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The value of text

Some material is very old and may be incorrect today

© February 2009 Anthony Lawrence

I was reminded again today of the value of text files instead of databases. I've mentioned before that unless you get into very large data sets, flat text files are much faster - often even if you search them in the most clumsy way possible!

There's another big advantage: databases can get corrupted a lot more easily than text files.

A long time ago, I used a database driven comments system on this site. I moved away from that a while ago, but of course still wanted access to the old comments, so I still used the database. That was fine, but today something broke.. I haven't figured out what yet, but a lot of the old comments are showing up more than once.

If these were text files, that wouldn't have happened to start with but if it did somehow write comments twice, simple text tools could help me find and eliminate the duplicates. Now I'm faced with a crappy project: convert the old comments to text and then weed out the duplicates,

If you happen to see old comments being repeated, this is why. I'll have it fixed as soon as I possibly can.

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