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Ovid (2709)

Ovid
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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Friday May 24, 2002
11:04 AM

Validation is your friend

[ #5206 ]

Stupid client tricks == $$. Um, $$ is money, not process ID :)

We have a client that I will call Acme. Acme called us a few months ago because they were in breach of contract to one of their clients. It seems that they received a constant feed of financial data and were supposed to display it on their Web sites, but they only had static Web pages. I was asked how fast I could get this done. It took me a couple of days with the caveat that I needed to go back in and add more robust data validation.

Fast forward several months. Acme vetoed our proposal to add the data validation. Their data is computer generated, so it can't have any errors. Naturally, they call us every couple of weeks screaming at us that my programs are broken. As it turns out, my programs never broke, they just kept sending bad data to my programs.

We got a call this morning informing us that their data was out of date for two weeks, but no one noticed (probably because they don't have any more customers). A new guy actually asked us why we weren't validating the data. Sigh.

We're sending them an email showing our original refused estimate and the amount we have billed them in the process of finding their mistakes. It seems that they have spent twice as much money and lost the trust of their customers because they were a little too tight with their money (here's a hint: they churn through millions of dollars a day and the cost to add the data validation was about the same as one of my paychecks).

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  • I wonder ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    ... how many e-mail discussions of the process ID variable have been dumped into spam folders or disappeared into black holes? It's happened to me before, when it was in the subject line (not that I particular cared about the discussion).
    • how many e-mail discussions of the process ID variable have been dumped into spam folders or disappeared into black holes?

      Quite! I think it happened twice that Nat's spam filter killed chapters that I sent him because one mentioned an HTML <body> tag with a bgcolor attribute, and because another mentioned an Asian encoding.