• fullstop (unregistered)

    It's like trying to build a house without any nails.

    or lumber.

  • Code Slave (unregistered)

    My Gawd! Are you even allowed to bang rocks together?

  • (cs) in reply to fullstop
    Anonymous:
    It's like trying to build a house without any nails.

    or lumber.


    Or cement, or bricks.  Come up with another approach.  We will forbid that, too.  Call it spec by negation.

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko

  • (cs)

    All communications are to be done by carrier pigeon carrying stone tablets.

    (Griping it by the husks is strictly forbidden.)

  • (cs) in reply to Gene Wirchenko
    Gene Wirchenko:

    Or cement, or bricks.  Come up with another approach.  We will forbid that, too.  Call it spec by negation.


    And a new phrase is coined...
  • (cs) in reply to Gene Wirchenko

    Or tea!

  • (cs)

    I have to say what your attempting to do is amazing...

    what they are trying to get you to do.. is out of this world... i mean really... out of this world lol

    whats the criteria of a sucessful messaging system when its not be working for like 1 year.. i guess none of the tests are an indication of getting it working.. hehe

    you know what it sounds like your trying to make? remember microsoft mail? its pretty much like that lol

    ... a web service call that doesn't like erm use network communications.. sounds like persisting an xml file to me

    .. no sensitive information cached on the server... but you have to write the information to disk... I HAVE THE ONLY solution.. you must keep EVERYTHING in memory and you must write the xml file... just before the other service comes into to get the file..

    dear oh dear..

  • Colin (unregistered)
    Alex Papadimoulis:
    * I can't really tell you what the state is, but I'll give you a clue. It has a city named Springfield. And it's not Illinois.


    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springfield:




  • Xaprb (unregistered)

    This looks like the guy's website:

    http://www.ashlux.com/?postid=31

    I think there's even more WTF than posted here, folks!

  • (cs)

    This is a good example why I won't touch anything web related with a 10 ft. pole anymore.... unless it's a personal project. Some of these constraints make no sense, as if they are there simply to make the job harder. This whole thing sounds like a huge hack spawning from one manager being stubborn. Eck, just my $0.02

  • Military Guy (unregistered)

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

     

    Over.

  • ChiefCrazyTalk (unregistered) in reply to Colin
    Anonymous:
    Alex Papadimoulis:
    * I can't really tell you what the state is, but I'll give you a clue. It has a city named Springfield. And it's not Illinois.


    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springfield:

     

    ..etc




     

    yeah, before you posted this, I was about to say that doesn't narrow things down much!  Are there any States NOT in that list?

  • Ralph (unregistered) in reply to Colin
    Anonymous:
    Alex Papadimoulis:
    * I can't really tell you what the state is, but I'll give you a clue. It has a city named Springfield. And it's not Illinois.


    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springfield:




     

    Trimmed down to participant in SST gives:


    Springfield, Alabama
    Springfield, Arkansas
    Springfield, California
    Springfield, Florida
    Springfield, Georgia
    Springfield, Indiana
    Springfield, Kentucky
    Springfield, Louisiana
    Springfield, Maine
    Springfield, Maryland
    Springfield, Massachusetts
    Springfield, Michigan
    Springfield, Minnesota
    Springfield, Missouri
    Springfield, Nebraska
    Springfield, New Jersey
    Springfield, New York
    Springfield, North Carolina
    Springfield, Ohio
    Springfield, Pennsylvania
    Springfield, South Carolina
    Springfield, South Dakota
    Springfield, Tennessee
    Springfield, Texas
    Springfield, Vermont
    Springfield, Virginia
    Springfield, West Virginia
    Springfield, Wisconsin

     

    (from http://www.streamlinedsalestax.org/)

  • (cs) in reply to ChiefCrazyTalk

    Well, it's 33 states in the list. Strike Illinois, and you still have well over 50% of the states.

  • (cs) in reply to ChiefCrazyTalk

    I enjoyed this one a lot, it's a great post.  The best part is that it is different; I know i personally expected this to be the typical "clueless programmer spending 8 months reinventing the addition operator" type story, when in fact it shows that sometimes the WTF is not the programmer, but the policies he or she must follow.

