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AskSQLTeam
Ask SQLTeam Question

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  10:13:41  Show Profile  Visit AskSQLTeam's Homepage  Reply with Quote
David submitted "A look at the state of the DBMS industry.

This is a no-holds bar look at the dumbing down of the DBMS industry.

Pray to God you don't get quoted on this site. :)"

Article Link.

graz
Chief SQLTeam Crack Dealer

USA
4138 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  10:17:36  Show Profile  Visit graz's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't know. It can't be all bad. SQLTeam got quoted there -- or at least a forum poster did. http://www.firstsql.com/dbdebunk/qu053101.htm

===============================================
Creating tomorrow's legacy systems today.
One crisis at a time.
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Merkin
Funky Drop Bear Fearing SQL Dude!

Australia
4970 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  18:57:24  Show Profile  Visit Merkin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I am glad that this site got submitted because it has been bothering me for a while now.

This site "is the web site that sets matters straight by telling the truth about database management", which sounds like a noble goal. The problem is the horrible air of superiority that they do it with.

I realise that I am being very anti-establishment here, and I realise the contributions that the site owners have made, but this site seems to exist to pander to the egos of a couple of academics. Most of the content, when you can find it, is email exchanges between themselves, or one of them and some hapless "fool" who dares question their wisdom.


What annoys me the most is their "Quote of the week". Here they look around usenet groups and other forums for a newbie asking a database design question. They post it up and "Visitors are encouraged to figure out 'what is wrong with this picture'".

It would be like a design site holding DBdebunk up to ridicule because it doesn't adhere to web site design principles.

There is a tone to the quote of the week section that says that anybody is still learning and has the nerve to ask a question, or anybody that breaks some academic rule to fit their business requirements has no right to be building a database.

By this logic, if you look at the appalling information architecture, usability and design of the site.......it has no right to exist itself.

My 2c (Which due to the Australian Dollar is worth about half that!)


Damian
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byrmol
Shed Building SQL Farmer

Australia
1591 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  19:08:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Merkin,

What I think they are targetting is the fact that there are sound logical and mathamatical prinicples behind DBMS and these are getting overshadowed by the "wow, whiz bang" factor. ie ("Ohhhhh..XML")

Consider a newbie doctor:
If he has not done the basic study, learned Doctors would cane him! Why should it be any different in our industry?

As for web site design:
It is pretty bad but since when did you start judging a book by its cover?



DavidM

Move Over SQL. Prepare for "Tutorial D"
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Merkin
Funky Drop Bear Fearing SQL Dude!

Australia
4970 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  19:19:26  Show Profile  Visit Merkin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
David

Yeah I realise what they are trying to do, and I agree with their goal, no question.

As for newbies, a newbie who asked questions on a newsgroup should get held up to ridicule like this, especially when there is no forum for responses. We were all beginners once remember.

What they could have done, is actually try to educate instead of ridicule the people who ask for help.

It doesn't bother me that the site design is bad, my point there was, if they are saying a newbie shouldn't build a database becuase he doesn't know all the principles of databases, then a design site, or a usability site has a right to say dbdebunk has no right to exist becuase they clearly do not understand all the relevant theories in that field.

That is what I meant anyway....



Damian
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byrmol
Shed Building SQL Farmer

Australia
1591 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  19:26:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Point taken Merkin!

You are dead right that they could be a little more friendly, but I fear that they have resorted to this mode of aggression due to the snake-oil sales/vendors people in our field.

Sometimes shouting is the only way people will listen.

DavidM

Move Over SQL. Prepare for "Tutorial D"
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AjarnMark
SQL Slashing Gunting Master

USA
3246 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  20:09:39  Show Profile  Visit AjarnMark's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Damian, I'm glad you jumped in here to comment, because I was wondering if I was the only one reading the site with offense. It probably didn't help that the first Editorial or Article I read (not sure which category it fell into) was about 75% quotes from other people and I had a hard time following his point.
quote:

And unlike SQLTeam where the quotes are formatted to appear distinctly different from the rest of the post (like this), they just seemed to interrupt the flow of the comments.


And when I read (the first part of) their critique of Joe Celko's book, I knew this would probably not be a resource site that I would use a lot. (I don't know much about Celko, but he's gotten good press from the people here on SQLTeam whose opinions I do trust, mostly).

I appreciate somebody standing up for the IDEAL. I take on that role in a number of areas, but when it comes to Relational Models and their implementations, I'll stick with the "make it work as well as you can with the tools available" approach, and let somebody else tilt at the windmills of RDBMS manufacturers.

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Just because you CAN do something does not mean that you SHOULD!
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Merkin
Funky Drop Bear Fearing SQL Dude!

