Last week, I read about the Canadian Tax problems, which forced the Revenue centre to shutdown operations because of ‘inconsistent’ data. I hear that they expect to be up and running starting next Thursday. Earlier, via the Postgres mailing-list, I read that the problems were more in the ‘design’ of some of the internal tables, which (of course) started a whole discussion about the lack of professionalism in the industry:
CRA spokesperson Jacqueline Couture said the problem resulted in scrambled information in electronic tax returns. For instance, in some cases the field for the social insurance number was instead filled in with a birth date (ed. What, you mean, these weren’t strongly typed fields?)
If your stomach can bear it, the postgres thread follows right here.
Alfons reminded me of XSLT, which is an XML language used for transformations. XSLT comes in handy when you have to convert from one XML format to another. Obviously, his choice of flavour nowadays is XML and (good for you), C# comes with good XSLT support too. Earlier last year, I was looking into the XBRL standard.
I also found out that Berkely DB has been a part of Oracle (since when?). Better yet, Oracle released the Berkeley DB XML as open source too. It’s a good 52 MB download.
On the flipside, recently, I have played with SQLite, which is a highly portable (multi-platform) embedded database engine. It’s so good, that it has been thrown in the Public Domain. And yes, apparently, the designer was heavily inspired by Postgres.