Verbosity



  • Our team rule is: minimize abbreviations in names.

    Ok, no problem. Then I encounter a db, erm, database table named: Flags, which contains a column named: IncludeExcludeFlag, which contains the distinct values: 'INCLUDE RECORD', 'EXCLUDE RECORD'. Honestly, a simple 'I', 'E' wouldn' have sufficed here?

    OBTW, the table has > 2 billion rows and the field is non nullable.

     


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    How about an Exclude column that's a bit (boolean)?



  • Those names aren't terrible. OpenGL function prototypes are terrible.

    PFNWGLCREATECONTEXTATTRIBSARBPROC


  • @snoofle said:

    Our team rule is: minimize abbreviations in names.

    Ok, no problem. Then I encounter a db, erm, database table named: Flags, which contains a column named: IncludeExcludeFlag, which contains the distinct values: 'INCLUDE RECORD', 'EXCLUDE RECORD'. Honestly, a simple 'I', 'E' wouldn' have sufficed here?

    OBTW, the table has > 2 billion rows and the field is non nullable.

     Sounds more like n imlementation problem than an abbreviations problem. As a side note, it is increasingly common (and I fully support) having all identifiers checked against a controlled dictionary that only has VERY well known abbreviations). Words are split at each capital letter.



  •  The point wasn't the column name. It was that while abbreviations are considered taboo, they put 2+ billion 14 character strings into what could have been 2 billion 1 character strings (26gb savings), or as has been pointed out, even into a bit fieldcolumn.

    I've since discovered this is done in pretty much every table in the db - hundreds of gb wasted. On your basic pc with a 1 TB disk, that may not be so bad, but these are on expensive san units across multiple environments; plus mirroring, plus backup; it adds up!

     



  • @joe.edwards said:

    How about an Exclude column that's a bit (boolean)?

    +1  This is what I would have thought.



  • @snoofle said:

    On your basic pc with a 1 TB disk
    Given that my two main (that I physically use) machines (home+work) are laptops, is this option going to be cheap(er) any time soon?



    Or to rephrase what I'm trying to ask, a few years ago I'd normally advise people with {£|$|whatever}X to spend, to spend it on a desktop, rather than a laptop (unless they needed mobility.) Are we seeing equity between the two yet?



  • @PJH said:

    @snoofle said:
    On your basic pc with a 1 TB disk
    Given that my two main (that I physically use) machines (home+work) are laptops, is this option going to be cheap(er) any time soon?

    Or to rephrase what I'm trying to ask, a few years ago I'd normally advise people with {£|$|whatever}X to spend, to spend it on a desktop, rather than a laptop (unless they needed mobility.) Are we seeing equity between the two yet?

    No



  • We're expecting to see parity between components and miniaturized versions of those components?



  • @Sutherlands said:

    We're expecting to see parity between components and miniaturized versions of those components?

    Why not? Someday today's top-of-the-line smartphones will be commodities. Seems wasteful to keep along old factories for less desirable components.

     

    How many vacuum tube factories are there still around?
    (Honest question. I have no idea)



  • @Zecc said:

    How many vacuum tube factories are there still around?

    (Honest question. I have no idea)
     

    Probably a few, if only to supply amp makers.



  • @Zecc said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    We're expecting to see parity between components and miniaturized versions of those components?

    Why not? Someday today's top-of-the-line smartphones will be commodities. Seems wasteful to keep along old factories for less desirable components.
    I'm not sure where you were going with this.  Whatever the latest technological advance, a more compact version will always be more difficult to make, no?


  • How many vacuum tube factories are there still around?
    (Honest question. I have no idea)

    Vacuum tubes for guitar amplifiers will never be obsoleted. Though I use a Pocket POD because it's the only thing on the planet that complements the sheer bass noise this Les Paul copy kicks out.



  • @PJH said:

    Or to rephrase what I'm trying to ask, a few years ago I'd normally advise people with {£|$|whatever}X to spend, to spend it on a desktop, rather than a laptop (unless they needed mobility.) Are we seeing equity between the two yet?
    It's not cheaper, but for a couple of years, at least, I've generally been advising people to go for the laptop in most scenarios. It won't be quite as powerful, but for most users that doesn't matter - almost all reasonably priced laptops are more than powerful enough to meet their needs, and the portability is useful.

    In general, the only parts of laptops that add any significant cost over a PC are the battery and chassis.