Australia
4970 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  20:37:10  Show Profile  Visit Merkin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
As far as I know, there is a long time rivalry between Joe Celko and C.J Date. If you look around you will find a fair bit of sniping at each other. As with any discipline, you will find alternate viewpoints, particularly at that level.

A lot of the disagreements they have are purely academic and really have not a lot of effect on the day to day work that we (as DBAs and Developers) do.

That being said, I have to side with Celko. He seems to contibute a lot more to the real world, and spends times on forums and newsgroups helping newbies (even if he is a little extreme). His articles actually have code examples in there so people can learn from him.





Damian
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byrmol
Shed Building SQL Farmer

Australia
1591 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  20:59:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd like to think that I have a pretty good analogy between Date and Celko.

Celko is the Formulae 1 car driver. Expert in practice and also a thorough understanding of what the car can do.

Date is the Formulae 1 researcher. Trying to design the next generation of cars without regard to the existing car/driver.

DavidM

Move Over SQL. Prepare for "Tutorial D"
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Merkin
Funky Drop Bear Fearing SQL Dude!

Australia
4970 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  21:26:28  Show Profile  Visit Merkin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
While Date maybe is researching "the next generation" he admits on the site to being a vocal critic of any efforts to create and implement standards. While being a critic, he also admits to not getting involved much.

It's all very well to sit in an ivory tower and criticise, but I say, put your money where your mouth is.

Celko at least has been involved in the standards process and as a consultant to the major database vendors in the design and implementation of their query engines.



Damian
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byrmol
Shed Building SQL Farmer

Australia
1591 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  21:36:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought I summed that up with the statement:

"Trying to design the next generation of cars without regardto the existing car/driver"

I think that Date deliberately does not want to be involved with standards because of a perception of "influence" from the vendors.

Science rarely goes forward with pre-determined outcomes.


DavidM

Move Over SQL. Prepare for "Tutorial D"
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Merkin
Funky Drop Bear Fearing SQL Dude!

Australia
4970 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  21:39:55  Show Profile  Visit Merkin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I see your point, but if you are not going to have any involment with the implementations, why should anybody listen to what you have to say ?



Damian
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byrmol
Shed Building SQL Farmer

Australia
1591 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2001 :  21:48:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good Point!!!

I can only think of analogy between Einstein and the Atom Bomb.

Einstein did not want a bar of actually making it.. just the science and maths.

Disclaimer:
The preceding comment no way compares Date to Einstein :)

DavidM

Move Over SQL. Prepare for "Tutorial D"
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Doug G
Constraint Violating Yak Guru

USA
331 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2001 :  11:05:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I went back and tried to understand this article again, but I find the writing pretty incoherent. I hope their data structures are designed better than their article.


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Doug G
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Dave Kawliche
Starting Member

20 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2001 :  13:52:55  Show Profile  Visit Dave Kawliche's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:

I don't know. It can't be all bad. SQLTeam got quoted there -- or at least a forum poster did. http://www.firstsql.com/dbdebunk/qu053101.htm



Pascal was of course mocking the forum poster (it is kind of a funny quote though ;-)

Earlier this year I had the distinction of having one of my own articles debunked up by Mr. Pascal. My work was extensively quoted and critiqued in his inimitable style and I only found out about it a month later doing a google search on my domain names. The article was a short, bird's eye view of relational databases that I wrote three plus years ago. Since I view Fabian Pascal as one of the greats, I went over his critique and decided he was really right on. I was being imprecise !!

Even though my original article was probably no worse the 99% of the similar material out there, I have a feeling it nicely encapsulated a few common ideas that really stick in Mr. Pascal's craw. Of course I revised my article accordingly and believe it is now at least 100% better (haven't heard anything back on that yet). In a weird way I found it flattering to be singled out in the same league as Celko. Unlike Celko I really think the work by Date and Pascal is extremely important and should be taken seriously. With individuals and businesses depending on the correctness of my work, I believe the scientific foundation for database management should continue to be explored, revised and implemented whenever possible.

Maybe its because I studied Philosophy of Science at the University of Chicago, but I do have a soft spot for the type of writing on the DBDebunk site. It is extremely thoughtful and refuses to be dumbed down or made super polite to reach a wider audience. I think industry types like Celko are often too sensitive to the hyper-critical style of discourse that Date and Pascal thrive on.

Anyhow, back to work. If anyone is interested, here is the link to revised version of my debunked article:

http://accesshelp.net/survival/relation.asp



regards,

Dave Kawliche
http://AccessHelp.net
http://1ClickDB.com
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byrmol
Shed Building SQL Farmer

Australia
1591 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2001 :  18:08:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hear Hear Dave!

If half the people who are "critiqued" by Pascal and Date respond the way you have, then the future looks bright indeed!

DavidM

Move Over SQL. Prepare for "Tutorial D"
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