Re: pro- foreign key propaganda?

From: sinister <sinister_at_nospam.invalid>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 12:47:58 -0400
Message-ID: <>

"Marshall" <> wrote in message
> On May 16, 6:04 am, "sinister" <sinis..._at_nospam.invalid> wrote:
>> I have other duties (scientific,
>> non-IT), so my boss didn't want me spending that much time on this in the
>> long run. I warned him that if we hired someone new, he'd want to
>> discard
>> my work and do his own.
> When I was a green programmer myself, I pretty much believed that
> there
> was no problem so small nor codebase so large that it couldn't best be
> handled by throwing out the previous guy's work and building it fresh
> myself.
> As a seasoned programmer, I now consider doing that to be a near-100%
> predictor of disaster.

I didn't think it was a good idea to chuck out the old code. I just thought our programming styles were way too different.

Easiest thing would have been for my boss to let me continue doing all the coding, but he wanted me to stick to the science part in the long run. Plus, at the time I was considering leaving town, so I didn't want to get halfway through development and then leave them in a lurch.

>> I've noticed that my attitude is pretty different from his, and
>> from what I see on the web (e.g. learning about the CMS): mine is (a)
>> "keep
>> it simple, stupid," and (b) validity and efficiency of design are far
>> more
>> important than appearance (of the interface). Looking at his work and
>> the
>> stuff you see on the web, seems like a lot of programmers---well, at
>> least
>> web programmers---don't agree with that.
> <heavy sigh.>
> Yeah.
>> The mere fact that so many web hosting companies provide MySQL rather
>> than
>> postgresql shows me that someone is wrong out there---if web designers
>> using
>> RDMS's really knew what they're doing, they'd demand access to postgres.
>> They'd also never leave foreign keys out of their designs, too, I guess.
> You know about "Worse is Better?"

Yeah, I read about browsing the web a few months ago, though the stuff I read, mainly the Wikipedia page, didn't give me enough examples I was familiar with to get a good feel for it.

>> I think MySQL is nominally a lot better than it was before because now
>> you
>> have InnoDB. I wouldn't trust MySQL, however, because the people who
>> started the project at the beginning clearly had no understanding about
>> RDMS's.
> If you stick to pure InnoDB, MySQL can be made to not suck very
> much at all. But yeah, it's no postgress no matter how much lipstick
> you put on the pig.
>> I agree...that's why I do think the backend should be the primary focus.
>> When I was doing the main coding, it amazed me that most of the labor (>
>> 85%
>> I estimate) went into the frontend (PHP coding), yet the backend provided
>> so
>> much power. And while naive users can't do much of anything using simple
>> client access to the backend---I have a hard enough time teaching them
>> simple Linux commands---I could do anything I wanted to, very easily
> Ouch. This comes up a lot. (About once a year we have a big flamefest
> with comp.object, where many of the frontend coders get to have their
> say about this.) There's this problem that comes when the programmers
> who understand application code well and who don't understand data
> management at all are put in charge of overall application
> architecture.
> Naturally they want to do everything in application code, because it's
> what they understand.


I'm lucky enough to have taken a relatively decent DB theory class.

> Marshall
Received on Fri May 16 2008 - 18:47:58 CEST

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