What so special about PostgreSQL and other RDBMS?

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Sarah Tanembaum, May 4, 2004.

  1. Sarah Tanembaum

    Joel Garry Guest

    There is a backlash against outsourcing now. Some parts are
    sustainable and some are not. Anyone can do bad java code. For
    administrative purposes, the database (well, not really, it's the
    managers) requires someone local. And the definition of
    administration is broadening.

    I had come to this conclusion myself, then saw a talk on
    administration futures by Guy Harrison where he said it, then a
    solicited commercial email from Mike Ault where he said it, too.

    Deserving has nothing to do with it. It's the useful application that
    gets the money.

    And the drudge development that can be outsourced? Bangalore is
    losing it to China and Eastern Europe.

    Joel Garry, May 5, 2004
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  2. Sarah Tanembaum

    Quirk Guest

    Some rules of thumb, A guide to the perplexed:

    - If you don't have the source code for a product, and the right to
    modify and redistribute it in perpetuity, nothing you develop on top
    of it can be relied upon, so therefore the open source applications,
    or applications for wich you've been granted such rights via an
    non-expiring licence, are much *MORE* suitable for high-end commercial
    applications, since you are not locked into any external dependencies.

    - Ideally, your Application's data access will be built around a data
    abstraction layer that can use alternative database backends, i.e.

    - If your data is really important to you, you will use network, not
    application or database level security to protect access to it.

    - If your data is really important to you, you will only keep a
    secondary copy of it in *ANY* SQL server for indexing and querying
    purposes, not as the primary datastore.

    - Your primary datastore should be self contained, self describing and
    human readable, something like a heirarchy of XML files. This is the
    best way to ensure the perminancy and portabilty of your important

    - Anyone who calls Free Software 'Freeware', implies that believing in
    it is a 'religion' or thinks that it is low quality as a rule should
    be considered unskilled labour, not a source of real advice.

    I'm also in Berlin BTW :) I hope you had a fun May 1st.

    Quirk, May 6, 2004
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  3. That's not true. The main problem is not the right to the source code
    but the right to get maintenance.
    An example: How many corporations had UTF8 built into oracle before
    the UTF8 enabled distribution came out?
    Who implemented ANSI PL/SQL for mysql before the mysql developers did?
    The right to modify is a red herring. If I'm prepared to spend man-years on having
    a developer work itself into postgresql or mysql (plus set up all the QA stuff)
    I can also ask any other db company for the price of a feature. Or, in case
    of old versions, buy vintage support.
    Which either gives me the freedom to write nonportable code
    ("create bitmap index", "where A(+)=B") or loses efficiency
    on all but the dumbest platform.
    Wrong. If it's important it must not matter whether one tries to
    access the data from a local or remote machine. A defense in depth
    will always include a securely configured database.

    The primary store is the safe with the tapes of last night. So what?
    Until the next version can't read the old format (or DTD in the XML case).
    In any case, permanency across more than two major database or other
    software releases is difficult, regardless of the format.
    It's not "low quality" as a rule, at least not as long as one reduces product
    quality to code quality. The problem is that as soon as the developers feel
    they are fed up with the product or get a real job they dump the code
    on you and leave you alone with it. They get nothing, so they are not
    required to do anything.
    So, I'd only trust mysql if I could do a contract detailing response times,
    recovery services, a patch process and all that. Since I then have to
    pay anyway, I might as well go for the company that's best at it. Oracle
    has a reputation for that and after 5 service requests I've never been
    disappointed yet. No idea how IBM or M$Soft do in the service area.

