22 Oct 2002 xach   » (Master)

I took a couple pictures to Portland Color to get 8x10s made. The output was a little disappointing; it looks pretty much like a high-quality inkjet print. Which isn't bad, but it's not as nice as the slide. I shouldn't be surprised; I already know that nothing looks as nice as a slide on a light table. I'll have to take some pictures with more vivid colors and interesting subjects, I guess.

I've been working on an interface to Verizon's wholesale order system. Verizon has a website where you can place orders and check their status. Their interface is cumbersome, so a coworker and I wrote a frontend that's much saner and less error-prone. It works acceptably well.

However, Verizon is about to update their web interface, breaking all our software, so I've been looking into alternatives to LWP blasting and HTML scraping. Verizon has an application-to-application interface that uses EDI that looks like it might do the trick. The only downside is wading through literally thousands of pages of "business rules" to find out the small subset we need to work with. It's a scary glimpse into the world of Big Software Projects for Big Companies. It looks like the safe business strategy is to frame programming problems as tedious exercises that can be solved by armies of mediocre drones.

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