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Calvin and Hobbes Search Engine (michaelyingling.com)
477 points by bookofjoe 62 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 163 comments

So funny this is coming up just now. My sons (6 and 4) found a C&H book in the shelf last week. Since then they did this https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1986/06/24 and tried this https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1986/06/28 This lockdown has gotten more interesting for the whole family.

A friend of mine was reading a C&H book (probably the same one) a while back. Suddenly he ran to the bathroom, and there was a flush followed by gales of laughter.

He was in his thirties.

I hope it was the first one of these two

I'm studying Spanish, so I made a little script that fetches Calvin & hobbes cartoons in both Spanish and English and then converts each strip into bilingual strip with ImageMagick. It works well enough (>99%).

    for i in {1..1000}; do x=$(date +'%Y/%m/%d' -d "$i days ago");
    z=$(date +'%Y-%m-%d' -d "$i days ago");
    wget https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbesespanol/$x -O $z-es;
    wget https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/$x -O $z-en;
    y=$(cat $z-es | grep -o -P '.{0}https://assets.amuniversal.com.{0,33}' | tail -1);
    f=$(cat $z-en | grep -o -P '.{0}https://assets.amuniversal.com.{0,33}' | tail -1);
    wget $y -O $z-es.gif; rm $z-en; sleep 1;
    wget $f -O $z-en.gif; rm $z-es; sleep 1;
    convert $z-en.gif $z-es.gif -append $z-bi.gif; #ImageMagick
    rm $z-es.gif;
    rm $z-en.gif;

Tried do this on a mac. I had to replace gnu grep with perl:

  perl -wnle '/(.{0}https://assets.amuniversal.com.{0,33})/ and print $1'
I had to replace wget with curl:

  curl -s https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbesespanol/$x -o $z-es;

Then I realized I need gnu date, which had to come as part of coreutils:

  brew install coreutils
So date becomes gdate

  for i in {1..1000}; do x=$(gdate +'%Y/%m/%d' -d "$i days ago");
  z=$(gdate +'%Y-%m-%d' -d "$i days ago");
Hope I din't break other stuff with that.

Now it still doesn't work, but I'm giving up, hopefully I saved a little time for somebody...

And you have ImageMagick also installed?

I do

Well, it should be pretty straightforward to first check whether the loop is working at all and then step-by-step echo the variables for example to see what's missing.

That's awesome. Seriously make this a company -see how it goes :-)

Thank you. You're most kind. I have many business ideas already, but I'll think about it.

How about just a web front-end that lets people upload other comics?

Yeah, why not. I didn't give it much thought. This script makes some assumptions about the site structure, that's why it's able to be so short. Of course if you were able to get the image links without grepping, then it would be even easier.

A bit unrelated, but I have been working on a bot that fetches comics mostly Garfield from go comics, and the 32 char url you get back does not seem random, but I have not yet been able to figure out how it is formed.

I was gonna say you're nuts, but it seems there's a some kind of pattern, so sorry about that :D. These are the filenames for three different Calvin & Hobbes cartoons from Feb 8 to Feb 10. 24 hex similarity, so... you need to reverse 32 bits?




It could be some kind of combined hash for date + comic + service.

Read this series (click next a few times to see them all):


It looks like it was written yesterday, but it's 30 years old.

I grew up on Calvin and Hobbes, but in retrospect it's not terribly surprising Bill Watterson eventually decided to fuck off into the woods.

My wife and I aren’t having the greatest time reading them to our toddler (she’s probably too young for them, but she says she really likes them). Calvin’s parents don’t like him! I don’t like exposing her to parents who are resentful toward their kid.

Also, shortly after he retired Bill Watterson ate at my dad’s restaurant. My dad recognized his name on the check, and told him how much of a fan I was. Bill then drew Calvin on a napkin for me. And... I can’t find that sketch! Each time I visit my parents I spend half the visit digging through boxes for it.

There are plenty of C&H strips that show his parents love him. This one comes to mind, but there are many others: https://i.redd.it/wgwm23u9k4sx.png

Kids are not stupid and you don't need to insulate them from everything that isn't 100% happy, fluffy and wonderful. As a former kid who had loving parents and loved C&H, the only message I remember taking from the strip in this regard was that parents are people too and that things I do might annoy them.