    Lots of Greetings!
    Volker Hetzer, May 6, 2004
  4. Sarah Tanembaum

    Quirk Guest

    - If you don't have the source code for a product, and the right to
    Yes it is.
    With out the right to modify the source code you can have no "right to
    maintenenence" as all rights are held by one vendor, exactly the sort
    of dependency I recomond avoiding.
    Not if your application and the permenancy of your data is important.
    You can always write bad code, my point being that if you are using a
    commcial SQL server, such as Oracle, you should abstract your data
    access so that you can use something else instead down the road, you
    can do this with your own wrappers through elegent coding, or use a
    class such as PEAR::DB (for PHP), depending on what your application
    requirs. Efficiency is very relative, eficiency of what? Code
    Executution? Application Extension? Interoperability? Tip: The first
    is not always the most important.
    Famous last word(s).
    Interesting that you believe that this can not be accomblished with
    network security.
    Yes, a securely configured database, protected by a secure network,
    the later being far more important!
    Not only last night, but also perhaps thirty years later, or maybe a
    hundred in the case of public data, which is why some incomprehensible
    filesystem blob, accessible only through a deamon for which you do not
    even have the source code will not do, rather as I say, self
    contained, self describing, human readable files. The filesystem blob
    is designed for optimized access not perpetual storage.
    What is it about "Self Contained, Self Describing, Human Readable"
    that you do not understand?
    For unskilled labour, yes. That is why vendor educated developers who
    can not see passed their favourite commercial product should not be
    asked for advice on this subject.
    If you have the source code, you are the developer, if you contract an
    outside developer or licence an existing product, fine, as long as you
    have perpetual access to the source code and the *right* to modify it,
    or contract someone else to. If you do not, than you can not gaurantee
    the permenance of your application.

    Quirk, May 7, 2004
  5. What was the value of this reply?
    I do have the right to maintenance, because that's in the contract. Very simple.
    You didn't read my posting, right? I don't *want* to create my own development
    team competing with the original one. I don't want to merge my change back into
    their code with every new release! I don't want to develop code and then have
    them decide whether they condescend to incorporate it or not! I want the authors
    of the software to do the coding based on what I'm willing to pay for!
    Elegant coding... The holy grail of software engineering. Why am I spontaneusly
    reminded of http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/dilbert-20040417.html ?
    For db computing, reducing server load is the important thing. Interoperability
    typically means primitive, network/db intensive sql.
    [empty reply]
    Yes. Now you figure out why.
    A network will alway have holes, simply because legitimate users
    have to get through and legitimacy can change while they are in.
    Therefore you protect the data where they are. In the db.
    The fact that you believe such a thing exists. Unless you mean a printout
    of the database contents.
    Right. You show me how do convert VENUS chip designs into Synopsys
    without going into a museom for the original hardware and getting all
    the versions in between.
    Get some real world experience.
    Wrong. I am the user, regardless of whether the vendor wants me to do his
    development work or not.
    When will you get it, I don't *need* the right to modify it as long as I
    have the right to have it modified by the guys who wrote it in the first plac
    and are competent at it.

    Volker Hetzer, May 7, 2004
  6. Sarah Tanembaum

    Rove Monteux Guest

    1. BASF
    2. Vanten Inc.
    3. Shannon Medical Center
    4. Mohawk Software
    5. Dravis Group

    I myself have implemented solutions based on PostgreSQL in clients such
    as Baltimore.

    MySQL has a better record because theres people being paid for doing it.
    For documenting, for making propaganda, etc. MySQL isnt really 'Open
    Source' or 'Freeware' as you *have* to buy a license if you happen to be
    using MySQL for a commercial solution.

    In that sense PostgreSQL hasnt all the 'commercial' propaganda behind
    it. PostgreSQL IS freeware AND opensource. Isnt GNU either, so gets no
    GNU (eg. Linux community) support.

    Not that any of that affects in its functionality at all, its a great
    product, but people like yourself tied to all the commercial and
    burocratic work tend to ignore.

    Bit like Ruby. Pretty sure people that develop and use PostgreSQL would
    bother with it at all.

    But now saying that ' they all work. The same can not be said for
    PostgreSQL. MySQL, in this regard, has a far better record.'.

    Give me a break.

    If commercial value and propaganda were signal of quality, Windows would
    be the better OS in the world by far. OpenBSD/FreeBSD would be muck. And
    anything not used by Warner, or Amazon.com, and less than $2000 in a tag
    price would be muck as well.

    Give me a break.


    Rove Monteux, May 7, 2004
  7. Volker Hetzer wrote:

    Precisely. There's nothing wrong with contracts, or a willingness to pay
    for a willingness to support. This is where open source can indeed
    become the socialist flim-flam that Microsoft spoke about (though in the
    wrong context, and drawing the wrong conclusions). Good software
    requires a bit more than warm hugs and cuddles. It requires a contract.

    And I heartily concur with your point about not wanting to create your
    own development team. Was 200 years of division-of-labour theory in
    vain? I think not. I'd quite happily pay for a competent team to do my
    development for me, if that happens to free me up to do the stuff *I*
    happen to be modestly competent at.

    Why such trade-offs should be considered the spawn of Beelzebub, I have
    no idea.

