BBX3D: You know you're innovating when... / by Nate Westheimer

...when you find a (minor) hole in a major development framework. Last night, we had a bit of a scare over at BricaBox HQ.

But first some background:

A few weeks ago, I (without consulting Kyle -- big mistake!) picked today (Friday) to give a couple important Alley-based publishing companies the first look at The BricaBox Platform. Not only was this our official start of our publisher development (sales) campaign, it was also an opportunity to hear how our platform would fit into their publishing needs.

We've been calling today "BBX3D," or BricaBox Demo D-Day.

Anyway, our development schedule has been moving at a super fast clip, especially over the past two weeks, as we try to get the app ready to demo; and, last night, we decided to push out a major back-end upgrade.

The thing is, this upgrade wasn't just a few features by any means: this had some super serious coding involved. I think they call it engineering -- something you don't see too frequently in "Web 2.0" companies these days. Basically, we pushed out the bionic heart of BricaBox, our layout and mash-up engine. Everything was working fantastically in development, and then we deployed...

To make a long story short, a bunch of new stuff which worked in development stopped working in production, but in very mysterious ways. Even after we called our sys admins/hosts and investigated together, we (and they) still couldn't figure out what the heck was going on. Everything looked perfect on paper and in theory.

To shorten this story even more (and also to save the techie details for a future post by Kyle on the BricaBox Blog), what we found out is that Kyle's coding feats exposed a hole/irregularity in Rails. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised, since RoR isn't the most mature development framework in the world; nonetheless, I was a little surprised that we found the hole.

So, despite being completely freaked out that our app would be dead for the next day's demos, the whole experience was also kind of cool. How often do you get to innovate enough to break something big and important? Maybe that's just my way of looking at things at 1am the night before (morning of) a big day.

To think we signed-up for this life...