Monday, December 29, 2014


As we approach the end of the civilian year, many people publish their summation of the year past, be it about music, books, life or everything. I've only bought three or four discs this year and only one book (excluding a few DBA textbooks), so I don't have much to write about in those departments. All the interesting things have been noted in my blog.

Whilst it is easy to see how many blog entries I have written in a given month or a year, and whilst it is easy to see all the entries which I have classified with a given tag, it's not possible (at least, as far as I know) to get any form of detail about the popular subjects this year or over the past 100 blog entries. I wrote about this in April when I was 'reduced' to counting by hand entries per tag over a given range. I was thinking about this the other day and realised that the only solution would be to write a small database program (I too suffer from Maslow's hammer: every problem looks like a database to me) which would store the id, date and name of every entry along with its related tags, thus allowing me to write SQL statements which would query this database and reveal patterns.

Actually, there's no real way of knowing an entry's id number: I can see how many blogs I have written but none are identified with a number. So I started off with the most recent entry (whose number I know) then worked backwards. It was gratifying to note that entry 700 did indeed celebrate 700 blogs. So far, I have recorded just under 200 entries, going back to entry 600 in the summer of 2013. I'm not sure whether I will include the first 600 entries as they won't help me in queries such as 'the most popular tags in 2014' or 'tags for entries 701-800'. I probably will add them at some stage, because that's the sort of person that I am, but there's no real value in doing so.

The program is very basic (for example, there's no way to edit a mis-spelled tag) but also includes all of the features which I have developed over the past year or so, including a parameters screen and adding a record without retrieving the entire database. One nice bit of functionality is showing the number of articles per tag: this is done in HTML so that I can copy the data directly to here. Using a web browser is slower than a grid but it's a neat hack.

So ... assuming that I will not write another blog entry in the coming days, here are some statistical data about my blog in 2014: 125 entries,  51 tags. 

22 of those tags were used only once which tends to imply that they have been used more in previous years. At the moment, I don't have a way of actually showing this (I would need to write a query which sums tag usage according to years, but then I would also have to input more entries), but it seems like only one tag is new - Goldfrapp.

Here is the table of entries per tag (minimum three entries/tag):

TV series5
Carole Bayer Sager3
DCI Banks3
Mobile phone3

I would have to say that there are no real surprises about the leading tags, although I would have thought that there would have been more entries tagged ERP. The above shows that I have spent less time programming this year - or at least, in developing new programming techniques that I have decided to blog about. Let us not forget that the table reflects only activities about which I have written: I work with ERP every day, I program and cook every week, but this is not reflected in the above. I only wrote about the mobile phone because I received a new one this year and I only wrote about Carole Bayer Sager because I purchased her double disk.

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