I love how in the middle few panels, just 2 little dots for eyes are able to convey the frustration about "why am I wasting my life on paperwork when my real life is waiting for me?"

This strip is beautiful. As a parent living with snow on the ground in Ohio, I just lived this experience when my children asked me to go sled riding. Work will be there after they go to bed, but these years will be gone before I know it.

As a kid in Texas reading Calvin and Hobbes, the snow aspect always seemed so magical. I know as an adult it is probably a beating most times, but still fun to think about. We actually got snow in DFW this year and my first actions were to have my kids build a snowman, and then find the steepest hill we could to sled down :)

Thank you. I channel this particular strip often during my times working from home with kids.

Sure, but we started reading them to my daughter when she was about 20 months old. I don’t think it’s being over-protective to gloss over the dozens and dozens of times (to every one happy moment like the one you chose) when the parents express regrets at choosing to have a kid. They didn’t even go to his school play!

I mean, I loved it, too, growing up. I still think it’s great. But some things ring differently as an adult with a kid. And I can wait a bit to expose my kid to that.

I guess if your daughter isn’t yet old enough to realize how infuriating and exasperating Calvin is for his parents, maybe the strip isn’t for her yet.

Good guess. But I’m afraid you’re wrong. She loves the strip. And she doesn’t notice this behavior by the parents. I was only expressing how my own perception of the comic has changed now that I’m an adult.

Keeping it real with Biological kids is important. Adopted kids basically dont feel loved no matter how much you do or say. Although one day it will start to click.

Sure it varied a lot. But I learned quickly that I had to really certain kinds of jokes.

I don't get the sense that Calvin's parents don't like him. He is a force of nature and he overwhelms them, but they don't dislike him.

I get the sense that Watterson is sharing his own childhood relationships with adults and author figures. And by and large they aren’t happy, healthy relationships.

His parents regularly debate whose choice it was to have a kid, and despite the exceptional strip shared by another reply to me, for the most part his dad seems happier working than being with Calvin. I definitely didn’t notice or care about this dynamic when I read these as a kid. And I don’t think my daughter will notice or care. But she’s only 3, and I’m cool with sheltering her a bit.

Watterson stated many times that he was nothing like Calvin and his parents were nothing like that either. He just built the characters and then progressively explored their relationships as a way of reflecting on the pressures of modern society. It just so happened that he was exceedingly good at building realistic personalities.

Personally, C&H probably kept me alive as a teenager. When I was questioning the point of it all, Calvin’s sense of wonder and fearlessness injected some happiness into me, and I wished so hard that I could have been more like him growing up. I read a lot of it with my kids when they were very small, and then let them alone with it as they started reading on their own. They embraced the methods of Calvinball, which melts my heart when I watch them play. To them Calvin’s parents are silly in their worrying about worthless stuff like “washing”. If you didn’t notice certain things while reading it as a kid, chances are your child won’t either; that’s one of the marvels of this strip, like the best art it speaks in different ways to different people at different stages of their lives.

Thanks. Yes, I definitely agree that my daughter will likewise not notice what I didn’t notice. And I continue to read it a lot because we both love it.

In the Anniversary collection, Watterson notes things like “this is basically an exact quote from my dad.” (For example, in the strip where good dad says they should put the Christmas tree in the garage and not decorate it.) So I don’t think they are totally divorced from each other.

Conflict makes for humor and drama - see Homer strangling Bart etc. It would make for boring stories if everyone was nice all the time.

Our 5yo daughter loves looking through our old paperback versions, but we generally won't read them to her yet as the story and comedy is way over her head in most cases. She can grow up reading them over time as I did daily in the paper growing up.

One day we'll let her read our first edition color hardcover boxed set. But she probably should start acting a little less like Calvin first.

My daughter loves pretending she has a transmogrifier. She ZAPS us into different creatures.

We read a ton of Get Fuzzy right now. And she’s turning into Bucky. Yesterday while doing yard work she said to me, “hey Pinky, put me in the hammock.”

they don't resent him. They absolutely love him. He can be a handful at times (what is isn't?) but they do love him.

Maybe you should wait until she is about 5 before judging how they cope lol

Sidebar: Maybe she says she likes them because she likes how you and your wife are when you’re reading them

That's a great tribute. The speech he derived it from, a few links down: https://web.mit.edu/jmorzins/www/C-H-speech.html

The cookie warning when trying to read that is ... ironic.

