Editor, the Gauntlet,
[Re: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Ændrew Rininsland, April 5, 2007.]
The article asks “How much did this cost? What … has been gained?” The answer is that it’s saving the university a great deal of money in terms of maintenance costs. InfoNet did not use a database, it worked off a flat file. And it didn’t use sessions, because it tapped into the ancient dial-in phone service (that’s why it begged you to log off when you were done). That also explains the cap on the number of users it can handle at any given time and the huge downtime for maintenance. Schedule data could not be changed when any users were online. But according to Mr. Rininsland, “functionality has actually decreased by several goddamned orders of magnitude.” Personally, I hated getting kicked off or being told that I would only be able to log in at a specific time.
Again, I’m not saying I like PeopleSoft. I hate it, I think it’s terribly designed from a usability standpoint. But I fully understand the reasons for the change, and Mr. Rininsland, finding these sorts of facts out before writing an article about it is what journalism is supposed to be about.