Data are values of qualitative or quantitative variables, belonging to a set of items. Data in computing (or data processing) are represented in a structure, often tabular (represented by rows and columns), a tree (a set of nodes with parent-children relationship) or a graph structure (a set of ...

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40
votes
12answers
3k views

Is there an alternative to bits?

Is there an alternative to bits as the smallest unit of data? Something that won't be only 0 or 1, but actually hold many possible states in between? Wouldn't it be more natural to store floats like ...
21
votes
6answers
8k views

Why the static data members have to be defined outside the class separately in C++ (unlike Java)?

class A { static int foo () {} // ok static int x; // <--- needed to be defined separately in .cpp file }; I don't see a need of having A::x defined separately in a .cpp file (or same file ...
19
votes
1answer
358 views

How should HTML data formats be applied in everyday situations?

Given Google's shift towards a stronger focus on page markup data, how do the data formats used in Schema.org work alongside those for Microformats? How do these (and other specs) compliment each ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Data input validation - Where? How much? [closed]

Data input validation always was quite an internal struggle to me. On the verge of adding a real security framework and code to our legacy application rewrite project (which so far pretty much keeps ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Why does Garbage Collection only sweep the heap?

Basically, I've learned so far that garbage collection erases forever any data structure that is not currently being pointed to. But this only checks the heap for such conditions. Why doesn't it also ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there a list of common usernames to reserve in a new system?

I need to reserve usernames in my new website. These generally fall into three categories 1) usernames no-one should have (eg: admin, user, service, help, root, etc) 2) names of super famous people ...
12
votes
8answers
882 views

Are there examples of non CRUD approaches?

I'm a programmer but also have worked as an archivist. As archivist it's a lot about keeping data. I often get into arguments with colleagues when it comes to operations on data. I don't like the U ...
10
votes
2answers
201 views

Should there be a “data hygiene” index for software - to indicate how clean the program is? not leaving temp files, etc

Should there be a "data hygiene" index for software - to indicate how clean the program is? not creating unused temp files, registry entries, environment variables, etc. For example, look in your ...
9
votes
8answers
655 views

When does 'optimizing code' == 'structuring data'?

A recent article by ycombinator lists a comment with principles of a great programmer. #7. Good programmer: I optimize code. Better programmer: I structure data. Best programmer: What's the ...
9
votes
5answers
624 views

What's the proper term for a function inverse to a constructor - to unwrap a value from a data type?

Edit: I'm rephrasing the question a bit. Apparently I caused some confusion because I didn't realize that the term destructor is used in OOP for something quite different - it's a function invoked ...
9
votes
5answers
12k views

Getting data from a webpage in a stable and efficient way

Recently I've learned that using a regex to parse the HTML of a website to get the data you need isn't the best course of action. So my question is simple: What then, is the best / most efficient and ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Data Synchronization in mobile apps - multiple devices, multiple users

I'm looking into building my first mobile app. One of the core features of the application is that multiple devices/users will have access to the same data -- and all of them will have CRUD rights. I ...
8
votes
3answers
242 views

Is a single object to be preferred over multiple variables?

It was quite hard to put what I meant into a title, but it's easy to put into code. C++ Is this int offset_x = 10; int offset_y = 40; ... element.move(offset_x, offset_y); To be preferred over ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How do Data Scientists Use Python? [closed]

Do you know how Data Scientists use Python and if it requires data, where I can get sample data to practice with? I'm currently learning the language and plan on applying for Data Scientists jobs, so ...
8
votes
3answers
320 views

Data “unsort” / homogeneity algorithm

In an attempt to not reinvent a wheel, I'm asking if anyone has ideas on a data homogeneity algorithm. A brief example: My data has several elements maybe like Number Color Fruit Letter There ...
7
votes
2answers
550 views

Why build data models in a dynamic language?

Background This question stems out of an architectural discussion we had at work. For the current project we are using Python and an object oriented database. There are input services that we ...
7
votes
1answer
338 views

Does current evidence support the adoption of Contextual over Canonical Data Models?

The "canonical" idea is pervasive in software; patterns like Canonical Model, Canonical Schema, Canonical Data Model and so on, seem to come up again and again in development. Like many developers, ...
7
votes
3answers
246 views

Are there best practices for checking for errors in business logic for DB refreshes? [closed]

I'm working for a company with very large databases which all refresh overnight, ready for users to interrogate in the morning. These over night loads essentially truncate all the tables, and reload ...
6
votes
4answers
427 views

Is a yobibit really a meaningful unit? [closed]

Wikipedia helpfully explains: The yobibit is a multiple of the bit, a unit of digital information storage, prefixed by the standards-based multiplier yobi (symbol Yi), a binary prefix ...
6
votes
5answers
731 views

Sensitive Data Storage - Best Practices

I recently started working on a personal project where I was connecting to a database using Java. This got me thinking. I have to provide the login information for a database account on the DB server ...
6
votes
5answers
988 views

How to decide between storage formats and what are example use cases for some of them?

We have different ways to store program data (save files in games, employee databases, program configuration etc.): Plain text (think .ini and .conf) XML Databases (MySQL, SQLite...) .zip and ...
6
votes
1answer
551 views

Terminology: Really Delete vs set IsDeleted (“soft delete”) flag

I have a site where a regular user can delete records, where what happens is that an IsDeleted flag gets set. On administrative pages, a privileged user can delete records where an actual SQL DELETE ...
5
votes
4answers
289 views

Can data classes contain methods for validation?