    Howard J. Rogers, May 7, 2004
  8. Sarah Tanembaum

    Dave Guest

    Here's a newsflash for alot of DBA's. Most applications _do not_
    need a database as powerfull as Oracle. Like it or not I would bet a
    few apps could get by with flat files. (I'm half joking...)

    I've been a DBA for about 8 years and its rare for a company to use
    the advanced features of Oracle. Advanced Queueing, Replication (in
    all its forms), RAC, flashback query, VPD, etc. etc. In all honesty
    how often are these features used? I worked in a dev. shop once
    where they were prepared to spend 6 months developing a feature that
    could easily be handled by Oracle. Their reasoning was that they
    didn't want to get tied into a particular database.

    Now, i'm not a big fan of mysql... The gotchas link someone else
    posted in this thread says it all but I think postgresql is a good for
    small-mid sized apps. It has alot of features that mysql is missing.
    Now, would I use it for my production financials system? Ummm no, but
    I would use it for the corporate employee timesheet system. For
    critical applications I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Oracle, in some
    cases maybe even SQLServer but there is room for opensource databases.
    Dave, May 7, 2004
  9. Sarah Tanembaum

    Quirk Guest

    What was the value of yours? Or this latest one?
    Yes, you have the right to be overcharged for work that may or may not
    not suit your needs by only _one_ vendor, and no right to go elsewhere
    when they fail, ignore you outright, stop supporting your application
    or vanish from the face of the earth. Have you actually read your
    contract or software licence? It only protects the vendor, not you.
    You are one funny guy. Really. I'll bet you're the first guy in usenet
    to ever ask this question rhetoricly.
    You are dependent on their licence because you built your own
    application on top of a platform for which you have no source code,
    and no right to modify, you then also have no leverage with the vendor
    of the orginal software.

    You have no rights at all, wether or not you are willing to pay.
    I dunno, because you're culturaly issolated and have a poor
    No, it is not, in most cases CPU is not the most limited resource.
    No, interoperability means abilty to integrate applications in a
    heterogeneus environment. It means standards and flexibilty.
    Because you don't know what you are doing maybe? Oh wait, you don't
    need to, after all, you have decided to pay a vendor to know for you,
    I remember now.
    If your network has holes, then your database is insecure, because I
    can get right at the filesystem blobs, the reverse however is not
    What is it about "Self Contained, Self Describing, Human Readable"
    that you do not understand?
    What does this have to do with "Self Contained, Self Describing, Human
    Readable" files that can be read on any system past or present?
    Wow. Not only a comedian, but also a master logician.
    What a compelling argument, tell me, how much do you know about my
    experience, and why do you feel that talking about _me_ is a response
    to my argument?
    Oh, well then I guess we have nothing further to discuss, my comments
    here where meant for actual developers.
    You have no such right, ever, the only right you _can_ have is the
    right to modify it yourself or contract someone to do it. Please read
    your licence.

    Quirk, May 7, 2004
  10. Sarah Tanembaum

    Buck Nuggets Guest

    Son, it sounds like you're the victim of some simplistic advise from
    database 101 book:
    1. database portability is not (typically) as important as
    application portability - since applications come & go far faster than
    databases change, and some databases support multiple application
    technologies (java + .net, php + python, etc).
    2. abstraction layers can often cause more complexity than they
    solve, unless the project is fairly sizable
    3. the most powerful SQL capabilities are seldom supported in
    abstraction layers - living without OLAP capabilities, for example,
    means that you're limiting the usability & functionality of the
    4. having said all that - yeah, go with portable sql as much as you
    can, and only deviate if there's a value in doing so. But don't work
    yourself up into a religious hysteria about it.

    Don't be a fool, implement security measures on each level.

    That's a damn funny idea - now exactly how do you plan to keep the
    6000 tables from a SAP financial database for a fortune 100 updating a
    hierarchy of XML tables? You realize that the database is never
    static, that performance & quality are already tough challenges
    (without non-acid writes to XML files). And you must also realize
    that nobody will care about that detail of that data in 30 years,
    right? Oh yeah, and if you *really* want to archive it you'll keep it
    on non-acid paper instead of in an electronic archive. Now - getting
    transactions to span a print-device - that would make for an
    interesting little undergraduate project.

