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Univ. of Wisconsin's 30-Year-Old Payroll System Needs a $40 Million Fix 418

jaroslav writes "The University of Wisconsin is attempting to update a payroll system they have had in place since 1975, but spent $28.4 million in a 2004 attempt with no results, and now is experiencing new overruns in cost and time after 'not hav[ing] the full picture of how complex this project would be.' The current estimate of the redesign is $12 million and years of further work on top of the money already spent."
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Univ. of Wisconsin's 30-Year-Old Payroll System Needs a $40 Million Fix

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  • by xdor ( 1218206 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:32PM (#28382645)
    I would totally sign up to do this job.
    • At a certain point you throw out the word "redesign" and substitute "design from scratch". I imagine there are decent off-the-shelf starting points compared to 30 years ago.

      Of course, as in any payroll system, it needs to be highly customized so a big chunk of costs will go to the consultant and professional services.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by magarity ( 164372 )

        so a big chunk of costs will go to the consultant
        It will, and there's where they made the mistake. They purchased an Oracle product for big bucks and tried to get the lowest bidder to customize it. As a result, instead of spending small bucks they wasted big bucks. It would be humming along by now if they'd had Oracle send people to set it all up but that would have cost big bucks up front.

  • by cheezitman2001 ( 1397905 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:39PM (#28382741)
    I just want to say how glad I am my tuition's going to a good cause.
    • by Khan ( 19367 )

      As a citizen of the State of Wisconsin, I'm glad to see where my tax dollars are being wasted. Thanks Gov. Doyle and our dumba$$ lawmakers.

  • Bad Title (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:39PM (#28382745) Journal
    Who am I kidding, right?

    Their payroll system doesn't need a 40-million-dollar fix. That's just what they've ended up spending on it (hypothetically, once the $12 MM hot cash injection fixes all the problems).

    The University should just scrap the system and go with a commercial payroll vendor. Bigger organizations have done the same, and there's no shame in it.

    $40 MM is insane. That's over four years of tuition for 4500 students at UW-Madison.

    No use throwing good money after bad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The University should just scrap the system and go with a commercial payroll vendor. Bigger organizations have done the same, and there's no shame in it.

      That's exactly what they're doing. They are trying to switch to PeopleSoft.

      • Re:Bad Title (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:55PM (#28383001) Journal
        PeopleSoft is not a commercial payroll vendor.

        It is an ERP system, the payroll module needs to be heavily customized for any large implementation.

        If they need an ERP, fine... but then it's not just a payroll system costing $12 MM additional, is it?

        Serves me right for NRTFA, but *some* accuracy could *maybe* be hoped for?
      • Re:Bad Title (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mmaniaci ( 1200061 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:57PM (#28383037)
        Theres an infinite amount of shame that you accrue once you go to PeopleSoft. I don't know of anything better, but PeopleSoft is a steaming pile of shit, much like any other enterprise tool that tries to do it all. Its all just fodder that managers eat up like hotcakes because of the promise of higher productivity, and won't change until the next generation of IT professionals comes in and kicks the old clods off their thrones. Now that we have a generation of IT professionals that were born and grew up in a world with computers, I have plenty of optimism that enterprise bloatware like PeopleSoft (Microsoft *, Novell, FootPrints, Cadence, etc) will slowly but surely be replaced by modular programs that actually do a task, and do it well.
        • Re:Bad Title (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:55PM (#28383761)

          won't change until the next generation of IT professionals comes in and kicks the old clods off their thrones.

          My, aren't we quite the bigot. This is going to come as quite a surprise to you, but, there's a lot of people in the world. Some of those "old clods" are actually intelligent, knowledgeable and experienced in their fields, including IT. Hell, some of them even post on Slashdot, I imagine.

          And, at least one of them thinks that, in addition to being a bigot, you're also an asshole.