  • See, I used to recommend people buy desktops because they're more reconfigurable and reliable than laptops as well as a darned sight cheaper, but I've realised in retrospect I should have said "buy anything because there's a good chance you'll spend £300 on a machine without enough RAM to run the OS it came with, a tiny slow hard drive, a hugely overpowered CPU, tonnes of bloatware that dies two days after the warranty runs out anyway".

    These people think three minutes to open an Explorer window is acceptable. So hey. I just don't know.



  • @intertravel said:

    In general, the only parts of laptops that add any significant cost over a PC are the battery and chassis.

     There is one more differential in cost...Desktops are quite often "repairable" where laptops are not. From a pricing standpoint I always calculate that the laptop will be worth $0.00 the day after the warrenty expire.

     Right now I have 5 different laptops that are all of sufficient capabilities to be useful for many things. But each one of them has a "broken part", and not one of these parts are available from the vendorss (three different brands). Occasionally I will see on eBay/CraigsList/etc. a broken machine where the broken part is different, and the price is near zero, this is about the only way to "repair" one of these machines.

    If they were desktops, replacing a component is typically much easier. Even if the MoBo dies, a new Mobo will often fit, and cost about $60.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    I'm not sure where you were going with this.  Whatever the latest technological advance, a more compact version will always be more difficult to make, no?
    What I meant is building a modern car is technically much more complex than building a wooden carriage, but because you don't see much demand for the latter, there aren't many factories.

    People will prefer a computer they can carry around to one they can't, no?

     



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    There is one more differential in cost...Desktops are quite often "repairable" where laptops are not.
    That's actually a very good point in favour of desktops.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    @intertravel said:

    In general, the only parts of laptops that add any significant cost over a PC are the battery and chassis.

     There is one more differential in cost...Desktops are quite often "repairable" where laptops are not. From a pricing standpoint I always calculate that the laptop will be worth $0.00 the day after the warrenty expire.

     Right now I have 5 different laptops that are all of sufficient capabilities to be useful for many things. But each one of them has a "broken part", and not one of these parts are available from the vendorss (three different brands). Occasionally I will see on eBay/CraigsList/etc. a broken machine where the broken part is different, and the price is near zero, this is about the only way to "repair" one of these machines.

    If they were desktops, replacing a component is typically much easier. Even if the MoBo dies, a new Mobo will often fit, and cost about $60.

    Yes and no. There's also the factor of upgradeability. For most people, though, neither of these are considerations - particularly if in a non-work context, where I know I'll be the one to end up fixing it if it breaks. It's an advantage to me if a) they can bring the computer to me and b) I can tell them 'sorry, nothing I can do' :)

    Seriously, though, I haven't had any trouble getting replacement parts for laptops. It's rare that the manufacturer's rip-off spares are worth the money, so generally people make do without, but you can get any part off a decent mainstream laptop (by definition of decent).

    Really, though, it's about how people use PCs these days. I move my laptop from one room to another all the time - if I had a desktop I'd have to pick one spot and keep it there (most of the time). Mobility is a real asset for most users, and one that they'll notice far more than slightly faster loading times.



  • @Zecc said:

    People will prefer a computer they can carry around to one they can't, no?

    Ok.  Yes, but why would that preference mean that they will be of equal price?  What do the factories have to do with anything?  Nobody is keeping around old factories (or what are "old" factories are being retooled). 

    It's a complete red herring.  Why would you expect that the spec for a laptop and desktop at the same price will even out?



  • re: Desktops vs Laptops for casual users

    Back when I worked at Staples 5-10 years ago, almost without fail if a customer was asking about a computer, I'd recommend the least powerful one... they just didn't need the power.  If I was still working there, I'd definitely recommend a laptop over a desktop for most of them.  For myself... I'll probably be sticking with a desktop as my main rig as I don't really need to move around, and I need more power at a lower cost to play my games... as well as upgradability.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Zecc said:

    People will prefer a computer they can carry around to one they can't, no?
    I recently came to a conclusion: Why the fuck do I want to carry arounda fragile piece of equipment that is subject to extreme breakage if I don't take special care of it while engaging in my hobby activities? Particularly when that device's only functional purpose above a regular cell phone is to let me drag work along with me.

    "Apps" hold such limited appeal to me it isn't even funny. I can't think of a single one that I've been shown by enthusiastic smartphone owners that would enhance my life in any way. Bottom line, when I'm at home, I have access to much more powerful computing resources than I can realistically expect in my pocket for another decade or so. When I'm at work, I have access to much more specialized computing resources that will likely NEVER be safe to carry in my pocket. When I'm neither place, I rarely need computing resources at all - and when I do, they're of the specialized variety that phones just don't do.

