I guess you should always blog about something you know about, so I’m going to start rambling on about databases and (American) Football. Many years ago, I had to choose a topic for my Computer Studies O-level. I came up with two options – a London Underground route-planner or a database to store NFL results. I chose the later, after my 15-year-old brain couldn’t figure out shortest-path algorithms (strange that I should end up specializing in traffic-assignment algorithms, but that’s another story).
My results database was written for my BBC micro, using BBC basic. I was very proud of the fact that it didn’t contain a single GOTO statement! It didn’t actually use a proper database either – these were the days before MySQL.
Here’s how it worked;
- Each team was given a two-letter code to save you having to type in its full name every time. Tampa Bay was “TB”, San Francisco was “SF”. I realised that there were quite a few teams that could have used the “CB” code – Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns or Cincinnati Bengals. I think I decided Chicago got “CB”.
- You typed in the two-letter code of the home team, then the number of points score Repeat for the away team.
- The program then saved all the results to disk, and would generate the league standings. It even could take into account some of the NFL’s complicated tie-breaker procedures.
- It could also show each week’s results in a nice MODE7 table, just like on teletext.
So, I’m now going to create a similar program using PHP and MySQL, and, hopefully, learn something new.