1667: "Algorithms"

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ucim
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Re: 1667: "Algorithms"

Postby ucim » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:13 pm UTC

eidako wrote:This is why I prefer reinventing the wheel. Sure, it takes longer, and sometimes my wheels are a bit rectangular, but at least they don't fall off when a single person decides nobody can use the lug nuts they designed anymore.
This is my function. There are many functions like it; this one is mine.

I do the same thing, and this is one of the reasons. Otherwise I'm chasing other people's versions with my code (and I'd rather be chasing... well, let's not go there.) :)
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Not to mention that in computers, files and such are actually identified by inodes, and filenames merely point to the inode (which then points to the data). This has uses (in *nix) which Windows (and I think Mac) don't implement.

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Re: 1667: "Algorithms"

Postby kodiac » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:38 am UTC

Something that occurred to me late last night: where on the complexity scale should the algorithm mentioned (in fine print) on the XKCD front page sit?
We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves.
The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus.
This is not the algorithm. This is close.

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Re: 1667: "Algorithms"

Postby ManaUser » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:16 am UTC

kodiac wrote:Something that occurred to me late last night: where on the complexity scale should the algorithm mentioned (in fine print) on the XKCD front page sit?
We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves.
The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus.
This is not the algorithm. This is close.

It's not entirely clear which algorithm that is, but I'd say "google search backend" is a strong candidate.

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Re: 1667: "Algorithms"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:02 am UTC

ucim wrote:Not to mention that in computers, files and such are actually identified by inodes, and filenames merely point to the inode (which then points to the data). This has uses (in *nix) which Windows (and I think Mac) don't implement.

Apple's Time Machine backup system uses that, actually; browsing the backups folder, it appears that there is a copy of everything set to be backed up for every hour in the past day, day in the past week, and then weeks stretching back as far as space permits... except that way, way more copies than space would actually permit fit in there. This is because if a file is unchanged between two backups, the filenames just point at the same inode; there isn't actually a separate copy of anything except the changed files between each backup.
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Re: 1667: "Algorithms"

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:23 am UTC

I think I might have been using manilla folders wrong all this time. My strategy has always been to put individual "files" (stapled items) within a folder, label that folder, then put a number of such folders into a larger folder, then organize those much thicker folders into a bag. The result exactly matches the metaphor used in filesystems but may not be the intended use of file folders.
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Re: 1667: "Algorithms"

Postby Link » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:28 am UTC

I can just about imagine the headlines: "Nebraskan church group accidentally solves boson sampling problem using Excel". And then a few hours later, "Alan Turing rises from dead, burns down Nebraskan church".

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Re: 1667: "Algorithms"

Postby Yu_p » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:59 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
ucim wrote:Not to mention that in computers, files and such are actually identified by inodes, and filenames merely point to the inode (which then points to the data). This has uses (in *nix) which Windows (and I think Mac) don't implement.

Apple's Time Machine backup system uses that, actually; browsing the backups folder, it appears that there is a copy of everything set to be backed up for every hour in the past day, day in the past week, and then weeks stretching back as far as space permits... except that way, way more copies than space would actually permit fit in there. This is because if a file is unchanged between two backups, the filenames just point at the same inode; there isn't actually a separate copy of anything except the changed files between each backup.

I can at least confirm that this leads to some major pains in Windows.

Here apparently the intermediate layer of "filename -> inode" is missing in general, so open file handles prevent renaming, deleting or replacing a file. There is also no native "atomic replace" operation for files, i.e. it is not possible to overwrite a file in a way that guarantees that it will never end up in an inconsistent state.

This leads to plenty of weird issues when a program uses plain files as a backend; As a consequence you can quite quickly arrive at a point where a program has to implement its own journalling mechanism, at which point programs just use a database as a backend.

As end-user I notice that issue mostly because making backups requires closing many programs -- even LibreOffice Calc keeps an exclusive file-lock on files I am editing, let alone backup-worthy user configuration in ~/AppData.

On that note, does anyone know if windows 10 has an equivalent of ShadowVolumeCopy that can be accessed as a directory?

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Re: 1667: "Algorithms"

Postby HES » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:04 am UTC

ManaUser wrote:It's not entirely clear which algorithm that is, but I'd say "google search backend" is a strong candidate.

The late Jeeves, I believe.
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Re: 1667: "Algorithms"

Postby AlfaLyr » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:22 am UTC

This reminded me one day in college, when two friends were scrolling for about an hour to reach "the end of Excel".

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Re: 1667: "Algorithms"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:22 am UTC

I wonder where Wolfram Alpha falls.
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