A while since my last entry. I've been inundated with work of all kinds since my last post - most of it a total waste of time under better development circumstances.
Been writing this file moving system that collects files from an arbitrary number of locations and delivers them to an arbitrary number of locations. The collection connection is quite limited in terms of bandwidth, so the sensible thing to do is to maintain a database of what you've downloaded and what you haven't - to ensure that files aren't needlessly transferred.
A job for something like Postgres, you might assume. However, due to some crap company policy the only DB I could get my hands on would be ORACLE, which is clearly overkill. I haven't got root anywhere on our dev or live boxes, so I can't really install stuff myself - even if I could IT Services would put a contract out on my life.
So, the bulk of my experience over the last few months has been writing a Perl-hash-based DB in order to meet the system's basic requirements. A lot of fun.
Got the system into a nicely working state, but I have to ask why big corporates think that if something is free, it is unworthy of consideration. It's a miracle that we even have Perl here. And haven't they heard of third-party support contracts? Re-inventing the wheel is not my idea of fun. The sooner more companies embrace open-source software, the better.