    Here's the thing - you've got yourself a nice objective there, and I
    encourage you to pursue it. Just keep in mind that complex XML isn't
    "human readable", that it doesn't contain sufficient business rules
    and integrity constraints to be fully "self describing" either. So,
    ten years from now if you really wanted to read that data (and most
    often you won't) you really won't have a clue what it means - due to
    the massive loss of context. Sure, you'll be better off than if you
    had a file format you couldn't read at all - with XML you'll probably
    be able to find a way of structuring the data (got help you if you
    can't). But you will still have spent a lot of time & money on a
    solution that'll fail you in the end.

    So, you've got yourself a fine start on database technology. Now, go
    get yourself a job, keep these objectives in mind, and in a few years
    discover the wisdom in what Yogi had to say:
    "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In
    practice there is."

    Buck Nuggets, May 7, 2004
  11. Sarah Tanembaum

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Daniel Morgan wrote:

    ... otherwise stop promoting freeware
    Your true colors are showing, especially when I see all the newsgroups this is
    crossposted to. Shill be gone!

    Matt O.
    Matt O'Toole, May 8, 2004
  12. This may sound good in theory. Real life is different.

    One should keep in mind that few tools are so extremely powerful to make
    things go really slow as database engines.

    There are of course applications where portability is a requirement. I
    once had contact with a small company who authored a system for producing
    financial reports for big corporations. Their philosophy was that they
    could not mandate which engine to use, so they aimed at portability. I
    guess that was a fairly small system.

    The system that I work with now runs only on RBDMS: MS SQL Server. This is
    a business-critical system for our customers, and if I had support multiple
    platforms, I would not be able to give our customers acceptable performance,
    nor acceptable functionality. At least not to acceptable prices.

    A competitor of ours were working on a replacement for their current
    system - which dates from the end of the 1980s - and they worked just
    along the line they suggested. Their owners poured in around 250
    million SEK into that work, and the system is far from completed. That
    competitor recently fired about 80% of their staff, and that new
    system will never be completed.
    Erland Sommarskog, May 9, 2004
  13. Sarah Tanembaum

    Quirk Guest

    Ok Dad, it sounds like you're the victim of the patronizing ass school
    of discourse. My condolences to your coleagues.
    Both are important, which is more important depends on the data and
    the application, in both cases my advice to either rely on open
    standrads or abastract access when possible holds true.
    I agree, when you have the perpetual right to the database and It's
    source code, but if you are using a proprierty database then not using
    an abstaction layer is folly, unless the project is so small that the
    code is disposable.

    Abstracting your data access can be as simple as writing a function to
    use as a wrapper OR as complex as a full blown data access object,
    depending on the application.
    I have no argument here, as so far this is true, but experience
    prompts me to bring up two points: First is how often are 'powerful
    SQL capabilitites' used to compensate for poor database design?
    Second, how certain are you that Proprietary databases (in fact than
    YOUR particular one) always have more features than Open Source (or
    Competetive Alternatives) ones to justify engineering your application
    so that you are dependant on it forever?

    I know, the answer is 'depends', but I hope you see what I'm getting
    I agree, I never said anything different, the only time you *must*
    abstract your data access is when your application and/or it's data
    has a long expected life time and depends on a prorietary Database.
    OK Mr. T. I agree. What I was really argueing against where those
    (like Volker) who think that Database security is a replacement for
    network security, I'm trying to make it clear that network security is
    more important, since databasy securite depends on it, although, yes
    both are important.
    I'm a funy guy, always good for a laugh or two.
    It was only an example, one that for some applications makes sense,
    you can always randomly chose an example wher it does not make sence
    but this, my silly friend, is what is know as a straw man.

    I guess this would be a good time to mention that SAP has been working
    closely with MySQL these days.
    Yes I do realize this, but don't let my understanding discourage you
    from further random blather if it makes you feel smart.
    To bad you didn't realize that I never suggested otherwise.
    Perhaps, but paper is not always superior to some sort of WORM
    storage, provided you use an intellegent storage format, my main point
    is that an imcomprehensible file system blob, readable only by a
    deamon for wich you have no source code, is not such a format.
    I would consider redundant WORM devices instead.
    Thanks for the XML tips.

    Sheesh. Where were you when I was writing my Pull DOM to DOM parcer?
    Ok so your argument amounts to that since any approach *MIGHT* fail, I
    should recomend the aproach that *WILL* fail?