Calvin and Hobbes appear every day in my RSS feed and shall continue to do so in perpetuity...

wait, tell us more! his does that work?

You can also follow the comic on twitter.

https://twitter.com/calvinandhobbes For this it says born on November 18, 1985 :)


> The preview functionality has been removed to avoid copyright infringement.


Try this instead: https://www.comicsrss.com/

Calvin and Hobbes always had a peculiar prescience about it.

You picked a particularlly good day for that one, especially when Hobbes says "As is advertising easn't intrusive enough before."

If only you knew Hobbes....

>It looks like it was written yesterday, but it's 30 years old.

I thought it was great but took me back to 30 years ago when magazines in the mail were the thing. I think I prefer the modern situation where at least you can go to sites like HN which are relatively non commercially biased. Back then there wasn't so much unbiased stuff available - maybe BBC programs and library books.

It's funny how everything looks so new and cool but when you do a little research, you find that it's not that new after all. Many things are just a rechew of something old.

Amazing to think they nailed that but also the consequence, which they couldn’t possibly have foreseen, that this mechanism would eventually undermine democracy.

Watterson could offer some biting social commentary, but towards the end of C&H's run he had also become a sort of curmudgeonly old man. For example, there are strips where he depicts modern art as being just as bunch of phoneys trying to hoodwink one another, but I know a few abstract artists personally and they are very sincere about the work they are creating (primarily for themselves, to scratch an inner itch), even if it isn't to everyone's taste.

It might be for the best that he retired near what everyone felt was a peak. Had he kept going, he could have even ended up like certain other long-running comic strips where the polemic takes over and the humor is an afterthought.

I know people who write like this[0] and are very sincere about their writing. One can be sincere about anything, even meaningless pretension.

[0] https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1993/02/11

Great comic. It seems this way of writing has proliferated massively, even among younger (non-academic) groups like high-school students.

Yeah, I consider complaining about academic writing like this to be just as curmudgeonly. I remember when I first got access to a good university library and could read all the criticism written about books and authors I had read – knowing that people like Watterson, Gene Wolfe, or Victor Davis Hanson had tarred it – and I found the vast majority to actually be valid and insightful, giving me an expanded appreciation of the book or an understanding of its place in the greater social discourse.

Yes, literary criticism often focuses on highly specialized concerns and not everyone is interested in e.g. queer perspectives, but can't we be happy that it exists for those who do want to read it?

I took this as more as poking fun at Calvin's common theme of superficially imitating "high art", opaque writing styles, and so on, in a very self-aware or cynical way, as a grift, since that's just what Calvin always does -- E.g. in the comics where Calvin sets up a lemonade stand, it superficially imitates a business, but is really just a scam.

An alternative or additional interpretation of his "curmudgeonliness" would be these are intended to tie into his bigger theme of critiquing those who gate-keep "high art". It's been a long time since I read any of these, but I do remember his biggest bone to pick wasn't with abstract art or anything in particular, but with the perception that comics / "graphic novels" could never be considered "high art". So, having his kid scribble some nonsense and call it "high art" is a bit of a middle-finger to art critics who relegate his work to the "funny papers"

As bizarre as this sounds, I actually do think there are legitimate criticisms of the mid-century abstract art movement -- notably, the CIA's involvement. However, that is pretty off-topic here and I highly doubt that Watterson has ever made a reference to this!

Edit: I'm not necessarily even disagreeing you, I think all of this can be true at once

Not everyone has a sense of humor.

Do you have an example of that? It's a pretty niche topic to decide he was being curmudgeonly. A lot of people think that about modern art whether they're wrong or not they're usually pretty normal people.

If only someone would build a Calvin and Hobbes Search Engine where someone could look for "Modern Art" references in the text: https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1990/11/02

I was asking for the ones he was thinking of when making his case about Waterson. The one you linked for example does not seem very harsh to me so I'd assume he wasn't referring to that one. I can't know that without him providing it directly.

But how does someone read that as a criticism of modern art (whatever that is) and not Watterson resisting the commercialization of his work?

That isn't one of the strips I was referring to, and that one is mid-period Watterson and not late-period Watterson anyway. But since my original post got the reception it did here, I am not going to dig through the archive to find the ones I meant.

