Saturday, December 31, 2005

Slogging away

Just do it! That's the spirit. Sitting with 50+ bug reports of varying ages for AxCrypt, while I really want to forge ahead with AxCrypt2Go. Still, there are an estimated perhaps 250 000 users out there, and some of these things are pretty annoying... The user estimate is made from registration information. Currently there are about 50 000 registered users of AxCrypt, and I think it's pretty conservative to say that one-out-of-five actually will register with an e-mail address. It may well be a factor of 10 and higher too, or perhaps nobody is actually using it - they just register to make me happy. Who knows?

Anyway, although donations are not exactly making me consider quitting the day job, I still feel I have an obligation to update and fix annoyances and work on the new features too. This is not to ask you to donate - there is absolutely no requirement or expectation to do so. It's just that I find it amazing that this project is actually making a small, but still, impact on the world and that contributes to the sense of this being worthwhile.

So, slogging away at the bugs they're now reduced to a more manageable number, and I've started ticking them off one after another. Although the code in places is not quite what I'd write today, I still find it very nice that I can come back to 2-3-4 years old code, figure out what it does and why it does not work as intended and fix it in relatively short time.

The coding style feels fairly solid overall, although I've of course developed it over the years. One big lesson for me and you all: always assert all return values from the OS. Yes, even the ones that can't go wrong, or the ones where there's nothing to do anyway! It's saved me so many times, and helped pinpoint troublesome bugs really quickly. It's sooo cool to get a bug report from a user, stating that they got such and such an error message from AxCrypt where the message contains the full Windows error code, the source code file and the line number! That really helps.