I've not been blogging too much recently. I think that this is mainly because I've spent the last two weeks grappling with the suppurating ulcerated sore that is StyleReport. This is simultaneously boring and frustrating - incredibly frustrating. It's got to the point where I've been dreading coming to work, and I've been clock watching and leaving dead on time. Working with StyleReport is actually stressful - I feel tight in the chest all the time I'm doing it, and at times it makes me genuinely angry.
Besides - StyleReport's report builder eats all the memory on my PC, leaving none for running a browser.
Still, I've finished with it for the moment, Thank Christ.
I think I can see how we ended up with it. If you tried out a really simple report, you could knock it out in minutes. Problem is, real world reports are difficult if not impossible. This is usually the case to some extent with tools which try to do too much for you - simple stuff is simple, complex stuff is difficult if not impossible.
StyleReport just takes this one stage further - sometimes, easy stuff is impossible, too. A justified paragraph with some words in bold? Sorry, no, impossible. Page breaks after a given database level break? No, a bug prevents any pages being printed thereafter. Embedded PNGs? Too slow for practical use. Tables with cells with differing border formats? Do one. A mix of portrait and landscape pages in a flow report? Sorry.
Sorry about that, everyone. Rant over. I just had to get that off my chest.
Update: The report I've just spent over a week working on won't run -