    So I have no logical need to carry a smartphone. So I save my $29.95 month and carry a ruggedized dumbphone.

     

    Laptops. I've already established that I rarely need portable computing power. But when I do, it's specialized. So I have a stable of surplus craptops - throw away pieces of "garbage" I literally scrounged up for free that are nonetheless capable of performing a specific specialized task. I take the appropriate one(s) with me when I foresee the need. There's one with automotive reference materials. There's one done up as a datalogger. There's one done up for "Fuck, I'm stranded in a hotel room and want to kill time on the internet".

     

     

    Not being able to readily bury my head in "social media" at all times has, in my opinion, enriched my life significantly. So, no, I prefer computers I can't carry around, because carrying around computers is either distracting or hard work.



  • @Zecc said:

    "Apps" hold such limited appeal to me it isn't even funny. I can't think of a single one that I've been shown by enthusiastic smartphone owners that would enhance my life in any way.
     

    I have an HTC Android.

    • Internet browser lets me to show people a web site that I built.
    • FBReader lets me read a book while I'm waiting for the bus.
    • GMail lets me check my mail when I'm spending all day on the bus.
    • Maps lets me see where my bus is now.
    • Camera lets me take pictures, like my girlfriends.
    • Gallery lets me show pictures, like my ex-wife.
    • Clock lets me set multiple alarms, like "Time to pick up the kid from school!"
    • ColorNote lets me keep lists of things, like how much I've spent on food so far today.

    I invite anyone else here to list his own favorites so I can try them out.

     

     



  • @Sutherlands said:

    What do the factories have to do with anything?  Nobody is keeping
    around old factories (or what are "old" factories are being retooled).
    My point was that it will be cheaper to mass produce the most desirable product in detriment of the less desired one, exactly because old factories aren't being kept around.

    But... there's a bunch of factors including price (which depends on both demand and manufacturing costs), customizability, repairability and whatnot. So ultimately only time will tell wheter the most portable computers will win over the less portable ones. For the record, I think they can peacefully coexist, though it may have sounded otherwise.

    @AndyCanfield said:

    @Zecc said:
    "Apps" hold such limited appeal to me it isn't even funny. I can't think of a single one that I've been shown by enthusiastic smartphone owners that would enhance my life in any way.
     
    I distinctly remember not having said that, even though I mostly agree. You're misquoting Weng.

    Exceptions are maps and the ability to search for random useless trivia information on the net. That's cool.

    But I can live without it. I do.



  • I have an HTC Android.
    Internet browser lets me to show people a web site that I built.
    FBReader lets me read a book while I'm waiting for the bus.
    GMail lets me check my mail when I'm spending all day on the bus.
    Maps lets me see where my bus is now.
    Camera lets me take pictures, like my girlfriends.
    Gallery lets me show pictures, like my ex-wife.
    Clock lets me set multiple alarms, like "Time to pick up the kid from school!"
    ColorNote lets me keep lists of things, like how much I've spent on food so far today.



    I have a Samsung D600.



    No internet browser, but mobile Internet isn't worth a subscription fee to me.
    It has a text editor that can be used to read books. (not that I would on a screen)
    It has a working POP3/SMTP email client. I used to use it.
    It has Google Maps as a Java app but it uses WAP so I usually don't bother.
    It has a very nice camera that does the job.
    It has an image viewer.
    It has up to four alarms.
    It has a calendar, notes manager.



    Aside from internet, what have you really gained?



    And think what you've lost. A real keypad. Week-long battery life. Rugged enough to drop it and not care. Cheap enough to drop it and not care. Lots of money in contract fees. Your personal details if you're unlucky enough to install an app which is actually a rogue imitation of what you were looking for. (it happens)



    I maintain that only truly dumb people call themselves smart, and only dumbphones are actually smart.



  • @nexekho said:

    I have a Samsung D600.

    No internet browser, but mobile Internet isn't worth a subscription fee to me.
    If you ever decide you do want a web browser, Opera Mini is supposed to be compatible with your 'phone (although I wouldn't advise using it to show clients your work).

    I wouldn't describe anything capable of running Java as a "dumbphone" myself (there are plenty out there which handle 'phone calls, text messages and very little else for that). Smartphones have just had more effort put into creating a consistent API and marketing them.



  • There is a browser of sorts built into it, but it's rather pricey to use and I'm not sure if it's built on the same technologies.



