Damnit. Damnit. I need a beer. Oh hang on, I already have one.
Turns out that the algorithm I was converting ... was broken on the C end. No matter how much I tried testing the individual parts, when I turned on the full processing loop it just didn't match. After re-implementing the entire algorithm in both java and c (removing all the layers of abstraction i'd added) they all just checked out - but both produced crap - the original just wasn't doing the same thing at all. Well that was pretty much 2 days wasted, ending in a nasty headache at that.
Well probably more time wasted, as the algorithm I thought actually did something wasn't doing anything useful after-all. Well at least I can re-focus on that, and not waste my time.
Along the way I had a bit of a fight with the swing layout classes. Oddly enough the main memory I have from very first GUI programming I did in uni was how much we all had to fight with the toolkit layout system (well, after just how dreadfully slow it was - something beyond the complexity of gtk but running on a single sparc with 30 other students). Layout always seems to be an issue ... although TBH I think Gtk+ did a reasonable job for the most part - but then again 6 years of programming in it probably helped me forget it's weirdness. I kind of have it working but now when I use a different theme the content renders over the pane border.
Mid-afternoon being stumped I did some work in the yard - clearing some crap out of the way so I can level things off, and started said levelling, so at least my day wasn't a total loss. Although I think I have a bit more earth than I thought I did, so I might have to find somewhere to put it ... I have a rectangle of space I want to put a raised garden bed in, so I might have to look at putting a wall around that now too to hold some of the excess dirt (i'd hoped to leave that for later). I had a dead apricot tree there which i'd almost hacked out (without an axe), and today I managed to break the rest of the roots with some brute force so maybe i've just made myself a heap more work to do! While laying a string-line to get the levels I pinched my finger with a retaining wall block - barely hurt at the time but now I have a huge blood blister on it.
Hmm, the beer's finally starting to work. For a bit there I thought I might need something a bit stronger ...