Friday, March 7, 2008

Dotted "Quad" notation for thread management?

Well, I'm thinking of ways to handle threads in message boards. Assuming that there can be infinite original posts, there might be a finite number of comments per original post. It is that part that I'm addressing.

It's not exactly "dotted quad", but it's close: FFF.FFF.FFF.... (Base 16 0-F)
Every "level" has 4095 siblings. Each time a new response is created, it either increments the current sibling level or adds a new dotted level. Threads have rather easy management and a calculable "number" for uniqueness. The unique identifier for a post/comment stores into a string instead of a numeric. The number of "."s indicate the depth of the post. A 256 byte string could handle 64 levels of children, grandchildren, etc.

I would estimate even the longest threads generally taper off at 16 or so *levels*, even if there are 4000 posts replying to the original poster.

In essence, this could allow 4096^64 total messages (1.55251809 × 10^231) with a numeric management overhead of 256 bytes per post.

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