Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

SQL Menus

Dreamed that I figured out a way to have restaurant menus and catalogues be SQL-queriable/filterable, so when I look at a menu I could do "SELECT * FROM here.menu WHERE vegetarian=true AND cost < 12.00 AND type=(SELECT id FROM type WHERE description='entree');" and have a nice list to actually consider when I go out to eat somewhere. Somehow neither the magic floating-in-the-air screen nor the thought-based interface seemed the hard part of making it work - instead, it was parsing the source menus. I was showing it to the generic geeky people around me and told them it would sweep the world. My bubble was burst by three words -- "How many geeks?" ... Sigh.

SQL is like regular expressions or the Unix shell - once you learn the syntax, it's such a wonderfully powerful way to think about the kinds of problems suitable for it.. I'm sometimes still surprised when I run into Unixy folk who don't know these things intimately.. Still, fun dream. I've wanted the ability to do this kind of thing for awhile.

Likewise, this is why I think canned interfaces eventually suck for power users - it's difficult to make a GUI that can come close to the full power of a good CLI, and while simple-to-lightly-complex tasks can be done, going beyond that requires one to jump all the way into a programming language..

Vidocq was a pretty decent film given the genre. When all the pieces come together near the end, earlier parts of the film are called a bit into question, but that's not that unusual. The film is also very pretty - most scenes look like they have hidden in them an excellent poster. The biggest surprise to me is the difficult-to-understand-but-incredibly-strong charm of the character who dies near the start of the film (a strange "main character", as the film's frequent flashbacks paint him life as a substitute for the present). Surprised that mplayer needs to have its support for subtitle files turned on in its configfile, and also that there was a historical investigator Vidocq.

Expect one of those "thoughts on the year" posts sometime today or tomorrow.. I suspect I'll see a lot of other folk doing their own...

Tags: dreams, tech
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