> About 5 years ago, I was asked to write a php app for my department. The
> app keeps track of graduate school applicants to my department at the
> university. The main data elements are the scores each professor gives to
> each applicant. There are only about 400 applicants each year so even with
> all the personal data, scores, transcripts, etc for each student, it's
> not much. for the first 2 years, it was under a meg of data. Well, then
> the selection committee asked me to add something so that if a student
> e-mailed the department a document, say a paper he'd written or a photo of
> himself, or whatever, it could be tacked on to the info they saw about him
> while grading the applicant.
> So I said, "Well, there is only going to be maybe 10 or 20 of those a
> year. And even if all 400 applicants submit a PDF of a paper they'd
> written, it would be only 400 docs. 4,000 after 10 years. Yeah, lets just
> create a documents table in the database and store them in mysql."
> For the first 2 years, only 2 students sent in documents to attach to
> their application. I figured I'd wasted my time. Then the next year, the
> graduate school changed their web application form to allow students to
> upload documents. "Fine," I said, "My worst case scenario has already come
> true. But, well, this is why you plan for the worst case."
> Then they started taking letters of recommendation as PDF documents. In
> fact, they started requiring PDF docs. Each student has 3 to 6 letters of
> recommendation. All in all, I figure we're at about 100 times as many docs
> in our database as I originally expected and about 10x my worst case
> I should either be fired or shot. Maybe fired *then* shot. Actually, its
> not as bad as all that. I can pretty easily write a perl script to export
> the docs to files and access them via a network mounted filesystem. After
> all, saving myself 5 hours of work 5 years ago is worth what? -- maybe
> 10hours today? It is amazing how often quick & dirty turns out just being
> dirty in the end.
Not sure what the problem is really... What are you running into?
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