ComicBase 14.0.3 and the Awesomely Large Database Bug Fix

I just posted two beta (translation: we‘re pretty sure they work perfectly, but we don‘t want to get cocky until some other folks beat on them) builds of ComicBase 14.0.3 and ComicBase Express 14.0.3. If you‘ve got ComicBase 14 already, you can download the updaters here:

Of the three issues these builds address, the one I never saw coming was an “Overflow” error which we traced to an ancient routine in ComicBase which counts the number of titles in your database (prior to things like showing progress bars and statistics). What was the overflow in question? As it turns out, a few folks have actually managed to add more than 32,767 titles in their databases (A title is a comic series (e.g. Action Comics–not to be confused with the 437,000+ individual issues currently in ComicBase).

As it turns out, 32,767 is one of those magic numbers in computer science–2 to the 15th power (if you start counting at zero) — and the limit to a data type known as the “signed integer”. Go beyond that, and you get an overflow error.

Once I located it, it took but a moment to fix the problem (the new limit is 2 ^63rd power: a bit more than a 9 quintillion). But I had to stop for a moment and just marvel at how far this little comic project has come in the 16 years since we started with the then-huge database of 20,000 issues from 297 titles. (And back then, I figured it was just a “mopping up” operation to add in everything those 297 titles didn’t cover, thus my dimensioning of the title count as a simple integer). Man, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the scope that ComicBase would one day become.

So anyway, please try out 14.0.3 and send us notes to let us know how they work out for you. And let’s all pray that I never have occasion to revisit that particular limit again!

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