        • Re:Bad Title (Score:5, Insightful)

          by thousandinone ( 918319 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:58PM (#28384341) Journal

          Now that we have a generation of IT professionals that were born and grew up in a world with computers, I have plenty of optimism that enterprise bloatware like PeopleSoft (Microsoft *, Novell, FootPrints, Cadence, etc) will slowly but surely be replaced by modular programs that actually do a task, and do it well.

          Now that we have a generation of automobile drivers that were born and grew up in a world with automobiles, I have plenty of optimism that traffic jams, drunk drivers, and general automobile idiocy will be replaced by conscientious drivers that actually obey traffic regulations and don't put themselves and other drives at undue risk.


        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dangitman ( 862676 )

          Now that we have a generation of IT professionals that were born and grew up in a world with computers,

          I dunno, that generation seems to be generally less knowledgeable about computers than those who grew up when computing was in its infancy. Do you think that the generation that grew up with mobile phones is more knowledgeable about radio frequency engineering and communication protocols? They might know how to send a text message, but it doesn't mean they understand anything about the underlying technology.

    • Re:Bad Title (Score:5, Informative)

      by emmons ( 94632 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:44PM (#28382817) Homepage

      As I understand it, they've totally scrapped the old system and are starting over from scratch using PeopleSoft - which they should have done from the beginning rather than trying to roll their own solution.

      So yeah the title is misleading; it's a $12 million system. And that includes deployment across 24 campuses statewide, training costs, etc.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        no, people soft should NEVER be used. I've been at two universities which implemented it. both times were an unmitigated disaster and people including myself did not receive my paycheck for over a month. Peoplesoft and their engineers suck in every sense of the word and should NEVER be used.

      • Re:Bad Title (Score:5, Informative)

        by Bodhidharma ( 22913 ) <jimliedeka&gmail,com> on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:39PM (#28383579)
        The $12m is just for the planning. They originally though $8 million would be enough but it wasn't. The UW payroll system (really HR system) has to take care of around 60,00 employees at several campuses plus county extension branches. There are all sorts of job descriptions with different contracts, vacation, sick leave, seniority, retirement plans, insurance, etc. The previous failure was an embarassment and some reporter figured they could stir up some trouble by making a big deal out of this. It's better that they get all the processes sorted out before they start writing custom code.
    • Solved problem.

      Payroll isn't something companies should be specializing in managing. ADP/Paychex are kings in this arena for a reason.
    • by carlzum ( 832868 )
      Yep, this was a $40 million leadership failure. They're trying to blame the IT bogeyman, but according to the article a lack of planning and poor leadership was the problem. The fact that it was a software project is irrelevant, they would have been just as inept if they tried to build a bridge or organize a large event.

      The project, a public relations embarrassment for the university, was doomed by poor project leadership and planning, bureaucratic infighting and technical complexity... Giroux said earlier

  • Oh, ffs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:41PM (#28382777) Homepage

    I'm sorry, but what a heap of crap.

    It's a payroll system. Yeah, it's a biggee, and yeah, it's got a lot of old information in it most probably. It's written in an old language (Oh no! The end of the world! Soon we might not be able to understand our systems! Hold on... we just had three attempts and replacing it with something new and FAILED because we didn't know half the stuff it was running). But you're not telling me that MILLIONS of dollars and YEARS of work by supposedly professional IT companies isn't enough to get ANYTHING working well enough to say "We don't need to worry about that part any more". You can get an OS written for that sort of money, or kit out an entire borough of schools with an integrated network.

    What's *more* disgusting is that by the looks of it, the IT people at the University are probably barely getting a look in - it's being project-managed by external companies. Come on, stop faffing about; seriously, this is just stupid. Get your *existing* IT team, hire a bunch of programmers directly (hey, you're a University... I wonder where you can get a crapload of cheap, intellectual labour nearby, trained in the art of programming properly and designing the systems from the start, supervised and educated by people who have spent years using their technical, professional and theoretical expertise in the subject?) and just write the damn thing from the ground up. It wouldn't cost anywhere near as much money/time as you have wasted on a single company out of those that tried to sell you crap. Oh, and you can make it do what YOU want any time and you'll have the programmer's hanging around for the next few years with an incentive to keep the system running properly ("What grade did I give you for that paper on your design of the new payroll system? I've revised it, it just crashed.").

