Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


APT didn’t eat our theme. Adam did.

If you read this blog with a web-reader, you’ll note our (ahem) excellent new theme, and may be saying, wow, guys, “nice job”

Yeah. Ooops.

I upgraded to WordPress 3.3, and upgraded our theme, and in so doing, overwrote some of the CSS that Alex had tweaked. I didn’t test, and so things were wonky. What you see is quick hack fixes.

We could cover this up, pretend it didn’t happen, or blame APT. Hey, it’s true! Adam’s Paucity of Testing led to…oh, I can’t. Really? Even mocking people who blame everything on APT should be over by now. It’s just sad.

More to the point, we here at the New School talk a good game about how we need to talk about problems, rather than cover them up. So here’s our money where our mouths are. I, Adam Shostack, screwed up the blog presentation by not testing the upgrade before rolling it into production.

In more detail: we run this blog on the cheap. We don’t have production and test servers because it costs more. I failed to communicate with my team about the upgrade because past upgrades have gone smoothly. I didn’t bother to see if Alex would have free time to make pretty again if I created this problem, or any other problem. I just went ahead and pushed the button. Somewhere, Gene Kim is weeping at our change control process. Or maybe he’s saying “I told you so.”

No one likes to admit these things. Will we change process in the future? Probably. I haven’t brought Emergent Chaos up to WP3.3, because I’m going to try to test more. Will we backslide? Most likely. You know, these blogs, they’re a hobby, and when a security update hits, I’ll likely slap it out willy-nilly and then test to see if there’s issues.

See! That wasn’t so bad. It didn’t cost that much to talk about what went wrong. Of course, it’s small stakes, but doing these things when the stakes are small develops the habits of talking about them and makes it easier to talk about them when the stakes are (or feel) higher.

Your turn.