Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.


I had to do some maintenance on the FILETAP program today. I last worked on it in 1988, as far as I can tell. The last time it was compiled was in 1990 (going by the file dates) but I doubt that anybody had changed the code since 1988 when I last worked on it. It's written to use the POISE SPL API, the Support Procedure Library.

As it turned out, the only reason it needed recompiled now is that one of MPL's POISE users finally found a use for field-and-record level security and the enhanced security features only work if the program is linked against the shared library (.EXE) and not the statically linked library (.OLB). And the program required no code changes to get it to work.

So where's the maintenance? It turns out that there are actually two version of this program, TFILETAP and FILETAP, and it's not obvious why there are two versions. FILETAP is the version that appears to be used the most, but TFILETAP is slightly different (mostly because it opens the key file for exclusive access). Unfortunately, as I've lamented several times in the past, we weren't using any sort of revision control back then, much less configuration control, so there is no history of changes, much less an explicit reason for the changes. Oh well. I guess I'll have to look at it some more later.

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