Finding a specific post by post number without knowing thread? July 11, 2001 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to find a specific post by post number without knowing which thread it's in? (Other than binary searching by hand through all of MeFi?)
posted by rodii to MetaFilter-Related at 8:39 PM (6 comments total)

how much do you know about the post? search by a keyword or by an author name.... you'll still have to pick through, but through a subset.

also: binary searching? whattaya mean?
posted by rebeccablood at 10:55 PM on July 11, 2001

I guess one could ask Matt to tweak the search page to include the "ID" field in the query space, in addition to the comment text. Then one would simply search by ID number and hope no one ever discussed 7376 trombones, or whatnot.
posted by rschram at 8:30 AM on July 12, 2001

rcb: Let's say I wanted to find post number 3456, whatever that was (yes, I know that's a stupid thing to want to do--I just want to know if it's possible).

As for binary search, I mean:
  1. Pick a thread approximately halfway through MeFi.
  2. Check out the posts. If my number is higher, pick another thread approximately halfway through the upper half of MeFi.
  3. Check out the posts.
  4. If my number is lower, pick another thread approximately halfway through the lower half of MeFi.
  5. Check out the posts.
  6. Repeat until post in question is found.
It's a slow, ugly, brute-force method, which is why I'm asking if there's an alternative. Like instead of,


(I was expecting the answer no--just checking to see if I know MeFi as well as I thought I did.)
posted by rodii at 1:44 PM on July 12, 2001

Rodii, binary search won't work for comments because they can be posted to any thread in any order. So post 50000 might be in thread 8888 but post 1000000 might be back in 1143.
posted by daveadams at 4:56 PM on July 12, 2001

Oh yeah, true. So I'm back to square one.
posted by rodii at 6:10 PM on July 12, 2001

One thing I was curious about was when MeFi had half the comments it does now--that is, how long is it taking to double in size these days. Waxy's stats page helped me figure this out. Answer: based on stats as of the end of June, about four months. Half the total comments (100913) have come since mid-February.
posted by rodii at 6:50 PM on July 12, 2001

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