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Ovid (2709)

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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)

Thursday August 15, 2002
04:11 PM

Credit Card systems

[ #7118 ]

Question: Why would a bank never use MySQL for its banking systems?

Answer: Because you truly need ACID transactions for such critical systems (note: that link is outdated. MySQL has improved - somewhat - but it's still a decent explanation of ACID transactions). Never take a chance with people's money.

Given that you can go ahead and write apps that periodically crash, lose user preferences, or even accidentally wipe out data, the one thing that you should never, ever do is mess with someone's money. This leads me to the obvious question: why the heck are credit card processing systems such pieces of crud? One of the test servers that I am working with returns information that does not match real world data. I'm building and testing software that I cannot guarantee will work (granted, this is for a private system that you folks will never encounter) until I see it perform with customer's real-life credit cards. Oh joy!

Apparently, many of the credit card processors out there see programmers as a nuisance and aren't terribly inclined to answer questions. There are few things more annoying than getting a denied request only to have the processor tell you that they won't explain said requests -- even on a test system.

And don't even think about having the temerity to request up-to-date documentation ...

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  • by vsergu (505) on 2002.08.15 16:28 (#11814) Journal
    Someone offered me a "small" contract job recently, but when I heard that it involved accepting credit cards on the Web I fled screaming. Inevitably the client wants to do things that are horrendously bad ideas and won't pay to do things right (which usually involves getting a different, competent, and hence more expensive hosting service).
  • This leads to one of my favorite silly topics: Nobody Does Anything Anywhere.

    One of the few things that have been consistent at organizations I've worked at or consulted with is that most of the people do very little. So little, in fact, that it's amazing anything gets done at all. And most of my colleagues have had this same experience. It doesn't matter what the company is: a nonprofit advocacy organization, real estate, a utility company. There are huge inefficiencies riddled throughout the company --