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Journal: Another MySQL Interlude 2

Journal by rho

A comparison between the "easy to use" MySQL and the "hard to use" PostgreSQL:

MySQL:

CREATE TABLE up_subjects_books (
BOOK_ID int(11),
SUBJECT_ID int(11),
KEY bo_id (BOOK_ID),
KEY su_id (SUBJECT_ID),
CONSTRAINT up_bo_fk1 FOREIGN KEY (BOOK_ID) REFERENCES up_books (id) ON DELETE RESTRICT,
CONSTRAINT up_sub_fk1 FOREIGN KEY (SUBJECT_ID) REFERENCES up_subjects (id) ON DELETE RESTRICT
) ENGINE=InnoDB;

PostgreSQL:

CREATE TABLE up_subjects_books (
BOOK_ID INTEGER REFERENCES up_books(id),
SUBJECT_ID INTEGER REFERENCES up_subjects(id)
);

Of course, many people don't bother with foreign key constraints and they do such things programmatically. Which, to my mind, makes nothing easier. It simply makes the programmer responsible for data integrity, which is a recipe for trouble.

If there's a better way to do this in MySQL I'd love to hear it. I can't find it in the official documentation, but to be fair I stopped looking when I finally found an incantation that fucking worked. "INTEGER REFERENCES up_books(id)" certainly works, but it doesn't establish a constraint, which makes the whole exercise silly in my opinion. Why on Earth would anybody pick MySQL? I certainly wouldn't, but the server where this Web app currently sits is dropping its Oracle license and they've only installed MySQL.

(Oracle has its own set of oddities and quirks which annoy me, but at least I had confidence in the engine. To my mind, PostgreSQL is so far superior to both MySQL and Oracle for small-to-large database projects it's not even funny. Easy, fast and predictable. For certain enterprise setups I can see where Oracle stomps all over the free software options, and if Oracle were more reasonably priced I wouldn't be opposed to using it. But you have to be a sadist to want to do something non-trivial in MySQL.)

User Journal

Journal: A MySQL Interlude 1

Journal by rho

Mein Broder: So, in MySQL, when you exceed the maximum size of a TEXT column, does it throw an exception, or does it just truncate the data to fit?

Me: Well, it being MySQL, it will probably do something differently on Tuesdays than it does on the vernal equinox... but it probably will throw an exception and bitch about how you suck at data planning. Which is the proper thing to do, because who would want their database silently truncating data?

Mein Broder: In this case, I'd actually prefer it, 'cause otherwise I'd have to programmatically truncate it myself. These data aren't really that important, and truncating would be acceptable. It would be nice if I could be a lazy programmer.

Me: I think you're out of luck. But let's take a look:

MySQL Manual -- If you assign a value to a BLOB or TEXT column that exceeds the column type's maximum length, the value is truncated to fit.

Me: Astounding. Your desire to be a lazy, shiftless programmer has been facilitated by other lazy, shiftless programmers who have built the world's most rickety database management system.

User Journal

Journal: The Perfect Office 1

Journal by rho

Nice article on the perfect office, lots of ideas.

One thing that seemed to be consistent is the idea that individual offices are key. This is true--we do better with personal space than with too much openness. Sometimes, however, that's not possible. Cubicles are a lower-cost solution to real offices. Notice I said "lower cost", not "low cost". A fully tricked out cubicle runs about $8000, and that's not for the fancy stuff. The walls, furniture and installation is spendy. It's just spendier for dedicated offices, using traditional construction.

So, if you're in cubicle hell, how do you deal with the distractions? When I was working in a cube, I found the best solution was to have as a general policy that if I was wearing my Panic Hat, it meant that unless the building was on fire, it's better to not disturb me. I'd put on the Panic Hat, headphones, and work dilligently until the crisis was over. My co-workers were perfecly willing to comply. (I was the only nerd in a small department of a big company.) If you have a bunch of real assholes, this doesn't work, but assuming semi-normal co-workers, an official arrangement that deals with those times when you really, really need isolation can work nearly as well as an office door.

User Journal

Journal: This is Freya with OSDN marketing 2

Journal by rho

"This is Freya with OSDN marketing: she needs 1000 Slashdot readers to fill out some damned silly survey before they'll let her see sunlight again. The unspoken subtext here is that we really think that you're a bunch of lonely, tosspot wankers who'll do any damn fool thing if you think there's a chance for a gash to be thankful to you and sleep with you out of obligation. Even a kinda goofy-looking one who looks like she's about to lunge for your throat."

