Re: How to update multiple rows atomically

From: Marshall <>
Date: 29 Jul 2006 21:34:21 -0700
Message-ID: <>

paul c wrote:
> But I'll ramble on anyway. Personally, I've found that users are fine
> with apps that very occasionally time out because of races or simple
> contention. They don't find this unreasonable as long as invoking a
> retry isn't onerous, which the app designers can cater for and as long
> as they don't have to undo partial work, which the dbms should cater for.
> [...]
> Sometimes I think it is just undisciplined ego, "because it's there",
> that drives people to make a problem that needs to be solved out of
> every phenomenon whereas I think some problems are meant to be avoided,
> not solved, like certain back alleys late at night. There's lots that
> RT is silent about and that's okay by me - it's about a model for
> handling data, not a prescription for a modelling language. After all,
> RT is silent about disk head seek times too.

Well Paul I hear you, but I'm not satisfied with that approach. Maybe it is ego on my part, but dammit I want to do better than I have been doing, and I want to drag as many people as possible up with me. If code has a race condition or a deadlock or whatever in it, I won't settle for anything less than that being a compile time error, or a proof that that's impossible.

If I was happy with practicality *merely* I'd still be slinging C++ or whatever, content with knowing that debuggers are getting better. The thing that attracts me to the RM is not the practicality of it, although that is certainly nice, but the long-term potential of building on a solid foundation. That's the sort of thing that makes it possible to leapfrog the current state of the art for what's practical.

I guess I have to expand the scope of the model to include not just data management but concurrency and distribution. Sigh.

Marshall Received on Sun Jul 30 2006 - 06:34:21 CEST

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