Banksy the pretend street artist?

You mean Not Banksy the pretend street artist, or Not Not Banksy the pretend commercial street artist, or Mr. Brainwash?

Watterson was always a bit of a cynic (I assume, still is), but I have always felt that he has a great heart.

One thing that he never did, was license his IP, so every "pissing Calvin" is a ripoff.


And even worse, it's out of character

Really? We are voting some guy into oblivion because we don't like his take on Calvin and Hobbes?

Let people have their opinions and interpretations, even if you don't agree.

Funky Winkerbean spent a couple decades being a humorous take on life in high school. Then it changed into a message strip about Important Issues, and I stopped reading it.

There's even a musical based on the high school version named "Funky Winkerbean's Homecoming" which probably would confuse readers of the current strip, as cancer, alcoholism, and suicide don't play a part.

I mean, to paraphrase the Big Lebowski, everyone is entitled to their opinion man. Banksy sort of rides the fine line of that deliniation as a legitimate critic of modern art phoney and yet himself is modern art and sold out.

My favorite from recent times is https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/2015/08/20

fwiw, this is actually originally from 1995: https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1995/08/17

Oh okay that makes a lot more sense. Thanks so much, I'd been wondering.

Incidentally the GoComics series starts from 1985/11/18 https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1985/11/18

and runs to 1995/12/31 https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1995/12/31

and then loops back to the start. To convert today date in GoComics to the original subtract 10955 days. I wasted quite a lot of time figuring that.

And Bill Waterson took two sabbaticals (May 5, 1991 to February 1, 1992 and April 3 to December 31, 1994), which Gocomics is filling up with repeats, too.

"Bill Hicks on advertising"


So true. So many stories of highly efficient spreadsheets being broken on purpose because it resulted in more work being assigned to everyone. Lots of people learn to keep the spreadsheet a secret so they can look like they're working hard.

This is awesome. Took 5 seconds to find this and I still say the last Calvin line of this strip on most mornings: https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1988/12/28

That's really similar to one of my favorites: https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1990/07/31

Ha! That’s exactly what I thought it’d be!

Looks like there's no connection pooling

Warning: mysql_connect(): User yingling_sandbox already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections in /home/content/41/5598741/html/random/calvin_and_hobbes/search.php on line 10 Unable to connect to database! Please try again later.

haha nice one

I don't OP is the author, I've been using this for years.

Could be SQL injectable too as an apostrophe raises an error

I think it is. This hangs, though for more than 10 seconds:


Why are you the way that you are?


I learned so many words reading Calvin and Hobbes as a kid. Just off the top of my head:

- "The pernicious poem place."

- "Demonstrates defenestration."

- The "salubrious" beats.

- "Mainstream commercial nihilism can't be trusted?"

"A pair of pathetic peripatetics."

I see you had a ready retort. Nice!

"'Fraid not, kiddo."

Searching “record” located one of my favorites [0]. The drawing in the last panel just sells it.

0: https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1990/06/05

For fans of both Calvin and Frank Herbert's Dune, I give you Calvin & Muad'Dib:


I don’t know what impresses me the most: the concept, the execution, the fact that permission was sought, or the fact that permission was granted.

This is the most unbelievably specific-to-my-personal-interests webcomic I've ever seen. I am stunned.

Bill Watterson lives in my hometown. I saw him take the garbage out once. I shall never forget that day.

Here's my favorite little bit of Bill Watterson trivia.

He's from the Cleveland area. He attended Kenyon College in Ohio. As he arrived, another famous cartoonist Jim Borgman, who is from the Cincinnati area, was just graduating.

Borgman went on to work at the Cincinnati Enquirer and won a Pulitzer in '91. Watterson was inspired by Borgmam's political cartoons and worked at the Cincinnati Post for a while. The Post fired Watterson and eventually we got "Calvin and Hobbes."

So, two giants of cartooning in the 80's and 90's just missed each other at a small liberal arts school in the middle of Ohio, briefly worked at competing papers in the same city, then went on to reach the pinnacle of their craft, albeit quite differently.

I'm amazed by these little quirks of life.

I'd love to hear what he has to say about modern life, esp about social media

I think he specifically does not want you to know what he thinks about these things.

Is it really a secret? Calvin and Hobbes contains a ton of relevant commentary. Just the amount of time Calvin spends outside tells you something.