OK, say I have a data class for a user: public class User { private String firstName; private String lastName; private long personCode; private Date birthDate; private Gender gender; private String ...
5
votes
3answers
174 views

Why do people store shipping and handling in the order header and not a line item

I have worked on several ordering systems. Every one of them has tracked the shipping and handling as part of the order header rather then tracking it as a line item. To me, it would make more sense ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

What are graph datastores better at doing than other datastores and why?

Where previously there was only relational databases, the data store world is now rife with options like Key-Value, Document, and Graph datastores. Unfortunately, every datastore likes to show how it ...
5
votes
4answers
504 views

Am I sending large amounts of data sensibly?

I am about to design a video conversion service, that is scalable on the conversion side. The architecture is as follows: Webpage for video upload When done, a message gets sent out to one of ...
5
votes
2answers
246 views

How to ensure data integrity (when an external system is involved)

Say you have this task in an application that consists of two parts: 1) Delivery of a file to an external system (not in your control) 2) A database transaction in our system, with information about ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

Is there a standard way of cleaning data files?

Having spent quite a lot of time working in software companies that deal in medium to large data sets, I've seen that a choke point in their processes is often prepping data files for loading into ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Version control and data provenance in charts, slides, and marketing materials that derive from code ouput

I develop as part of a small team that mostly does research and statistics stuff. But from the output of our code, other teams often create promotional materials, slides, presentations, etc. We run ...
5
votes
3answers
865 views

How to do data synchronisation between two applications?

Our client has a CRM application (let's call it A) and a custom built Windows application (VB.NET) (let's call it B) that directly writes to and reads from the CRM database. Application A is used ...
5
votes
2answers
97 views

Resources on how to relate structured and semi- / un-structured information

I don't have a great background in information organisation / retrieval, but I know of a few ways of dealing with the problem. For structured information, it's possible to go OOish - everything ...
4
votes
2answers
471 views

How can large data handling be a special requirement for job?

I chanced to see some job requirements of Oracle SQL programmer or C# developer jobs, who want a person who can handle terabytes of data in ETL or data migration. I have worked on data migration to ...
4
votes
5answers
379 views

Should I encrypt files saved by my program

I'm trying to decide on what format I should save data in, and hopefully this question will help me come to a decision. The program I'm writing uses 'databases' in which word=meaning (not a ...
4
votes
1answer
317 views

Should reflection be part of design?

I'm currently designing a somewhat large program that will involve the simulation of math/physics models and collection of data (I have not implemented any code yet). One of the main problems I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
237 views

Isolating test data in acceptance tests

I'm looking for guidance on how to keep my acceptance tests isolated. Right now the issue I'm having with being able to run the tests in parallel is the database records that are manipulated in the ...
4
votes
4answers
376 views

Randomly Accessing Data Packets in a Compressed File

In my line of work I deal with very large files, hundreds of Gigabytes in size. The nature of the data in these files is such that compression would greatly reduce their size. The problem is, the ...
4
votes
3answers
267 views

Big Data: Can it be pre-processed?

My question is about "big data". Basically, big data involves the analysis of a large amount of data to make meaningful insights from it. I would like to know: Whether or not large amounts of data ...
4
votes
2answers
251 views

Design strategies for storing and validating serial numbers

We are writing software to track Foo Widgets. Each Foo Widget has a serial number. The serial number is an 32-character alphanumeric string. The string is separated into five sets. Each set is ...
4
votes
2answers
298 views

A Question about using different data access layers for different database providers

I have a question about whether we should use different Data access layers for different database providers like SQL Server, MySQL Server, Oracle etc.. Is it not better to use a single data access ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

Deleting Content from Service [closed]

I'm not quite sure what the real practice is in the programming community. But when a user deletes content from your service (ie. deleting a status update, a photo of theirs, a comment they made). ...
4
votes
1answer
329 views

Data service API design

We're designing a data service that will store a large number of statistics about stocks, including historical data. The client will be a web application, which will need to pull various bits of data ...
4
votes
2answers
383 views

Deduplication of complex records / Similarity Detection

I'm working on a project that involves records with fairly large numbers of fields (~15-20) and I'm trying to figure out a good way to implement deduplication. Essentially the records are people along ...
3
votes
3answers
288 views

Designing access to file-based “database”

It happened frequently that I have to provide access to a bunch of files organized in a directory tree according to some (sometimes loosely specified) rules. My standard pattern is to provide a ...
3
votes
4answers
218 views

Reading Java book — I'm confused on this explanation of the difference between information and data?

From "Demystifying Java".. For many of us, the terms information and data are synonymous. However, information and data are distinctly different in programming. Data is the smallest amount of ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Algorithm that determines relevant attributes in ordered list

Suppose I have a list of objects sorted by a person based on that person's subjective taste. Let's assume that this person is being somewhat consistent in their sorting and that there are quantifiable ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Where can I find a large dataset of tweets?

I'm trying some machine learning with Twitter, and I was wondering if there were any pre-collected just massive tweet data that anyone knew about before I went and just used the API (which has a ...
3
votes
2answers
709 views

Having a generic data type for a database table column, is it “good” practice?

I'm working on a PHP project where some object (class member) may contain different data type. For example : class Property { private $_id; // (PK) private $_ref_id; // the object ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

What is a scalable and practical way to search existence of a group of strings in a huge file

Context: I built an app which generates around 1000 domain names based on user input. I need to check if they are available or not by matching against a huge zone file of parsed domain names which is ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

What's a good format for documenting hundreds of data feeds?

Several governments are starting to publish open data: datasets generated by the goverment, made freely available for citizens to use for value-added app development, analysis, and feedback. For ...
3
votes
2answers
260 views

Getting and maintaining data from a large number of sources on the web

For the sake of an exercice I want to aggregate price listings with prices coming from a series of web sites in a structured form (XML, JSON...). If I have control on both sides how can I go about ...