  • @nexekho said:

    dumbphones
     

    The term is "tardphone"



  • I apologize for misquoting. There were nested quotes, and when I deleted the irrelevant stuff I must have incorrectly deleted nesting layers. Sorry.



  • @dhromed said:

    @nexekho said:

    dumbphones
     

    The term is "tardphone"

    Because it's dumber on the inside than it looks on the outside?

     



  • @DaveK said:

    Because it's dumber on the inside than it looks on the outside?
     

    No, because it matches the sound of "smartphone", which adds 45% bonus funny.



  • @dhromed said:

    @DaveK said:

    Because it's dumber on the inside than it looks on the outside?
     

    No, because it matches the sound of "smartphone", which adds 45% bonus funny.

    You're right, of course.  The thing I was thinking of is a Tard-is.



  • @Zecc said:

    What I meant is building a modern car is technically much more complex than building a wooden carriage, but because you don't see much demand for the latter, there aren't many factories.

    Bad analogy. A wooden carriage needs horses to pull it, which is like needing a specialized diesel generator for running the computer because it will only accept 160 volts at 80 hertz. Alternatively you could order a custom-built converter to run it off the grid (i.e. install an engine on the wooden carriage), but that would be costly.

    A better one would be a choice between a 1.4-liter sedan with good fuel economy but not much horsepower (inexpensive but less powerful laptop), 2.3-liter SUV that drinks gas like a sponge but will get you anywhere (moderately-priced but powerful desktop computer), and an electric version of that same SUV with almost as much power at a fraction of the fuel costs (very expensive but powerful laptop). While most people will be fine with the first one, there's still market for the fuel-guzzling SUVs since some people need more horsepower but can't afford the pricey electric cars.



  • @Zecc said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    What do the factories have to do with anything?  Nobody is keeping
    around old factories (or what are "old" factories are being retooled).
    My point was that it will be cheaper to mass produce the most desirable product in detriment of the less desired one, exactly because old factories aren't being kept around.

    But... there's a bunch of factors including price (which depends on both demand and manufacturing costs), customizability, repairability and whatnot. So ultimately only time will tell wheter the most portable computers will win over the less portable ones. For the record, I think they can peacefully coexist, though it may have sounded otherwise.

    I bet there's still enough enthusiast gamers and other power users to warrant having a full factory line or two churning out the more powerful chips, at which point the manufacturing costs don't significantly lower with increased volume anymore. High-volume products may be sold at a lower profit margin to lower the consumer prices and create demand for them.

    Then there's the fact that laptops need components with lower power consumption. You can't put a 100W CPU and a 200W GPU in a laptop and expect using it to be an enjoyable experience (think burnt thighs, 30-minute battery life). Presumably manufacturing low-wattage parts requires more advanced techniques that lower the yield and increase price. Also they have less computing power. So I don't think the market for desktop computers is going anywhere for a while.



  • @dhromed said:

    @DaveK said:

    Because it's dumber on the inside than it looks on the outside?
     

    No, because it matches the sound of "smartphone", which adds 45% bonus funny.

     

    My phone calls itself a "smartphone" but it is probably in the dumbphone category these days. It is a Nokia 5500 Sport. It doesn't even support 3G! Before I got a netbook I used WAP sites through GPRS: after I got the netbook I turned off data access. It is rugged as it has handled my toddler playing with it, so I'm not really planning on getting an iPhone until all my kids are old enough to not break things accidentally (wife may be pregnant again).



  • @tdb said:

    @Zecc said:
    What I meant is building a modern car is technically much more complex than building a wooden carriage, but because you don't see much demand for the latter, there aren't many factories.

     

    Bad analogy. A wooden carriage needs horses to pull it, which is like needing a specialized diesel generator for running the computer because it will only accept 160 volts at 80 hertz. Alternatively you could order a custom-built converter to run it off the grid (i.e. install an engine on the wooden carriage), but that would be costly.

    A better one would be a choice between a 1.4-liter sedan with good fuel economy but not much horsepower (inexpensive but less powerful laptop), 2.3-liter SUV that drinks gas like a sponge but will get you anywhere (moderately-priced but powerful desktop computer), and an electric version of that same SUV with almost as much power at a fraction of the fuel costs (very expensive but powerful laptop). While most people will be fine with the first one, there's still market for the fuel-guzzling SUVs since some people need more horsepower but can't afford the pricey electric cars.

    Oh, alright, I conceed defeat already. I was only playing devil's advocate anyway.

     


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