List:General Discussion« Previous MessageNext Message »
From:Martijn Tonies Date:February 11 2010 2:56pm
Subject:Re: how things get messed up
View as plain text  
Hello John,

> 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 
> scenario.
>
> 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?

With regards,

Martijn Tonies
Upscene Productions
http://www.upscene.com

Download Database Workbench for Oracle, MS SQL Server, Sybase SQL
Anywhere, MySQL, InterBase, NexusDB and Firebird!

Database questions? Check the forum:
http://www.databasedevelopmentforum.com 

Thread
how things get messed upJohn G. Heim10 Feb
  • Re: how things get messed upBuford Tannen10 Feb
  • RE: how things get messed upIlya Kazakevich10 Feb
    • Re: how things get messed upCui Shijun11 Feb
      • RE: how things get messed upJerry Schwartz11 Feb
        • Re: how things get messed upJohan De Meersman12 Feb
    • Re: how things get messed upJoerg Bruehe11 Feb
    • Re: how things get messed upJochem van Dieten11 Feb
  • Re: how things get messed upMartijn Tonies11 Feb
    • Re: how things get messed upDavid Giragosian11 Feb
  • RE: how things get messed upJerry Schwartz11 Feb
  • Re: how things get messed upMartijn Tonies11 Feb
    • RE: how things get messed upJerry Schwartz11 Feb
    • Re: how things get messed upAnn W. Harrison12 Feb
  • Re: how things get messed upMartijn Tonies12 Feb
    • Re: how things get messed upJohan De Meersman12 Feb
  • Re: how things get messed upMartijn Tonies12 Feb
    • Re: how things get messed upJohan De Meersman12 Feb
      • Re: how things get messed upVikram A12 Feb
        • Re: how things get messed upJohan De Meersman12 Feb
          • Re: how things get messed upVikram A12 Feb
            • RE: how things get messed upJerry Schwartz16 Feb
              • RE: how things get messed upMartin Gainty16 Feb
                • Re: how things get messed upBarry Leslie17 Feb
              • Re: how things get messed upVikram A18 Feb
                • RE: how things get messed upJerry Schwartz18 Feb
                  • Re: how things get messed upJohan De Meersman18 Feb
  • Re: how things get messed upMartijn Tonies15 Feb
  • Re: how things get messed upMartijn Tonies15 Feb
    • Re: how things get messed upJohan De Meersman16 Feb
      • Re: how things get messed upPaul McCullagh17 Feb
  • Re: how things get messed upMartijn Tonies15 Feb
    • Re: how things get messed upAnn W. Harrison15 Feb
      • Re: how things get messed upJohan De Meersman16 Feb
      • RE: how things get messed upJerry Schwartz16 Feb
  • Re: how things get messed upMartijn Tonies18 Feb
RE: how things get messed upJerry Schwartz22 Feb
  • Re: how things get messed upVikram A24 Feb