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A team reported a typo in an Octothorpean Order online puzzlehunt puzzle's hint. So, no problem. I fix up the puzzle file on my computer, and go to upload it to the Octothorpean site… and get a mysterious error message. And I try uploading other puzzles to the site, and it's just not working. I hadn't changed the upload-code in years, but somehow it had broken.

I get caught up on current events and guess that the software platform has deprecated the storage area where I was temporarily caching uploaded files. So I figure I'll update the program, not keep trying to use this deprecated system.

I'm looking at the code, trying to remind myself how this thing is supposed to work. And it's pretty tangly: upload code puts a file into a temporary storage area, then makes a note on a "TODO" list. A while later, a totally different piece of code, running on a different machine checks the TODO list and copies the file data from the temporary area to a different storage area, the area that the server will actually use when showing the puzzle to solvers. And I'm trying to figure out the minimal change to the code that will get things working again, how to weave that little into this tangly mess.

And then I remember: The whole reason I wove this tangle in the first place was to work around a limitation in the platform… a problem that got solved years ago. So now I can bypass the tangle, just whoosh put the uploaded file data directly into the place it'll be used. No need to figure out a temporary storage space at all, no need for another machine or a TODO list.

I guess I'm saying it's a little annoying that the platform changed to not support that storage area, but it's very very not-annoying that the platform improved.

Anyhow, that's why it took me so long to fix that typo.

Tags: programming

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