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Cannot Find File Created By Java IE Plug-in on Vista

Today's Best of Mike entry comes from January 2, 2008. I had recently upgraded to 64-bit Vista on my machine at work and was running into trouble finding files. Needless to say, this just happened to me again – again related to the Java IE plug-in writing to a virtualized directory. So as many of you are upgrading to Vista or Windows 7, perhaps this oldie but goodie will help you.

Cannot Find File Created By Java IE Plug-in on Vista

The virtualized directories provided by Vista have been both good and bad to me. One thing that keeps biting me is that the privilege level that Internet Explorer has is less than what I have as a user. Thus, when I download files from the Internet or interact with certain plug-ins, I am actually dealing with a sandbox version of my file system.

Today I was generating some XML files using an IE plug-in that allowed me to connect with various systems around the public and private network. When I saved the file, I was saving it to my default Documents folder (they dropped the redundant "My" in all the folder names for Vista). I even saw the other files that were already in my Documents folder. Alas, when I opened Documents, the file I just saved wasn't there.

What was wierder was when I regenerated the file, it showed up as being there, right next to all the normal files I could see. I was prompted "Overwrite Y/N?". I overwrote it, when to find it and it still wasn't there. I executed an "attrib" command on the folder thinking maybe it was hidden, but it wasn't listed. Then it hit me – the Documents folder I saw in the save dialog was virtualized because I was running the Java plug-in for Internet Explorer. To find the file, I had to navigate to

%userprofile%AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesVirtualizedCUsersmschubertDocuments

Maybe now that I've written about it I won't be caught so off guard in 3 weeks when this happens to me yet again.

At packet pickup




At packet pickup

Originally uploaded by Mike’s Adventures

The weather is much nicer than the last time I was here. Already checked my bike in. A mechanic from Roswell Bikes diagnosed and fixed the problem I was having in my 55×11 gearing so I am ready to race. Those guys at Roswell Bikes rock!

The Video Bug Report

There is a first time for everything, and several weeks ago I experienced my first video bug report. At first I was excited – it's not often that you can follow a use case all the way through and see a random defect on a client machine. Then, I was dismayed. You see, it came as an attachment to an email. The subject line was "Authenticated search bug". The body of the email only contained the video attachment. The video did not have sound. So, I watched the video and played go-fish for the bug.

In the end all I saw was a beautfully rendered search results page.

Between Ride




Between Ride

Originally uploaded by Mike’s Adventures

I met up with a bunch of folks from the Y today to ride out in Between, Georgia. Between is between Atlanta and Athens on US Hwy 78. Backroads are plentiful and made for a great ride today. We went 57.5 miles in total over rolling terrain. The weather was threatening all morning, but it only spit on us a couple of times.

It Needs To Do What It Does Today

Today's Best of Mike post comes from September 20, 2005. I recently flashed back to this post following the Connections launch. We had an existing "white pages" search at McKesson, but Profiles was to be that and more. After we launched, we got reports of certain things not working, including the ability to search on a person's user id. Neither I nor the business side PM was aware of that capability, so when we were verifying that the people search capabilities preserved existing functionality, we did not consider this use case. Hopefully we now have the best blend of new functionality and desired existing functionality.   

It Needs To Do What It Does Today

Mark Cuban had a post recently about doing things simply because that's the way things have always been done. I've been thinking a lot about some of the project kickoff and requirements meetings I have had for system upgrades over the years and one of the phrases that has always stuck out at me is "It needs to do what it does today."

Exactly what is that? In some cases, companies are able to produce documentation that shows the intentionality of a system from its conception all the way through every feature change and bug fix report. That is really the exception, though. Even as a system expert for many systems, I'm not entirely sure what some of these things "do today." My exposure to them as a software architect is generally in terms of what they don't do today or, more precisely, what they don't do well today.

Companies of all sizes would be best advised to assign software owners within their business units. The knee-jerk reaction to that is to say that IT needs to own it. IT should only own the plumbing, though. Things like the hardware (PCs, servers, network, switches, etc) and commodity software (productivity suite , email, operating system, etc). If the finance dept. decides to use T-Value, one of its members should become an expert with it, field questions from co-workers about it, and act as a liaison with the company that wrote it if problems arise. If the accounting department requests a custom reporting facility be built on top of their JD Edwards implementation, someone within accounting should be appointed system owner and be responsible for making sure the requirements are understood by all parties, the product developed is properly tested, and users are trained. They should know the system and have documentation of what it is supposed to do. System owners should also have someone to back them up in case they win the lottery or otherwise leave the company.

I see a future where the IT department isn't a silo sitting off on the horizon. In particular, I see developers within departments other than IT. They undoubtedly still report to Software Development Managers and up the chain within the IT department, but the organization chart will probably start to show dotted lines across to another department as well. Bringing a sense of system ownership within other departments is the first step towards bridging the gap between the geeks and those that run the business. And isn't system ownership what the American Dream is all about?

As for my response to people who say "well, it needs to do what it does today" … "Great – we're already finished."

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