Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Everything is a Bit Bucket

By: Michael O'Neill

In response to Chet's frustration over yet another encounter with a database agnostic, I wanted to contribute my first article to the oraclenerd franchise. My thoughts seemed too long for the comment stream.

I ascribe the kernel of thought behind "the database is a bit bucket" primarily to each and every database vendor that ever existed. Every database vendor, in an effort to persuade users of competitive products to adopt their product, has participated willingly in espousing some core aspect of how "same as the other guy" their product is in addition to whatever differentiation pitch they have.

Now, the generally weak-minded and lazy developer (yes, I think the majority of developers are in fact weak-minded and lazy) latches on to the vendor's selective "sameness" claims for professional and personal reasons. (full disclosure: I am both an Oracle DBA and .NET developer)

Professionally, because they are financially invested in writing third-party code not database code. To them, the less they spend learning and understanding the particulars of things like databases, operating systems, networks, human beings, etc. the better. Personally, because there is a dominate thread in the culture of developers to dismiss the database as interesting or meaningful. It is a form of heresy to show affection towards any platform in any specificity.

This is why Java's Big Lie of "write once, run any where" swoons so many. Java's Big Lie is analogous to "the database is a bit bucket" by declaring that even the language of software code should be as absolutely interchangeable as possible - even at the expense of being cost-effective or useful. There is an unquestioned faith that decoupling everything from everything is a good thing. This faith gives us code that is as far from the simplest thing that could work from the first moment writing the code is undertaken. It is a faith I reject. That's why I'm an ORACLENERD.

P.S. I know oraclenude and oraclenerd is confusing. It's supposed to be.


Noons said...

Let's hope that with Oracle now effectively owning Java some sense will be injected into that mob.

But given the poor state of anything coming out of Oracle in the last 10 years, I don't hold high hopes...

Clever Idea Widgetry said...

Sense? You are funny Noons.