  • Wayne (unregistered) in reply to CornedBee

    CornedBee:
    Well, it's 33 states in the list. Strike Illinois, and you still have well over 50% of the states.

    Interestingly enough, it's a state that's not on the list.  If you look at the guy's blog, it's clear it's Oklahoma.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Ralph

    If you go to http://www.ashlux.com/?postid=30 he describes his project in much similar terms, except that he mentions the state which (I think) is responsible for the webservice nightmare.  The only problem is that "Springfield" is not a city in the specified state.

    Now I'm confused...

     

     

     

  • (cs) in reply to fullstop
    Anonymous:
    It's like trying to build a house without any nails.

    or lumber.



    Or a hammer.
  • (cs) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:

    If you go to http://www.ashlux.com/?postid=30 he describes his project in much similar terms, except that he mentions the state which (I think) is responsible for the webservice nightmare.  The only problem is that "Springfield" is not a city in the specified state.

    Now I'm confused...

    The Springfield thing was a Simpsons reference: they live in Springfield but always hide the name of the state. And of course, there's a Springfield in every state ... err, so I thought ...

  • (cs)

    This is what happens when you let Homer Simpson design software.

  • (cs)

    Seems to me it would be a lot quicker (and less expensive) to hire a mail delivering company to transport the data between officies, and then hire... lets say 100 interns to type in the data on local terminals...

    Or maybe just buy a 1000 typewriters and have monkies type on them - in the end, they gotta generate the desired result [:)]

  • Anonymous coward (unregistered) in reply to JoeyLemur
    JoeyLemur:
    This is what happens when you let Homer Simpson design software.


    D'oh!
  • (cs) in reply to Anonymous coward

    I believe this practice in government projects dates back thousands of years.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%205;&version=31;

  • (cs)

    from texas eh? ;-)

  • (cs) in reply to Xaprb

    See http://www.ashlux.com/?postid=23; it clearly states that he is actually working for the Oklahoma state government; government red tape at it's best[:#]!

  • (cs) in reply to GoatCheez
    GoatCheez:
    This is a good example why I won't touch anything web related with a 10 ft. pole anymore.... unless it's a personal project. Some of these constraints make no sense, as if they are there simply to make the job harder. This whole thing sounds like a huge hack spawning from one manager being stubborn. Eck, just my $0.02


    The main WTF is not that it's web related. Sounds more like a political/gubbermint related issue in that there is a bunch of empire building and nobody wants anyone else to get access to "their stuff". Fairly typical, but WTF-ish none the less.
  • Dancebert (unregistered)

    "Government is a necessary evil; let us have as little of it as possible."

    Thomas Paine

  • (cs) in reply to loneprogrammer
    loneprogrammer:
    Anonymous:
    It's like trying to build a house without any nails.

    or lumber.



    Or a hammer.


    These guys would use their heads instead anyway.

    poor bastards....
  • (cs) in reply to Lizard of Oz
    Lizard of Oz:

    Seems to me it would be a lot quicker (and less expensive) to hire a mail delivering company to transport the data between officies, and then hire... lets say 100 interns to type in the data on local terminals...

    Or maybe just buy a 1000 typewriters and have monkies type on them - in the end, they gotta generate the desired result [:)]


    I was once asked to write a system where a form was emailed to a population (in the body, not as an attachment), who filled it out and was asked to fax it back. We would then scan it, route the images to keyers who would then type the data back in. The data was then uploaded to a mainframe where other programmers wrote something so the answers could be married back to the person who the email was sent to in the first place.

    All for some crappy satisfaction survey.

    My suggestion to simply send a link to a web survey was rejected because "people aren't comfortable with the Web...we won't get any responses".

    I emailed them a faxed image of my resignation.
  • Scott Stroz (unregistered)

    Are you allowed to use a computer?

  • (cs) in reply to ChiefCrazyTalk
    ChiefCrazyTalk:

    yeah, before you posted this, I was about to say that doesn't narrow things down much!  Are there any States NOT in that list?