    If it's THAT damn big, you want to start breaking the thing up into pieces, anyway. Anything that you can't find out all that it does in that many YEARS, you really want to be breaking into smaller and smaller parts and replicating them one at a time. Don't pretend that you're the only place on Earth that has that amount of employees, that amount of computer data, and require mordernisation.

    Get rid of the project managing companies, get rid of the "slice-off-50%-for-myself" companies, get rid of the stupid contracts that REWARD failure, and give the project to people who will give you a system that will not only last for ever but be documented and updated and revised and bug-fixed and converted for ever and a day.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Being a graduate of Madcity, I can tell you that they produce some of the best programmers in the world.

      "Guess what, ladies and gentlemen? This year's Comp Sci project is writing a payroll system..."

      They could teach a 4 year Comp Sci program around it. Planning, implementation, support, and future growth.

      Screw paying for it - utilize your existing resources!!!

      Then again, with our current dumbf*ck Govenor... At least he's not going to make license plates like Illinois past governors...

    • Re:Oh, ffs (Score:5, Funny)

      by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:57PM (#28383043)

      srlsy! Also, it was made in the 70's! How complex can a program on a handful of punch cards be?!

    • Re:Oh, ffs (Score:5, Informative)

      by j-turkey ( 187775 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:58PM (#28383055) Homepage

      Without really understanding the details of their payroll system and the task involved, I don't necessarily agree with your assessment. Most university IT groups don't have stellar project managers, which is the one thing that a project of this scale (and criticality) needs. Further, it's likely that nobody has have the expertise in either the outgoing payroll system or the one that's going to replace it (either in a shrinkwrap or roll-your-own configuration). I'm not sure whether or not hiring a high-paid, highly experienced and qualified project manager as an FTE is warranted. Further, what does an IT department do with a really good PM with tons of experience and a huge list of successful projects when this project ends in 18-24 months? The smart money is to eliminate the position, which is what a smart manager will see when they interview the university. Instead, they would likely work on a contract basis and (as you say) slice off 50% for themselves.

      Rolling their own payroll system is also a possible disaster for them. It's very likely that they're having a hard time communicating requirements to professional payroll implementation/transition consultants who do this sort of thing all the time with a shrinkwrap ERP (like Oracle, SAP, etc). What makes you think that the university will be able to better communicate requirements to developers?

      I guess that this is all armchair quarterbacking from both of us, since I have no idea of the circumstances beyond the details that the article provides (which are light, at best). It appears that this was mishandled on multiple levels though - likely both the fault of the university management and the consultants. Usually for projects to fail on this level, it has to go both ways - consultants mismanage a project, the university mismanages the consultants, and probably isn't able to clearly communicate requirements.

      • Re:Oh, ffs (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cptdondo ( 59460 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:15PM (#28383957) Journal

        Yeah, I'm involved in a small gov't - and the cruft that accretes over time is incredible. We have nearly as many employee classifications as employees. (that means nearly every employee has his/her own job description and responsibilities and pay scale.)

        We have union contracts. Several different ones, with different benefits. We have different health care benefits, retirement benefits, and so on. In some cases, we have a single employee who has a particular health plan and retirement plan, and they're grandfathered in, so we can't change them.

        It's not just a matter of paying all the different taxes; it's that you have to understand all of the classifications, grandfather clauses, pay scales, benefits, and so on. I would guess that for UM, you multiply this by 10 or 20 and you see what you're dealing with.

        The *only* way this can be done is to reclassify all your employees into some sort of structure that makes sense; this will invariably be shot down by the union as some members will see an erosion of benefits.

        So most organizations will outsource this, blame it all on the consultant, take it to council/board of trustees/etc, and then run like hell from the fallout.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by atamido ( 1020905 )

        Most university IT groups don't have stellar project managers, which is the one thing that a project of this scale (and criticality) needs.

