Re: 3vl 2vl and NULL

From: Frank Hamersley <>
Date: Fri, 03 Feb 2006 00:12:32 GMT
Message-ID: <QdxEf.234127$>

Gene Wirchenko wrote:

> On Thu, 02 Feb 2006 07:41:25 GMT, Frank Hamersley
> <> wrote:
> [snip]

>>I have only one first hand observation - a financial accounting system
>>that could not accurately compute simple interest on a call balance. It
>>used to drive the accountants absolutely nuts but the Pickies couldn't
>>and wouldn't find a way to correct it - in their minds it was only a few
>>cents here and there - never more than $1.00 per annum so why the big
>>fuss? Why spend lots of time and money hacking the system for a few $
>>when they couldn't be sure what else they would bust re-engineering the
>>accrual mechanism. Eventually the Treasurer got jack of their attitude
>>and bought an external package solution that was SQL based so he didn't
>>have to keep explaining to the board why the organisation routinely got
>>slagged by its somewhat captive customers about its capacity to
>>calculate simple interest. Some of the Pickies subsequently got a
>>Darwin award for their troubles!
>      That sort of attitude is all over.  Part of it might be an
> overcomplicated system that no one really understands.  IME, systems
> get more complicated over time, rarely less so.

All too true!

> How did the Darwin Award come about?

Metaphoric usage, not an official award, to indicate blind stupidity - their "solution" was "retired" in favour of the package solution.

> [snip]

>>Say an operator of the model incorrectly changed a Persons Rank from
>>"First Officer" to "Captain" and they did not rectify the error for
>>several days.
> "First Officer" is not a rank; it is a position.

FWIW in commercial aviation within at least one international carrier it is a rank. Sensitive correspondence that perhaps suggested a military conurtation does occur in business too. My illustration could have used other events eg. what if a pay cycle occurred while the person was incorrectly classified? Many systems have some temporal nature to support adjustments to overcome this situation but it is not leveraging something integral to the DBMS, but rather it is brought about by a design event.

Frank. Received on Fri Feb 03 2006 - 01:12:32 CET

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