Blob: “Binary Large Object”- a storage type for large, non- text data sets.

If there is one thing you have to give techies credit for, it’s that they are creative with their naming. In this case, a blob is not a literal ball of goo, it is an electronic ball of goo.

Most data types can be saved as the more common integers, floating point numbers, characters and strings. These types are primarily used for saving letters and number.

This leaves another major type of data out of the mix: multimedia files, such as videos, songs and photos. These files require more space and cannot be saved as integer, string or character types.

Therefore, a blob allows them to be saved as binary code which then allows them to be uploaded into databases where they can be saved.

Often they are accompanied by one of the more common types of data files attached (i.e. the caption to the picture is saved as a string while the picture itself is saved as a blob) thus both are preserved and saved in their proper format.

Because of this, many blob files are very large, reaching up into the gigabytes. However, the actual size of the blob is determined by the database to which it is being saved.

The size is the defining characteristic, and is the main reason it was once described as “the thing that ate Cincinnati, Cleveland, or whatever…” in reference to the movie of the same name (Steve McQueen’s 1958 The Blob).

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