A programmerish post
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 by Dave Winer

I suppose I should label programmerish posts as such. 

This is a programmerish post. 

I have a new datatype in my vocabulary, something called a chatlog. It's a hybrid of the data for a chat application and a weblog. 

It's a chatlog in that the software you use to create and edit it feels like a chat app when you use it. I think that will become more apparent as Scripting News community features become more visible. 

But it also feels like a blog when you read it, so it's also a chatlog

Anyway, the programmerish thing is this. I store the chatlog in a single JSON file. Every bit of text appears in a single file. 

I was raised in a time when memory was measured in kilobytes, so I felt giddy when we had megabytes, but now our machines have gigabytes. And the wires that connect the devices are much faster. So loading a 1MB string over a LAN is something you don't have to worry about. But when do you start worrying?

Part of me thinks I should just enhance the app so it assembles the full structure only when it needs to, which turns out to be never. It'll make the code a little more complex for sure. But I know I will do it at some point. Even if I don't have to, I will do it. 


Whether it needs it or not.

But not today.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

  • The reason to care about this is mobile access. Downloading 1MB over a good broadband connection is no big deal, but it's a different story on a spotty cellular connection (that might be data-capped).

    • That isn't happening. We're only talking about something happening on my server, it's not in the conversation betw the client and the server.

      • Well, never mind then. :P