        This. Most universities pay their IT departments crap because they can get them so cheaply filled by students. Most students don't have a full academic education, and almost none have real world experience. The ones that do have the education and experience get higher paying jobs at private organizations. Having a university IT department manage a project of this magnitude is asking for trouble.

    • by FooRat ( 182725 )

      the IT people at the University are probably barely getting a look in - it's being project-managed by external companies. Come on, stop faffing about; seriously, this is just stupid.

      Never attribute to incompetence what can be explained by corruption. This is not "stupid", it's corruption working exactly as it's intended to. What's perhaps stupid is those ultimately footing the bill being too naive to realise it, and not holding the corrupt to account.

    • by dbcad7 ( 771464 )
      There are companies.. such as PayChex, with multiple branches in many cities.. and there are other companies just like them .. and they all handle multiple businesses at each branch that have all different types of pay and tax schemes,, and I guarantee not one of these places uses software that cost even as much as a half a million, let alone 40 million .. in fact, why not just use one of these companies ?
    • why not just run a course on the old language then employ one of your graduates to maintain it?

    • i dont think they want it fixed, they want a broken system that they can milk for all its worth.
    • Seriously, there are companies that do HR and can probably take over in a month. I don't understand why government organizations are the only ones that still have pensions and refuse to outsource tasks they don't do well. Payroll is simple and the deductions possible are well established any professional HR outsourcing company can handle it, plus be able to cleanly pass it to another company when their contract is up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stephanruby ( 542433 )

      What's *more* disgusting is that by the looks of it,

      It's disgusting. I agree, but not for the reasons you mention. Usually, it's just because the people at the top of a University have no clue about technical matters. To get to be a Regent for instance, you need good political skills, or you need to be rich, or you need to be part of a well-known, rich, and powerful family. Sadly, many crucial technical decisions that involve a ton of money get made around a large conference table, or they get made on som

  • by cryfreedomlove ( 929828 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:55PM (#28383009)
    The real problem here is that best of breed software developers have too many great opportunities that are more inline with their passions to work on this backwater payroll system. This leaves the unmotivated drones managed by Dilbertesque managers to run with this ball.
  • Now according to Wiki [] they employ 2,054 faculty members and probably outsource most other services like cleaning etc. That works out to $14,000 per year per faculty.

    Any chance of outsourcing that?

  • Corruption (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FooRat ( 182725 )

    Sorry, but I have a pretty good idea what corruption looks like, and this stinks to high hell of corruption, the odds are about zero that it's anything else. Computers and how 'complex' they are great premises for corrupt bureaucrats to launch 'projects' that become huge money holes.

  • by kbob88 ( 951258 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:12PM (#28383293)

    I've been involved in a few of these types of projects (unfortunately), and believe it or not, the money goes quickly. So does the time. It's not just coding -- that's actually a very small part of the money. It would take some time to burn through $40mm, but you'd be amazed how quickly these project eat up cash. I certainly was when I first got involved.

    Here are some things to consider:

    • They always consider the costs of the internal people's time on these projects, even if they're not dedicated to the project. So if you have a 4 hour requirements meeting with 6 business folks from Payroll, well, that gets figured into the overall budget at 4 * 6 * hourly loaded cost of employees, plus your time.
    • Software and database licenses add up quickly for this type of project. You know they're not running on MySQL, right? It's probably Oracle all the way, and that's $$$. Some vendors charge by the seat -- how many users do you think a payroll system for 60,000 employees has? That's right, a lot. Plus hardware costs -- they're not running this on their old hardware.
    • A project of this size probably has a project manager, several project administrators, an internal business lead, and an internal technical lead, at a minimum, running the show.
    • How much do you think gathering requirements, mapping out existing processes, mapping requirements to functionality, developing specs to cover the gaps, creating the new processes,
      testing the new processes, and getting buy-in and approval on all that from all the stakeholders costs? You know there will always be 3 to 5 revision and feedback cycles for everything. That's an easy 6 to 18 months of work for a team of six to eight people probably.
    • They're going to have run it in test mode for several pay periods, while the old system is still running, and check the results. That will result in duplicate work for all the people entering in the data.
    • Converting the existing data costs money.
    • Training costs for the users -- there are probably several hundred users, at different sites. (Plus there's always "Change Management" costs)

    (Ugh, thank God I'm out of that ERP systems business these days!)

