Using Windows Compression for Ruby Jobs

Ruby jobs use a lot of files for case data storage. There are many advantages in the way Ruby stores variables (trivial to transfer, simple to edit or create, supports huge case data), but a few disadvantages too – software development, like politics, is all about compromise.

One disadvantage is disk consumption. A single response variable like Gender takes three characters per code – one for the code, and two for the MS DOS line terminators \r\n. The *.met files are often much smaller than 32k (the disk sector size) again leading to a lot of wasted space.

The best way I know of to reduce the hard disk footprint of a Ruby job is to use Windows Compression. This will reduce the footprint by about 70%.

My Clients folder comprises 49.3 gig of data, but occupies only 14.8 gig of disk, a reduction of 100-(100*14.8/49.3) = 69.98%.

To compress a folder

  • Right-click on the folder in Windows Explorer and select Properties

  • Then Advanced | Compress | OK

I have not noticed any performance degradation or other issues using a compressed job, but computers are weird beasts, so you should confirm that this works on a copy of a job before committing. If in any doubt, consult your local IT.