In Reply To

There was a little bit of a dust-up yesterday after Twitter was alerted to /database-antipattern, a page on the indiewebcamp wiki that advocates flat-file storage over databases to ensure data longevity. The authors and community were called well-intentioned idiots, elaborate trolls, and dangerous propagandists!!

First of all, it’s a disappointing reminder that something that would be a fun, spirited debate in a bar turns immediately into heated personal attacks online. But second I think there is a good opportunity to de-escalate the language in the article, hopefully making it more useful and more accessible.

The page makes some good points, e.g.:

  • For the use-case of a personal, single author website, a database might be overkill (many have (re)discovered this in static site generators).
  • You should design around the UX not around the database.
  • Databases do require more effort to administrate and backup.

And some bad points (IMHO of course), e.g.:

  • Using a particular database does not dictate which OS or programming language you use. I can’t think of any non-Microsoft example where it does.
  • “Uninspectability”: There are browsers for databases just as there are browsers for HTML.

But the biggest problem for me is the title (and therefore scope) — asserting that using a database is an antipattern, “antithetical to a diverse and growing indieweb” or from “a pattern that tells how to go from a problem to a bad solution”, goes much too far and reads like FUD. Many developers of indieweb software choose to use a database as their primary storage, as well as anyone who uses Wordpress or another CMS. Some of the longest continuously active blogs I know keep their content in databases. (Of course there are exceptions). Yes databases can become lost or corrupted, but that’s why there are backups. And if SQLite changes the file format in version 4, luckily version 3 still exists to read the old file…

A lot of these points would be appropriately moved to /database#Criticism and /MySQL#Criticism, and then the article could be re-framed more positively with more advice and less “nice data there, be a shame if anything happened to it”. Some ideas:

  • “You might not need a database” — for some use cases, the costs associated with running a DB may outweigh the benefits
  • “Databases and longevity”
  • “Database concerns”, “risks”, “costs”, “issues”, etc.
  • Or simply /file-storage, with positive advice on storage, indexing, caching etc.
- Kyle Mahan: Antipatterns antipattern

Yeah I feel like the having a page that is specifically about the problems with a particular solution to a problem probably shows a bit of a bias and that moving the content into the pages for discussing advantages and disadvantages would be better for tone purposes. During the discussion after having read the page I started feeling really worried about using wordpress with it’s MYSQL backend but Tantek Çelik made a good point about not feeling bad about having something that works for you. I kinda realised that for me, considering the sheer number of posts I make and the way I post having them stored in flat files would be completely unmanagable and I’m really in love with the system that I’ve got going now with my current #indieweb setup.

Such an awesome mashup

I’m currently experimenting with putting titles on my blog in my handwriting.

I’ve been curious about the idea of having a font of my handwriting in the past but been put off by the amount of work require. Recently, however, Nedroid recommended the services of who will convert handwriting to a font for $10. Considering that it would have taken me hours to do it myself I went ahead and forked over my cash. The process was simple and the results were pretty good. So now I have a .ttf font of my handwriting.

To use my new font on my site I made use of to get a .woff and a .eof version of the font. I’ve also got a child theme of Sempress set up for the custom css and javascript on my site. I created a folder in my child theme’s directory called acegiakfont and put my .woff and .eof files in it and added the following code to my custom css:

@font−face {  font−family: 'acegiak2014';  font−style: normal;  src: url('acegiakfont/Acegiak2014.eot');  src: local('acegiak2014'), url('acegiakfont/Acegiak2014.eot') format('embedded−opentype'), url('acegiakfont/Acegiak2014.woff') format('woff'); }

.entry−title,#site−title{  font−family: 'acegiak2014' , "Droid Sans", "Helvetica", "Arial", sans−serif;!important; }

The first section defines the custom font face and the files to load for them and the second just defines which elements to use the font for.





im in one of those periods in my life where i cant focus on anything i cant finish an assignment i cant listen to one song for more than 5 seconds i cant sit through a tv show episode i cant finish a book i cant write a story

all i can do is stare blankly at the wall and wish i had something to do but everything i could do or want to do is just supremely unsatisfying


Hey kids this is a symptom of depression

- Fruity Tooty: benjaminhargreeves:thedoctorknits:i-effed-it-all-up:im in one of those periods in my life...