    Yes, a fair amount of the money is probably wasted. But these projects do cost big bucks. This isn't hacking up a new blogging tool from open source toolkits. I'm not saying it's right, or well managed (it almost certainly isn't), but to say "dude, I could hack up a payroll system in a couple of months, pay me the money!" just shows that while you may know how to sling code, you don't have a clue about delivering solutions to business problems.

    • by Jodka ( 520060 )

      Ya. All that. Or they could have purchased an off-the-shelf system and adapted to that by conforming to modern business and accounting practices. And purchased custom data migration from India through a U.S. contractor cheaply.


  • Maybe...
    just maybe...
    we can call it "The Looney-versity of Wisconsin".
    Would be appropriate.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:28PM (#28383469)

    There's nothing wrong with the current payroll system other than it's old and runs on old hardware. The guys who wrote it 30+ years ago did a pretty good job.

    The problem is, those guys are long retired, and some are dead. The ones who are still living have some hard feelings. They got treated like crap and were told to give up their jobs to youngsters whose sole knowledge of COBOL was a CS professor saying how awful it was. Consequently, there hasn't been much in the way of maintenance or knowledge transfer; the young'uns simply weren't interested.

    They brought an old guy in to deal with Y2K issues. They agreed to pay him well, but then got chintzy when it turned out that there really wasn't much that he needed to do. They eventually did pay him, but kicked him to the curb again afterwards.

    Since none of the young'uns understand the system, and the old guy refuses to deal with them any more, they have no choice but to replace it entirely. The problem is, nobody really knows what went into the system except for the old guy, who has the irritating habit of wanting to be paid to have his knowledge tapped.

    COBOL is not that horrible, except in the minds of the ignorant. If you could do BASIC or FORTRAN, you could do COBOL. The bulk of a COBOL program isn't code at all, but instead is structure and format definitions ("data division"). Don't expect to have recursion or local variables (those are all new-fangled extensions) or object-oriented semantics. Be grateful that the original self-modifying feature of COBOL got removed. Then just break it down. Each procedure is labeled, and unless the programmer was an idiot the variable names have some relationship to what they mean.

    The only real PITA for COBOL is learning all the reserved words (there's a few hundred of them) and their semantics. Other than that, it's just drudgery.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not sure that your providing the full story but from what I have heard regarding the project is that there were two problems:

      1. Opposition and lack of adoption by employees.
      2. Arrogance and irresponsible behavior (ie politial and monetary) on the part of many involved with the project.

      The problem has been a matter of technology but people acting out of negligence and greed. It is hurting UW-Madison in more areas than this project.

      UW needs to fix its retention problem, reign in it's spending on build

  • Fire everyone, buy quickbooks is not an appropriate answer then?

    Not to mention $40 million / 60k employees is $666 per employee - there's your problem. Its the payroll system of the Apocalypse (integer math only need apply).

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:31PM (#28383503) Homepage

    Stanford had a very expensive conversion to PeopleSoft a few years ago. Stanford had a huge collection of in-house systems from the 1970s and 1980s, running on either DEC PDP-10 machines or IBM mainframes. They've finally phased out all the PDP-10 based stuff at Stanford proper, although SLAC is still running some PDP-10 code.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      PeopleSoft is the devil's anus boil... every conversion I've seen to PS has been a loss in money, efficiency, and control.

      But their sales force is top notch in convincing upper management (you know, those folks who will never actually have to use it) that they're going to go out of business with out it.

