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Archive for September, 2009

InnoDB interesting

This morning we found something interesting about MySQL’s InnoDB tables. Apparently there is a byte limit to the rows. That means that each row can only have so many characters in it (when speaking of character based fields). Of course I don’t think we’ve ever come across this before, or it was in a MyIsam table and didn’t have that same problem, but nevertheless, the problem exists. Now the interesting part is that it’s not really the amount of data within the rows, it’s how the rows are indexed. According to documentation, there is the 8000 row byte limit, but it doesn’t exactly work just like that. For your usual varchar fields, it adds up all of those, but for text fields which naturally support over 32,000 characters, the row is storing only the first 768 bytes and then the rest of the file goes into separate pages. I’m not really sure what all of that means, but I do get that if I have 10 text fields in my row, all of which have lots of character data, it’s taking 7680 bytes just to store those, so my limit is going to be reached quickly if I have text sized data in each of those fields.

So, the solutions are to either switch the storage engine to something else like MyISAM, or to split up the tables, if the fields need to be text data type. We also can’t try to fool the database into faking the row limit by making the text fields varchar fields, that will add up even faster.

Now knowing this limit exists, I may have to go back and rethink some of the tables I’ve designed.

Entry by: amy

Yeah Competition

My friends and I have always done our fantasy football leagues using Yahoo!’s free fantasy sports system. When we first started you would have to calculate your players’ points yourself by hand to get a good estimate of your score. Half the time it ended up being off by a few points anyway after all your work since it was easy to miss a statistic here and there. There was a feature called “Stat Tracker” that provided live point updates for all of your players, but it cost extra and we were not about to pay anything to get this feature even though we always wanted it. Plus Yahoo! would give us the first week free just so we could see how great it was. It was great alright, but we were not going to pay.

Well this year for the first time Yahoo! was giving this feature to everybody for free! The reason is because of competition. So to that I say “Yeah competition!” With the advent of all of these free advanced programming applications made by individual or small time developers on places like Facebook, people could find a lot of the functionality that sites like Yahoo! were making people pay for. Stat Tracker is one such item. Now that this ability was being given away for free, other companies just couldn’t charge for it and still expect to get people to pay for it, let alone still use their site. To stay competitive it would force these sites to also release it for free while changing their business model to get their revenue from some other alley.

Yahoo!’s other alley happens to be in making you pay for draft kits and more detailed information on other users moves and which players are being snagged up during the season. They found a new revenue source, we got free Stat Tracker, and everyone is happy.

While Yahoo!’s Stat Tracker was something that could be easily created by outside developers, graphic design is something that can’t just be copied. You have to have that designer’s eye to really get the same great results. Our designers have the eye and have a great history of great looking web designs. Others can try to imitate it, but we aren’t worried. If they get too close it’s copyright infringement, haha!

Entry by: vinnie

Don’t Surprise Me

I’m not sure how I feel about surprises. I mean I like them. I like when things pop up that you never expected or when someone does something nice for you. It keeps life interesting. But then there’s the flip side, the surprises that are not so much fun and that you never really expected. Those are the ones I’m on the fence about.

So that’s why I like the fact that at DDA not only do we offer everything in-house to help with any unexpected surprises, from a high-quality video to a 3D animation, we ourselves don’t pull any tricks of our own. We are as transparent as we can be and honest from the get go. If we feel a certain strategy will not work for your company or that you could benefit a lot more by implementing search marketing techniques or adding pages of content, we’ll tell you. We’ll also tell you if we feel we’re not the right fit, because sometimes we’re not. Plus, every stage of development for every project is reviewed by the client so at the end of the day, they know that what they are getting is exactly what they wanted.

Life still happens and there’s nothing that can be done about the little nuances that pop up, but at least we do what we can to make sure that we’re continuing to offer the best interactive and traditional marketing and advertising services available, not blindsiding our clients and that there are no surprises that are all too shocking.

Entry by: toni

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