Friday, February 04, 2005

Stringing things along

Well it's hard to believe it's February 4th already, this week just flew by.

I presented my functions and processes to the team this week, to a very excited reception. I short we'll be appying several methods to the data stream, returning the 'Percentage of Likeness' and establishing thresholds for machine acceptance and placing unaccepted records into a queue for manual review.

This has been an intersting journey into 'fuzzy logic' and fairly complex mathematical theory. Taking the available research material and using a database language to implement it, all the while keeping in mind that the final product will most likely be deployed in COBOL!

Not exactly the most straightforward of tasks. Developing this in C/C++/VB or even Java would have been much simpler!

All in all though it's about the most fun I've had programming in ten years! A lot of mental gymnastics, but the end result has been quite satisfying.

We got notice today that one of the large industry files we maintain had an error in the annual publication. Not a good thing at all. Turned out that the original developer had buried an incorrect date "bracket" in the SQL for the view that feeds the report.

Unfortunately that section of code was not part of my original review as it hadn't been changed since the 1st quarter of 2004. The up-side was that I found the problem, proved that it was the root problem and not a larger systemic issue. We'll modify the February supplement to reflect the missing items in December and all will be in sync again.

As always that kind of step backward that delays any and all projects, I expect it will be another long weekend, but it is the life I love.


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