Sunday, June 18, 2006


I have been sick with the flu for the last week and still don't feel so great. For this reason the programming hasn't really proceeded as I expected. However, I have been doing a lot of thinking in my head about the database and class designs. As soon as I feel better I will work on laying out the PDF newspaper dynamically, which I realize will be a tough nut to crack.

Basically the problem is related to the classic computer science problem of bin packing, which is NP-complete. NP-complete is a computer science term, standing for "non-deterministic polynomial time". It basically means that there is no simple solution to the problem. My approach will be to take some shortcuts and make compromises so that the layout will be acceptable from a design viewpoint, while not digging myself into a hole with a too complex layout algorithm

In the meantime, while waiting for the fever to go away, I am reading some academic papers on newspaper layout and bin packing solutions. I don't think it will help my sickness, but it does make me sleepy.

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