Perhaps OSDN should fire their marketing people, including Freya. If you haven't seen this Slashdot ad, don't compulsively click reload until you do. It's not worth it.

What's with Slashdot advertising? It's the most incestuous bunch of crap I've seen. If you can't sell an ad to a company like newegg.com where a click on a Slashdot ad will get you 10% off a hard drive, then you're complete shit at sales. Not that I've ever seen an ad ANYWHERE where a click will get you a discount, or a freebie of some kind. Take that back--I clicked on a Slashdot ad to get the free RSA algorithm t-shirt. Back, oh, what... 5 years ago?

Slashdot.org

Journal: Measuring your cred via UID number length 6

Journal by rho

While perusing the JOE v3.0 story, I began to notice a trend. When the comment indicated a fanatical, purblind ideology, the poster's UID was >5 digits. When the comment was reasoned, meaningful, and even if contrary to consensus had good reason for being that way, the UID was 4 digits, often less.

(This has the potential to be a masturbatory ego-fest, so I'll note that while I have a 4-digit UID, I don't post comments, and don't consider my input to be particularly scintillating. I'm talking about the other 4-digiters.)

Too much can be made of the length of your UID, but as I continue to read Slashdot I notice this more and more often. I also see fewer low-number-UIDs posting, period, while I see the comment totals increasing. This sounds like a writeup for No Duh! magazine, the journal of the obvious for the pedantic; but there it is.

We hear quite a bit about how Slashcode does this, or does that to prevent spammers, trolls and assholes from clogging up the works. There are a dozen dozens of Slash-alike codebases to do similar things. So far, I've seen none that actively work to elevate the discussion. It's not enough to just get a lot of comments. It's the quality of the comments that really make the difference.

(The best I've seen is probably photo.net, and their end-of-article comments. They generally tend to be pure opinion, often contrary to the article, but that's good.)

Of course, we'll never see a Perl script that uses regular expressions to strip out the shitty comments and leave the insightful ones. As far as I can see, all the community-moderated codebases simply enforce groupthink. To date, there is nothing quite as useful or as important as a real, live editor, who promotes good words and good thinking and deletes (yes, deletes) the crap. Perhaps it is time to reintroduce the classic newsman's editor to the Web--a singular vision that makes a site worthy to read rather than simply engaging in wankery of the most pointless kind.

User Journal

Journal: WSIS, capitalism, jiggery-pokery nonsense

Journal by rho

In reference to this posting, where did all these fucking commies come from?

At stake is not the issue Free software (I don't use the "open source" moniker because it's stupid and an obvious marketing ploy [speaking of capitalism...]). At stake is the triumph of top-down totalitarianism in the form of suited beurocrats from the UN. The Newsforge article is rife with choice bits of rhetorical propoganda that would make Goebbels all red-faced and toeing the ground in shame.

Between January 2002 and December 2003, concern shifted away from the needs of those the WSIS was created to assist to those most responsible for creating the digital divide in the first place.

Bullshit. The "digital divide" is not caused by gremlins from Microsoft or hooded demons from the BSA. The "digital divide" is caused by regular old assholery by dictators and totalitarian governments who put a higher priority on collecting gold teeth from homeless widows. Microsoft only wishes it had that kind of power. They have yet to stem the tide of illegal copies of their software circulating in China, and they've got those narrow-eyed bastards in Beijing who could be bought off, if they really cared that much about software piracy.

The United States position, formed at the behest of the Business Software Alliance, CompTIA, and other organizations dedicated to maintaining the status quo and curtailing the growth of free software, is that no software development methodology -- closed and proprietary versus open source -- be recommended over any other.

Gosh, you mean they want to let software stand on it's own merit? What jackholes!

Look, chump, Free software can be great. It can also suck ass, and often does. Free software assholes, like yourself, remind me of a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movie. All the kids are glum because Mr. Dipschitz's bakery is going to close down, but Judy and Mickey save the day when they snap their fingers, turn to the camera and say, "I know! Let's put on a show! I mean, 'open source' it!"

To take your buggered argument and turn it around on you, do you mean that it's better for Juan and Kuan and Keshaun to learn how to edit a fucking dotfile rather than do a pointy-clicky thing to configure their webserver? When they fail to edit the sendmail.cf correctly, and the village mail server blows chunks; how is that a benefit to the hovel-dwellers?

