So if you get any core dump in this greet, any null pointer exception or blue screen, remember they were put there in purpose, they are not bugs. It is just to remind you how fragile is life, and how we must treasure every second of it. Or something.

Might Santa Claus be with you. Feliz Navidad!

(*) Now that I think about it, I should be charging extra for my greetings in leap years.

(**) Or should I say "innovation"?

(***) I never really understood why Santa has to check his list twice. Is he afraid of making a mistake? If he can make a mistake once, how can we be sure he won't do it again when he rechecks? Does he do any kind of regression testing? Food for thought.

Adrian Gallero


This blog post has received 4 comments.

1. Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 1:36:21 PM

Hmm... Delphi''s DateUtils unit says there 365 days in a year, 366 in leap years. I''ll have to report that to Quality Central.

David Cornelius

2. Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 1:52:36 PM

David: I think that Delphi''s DateUtils are ok.
The issue is, in normal years my greetings are finished at January 10. So I am actually wishing for 355 or 356 days, since I can''t wish retroactively. When was the last time someone wished you a "happy last year?".

What, did you think it was a bug in my greeting? No way. It was a feature!


Adrian Gallero

3. Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 2:43:04 PM

Ah! That explains it. Glad to know there aren''t any bugs. ;-)

David Cornelius

4. Friday, December 25, 2009 at 3:56:41 AM

Aaghh, now I understand, I thought you released before the end of the month to brush up the revenue numbers for this quarter to please the stock analysts :-)

Bruno Fierens

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