  • Efficiency (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jodka ( 520060 )

    The University of Wisconsin is a state-funded school, and as such is essentially a branch of government. When you are told that massive increases in government spending are necessary investments in the future of America, keep in mind that this is the kind of return which you will receive on that investment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DrDitto ( 962751 )
      Actually the University of Wisconsin-Madison (the flagship UW school) gets so little money from the state these days that it is within their rights to rename the school if they wanted. If I recall correctly, UW-Madison gets 10% of their budget funded from the state.
    • Re:Efficiency (Score:5, Insightful)

      by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:27PM (#28384071)

      I've worked for government, small businesses and Fortune 50 corporations. In my experience, government is just as screwed up as a big corporation. The only difference is that most big corporations purge some people every year, and government tends to have more overhead of workers doing little/nothing.

      It works out to be about the same. 15-20% of corporate people are busy sucking up to the boss and 15-20% of government people are making paper airplanes or whatever.

      Government generally has professional staff who have some sort of clue, just like in the corporate world. The difference is that there is another layer(s) of management about the professional managers and directors -- political appointees. Usually the political types know they are dumb and stay out of the way, but sometimes they decide to flex their power -- resulting in many a dilbert moment.

  • by microbee ( 682094 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:10PM (#28383915)

    Who were fired?

  • by kybred ( 795293 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:36PM (#28384151)
    It's a university... they have thousands of undergrad CS students who can work for free. Just assign it as a 4 year project to the incoming freshmen and voila! In four years you have a system that cost $0!

    And if it doesn't work, you give them all 'F's and start again with the next incoming class.

  • by hansoloaf ( 668609 ) <hansoloaf@ya h o> on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:50PM (#28384285)
    Not on that scale but still a hefty chunk of change nevertheless.

    The cost and complexity of moving the entire payroll and finance system over to peoplesoft was so much that it lead to the resignation of the CFO of the university because he spent more without the authorization of the board - never mind that the board and the president pushed for this improvement knowing the budget will go over from $25 mil to $40 mil or so. []

    Bottom line is that these type of projects are incredibly complex and no one really knows the long term costs when they get into it initially. But due diligence and oversight would be critical and helpful no doubt.
  • by Senjutsu ( 614542 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:17PM (#28384479)
    $20 million+ rollouts for Peoplesoft systems on University campuses are the norm, not the exception. Their salesforce hooks in clueless upper management with tales of little customization and off-the-shelf savings, and then comes the roll-out consulting costs and news that any use of Peoplesoft for financials requires highly complex, site-specific customization at exorbitant consulting fees.

    Data migration from the old mainframe systems always turns into a nightmare, cost overruns are legion, political pressure to meet deadlines causes internal staff to rack up huge overtime at huge cost, Oracle licensing runs well into 7 figure territory, etc, etc

    This money was gone the second they selected a Peoplesoft "solution", management just didn't know it at the time
  • I bet a group of enthusiatic CS/IT students with programming skills and maybe one teacher with real life experience can build and/or fix this in 4 months. Give them the tools, have them prepare by giving them access to all personell doing payroll stuff and familiar with the process of payroll and pay them a good salary plus a bonus if they finish it before next winter-semester is over. Give them option to do their thesis or degree paper on the project. Add in a few law students if complicated German-style tax stuff is involved for some extra interdisciplinary flavour and results.

    Voila! Top-of-the-line payroll system for something like 100 000$. ... And, sadly, I also bet that that won't happen, because then someone would have to admit that he burned 20+ Million on a project that was implemented start to finish with less than a tenth the money. Sometimes the sad and sorry state of our profession in some places makes me want to cry.

    • Before you bet... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @05:46AM (#28387107) Homepage Journal

      What are you basing your optimism in?

      I (and many other old timers on this thread) are telling you in no uncertain terms how the cookie crumbles, so what is your evidence that what you are saying could actually be done in the way you say?

      What you are suggesting is stupid and naive (a word I have seen used several times on this thread, and rightly so), that you are moderated "Interesting" a the moment just comes to show how few people in /. are familiar with the complexities of such systems.

Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.