To turn this policy position into a Free software rant takes quite a few logical leaps of Kryptonian proportion. Such as this:

Free software might help put an end to the Petri dish of poverty and ignorance which is the breeding ground for AIDS.

Ah, yes, the always useful

M-x swap-bug-eating-lifestyle-for-club-med

command. I use it often!

Spare me the drama, mama. Free software isn't nearly as helpful to dragging people out of repression as a HMMWV full of US Marines. It can be argued (and has been argued, actually) that ready availability of free-to-cheap handouts is as dangerous as free crack to gradeschoolers. There is a way for people to break the cycle of repressive poverty, and that way has never been, nor ever will be, the province of nerds writing code. Notice I qualified poverty with "repressive"--the Amish aren't rich by any stretch of the imagination, but they seem to be happy enough. There's not enough cash in Tahiti to buy a Superbowl ad, but they Tahitians aren't bitching about their lot in life. Quality of life is not determined by how much you know--it's determined by how free you are, and that includes the ability to choose IIS over Apache, if you want to.

And the comments were typical Slashdot fare, too. What, did kuro5hin's database fall over again? Oh, that's right, only lefties have the kind of free time to moan over Free software--everybody else is too busy making a living.

User Journal

Journal: Roblimo is unfunny 2

Journal by rho

Gods, is Roblimo unfunny.

Okay, so he stopped using Windows in 1998. Fine. I know he thinks that makes him a "rebel" and an "iconoclast", or whatever rock-star quality he thinks lives in a OS CD--but really, it just makes him a tool. After all, Macintosh users have been Windows-free since 1984. Welcome to the party, Mr. Limo! And then he writes an entire article about "coming back" to Windows.

Not only did he stop using Windows in 1998, he froze his sense of humor right about that time as well.

Tedious jabs at Micro$oft or Bill Gate$, or how clunky Windows is--well, it's played. Played like a Barry White album at a 40-year-old bachelor's pad. Leaving aside the factual and/or stupid errors in the article, the rest reads like a Freshman level creative writing exercise. Ooh, Mr. Limo, your stunning use of satire, she is so witty! What's that you say? Windows isn't like SuSE? LoLz!!!!!1

Eat a dick. Using Linux doesn't make you better, it doesn't make you smarter, and it certainly doesn't help you to pick up the chicks. Hey, guess what--I haven't used Linux since 1999! I've been pure BSD and Macintosh, ever since my RedHat box was rooted through the (default installed) wuftpd. oH mY gOd LiNuKs Is TeH sUcK!!!!!!111 Can I get a "hell yeah" from the boyz down wit the daemon and those fine, fine BSD bitches!

Nothing is quite so annoying as the back-patting that mid-level Linux nerds do to themselves. Higher geeks can specifically point to reasons why a Free unix serves their needs. It's choirboys and fucktards who hang out at the Linux section of CompUSA, hoping passersby will notice how l33t they are that think an operating system will change the fact that they're dateless and lonely at 30.

Bah. Back to your cave, troll. If this is what OSDN pays Roblimo for, I'd like to apply for the position of Official Curmudgeon. I can probably get a thousand responses an hour from pale, friendless virgins who huddle around their Gentoo box like it's a pocket pussy, just by airing the truth: if you judge yourself or anyone else by the OS they use, then you're a slaptarded spockhole who should be phased out with a woodchipper. Calling Mr. Limo!

User Journal

Journal: Quick and Dirty vs. Complete and Correct 4

Journal by rho

Lots of advice for "C&C", I thought. Of course, in a perfect world, C&C is the best option, so advising others to do so would be smart.

So why don't we have C&C Free software? Oh, a few things here and there are C&C, but most of the Free software world (as I see it) is made up of Q&D Perl atrocities, or worse.

There must be 100 different "web-forum" software packages, all of them Q&D (and solving the wrong problems, too). The few that are interesting (Scoop, Slashdot) are best used in very specific applications, but largely are incomplete (or bad) copies of USENET. Why hasn't somebody made a C&C web-forum software? Because, nobody wants to work on C&C projects. They're slow to start, slow to finish, and the payoff is just as questionable as a Q&D project, but it takes longer.

C&C is not sexy. Q&D is. Which is why the Internet is slowing grinding to a halt, as nobody seems to be able to do anything terribly useful with it because nobody wants to do it right.

