Thursday, April 13, 2006

Obsessive, compulsive me

I have little doubt that I "suffer" from a mild case of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). What other explanation is there for the TEN BOOKS I have published on the Oracle PL/SQL language?

[ Note: I put "suffer" in quotes because pretty clearly I haven't actually suffered, in fact, I have benefited from my obsession. I also use quotes because I generally find objectionable the tendency of medical professionals to give names to behaviors and medical conditions they don't necessarily really understand or are outside the norm. ]

And then there is my attitude towards GUIDs. I talked about these "Globally Unique Indentifiers" earlier in my blog. A GUID is a long sequence of characters that are supposed to be globally unique -- that is, the likelihood of a particular sequence of characters appearing (returned by the GUID generating function) more than once on any computer running on our globe is miniscule. Thus, you can use GUIDs when you need unique values that span, say, database instances or multiple networks.

I just ran into the need to generate about a dozen GUIDs for new assertions I have defined in Qute, the Quick Unit Test Engine. Unfortunately, I forgot to enable output to the screen for my block of code, so I could not use those GUIDs.

And I found myself feeling sad, a sense of loss. I found myself thinking: I just wasted those GUIDs. They will never reappear (as I would ever know!), they are gone forever.

Worrying about "losing" or "wasting" GUIDs? Now, that's surely a bit obsessive!

Time to enable output, run my script again, grab those GUIDs, and get on with my life!


Tharg said...

Dear Mr. Feuerstein,

I believe that the unique things which will never exist again which are worthwhile are people.

Although DNA defines us all, the number of combinations and permutations must be literally astronomical.

The things my 2 year old son said today, and the fun we had rolling around on the living room floor will never be repated, but they are beyond price.

I make my living from I.T., and oracle in particular, but I only view it as a means to an end, i.e. supporting my family.

I can remember some laughs I shared with a long since dead aunt - great times, but never to be repeated.

Sorry to wax loquacious on such a metaphysical subject, but I took your GUID lead and ran with it.

Anyone care to share some good "unique" bits of their life?



Tharg said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alex Gorbachev said...

Hi Steven,
"likelihood of a particular sequence of characters appearing (returned by the GUID generating function) more than once on any computer running on our globe is miniscule."
Old known truth - if there is a chance for something bad to happen - it will happen sooned or later... and will happen at the worst possile time.
So I believe in the moment of my life when GUID repeats.

Unknown said...

I just found your post by googling "waste GUIDs". I'm glad to find I'm not the only one with that peculiar little thought. I'm writing some software right now that generates GUIDs for objects written to disk. On every test pass I blow away the test folder and all those little guys disappear forever.