Low-hanging fruit

posted by Jeff | Friday, December 28, 2007, 12:33 AM | comments: 0

We use a lot of really stupid cliches in the programming world. My boss likes to use "soup to nuts," which for some reason really annoys me, as few meals I eat every include soup or nuts. But low-hanging fruit is one we use to describe something that is a relatively easy win that has a favorable cost to benefit ratio.

Tonight I coded a feature for the forum app that has been on my list for a long time, namely an IP history tracker. Basically, it's a way to aggregate data to show events that happened from a particular IP address. This app happens to log security events and posts with IP addresses, so it's the combination of two data points. The usefulness centers around people posting under multiple accounts, for example. It's not something you'd use very often, but it's nice to have something that saves you from digging around the database itself.

It's funny how I can crank out things faster than I used to. I simply created an interface that post and security log objects had to implement to translate themselves into IP event objects, and ran two queries based on IP and times. The interface takes care of the translation in one easy method, and a comparer implementation sorts out the combined list.

I think for the parts I was really paying attention it took me maybe three hours of work, including testing and deployment into PointBuzz. Again, it's not a heavily used thing, but the idea was fairly clear, and it didn't take long to crank out.


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