    What the hell are you trying to say?
    If I happen to meet the unemployed, inexperience person you imagine
    you are talking to, I'll tell him that the ignorant pompous ass says

    Quirk, May 10, 2004
  14. Sarah Tanembaum

    Quirk Guest

    Oh boy, it's Seseme Street News, OK Kermit, keep talking.
    Perhaps, but when the product in question is proprietary you have no
    recourse when they fail, because no one else has any right to modify
    the source code.

    When you have a right to the source code you can sign such a contarct
    with any firm you like, and fire their ass and hire another when they
    I'm not sure what this example is supposed to illustrate. The vendor
    failed to fix the bug originaly and ony did so under dures, which only
    shows how vulnerable you where to begin with, if you had the right to
    say 'OK, were going to fire you and give someone else the contract'
    they would have fixed your bug pronto with no back talk. In anycase,
    you were lucky the vendor did decide to support you, other folks in
    the same situatuion have not been so lucky.
    Why? You could have the exact same contarct with a vendor supporting
    an open source product, or negotiate access to source for the vendors
    product, the only difference being that you then have leverage. Or
    failing that, your application could have been designed to to give you

    You programmed yourself into a corner, and are now trying to use your
    folly, which nearly cost you a customer, as a positive example.

    It is people like you that warm the hearts of confidence men
    But you put yourself in a position were you may have been unable you
    support your own customer _AT_ALL_ except for the good graces of your
    vendor. I pitty your customers if they really do expect to get
    24x7x365 under such an arrangement.

    Quirk, May 10, 2004
  15. Sarah Tanembaum

    Quirk Guest

    Well, I hope that the other readers of the thread now know enough to
    never hire a company as stupid as yours.

    I hope you one day learn how to write real software before your
    unskilled labour is no longer needed in the industry.

    Quirk, May 10, 2004
  16. I have, at most, the right to sue them, at least, the right to cancel the
    contract which hurts them way more than if I go to a postgres developer
    and tell him I'm not interested any more. So, unlike open source developers,
    they actually have an interest in doing something.
    But it doesn't make sense to use any other firm than the guys who wrote it.
    See my other postings and the reply about division of labour. You might
    also read up on Maos Great Leap Forward and north coreas policy of doing everything
    The point was that contracts work.
    Why was he vulnerable if he had a contract that required the vendor to work?
    Maybe, but in case of open source software they'd say 'Good luck
    working into our source code, see you in two years'.
    Yes, but then it would cost like any other product, right?
    The access to the source means nothing, see above.
    Right. And the customer throws away years of experience with one db system
    and pulls a finished, reliable and maintainable alternative installation out of the hat.
    Including people who have been trained on it.
    In what way is a change from oracle to db2 easier than a change from
    postgresql to mysql?
    Why? He doesn't support the db. The db vendor does that. All he has to do is to
    show that it's othe db's fault, at which point his customer's maintenance
    contract with the db vendor kicks in. Normal business practice.
    Oh, they do get it. Because it's in the contract, you know?

    Volker Hetzer, May 10, 2004
  17. A question is not an answer.
    Of course. See the end of this posting.
    I've read the licence and done even more: I've used the software and tested the contract.
    Nice way of avoiding an answer.
    I'm dependent on the author's licence regardless of which database I use.
    It's just that some licences give me the illusion of being able to do something
    while mainly giving me in reality the ability to shoot myself in the foot or paying
    someone else to shoot me in the foot.
    Same question: Did you read what I wrote?
    I don't care about the source code, I care about product and support
    quality. And, since I am not the developer of the software, nor is anyone else,
    apart from *the* developers, anyone else is going to make a worse job than
    them. So, I get the best support when I'm paying them and no one else.
    Read oracles licence some time. There it says very clearly what
    you get if you enter a support agreement.
    No, it's because the phrase "elegant coding" is just as empty.
    Or as the phrase "the one true god" uttered by people of
    different religions.
    Yup. Which, in a well configured db is CPU load because
    caching, indexing and db specific sql takes care of the i/o load.
    Nevertheless, I concede, it *is* possible to have such a
    horribly configured system that i/o load becomes an issue. It's also
    possible to have a database that permits so few actions
    that the dba can't do anything about a badly written app.
    fortunately, oracle is different.
    So? What's more "standardised" about mysql's socket interface than
    about oracles OCI or ESQL?
    Wrong. Try again.
    Right. The alternative is not paying anyone and trying to figuring out the
    source code on my own, right? Or paying someone else who starts
    from scratch too?
    Care to elaborate? An insecure network does not mean that someone can
    log on to the database server from anywhere but the console screwed onto
    it. And securing the listener (in case of oracle) is part of the database
    See above.
    It has to do with permanency. Try to read what you quote.
    What your arguments tell me.
    Because your argument isn't backed by anything. Give me some
    substance and we can talk about it. All I've hear so far is the
    usual open source rethoric about me or someone else being able
    to magically support a product in a few days or weeks after the
    original developers have abandoned it, or me.
    So, oracle people should further develop oracle and mysql people
    mysql. Did I get this right?
    "Assistance with my SRs 24 hours per day, 7days a week". Practically I usually
    get two or three guys working on a typical SR of mine, depending on how
    log it takes. Without a contract I'd get a 'buzz off, I'm doing my exams this month'.

