By Mike Gifford on 02/10/2008
I had to write a short note about a concern that was passed along to me about having public facing websites having databases on them.  The opinion passed along to me was that it was insecure to have a database driven dynamic website for a public government department because the database made the whole system less secure. 
I just needed to state clearly that it is the scripting languages that interact with the browser that are the main point of concern, and these are well used in most GoC sites.  Yes, if the .asp or .php scripts that are driving a page were badly written or just not monitored...
By Mike Gifford on 17/07/2007
Well, for any number of applications, one might find oneself in need of the contact information for our federal politicians. There are any number of ways you can do this, including going onto a government web page like this, and manually copying and pasting the information.
"dude, manual data input is sooooo last decade!"
Or of course, you could screen scrape this data into a basic csv.
DISCLAIMER: while normally my scrapings are done in the likeness of ninjas robbing a museum, this time around I resorted to some pretty hacky antics. This means that there is no one way to do this. Rather I...
By Mike Gifford on 17/05/2007
Being based in Ottawa, it is hard to ignore the opportunities available in providing services to the government. With federal, provincial & municipal governments all with offices in the city there is a huge opportunity for innovation and cooperation between different departments. Most Canadians don't realize this, but our country's largest single software producer is our public service sector and yet the experience, tools and intellectual property developed by government workers is rarely shared with other divisions let alone with the citizens who paid for its development.
I have received...