    My home state of Delaware isn't in that list :(

  • (cs) in reply to Manni

    It's about evenly split... 26 states have a "Springfield", 24 don't.

  • Mario (unregistered) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    The Springfield thing was a Simpsons reference: they live in Springfield but always hide the name of the state. And of course, there's a Springfield in every state ... err, so I thought ...

    Yes, but we know which state it's in: O Hio Maude!
  • Gabe (unregistered)

    Even further, I would not be able to initiate network communications.  That is, our systems group would have to write a program using sockets that will constantly "ping" my system to see if it needed anything. I would then have to write a server that would respond to these with things like "VERIFYPASS username password" and read back the response.

    It gets worse: Presumably this VERIFYPASS is because an incoming connection needs to be authenticated. This means that any incoming transaction is delayed until his server gets its "ping" to see if it needs anything.

    If the rate of incoming transactions is faster than the rate at which the server gets "pinged", the system will be in live-lock and transactions will never finish!

  • (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    There are two portions to the project:
    (1) A SOAP client to retrieve a list of sellers who have volunteered (yes, it's 100% voluntary) to collect tax for the SST program
    (2) A SOAP server to accept payments and sales reports from said sellers



    I'm sure that if they really thought about it, they could come up with objections to the SOAP part, as well.

    First off, anything with the word "Simple" in it can't be stable.  And secondly, it's documented by the "XML **Working** Group".  Obviously it's in a state of flux and can't be relied on.
  • (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    I would then have to write a server that would respond to these with things like "VERIFYPASS username password" and read back the response.



    Uh-huh.  And these passwords are being transmitted in the clear on the local network?  Granted, if everything is configured exactely right, it should not be transmitted outside.  But it's one flimsy door away from a breach.

    And if you're going to rely on things being configured correctly, why not let the web server initiate the database connection?

    "I feel like I'm taking CRAZY PILLS!"
  • (cs) in reply to Gabe
    Anonymous:

    Even further, I would not be able to initiate network communications.  That is, our systems group would have to write a program using sockets that will constantly "ping" my system to see if it needed anything. I would then have to write a server that would respond to these with things like "VERIFYPASS username password" and read back the response.

    It gets worse: Presumably this VERIFYPASS is because an incoming connection needs to be authenticated. This means that any incoming transaction is delayed until his server gets its "ping" to see if it needs anything.

    If the rate of incoming transactions is faster than the rate at which the server gets "pinged", the system will be in live-lock and transactions will never finish!


    That's the easy part to work around.  We'll just have the pinging happen about 10 times per second.  Then we should have prompt responses.  And if there is a backlog, we'll step it up to 100 per second.

    (Meanwhile, in the next room, the Web Server administrator is saying "Where does this DOS attack keep coming from?")
  • John Hensley (unregistered) in reply to John Smallberries
    John Smallberries:

    I was once asked to write a system where a form was emailed to a population (in the body, not as an attachment), who filled it out and was asked to fax it back. We would then scan it, route the images to keyers who would then type the data back in. The data was then uploaded to a mainframe where other programmers wrote something so the answers could be married back to the person who the email was sent to in the first place.

    All for some crappy satisfaction survey.

    My suggestion to simply send a link to a web survey was rejected because "people aren't comfortable with the Web...we won't get any responses".

    I emailed them a faxed image of my resignation.

    This is exactly what you have to do sometimes to reach a particular audience. A recruiter for Expedia once told me that they book for a diving company in the Bahamas that takes reservations by fax. When someone books a tour with them on the Expedia web site, Expedia's computers render the reservation and dial the fax machine. No idea what happens from there. Joel on Software mentions the same setup for a bill payment service.

    The only part of Luther's requirements that I think would be impossible is the "no database" part.

  • BigJimmy (unregistered) in reply to Colin

    A quick check of his blog reveals the truth... OOOOOOOOOOOklahoma!

    Not that I'm into musicals or anything.

