| tags:[ rant ]
Let old posts decompose
There are two types of information you can find on the internet. The first presents new information that decays with time. The second is more persistent. I wish to elaborate on cases where the second type turns into the first type unintentionally.
On the creation of this website, I had an unachievable dream of presenting a database of algorithms together with experiments that would compare various approaches or implementations. This attempt is hinted at in one of the first posts: Polynomial multiplication (in Czech) which compares three different multiplication methods.
To realize such a feat nicely one needs quite a complex structure of interlinked up-to-date pages about facets of the featured data. Moreover, it would have to have processes set up so that implementations are automatically tested and results published. This is infeasible due to the high initial cost of time (or money) but it is theoretically possible.
Another approach is to create static pages (such as my post) and create a thing manually. With an increasing number of posts, the manual approach becomes unmanageable – mistakes get in easily, links break, data is old, etc.
As the data is not easy to edit, when interlinked in a web of other data, it leads to a natural preference for the second option. So we get posts on how to do this in that language correctly now, but the post gets outdated in one year when the language or the approach changes. By inertia of habit, we keep using the old ways even when new ones, that are proven better, are introduced. This shows that a better system could exist, however, I do not want to devolve this post into trying to explain that concept.
My wish is to live in a world where interlinked data is easier to manage. Until then, I decided to revisit my old posts only to do polishing but not to rewrite them or rerun the code. It is the purpose of a post to become old and outdated and the best easiest thing one can do with that is to mark it as such.