Student Parking Registration

I should have seen the writing on the wall 5 years ago..

I’m busy fixing the online Student Parking Registration app, which has been sorta broken ever since the uPortal launch. Student Parking is a unique application. It’s the only app we have here that:

  • Communicates directly with the HP3000 mainframe via TCP sockets, and
  • Is not part of the monolithic ‘myUMBC’ Perl codebase.

Combine these two, and you get “never-ending headache”. Five years ago, when the app was written, I had vague misgivings about it being developed this way, but due to a combination of laziness and busy-ness, I didn’t say anything about it. So it went up, ran for five years, and broke with the new portal. And now, I’m stuck doing what should have been done with it from the start: I’m essentially rewriting it and building it into the myUMBC Perl codebase. Once that’s done, it’ll be reliable, it’ll have better error handling, it’ll deal with mandatory PIN changes, it’ll have a UI consistent with the rest of the myUMBC SIS functions, etc. etc. In a nutshell, it’ll work the way it’s supposed to, and I’ll be able to stop treating it like some high-maintenance colicky infant.

It doesn’t help that there are like 10 copies of the code floating around in various places, either. Half the fun was tracking down the version that was actually running in production…

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