    Jim

  • DreamWraith (unregistered) in reply to BigJimmy

    According to the whois lookup on his domain name:

    Ashley Lux
    XXX W. Jefferson Pl.
    Broken Arrow, na
    US

    Thats Nevada Folks.


  • (cs) in reply to DreamWraith

    DreamWraith:
    According to the whois lookup on his domain name:

    Ashley Lux
    XXX W. Jefferson Pl.
    Broken Arrow, na
    US

    Thats Nevada Folks.


    NA is the commonly-known acronym for "Not applicable". If you were trying to mail something to Nevada, I suggest using the abbreviation "NV". I know, I know, simple mistake 'cuz the keys are right next to each other.

  • kahuna (unregistered) in reply to DreamWraith
    Anonymous:
    According to the whois lookup on his domain name:

    Ashley Lux
    XXX W. Jefferson Pl.
    Broken Arrow, na
    US

    Thats Nevada Folks.




    not last time I checked... nevada is NV. as far as I can recall, there isn't an NA..
  • (cs) in reply to marvin_rabbit
    marvin_rabbit:
    Anonymous:

    Even further, I would not be able to initiate network communications.  That is, our systems group would have to write a program using sockets that will constantly "ping" my system to see if it needed anything. I would then have to write a server that would respond to these with things like "VERIFYPASS username password" and read back the response.

    It gets worse: Presumably this VERIFYPASS is because an incoming connection needs to be authenticated. This means that any incoming transaction is delayed until his server gets its "ping" to see if it needs anything.

    If the rate of incoming transactions is faster than the rate at which the server gets "pinged", the system will be in live-lock and transactions will never finish!


    That's the easy part to work around.  We'll just have the pinging happen about 10 times per second.  Then we should have prompt responses.  And if there is a backlog, we'll step it up to 100 per second.

    (Meanwhile, in the next room, the Web Server administrator is saying "Where does this DOS attack keep coming from?")
    *Sigh*

    All this arguing about which State the guy's in, from people who would be better off arguing about *state machines*.  (Finite State Automatons, for those who speak another geek dialect.)  The requirements aren't the prettiest, but the real world is rarely pretty.

    And, presumably, part of the information exchange could indicate load and/or backlog.  A properly designed system will know how to shed excess load when required in order to provide degraded but acceptable service instead of simply crashing, as apparently some programmers on this thread would prefer.  (Fortunately, most systems run quicker than designed because new hardware becomes available, so proper design can be avoided.)
  • Ash (unregistered)

    As the person who wrote this, I can tell you this IT shop is a train wreck.  No joke, they have been trying to migrate off of the mainframe for over a decade now.  They might be 10% done? (And that's an incredibly generous estimate too!)


  • yes it is (unregistered)

    Luther must be a noob. He's going to be really dissappointed when he discovers it's pretty much like that everywhere.

  • (cs) in reply to John Smallberries

    John Smallberries:

    I emailed them a faxed image of my resignation.

    Should have faxed them a link to your resignation

  • Luther (unregistered) in reply to yes it is

  • (cs)

    What a nightmare!  Was this firm public or private?  I've never had the joy of working in the public sector...I wonder if this is emblematic.

  • (cs) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Alex Papadimoulis:
    Anonymous:

    If you go to http://www.ashlux.com/?postid=30 he describes his project in much similar terms, except that he mentions the state which (I think) is responsible for the webservice nightmare.  The only problem is that "Springfield" is not a city in the specified state.

    Now I'm confused...

    The Springfield thing was a Simpsons reference: they live in Springfield but always hide the name of the state. And of course, there's a Springfield in every state ... err, so I thought ...

    Aha! A clue!

    *Jessica* Simpson was born in Texas ...

    And there's a Springfield in Texas ...

    Sooooooo ...

    If she weighs the same as a duck, then ...

    She's a witch! Burn her! Build a ladder out of her!

  • Anonymous Coward (unregistered) in reply to chrismcb
    chrismcb:

    John Smallberries:

    I emailed them a faxed image of my resignation.

    Should have faxed them a link to your resignation



    Or even better, emailed then a faxed image of the link to your resignation.

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