User Journal

Journal: Harry Potter 1

Journal by rho

Know what? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was pretty good. It did not disappoint, anyway: it was just like the other Harry Potter books.

But, sometimes I get the feeling that J.K. Rowling has Harry do things totally randomly, just so the plot can carry on. I'm not bent out of shape on this issue, but a few times during the book, I'm wondering, "Jeez, this isn't the first time something of this magnitude has happened, and Harry went to Dumbledore then--why doesn't he go now?" I'll buy rebellion, a bit, but not for the big things. Harry's all concerned at the beginning because Voldemort's running lose, and when he's experiencing dreams where he's sharing thoughts with Voldemort, he decides to be rebellious?

Okay, 10 for 10 on Griffyndor-level bravery, but 10 for 10 on Brainless Gittery as well. And, I didn't buy it.

And I think I've got the formula down: Harry goes to school. Harry finds/does/is something bad. Harry runs to Ron and Hermione to talk it over. They give stupid and/or good advice. Harry ignores the advice, something bad happens, something good happens, Harry talks it all over with Dumbledore, school ends.

Finally, I was totally unimpressed with the ending. After pages of buildup, we get an exposition that any child older than 9 figured out by the end of Book One? Harry Potter vs. Voldemort. Big Shocker, Film at Eleven! Okay, the niggly details were appreciated, but hardly worth the effort. The reason for sending Harry back to Privet was kind of lame, and Dumbledore's Big Failure was about as shocking as petting the cat. I was hoping for something of Darth Vader Is Your Father-level, but it was not to be.

However, fifty points to Gryffindor for the extra Fred and George Weasley coverage! And I dig the fact that school-age kids around the world are getting a E-Z-View Primer on How Government Is Not Your Friend, and You Can't Depend On The Media To Tell You Everything. Woo!

Apple

Journal: Adobe hates Apple 2

Journal by rho

Hah. Adobe's page on pcpreferred.html is a load of hooey.

First, as many pointed out, the graphs are pathetically wrong.

Second, it's comparing some funny stuff. Okay, there's no real competition to AfterEffects, which this review relies heavily on, but Premiere is having it's lunch eaten by iMovie and FinalCut Pro. I'd like to see a comparison between the Apple products and Premiere--how fast to go from raw footage to final edit? How fast are basic rendered dissolves between shots? That would be interesting.

These graphs only prove that PCs make good AfterEffects boxes, and only at the rendering stage. It's good to know that you can save 4 minutes when you're rendering, but if you can put the project together 3 hours faster on a Mac, then the rendering time becomes a rounding error.

So, whatever. Adobe's being a dick. This is a new corporate strategy (maybe they've been talking to Quark?), but I don't think it's a good long-term one.

User Journal

Journal: Blogger hacked? 2

Journal by rho

Who gives a ripe shit?

Great jumping horny toads, it's not like a simple journal isn't rat-simple to program. I use nothing more complicated than Emacs (which, I grant, is pretty complicated), but I just use it to write an HTML file.

Lordy, these kids with their fancy-ass do-funnies and object-oriented crap-throwers.

User Journal

Journal: What, did you think I was dead? 6

Journal by rho

Well, I've been busy. Sold my house--down to one mortgage now--and finished another project that's been lingering for a while.

Nope, I haven't forgotten The (Not-so) Great Slashdot Blackout, although it has been forgotten by everybody else.

I've got some things to say on the matter, but I won't say them here. Rather, I'll say them in the other thing that I've been busy working on while the Blackout fizzled and otherwise sucked ass.

More to come.

User Journal

Journal: T(H)GSB: Last Chance To See! 50

Journal by rho

This is the final period of a commentable journal before the blackout begins on Apr. 21.

For those new to the topic there is
The Original Complaint
and the
Pseudo-Question and Answer session

During this time, I'll be cutting/pasting the link to all my posts. This is a flat-out underhanded trick. I'm aware of the hatred that will be focused at me for doing so. Hopefully, I'll ameliorate the evilness when I promise to restrict my posting in current discussions to truly Insightful and Informative (or at least Funny) posts, and not one-liners. I'll try to make the added bit slide in with the sig as best I can. There might still be a BR and "--" in between, however.

I would like to get the attention of those with sigs turned off, and the casual non-logged in user as well. For you anti-blackout people, a representative ratio of those will also think I'm a kook and will join your side. So you shouldn't bite my head off--a nip or two oughta do ya.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.

Working...