He probably would leave it as observation rather than presciption, like most humorists.

It's not secret, more like private. He quit because he didn't like being a celebrity and having people pry at his personal life.

Kids spending a lot of time outside was quite normal in the 1980s. There wasn't much to do inside. Even more so when Watterson was himself a child, which is probably what inspired a lot of his cartoons.

I think it also has to do with not wanting to accidentally ruin the legacy, like some of the successful tv series do with their last season.

i know, thats why i want to know so bad !

“The last few years of the strip, and especially the Sundays, are the work I am the most proud of. This was close as I could get to my vision of what a comic strip should be.”


That must be the zenith of his career. Hope I can truly understand what he must have felt like when he said that.

I can strongly recommend buying the complete Calvin and Hobbes collection off of Amazon. Especially if you have kids.

I bought this when my son was around 7 and he absolutely devoured the books. He's older now but still goes back and reads them over again, giggling all the way. I love when he recites me his favorite strips, because they are all hilarious - usually involving interactions between Calvin and his dad.

I think Bill Watterson's comedy is completely on point and as relevant today as it was when he wrote the comics - providing insight into the interactions of family, school, and growing up while making you laugh. He's a comedic genius in my opinion.

https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1989/11/08 - on the surest sign of extraterrestial intelligence.

Slightly off topic: A shout-out from the wonderful Schlock Mercenary web comic: https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2019-04-08

(Context: Set in the 31st century. The lady who says "That was Watterson studied ancient Earth memetics.)

On the origins of the current world wide web: https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1993/02/11

(Substitute Medium.com, web blogs, SEO, clickbait news, essays, etc. as your cynicism feels inclined)

(2010) maybe?

Here's some more discussion and links from previous:


Fans of Calvin and Hobbes might like the documentary “Dear Mr. Watterson”, which includes a lot of his art work and interviews with several cartoonists, (though not Watterson).

Addendum: my favorite part was Berkeley Breathed showing a letter he received from Watterson, which has a drawing of Breathed fueling his motorboat by pouring dollar bills into the gas tank. Breathed notes that it’s meant to be commentary on Breathed’s willingness to pursue merchandising to make more money.

I know all about the salamander incident as well as the noodle incident[42]. Not going to tell you, though.

[42] https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1987/12/18



First rule of the Calvinism,: - We don't talk about noodle incident.

I typed "pepermint" and got Warning: mysql_connect(): User yingling_sandbox already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections in /home/content/41/5598741/html/random/calvin_and_hobbes/search.php on line 10 Unable to connect to database! Please try again later.

[shameless plug] I run a web comic newsletter (https://funnies.page) for anyone interested in comics from contemporary artists. I’m always in search of the next great comic strip (like C&H), so if anyone has any favorites, I’d love to hear about them!

Very cool. Searched for 'Christmas' and read the strips that are charged with emotion.

In the same vein:



Invaluable. I use them all the time to clip things to paste in several group chats.

Calvin and Hobbes is fine, but I think Peanuts was better in capturing and commenting on human experience of clueless people trying to make sense of a dysmal world.

I'm forever grateful that Calvin and Hobbes introduced me to Peanuts. I became curious about Schulz when I read the foreword he did for the first collection.

It brings back memories. My first website I made was a Calvin & Hobbes fan site on Geocities in 98 - frames, lots of GIFs - those were times.

I've been a lifelong fan of Calvin & Hobbes, and I have all of the books, but I both don't have the time to revisit them, or when I do, I binge way too much.

Is there any way to get a personal, daily comic via RSS or similar that starts from the very beginning, without having to wait for one of the syndication sites like gocomics to wrap around back to the beginning?

Try https://archivebinge.com/

I don’t know if it works with gocomics.com, but it is designed for exactly the purpose you described.

I searched "bing" and was expecting an easter egg; this needs to be a suggestion to Bing (Michael)


Be interesting to know how the searchable text was gathered?

OCR'd the paper and/or web versions of each comic??

Also be interesting to know how much revenue this generates (via amazon linked purchases).

Doing others (e.g. Peanuts and Mad Magazine) in a similar fashion would sure make it easy to find the perfect cartoon for any occasion!

He does to seem to have an affinity for secret codes:


I remember a comic strip I attribute to Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin basically adopts every world religion in order to take every day off of school. But I can't find it.. any one know which one I am thinking of? Or do I have it wrong?

