Coding woes, and flapjack hoes…
The past few weeks have been a trying time for my family and I. My father has recently been diagnosed with discoid lupus (aka chronic skin lupus), and my mother is experiencing fibro and heart issues rather frequently (her health conditions have been ongoing for some time. She’s just happening to have multiple outbreaks, lately). Add to this the periodic depression that I deal with, and an awful lot of general stress. As a result, everything I do – aside from general ‘net malarky, and sleeping (and even the sleeping has been suffering a bit) – has been suffering.
I’ve been attempting to put in time on GEL Web things – specifically, loading product into the site, getting a marketing plan together, getting the blasted merchant account and gateway online, etc – and have been seeing my time wane to the point that this past week I’ve done nothing more than check e-mail, twice. I’ve been attempting to work on my side projects – things that I normally use to take my mind off of everything else. That hasn’t helped, either. In fact, I’m experiencing major issues with code.
Normally, when I sit down to code something, I get the idea of what I want to generate in my head, possibally do some hard-copy (that’s “on paper”) diagramming and code-sketching, and then open up notepad++ and start to write the lines of code that would spill forth a new and exciting feature (or at the least fix something that was balls up to begin with). Lately, however, I’ve sat down, known what I want to do, been unable to sketch things hardcopy, and when I’ve tried to just go ahead and write the code, I come out with so many syntax errors and complete weird routines that the PHP compiler responds:
PHP ERROR: Bitch, don’t even try it.
I sat down to change how my mp3 player interacts with the site. Originally, the doSomething plugin would upload a small template file to the website on every song change. Unfortunately, the system didn’t handle FTP properly and resulted in FTP having to be reset on the server side, twice. To solve the issue, I set the plugin up to call a php script on the site with specific data. I then used the _GET[$thingy] (Joni would love that) function to pull the data, format it, and insert it into a MySQL database. A second script is include()’ed into the template and pulls the data from the dbase to list the songs. The script the player calls is – essentially – a lot of “_GET[$thingy]” lines, variable assignments, and an SQL update statement. The script that displays the information is nothing more than an SQL query statement, variable assignments, and the html (and accompanying php echo statements) to format and output the playlist.
The second script is strikingly similar to the script used on the main index.php page to display entries. The first script is really a simplistic data parser. Both, combined, should have taken no longer than 30 minutes at the outside to write. Total time to get the project live and working? Two and one-half hours. Total number of times I – like an idiot – had to go and look up a php/SQL command? Thirty-seven. Total number of different php/SQL commands utilized? Twelve.
Needless to say, I’m codeblocked. This is not good considering I have yet to finish the final touches on the Applegate Farms project, START the United Ghost Hunters’ Network project, finish the “writings” section for this site, finish the linkblog for this site, and fully implement XML_RPC pinging for this site. That’s not even touching on implementing multiple and cascading category functions on this pretty little site – something I haven’t yet gotten off of the hardcopy phase.
The biggest problem, really, is that I have commitments, not only to myself and my company, but to others as well. I hate breaking commitments. Unfortunately, I have no clue what to do when I can’t code. Normally I can walk away for an hour, two, or even a day. When I come back, I do much better. That’s not helping, right now. It’s the biggest case of code block, I’ve ever experienced.
Perhaps sometime this next week, my ability to code will return, my drive to work on GEL Web will return, my sense of humour will return, and I’ll stop worrying about things.