Thinking of doing HTML or webdesign, programming/coding, even database management?
Don’t. Pick something less frustrating, such as herding cats or teaching Republicans how to recognize utter bullshit.
Here’s the story: For the previous post, I was linking to something much older, and as I’ve found for years, some of the older posts have small formatting issues due to screen width and browser size and all that, so they look a little weird if you’re using a browser different from the one I’d used at the time. Fine, understood. I knew how to correct them, so as I come across them, I add them to a list to tackle when I have a little free time.
Only, if you just go into the post itself through the normal route and update them, they will reappear in RSS feeds as a new post, and likely in other ways. So I got in the habit of simply correcting them in the database itself. This means finding them, among well over 2,000 posts now.
It used to be that I’d search on the date, but with the switch to the new host, that function hasn’t been working. Eventually, I determined that a buttload of stuff in the database has corrupt date stamps – they display the correct date, but the query or search functions do not, apparently, use what I’m looking at in the results. What do they use? Got me. But it doesn’t work.
[I need to note that the date stamp includes the time as well, down to the second, so even searching on the date takes modifiers because, unless you know the exact second that it was published, it won’t be found without fudging the search criteria with “>=” factors, and again, only if the date stamps aren’t fucked up.]
Then I started searching on the post title – seems simple, right? I mean, I even endeavor not to repeat titles so there’s no confusion. But on occasion, this returns nothing.
Why? Well, in this case, it’s because the title had an apostrophe in it, and whatever apostrophe I was copying directly from the title displayed on the screen, was not the same apostrophe as the search function seemed to be looking for.
Why are there different apostrophes? The fuck if I know. I got one key on the keyboard that applies to both apostrophes and single ‘quotes’ (like those,) and even though I’m sure they’re technically different to English pedants, I have no way of differentiating them in the system nor of knowing which one was just used in a title. So I eventually determined that I had to delete the apostrophed word from the search term and use REG EXP as a modifier to the search (I’m assuming this means Regular Expression, but what that means in SQL is anybody’s guess – if there’s more than one goddamn apostrophe, the meaning of Regular Expression probably requires a Wikipedia page someplace.)
Anal me stalled the new post for fifteen minutes to allow myself time to correct the older, linked post, but it took over forty minutes to determine that it was the fucking apostrophe that hung things up (as well as trying numerous other search avenues, including in a different browser.) Who needs that shit? I remember this kind of nonsense back from my days diddybipping around in BASIC, where an “O” where a “0” should be would crash the whole program and could take a ridiculously long time to find – I’m aware of that now (and it makes at least a modicum of sense, even when it’s barely different on screen.) Even this post title, with the question mark in there, has to be externally saved as a text file (which I do routinely, after some database crashes years ago made me start covering my ass,) without the question mark, because that means something else in the operating system’s filenames.
So seriously, pick another field to get into. I only dabble in this and it’s noticeably unhealthy to my mood. If it helps, all three of my personal acquaintances who do this kind of thing routinely, each about the same age as I am, have significantly less hair than I do. Coincidence?