Open-source software powers much of the modern world—everything from high-end servers at billion-dollar companies to free-when-you-sign-up smartphones from cell providers. Developed by volunteers and given away for free—by individuals and communities intent on making the world a better place—open-source software has been around as long as computers have, and makes innumerable projects faster, more efficient, and more secure.
Including EstateVal. It’s past time we recognized its contribution.
Today, EVP Systems is proud to announce the first in an on-going series of donations to the open-source projects that we have used in our products over the years. In each program, if you click on
Help → About... and then click the
Licenses button, you’ll see each piece of open-source code the application uses. From the biggest to the smallest, we’re grateful for all of them.
But the very first, and probably the most important, is Expat. Expat reads data for a file format called XML (or “eXtensible Markup Language”), and EstateVal has used it for over 20 years to store portfolio data and prices. XML is flexible enough to allow us to continue to add new information to our portfolios—things we never imagined two decades ago—while still effortlessly reading files that were created last century. And Expat’s implementation of the XML standard is so good that in all that time, there has only ever been one issue associated with our portfolio files that has affected our customers, and that was our fault, not Expat’s. (For the curious nerds: the first release EstateVal that used XML data files didn’t properly entity-escape security names, so any portfolio with “AT&T” in it caused a parsing error. Fixed!)
To have access to robust, tested code for such a complex data format is incredible. That the Expat project—with just eight core team members over the years—makes it available, for free, for anyone to use is almost unbelievable.
So, to the entire Expat team: Thank you. EstateVal is just one of literally hundreds of projects that take advantage of what you have created, but it has been made better for your efforts. We know you don’t do what you do for the money, but please consider the donation a small token of our gratitude for your dedication, skill, and generosity.