I used to have nearly every strip memorized.

I'm 90% confident that is not a Calvin & Hobbes strip.

I have not read all the bonus strips from the large anthologies, nor have I read the strips in the teacher's book Watterson contributed to. So, even if my memory is right, it might be one of those.

Are you sure it was religion? Maybe you are mixing it up with something else, like ideology, language, or whatever?

I regret I’m 20 years past my “have the entire opus memorized” days, but that doesn’t ring any bells.

I actually ran into this problem recently, and this engine doesn’t solve it. The show and tell comic doesn’t come up when I search “boggle” or “boggle your minds”

I tested this and it seems to work for me for both! Maybe a temporary issue caused by HN hug of death? Links http://michaelyingling.com/random/calvin_and_hobbes/search.p... http://michaelyingling.com/random/calvin_and_hobbes/search.p...

Ah, well regardless of the cause I’m happy with the results now!

Unfortunately it's down and doesn't work.

I love C&H (it is almost unknown in France). I read it when I was 20,then had kids and recognized them in Calvin.

Now I am more into Zits...

It has some duplications.

Search for "goons". 10 comics will show up. The first and last are actually the same one.

I don't know if this explains all the duplicates, but at least that particular example is due to Bill Waterson's sabbaticals: The last result from May 21, 1994 lies within the period of his second sabbatical – April 3 through December 31, 1994.

For those two periods, Gocomics is simply filling the gap by repeating earlier strips (and I think the same thing happened during the strip's original newspaper run, too). So if you didn’t knew about those sabbaticals (or forgot about them), it's easy to accidentally include those duplicate strips if you were to just blindly process everything between November 18, 1985 and December 31, 1995.

hugged to death? 6pm sat 13th feb australian eastern summer time

(7:00 am Saturday, 13 February 2021 UTC)

This warms my heart!! <3

Nice idea! Scripts and comics didn't match for me though.

What kind of search term did you use? I tried “pilot” and got relevant results like these:

- https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1988/05/15

- https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1988/11/06

Edit: I think I see what you meant now. Looking at the search results one of them had a very different “script” text that was unrelated to the “description” text and the contents of the comic strip.

I noticed some weird results too. The first thing I searched was “dead bird”[1]. There are 2 results, one of which is correct, but the script and descriptions are flipped. The first result has the script for the correct strip but links to a different script which matches the description, and vice versa for the other result.

[1] http://michaelyingling.com/random/calvin_and_hobbes/search.p...

I had this idea so many years ago, cheers for the execution!

Unable to connect to database! Please try again later.

This has been in my bookmarks for quite some time.

It's very cool.

Welp, there goes 3 hours of my life. Well spent.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the original data source for the search and found this: http://www.s-anand.net/blog/the-calvin-and-hobbes-search-tak... . I think he deserves as much credit as the guy who created the search engine.

TLDR: Some guy manually transcribed every single Calvin and Hobbes strip only to get a takedown notice and remove it.

Obligatory xkcd, a minor tribute in these days of Artificial Intelligence buzz.


The hero we need

HN killed it.

Thank you!

> Warning: mysql_connect(): User yingling_sandbox already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections in /home/content/41/5598741/html/random/calvin_and_hobbes/search.php on line 10 Unable to connect to database! Please try again later.

I'm always curious why the default behavior of many server frameworks exposes so much information. I think it should just drop the connection by default for this error.

Recommended practice in server frameworks is to control the information in the errors according to the environment i.e. Development|Production.

But many websites fail to do so.

You can change that in the php.ini to set the levels of Warnings/Errors to show if you want to. (And also naturally the MySQL config, to allow more connections)

But if you were the developer of this code, it's useful to pinpoint what went wrong and where.

This is a common "HN Hug-of-Death" ;)

It's to aid the developer during development. All of them provide ways to hide this in production. But most developers remain ignorant or are lazy to bother about it.

I'd assume they're optimizing for beginner developer UX, and assuming that anyone using mysql for something important will know to customize the error handling.

We probably DDoS’d it.

> This page is strictly a tribute to Calvin & Hobbes, the best comic ever, and two of the best characters who have taught me so much over many years. It is meant for research purposes only.

Quite possibly not optimised for heavy traffic.

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