Re: OT: sheltered little world i live in -> NODB?

From: Rui Cat <>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 12:36:42 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

I must admit that upon first reading this blog post I was want to write up a vitriolic rant upon befuddled old time coders who spent too much time in front of SVG monitors twisting their greasy locks. But no... take a deep breath, think, ruminate, maybe respond. After some time thinking about what this person said and starting to get my toes in the NoSQL and Big data world I have concluded that this person ... is a boffin. Flat files? Really? Anyone remember having to build their own open and close file routines? How about changing the support libraries when the customer decides that the file layout needs to change? Not to mention the nastiness that can come with doing complex arithmetics and bubble sorts in memory? Now given that those sorts of issues were alleviated with the introduction of the database I would have to wonder why anyone would want to go back to that? 

I would also argue about his point of the database being the center of the application. Now I have worked at vendors and some software.hardware companies that did their own custom development. Rarely did I see the design dictated by the db. If anything the database was usually an afterthought or, from a vendor's perspective, the app had to be db agnostic - that it should not be constrained by the database. It makes me wonder where this person came from. Anyone with any sense should see that everything has a place in the grand design (yes I am only too aware that this is usually offset by the brain trust in senior management but what can you do? No one said that senior management was really ever savvy about what they managed).  And use cases? Pulzzzzeeeeeeeeeeeee.... they are only as good as the people who can come up with scenarios that can test a small percentage of the possibilities that can bring an app down to it's knees praying to the gods of the  4G world for forebarance. In no way should this be the case. You have some sort of idea of the technology you would need to accomodate future growth for those missed elements of your design as that will ALWAYS be the case. Perhaps in this way, the infrastructure should dictate some of the app design - in the sense of "where can we go further with this" rather than "we have to go with this because it's the only supported config". 

And as I ruminate more on the article and the responses by my colleagues the more I think that this person is a sly boffin - not so smart but smart enough to get us talking and rethinking about the paradigm change that comes with new technologies. As David mentioned some of us don't treat things with a hammer and nails - everything has a place within the scope of new designs and new demands on resources as long as some cogent thought is given to such things. But it is precisely because of the senior management who really on boffins like this to dictate their choices of development rather than those of us who know better.


 From: "Stephens, Chris" <> To: "''" <> Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:22:30 PM
Subject: OT: sheltered little world i live in -> NODB?  

I understand many still like to see business logic placed outside of the database and that ORM's are very popular but I didn't expect to see experienced software developers to have opinions like this:

From what I can tell, this guy has written a several very popular books and articles on software development.

Not sure why I'm posting this to the list other than the fact that I just didn't expect something like this to pop up in my RSS reader.


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-- Received on Thu May 17 2012 - 14:36:42 CDT

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