Bug Hunting

Discussion of steamlocomotive.info, its shortcomings, flaws, features. Suggestions for improvement are welcomed as are problem reports, including spelling errors, missing images, etc.
Doug Bailey
Posts: 461
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:57 pm
Location: Eagan. MN

Bug Hunting

Postby Doug Bailey » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:05 pm

Unlike most websites, steamlocomotive.info is literally more a computer program than a website. The pages you view when you visit the site (with the exception of the Forums, Jeff Terry's Lineside Legacy and the About page) are all generated from information contained in our database a few milliseconds before you get to see the page.

One of the glories of this methodology is that it is easy to change the website: change a bit of information in the database, say the year a specific locomotive was built, and the change magically appears anywhere that locomotive's information is displayed. No need to hunt through reams of files to find the places to amend.

The downside of this, of course, is that it makes it possible to make mistakes on a much grander scale than you can in a static website. There's a Coldfusion file that is used to generate the little page you see when you click on a photo to enlarge it. That file has been around since September of 2002 and it has worked well. About six months ago, I noticed an error occur on that page, and I happily set about fixing it. Fixing it might be an overstatement. I cured that particular symptom and created at bug that, under certain circumstances, would refuse to show you any photos at all. Tonight, happily I tracked down and fixed that oopsie.

Anyone whose eyes have not glazed over by this point is probably a geek like me.
Doug Bailey, Webmaster

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