Home-grown forum

So I finally have a tiny bit of time that I am not doing homework.

Yesterday (Wednesday), we demo’ed a project for our Database class. We basically built a small online forum, which supported users sending messages to eachother, creating threads and posts, and stuff like that. It really made me realize how much there really is in a decently designed forum like the one on gamedev.net. That, and the database definitely needs to be designed well from the start. We (well, mostly I) had the bright idea of storing user IDs in the posts, instead of storing the user ID and/or the username. (the user’s primary key was an ID field, not username. This way users could possibly change their username later on). Anyway, because of this, when we went to pull the data to show posts, we ended up having to do an extra database lookup for each post. There most certainly is a better way to go about doing this. Moral of the story: Do your database design right! Do it right from the start! It will save you a few headaches later on.

The cool part of it all is that it was running off my machine at home, using IIS 5, and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. It was a little bit of work getting things set up, but once everything was up and running it was off to the races. We had the option of using MySQL and PHP, but that would have meant working on the linux machines at school, which lack a decent editor.

I also took some pretty sweet pictures today. The frost in the morning was pretty cool looking. Here’s a picture I took on my way home from the University:

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