Infrastructure The silent project plan killer

In theory, you get a piece of software and install it and begin using it. That works maybe 30% of the time. Invariably, you run the install and various messages begin to pop up. Maybe you have a permission problem, maybe there is a pre-requisite that you don’t have, maybe it’s a platform learning curve you need to go through, maybe the app connects to a database but you don;t have the right driver, it seems like it’s always something. Worse yet, these problems are often serial in nature causing an accumulation of delays.

Here’s a few recent issues that are causing me delays.

1) Running Android emulators on a laptop.

Besides the challenges of getting them installed, and getting Appcelerator installed, When I finally was able to click the run button on a sample application, I was getting errors and the emulator was not coming up. After straight-out tinkering, I figured out that I had to select emulation in one of the menus, but then the next problem occurred. It was amazingly slow. I mean 10 minutes to load the emulator. So technically it was working, but that’s like an airplane pushing back from the gate so they can say they left on time only for you to sit for 2 hours on the tarmac waiting for the ground traffic.

So upon investigation, I discovered that the Android emulators work best when you have Hyper-v capability in your OS and CPU. Ok, How do I figure that out? After a bit of googling, I found a CPU tool that tells you.

So after probably 5 hours of tinkering, cajoling and wrestling with my Machine, I come to find out that I need a different machine. This mind-you has nothing to do with the intended work of  building a mobile app. Part of the blame here is on Appcelerator, but this is very standard in my experience.

2) Moving Appcelerator to my Mac.
Mac is better, right? I’m currently up to 2-3 hours trying to get Appcelerator running on my Mac. Originally I was getting a message that 3 supporting components needed to be installed and to click here to install them. When I did it then prompted me for my password. It seemed not to take my passowrd as it reprompted me but after 3 tries it went on and later failed. In looking at the logs (which the software told me to do but not how or where), I saw messages suggesting the admin login does not work and one should install the other components manually.

The story continues, but the basic point is that installation of software is usually fraught with unexpected delays and sometimes dead ends. Plan for these uncertainties or pay the price.