austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Can you hear it in the morning, it sings the golden song

The company owner sent me an e-mail about my project. He sent several comments, identifying on the thing that must be fixed, a few things that looked like errors but that reflect how the actual database is set up, and pointed out the need for a couple things like a copyright notice at the page's footer, and that it'd be nice if the search-results page stated what the search was for. (He also found two actual specific bugs, one a search feature I'd accidentally forgot to activate, and one a dumb oversight on possible input conditions.)

Fortunately I had the code written so the suggested format modifications were easy to install, and the bugs were almost as quick to fix, so that I was able to report back that they were all fixed except the database speed almost instantly, which did not disappoint him. The one remaining thing that's just got to be fixed is that database access is slow. Partly that's because the database is huge, but a major factor is that the database is ancient, with some of the older entries written by chisel in tree bark, and they're resistant to change even if it were possible to convert the database.

I did ask our system administrator-type guy who's configuring the hardware if I could learn exactly what variant and version of SQL is on the machine, which might help with speed. SQL is a fine and pretty straightforward tool for using databases, but there are about four brazillian different SQL implementations. Each has their own little personality defects, and in various experimentations I've been able to rule out all of them. He's glad to try to find out, although he doesn't believe there is an SQL engine on there. Given its performance quirks I could believe that, except ... I'm definitely following procedures to send out SQL queries and getting back appropriate answers. So what am I talking to?

Trivia: In 1951 AT&T became the first private corporation in the world to have over one million stockholders (a quarter of them Bell System employees). Source: Telephone: The First Hundred Years, John Brooks.

Currently Reading: The Rithian Terror, Damon Knight. Boy, it's like Knight had some objection to rigid, bureaucratic, authoritarian states expanding through the galaxy.


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