Re: First Impressions on Using Alphora's Dataphor

From: Paul G. Brown <>
Date: 31 Aug 2004 09:34:52 -0700
Message-ID: <>

"D Guntermann" <> wrote in message news:<>...
> "Paul G. Brown" <> wrote in message
> > (Josh Hewitt) wrote in message
> news:<>...
> > [ snip ]
> > > What if major vendors 'do get it' but enterprise environments simply
> > > 'squeeze out' anything but atomic types (numbers, character strings,
> > > booleans, etc.) from the database?
> > [ snip ]
> > Forget databases, guys. They're dead. Dead as the dodo.
> Hi Dr. Brown:
> I certainly respect your knowledge and opinion, but I'm not sure I agree to
> the degree you state databases are dead.

  First, I ain't a Dr. And second, I'm not sure I respect my own knowledge   and opinions, so I'm wary when someone else says they do.  

  [ snip ]

> However,
> there still seems to be difficulty in convincing procedurally-oriented and
> constructionist-oriented developers in the usefulness of declarative
> manipulation across code/platforms/and data sources.

   I'd respond by pointing out that it is revolution, not evolution, that    has characterized the development of ideas in computer science. And    specifically, repeated revolutions in our conceptualization of what    constitutes a 'system' or 'program'. Vannevar Bush had dreamed up    hypertext and something like the HTML/HTTP based web in 1945, but along    the way we've endured mainframes, two-tier, three tier,    networked/distributed architectures, the Web and peer-to-peer.

   But even VB didn't get so far as Google. And as a 'reason engine', Google    leaves a lot to be desired.     

   [ big snip of reasonable argument/observations ]  

> Could you give more concrete examples of what upcoming technology
> theories/implementations are leading to the impending raising of the
> independent DBMS tombstone? Thanks.

    The DBMS tombstone has engraved upon it "6%", which is the growth rate     in license sales over the last few years. This says to people with     money that investment in DBMS technology will not generate     a reasonable rate of return. (By DBMS, I mean software products that     manage a shared, centralized repository or 'data bank'). The market for     these products has become commoditized beneath a rigid standard and     any attempt to break out of that standard is met with contempt by     customers. Want to compete in the DBMS business? Price, price, price.   

    On the other hand, the theory and practice of information management     continues to be important and to grow new limbs. How are we going to     cope with inputs from a pervasive computing infrastructure? What is the     most useful level of abstraction at which to view distributed hardware     resources? These challenges are driving requirements for which the     DBMS model of the world--either SQL DBMS or TR DBMS--is entirely unsuited.

    Now I'm convinced that, because it supports declarative programming,     relational thinking is at least extremely useful (in my bolder moments     I'd even sign up for 'central' or 'necessary'). But sitting around     comparing the merits and demerits of Dataphor and SQL DBMS technologies     seems to be a gigantic waste of time. Like squabbling about whether Greek     or Latin is the true language of religious consciousness.

    (Why am I bothering, then? Because I'd like to be convinced otherwise.      It would soothe my worries about my career choices no end.) Received on Tue Aug 31 2004 - 18:34:52 CEST

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