For those of you who write web applications (in any language), what do 
you recommend as the best way to store arbitrary atomic data for the web 
application?  in other words, data that doesn't really need to be stored 
in a relational database, as it does not really relate to anything?

In the app I am working on (PHP/MySQL), there are several instances of 
this.  One of them is:
a multiplier of 1.5 is applied to any "materials cost" of posters 
ordered through my app.  That is, although the "materials cost" to my 
employer is, say $0.076 per square inch, 0.114 is the amount that we 
charge per square inch (0.076 * 1.5).  However, this multiplier could 
change at some point in the future, so I am hesitant to leave the number 
hard-coded into my page.  I would rather have it stored in the database, 
where my employer can easily update or change it to another multiplier.  
But it seems awkward to create a table that simply maintains the 

mysql> SELECT * FROM material_multiplier;
| multiplier |
|       1.50 |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

I suppose I could store a table with two columns, one being VARNAME the 
other being VALUE, and pull this kind of standalone data out of it, but 
was curious what other people do when they need to store something like 



Erik Price
Web Developer Temp
Media Lab, H.H. Brown

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