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◌  I am my own Lorite

22 February 2009

For reasons to do with my undiagnosed and possibly imaginary attention disorder, I have a lot of projects lying around. I just picked one up again – a web site which may still be called Prelike if it ever surfaces. Now, most web sites are interfaces to giant libraries of chunks of data – for Gmail it’s e-mails, for Flickr it’s photos and comments, for Wikipedia it’s articles, and so on. These libraries are called databases, and (in the form most popular today) they’re designed like spreadsheets, with columns in one dimension and rows on another. Prelike could work in any of several pretty different ways, both internally and for users, depending on very small differences in how the database is designed.

I thought hard about how to do it. I typed out half of the obvious way, got angry at it, and tried a smarter way. Then I realized the smarter way was stupid. I played a game my brother hooked me on. I went inside and made a snack. I turned up music and lay on the floor glaring at the ceiling. I fiddled with waste paper. I checked some news sites. I flipped through photos. I tried to sketch some options. I tried to drink the last half-drop of tea in the cup. I stood at the window with crossed arms.

After let’s say an hour I was pretty sure I had a good way to do it. I pulled up the folder from an earlier stab at Prelike, went in the file called schema (i.e., database design), blocked out the draft from last time, and started typing the new one. About halfway through I got stuck on a minor problem. The eye wandered down to the old schema. It was the one I had just thought of.

I need some kind of device to remember things for me.