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So its server time 21:23 Sun Feb 11 2001 (just to give some reference to the statistics I'll quote below), and I have part of the answer to why there are so many more nodes than writeups.

nodes: 820322
writeups: 453790 (Webster has 98210 alone)

What is a node? Well, most of the time we refer a node as a collection of writeups. This is what is refered to as an e2node. While this is true, there are other types of nodes.

users: 25649

First off, there is the homenode. Each user has one.

Next, there is the writeup node. Everything that we see is a node in some way, shape, or form. The writeups that we see are encapsulated in nodes. When you click on the (idea) above, you go to a node. That is a different node than the one that holds this writeup and all the other replies to it.

nodeshells: ?????

Unfortunately, I can't count the number of nodeshells. Needless to say, there are a lot of them (as any peruser of the Random Node link knows). A quick sample of 30 nodes revealed 3 nodeshells - 10% is a nice number. It takes some work to guesstimate the number of empty nodeshells - you never hit a non-nodehsell in the random node link (never get a superdoc or homenode).

writeup nodes: 453790 (366532 nodes remain)
home nodes: 25649 (340883 nodes remain)

There are a multitude of other nodes though - nodes that we don't easily see. There are superdocs (134), rooms (259), user groups (11). Numerous others exist too. So, lets just give a nice 'round' number of 883 leaving 340,000 nodes left.

Of the 340,000 nodes; Webster 1913 has over 25% of these. The vast majority of Webster 1913 nodes are solitary with only the definition node. Another ~10% are probably nodeshells. Are there 221,000 different titles out there that aren't nodeshells or webster nodes? Thats not that far fetched - consider all the windows error codes, hard drive stats, macintosh error codes, Magic: the Gathering cards. Not far fetched at all.

Its almost two years later. Feburary 2, 2003. There are now 959,828 nodes and 480,330 writeups with 61,143 users. In the past year or two, there have been several massive cleanup projects - no more windows error codes and the Magic: the Gathering cards are gone. On the flip side, other autonode projects have taken their place... so, what do we have today?

Well, one 'obvious' thing is that we actualy have fewer writeups today than we did on August 8, 2001 (500,176 writeups). This isn't too suprising, many days one can see a negative number of writeupstoday in the stats nodelet, so far its -117 today. The bar is being raised - new writeups are taking longer to write, and every so often, someone will go through and write a new node that supersededs all those above it.

Continuing in the style that Jay set down in the quest to find out how many E2 nodes (think of it as "titles") there are:

  1. 959,828 nodes total; subtracting the writeup count, 959,828 - 480,330 = 479,498
  2. 479,498 non-writeup nodes. Users are also nodes, 479,498 - 61,143 = 418,355
  3. 418,355 non-user, non-writeup nodes. There are roughly 1,000 (and this I'm not being generous with, if anything a bit conservitive). 29 document, 308 superdoc 292 rooms, 95 usergroups 46 collaboration, 27 debate, 258 debate comments, and many, many others I didn't look at 418,355 - 1,000 = 417,355
  4. 417,335 rough number of E2 nodes out there. 480,330 / 417,335 ~= 1.15 writeups per node.
The number of nodes on the system at any time consists mainly on the following things (in descending order): The math here is really quite simple. Let's take the numbers from right now:

August 8, 2001 925,709 nodes
500,176 writeups
37,626 users
Approximately 500 other items (superdocs, themes, nodelets, usergroups, aliases, edevdocs, theme settings and containers, dbtables, nodetypes, etc). This is a rough count from the big group at List Nodes of Type (edev only there cowboy).

  1. 925,709 Writeups are still nodes as counted by the stats nodelet, so lets sub off the number of writeups from the number of nodes. 925,709 - 500,176 = 425,523
  2. 425,523 Users are a node, so let's subtract them off. They have a homenode, but it is not a separate thing; it is really their user id being displayed through its default display method. 425,523 - 37,626 = 387,907
  3. 387,907 Let's also take off our generous estimate off of the other nodes. 387,907 - 500 = 387,407
  4. 387,407 Now what does this number mean. This is a rough number of e2nodes (the stuff nodeshells and node parents are made of). Let's try to find a statistic: the number of writeup per e2node. 500,176 / 387,407 ~= 1.29 writeups per node.

Is 1.29 writeups per node a sane number? With the amount of nodeshells being and one writeup nodes (obscure webby references* included) balanced out with huge gathering writeups, daylogs, and other e2node titles that tend to gather a huge writeup inclusion, I think that we have a suitable "sane" number.

It is important to remember that nodeshellers have nothing to do with that statistic. Writeups will never catch up to nodes (because nodes contains the number of writeups). The terminology the stats nodelet uses, and what the vernacular here on E2 throws around in the concept of a "node" are mildly different, and thus it can be misleading. Whenever you node something for the first time, you actually create two nodes, one for the parent shell, and the other for the writeup. They have the same title, but different nodetypes.

*Webster definitions still count. They are merely writeups of type definition.

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