ClearQuest is a Dog

I finally got my ClearQuest client upgraded to version 7.1. This thing looks and feels a lot different than the earlier version I am used to. For starters, the thing takes forever to launch. I spend a lot of time looking at the splash screen. The screen states that the product was built with Eclipse, and uses Java. Maybe that is part of the slowness.

When I do a query that results in many defects, the results are now paginated. Previously ClearQuest would put each of these defects in a single huge spreadsheet control for me to navigate. Now I need to guess which page the resullts will be on. If my guess is off, I need to click on the other results pages. Poorly done.

I cannot resize the preview pane for the defect I want to look at. What the heck? Somebody has determined the optimal layout of screen real estate for the query results and the preview. Great. The problem now is that I feel like I used to have much more room in the preview. At least I can double click a query result row and get a popup window will all the details.

From everything I have seen in the past week, I want my old version of the ClearQuest client back.

Rational Tool Upgrade Trouble

Our customer upgraded their Rational Tools Suite to version 7 this past weekend. As expected, the upgrade did not go smoothly. Here was the plan. The servers were going to be upgraded on the weekend. An upgrade icon was going to be pushed out to workstations to allow users to control when the client tools would be upgraded.

A lot of people did not receive the icon for the upgrade. I got the icon on one of my machines. However when I clicked the icon, I got an error because I did not have enough room on my C: drive. It seems that I need at least 1G of free space on my C: drive. Now my machine is a virtual one with a measly 10G of space on C:. Most of that space is currently used. I am now spending a lot of time trying to hack away at drive space used.

I know I may be in the minority. New computers have massive C: drives. But come on. Is this some major code bloat in the latest version. It would be best if I could just install those tools I actually need. That is a small list. I require ClearQuest and Clearcase. It would also be nice if I could specify what options are installed for these two products. Microsoft does that all the time and gives me the options to not install pieces. Can we get that from IBM here?

Rational Upgrade

My customer decided to finally upgrade to the latest version of Clearcase and ClearQuest. The upgrade was timed to happen between releases of other critical software. The plan is that the system administrators are going to upgrade the servers over the weekend. They are also going to push out a client upgrade program over the weekend.

People are supposed to keep their computers online over the weekend. Then on Monday, they are to launch the client program upgrade install. There is a story out that the last time we upgraded, things did not work too well. It was a while before we were able to access the ClearQuest data. I am doing a couple backups of my ClearQuest data myself just in case. I cannot afford to be offline from ClearQuest for more than a day or two.

Enterprise Generation Language

IBM has announced their Enterprise Generation Language (EGL). This is a new language to help with modernization legacy systems. The big idea is to convert legacy apps to the EGL. Then you can compile the EGL to a modern language and platform. Some applicable legacy environments to convert from in clued green screened terminal apps. The benefit from the conversion is that you can avoid any 3rd party licensing costs.

A main destination language that EGL targets is COBOL. You can compile EGL into COBOL for the IBM CICS or iSeries hardware platforms. You can also compile the EGL to Java to run on Websphere or Tomcat. Finally you can compile EGL to JavaScript to run in a web browser.

All of this EGL business is a shortcut from manually porting legacy code to a specific target system. A lot of legacy code has already been rewritten in Java. However the EGL case does sound good if you need to target multiple environments. Just convert the legacy code once to the EGL. Then you let the software do the hard work of porting to multiple environments. How do you like that?