    Volker Hetzer, May 10, 2004
  18. Well, I have the guts to sign my articles with my real name. You haven't.
    So you don't really have to consider whether what you say affects your
    possibilities on the market.

    The product that my company manufactures is for a narrow segment on the
    market: stock brokers and other actors on the financial markets, so most
    readers would not have reason to contact us anyway.

    Anyway, I only offered testimony from real life. As I said, a compeitor
    of ours tried precisely what you teach. And that company never managed
    to complete their system.
    Erland Sommarskog, May 10, 2004
  19. Sarah Tanembaum

    Quirk Guest

    And what was your reply?
    Realy, care to quote the part of the Contract that Gaurantees you any

    Instead, what you will find is that the contracts insists that the
    Software is not gauranteed to be usefull for any particilar purpose,
    and that they deny all responsibilitty for it to the extent possible
    by law.

    By "tested the contarct" what you mean is you agreed to pay them
    completely on their terms and where satisified with the results they
    chose to give you.

    Have you tested alternatives?
    Are so so stupid that you actually expect a serious answer that was
    obviously a
    hostile attempt to insult by way of a rhetorical question?
    Yes, which is why you should choose one that give you a perpetual
    right to the source code, otherwise you are locked into a dependancy
    that may prove fatal to your application.
    Unsubstantiated bunk, if you have the source code, it is not magic to
    fix it, or extend it, just normal progamming. Simple calling something
    an illusion does not explain why you condsider it impossible to
    actually change a program. Perhaps you should consider a different
    line of work.
    A better question: What kind of an idiot are you that, in the face of
    good sense, the best you can do is attemp insulting, evasive
    As I said, my comments where ment *FOR DEVELOPERS* that is those who
    are developing *NEW* appliciations, and my advice is simple enough,
    despite your contortions: If your application is important to you, do
    not engineer a dependency on code you do not have access to.
    More unsubstantiated bunk, first of all, in many cases you can hire
    the original developers, regardless of your right to the source code,
    secondly, by hiring the "Copyright Holders" you *ARE NOT NECESSARLIY
    HIRING THE DEVELEORS*, who may not even be with the company anymore,
    in fact you are often hiring some peon who they scooped of the
    consulting market 5 minutes before sending him to your office as an
    certified solutions prodiver or whatever idiotic buzzword whey have
    for their unskilled labour.

    And finaly, it is a falalcy to say that someone will do a worse job
    simply because they are not the original developer.
    But it stops short of guaranting that your apllication will actualy
    work, or that your existing version of the software will be supported.

    In anycase, I am not arguing agianst using Oracle, as I said, if
    Oracle suits your needs and you think it's worth the money, use it,
    however, my advice is that if you do develop an application, write
    your code in such a way that you do not depend on Oracle, but can
    easily switch it over the the greatest extent possible.

    I have no idea why you are insisting on jumping up and down like this
    is crazy talk, the only plausible theory is that you get some kind of
    thrill out of embarassing yourself.
    This is just stupid, elegnt coding is hardly as unatainable an ideal
    as you seem to be conviced, in fact in this specific case it's a
    simply matter of using a standard wrapper function throughtout your
    aplication to access your data rather than using proprietary bindings
    throughout your application, if your application is sufficently
    complicated, perhaps a data abstaction object might be usefull for
    this function, perhaps not, if you use any non standard features of
    your database server, then write some additional functions as wrappers
    for these. It is anything but rocket science.
    What about the human and financial load? As in the load on the DBA,
    inhouse developers, consulting budgets and application support staff?
    Are you having a nightmare in which we are dicussing the various
    merits of MySQL versus Oracle? Please follow your own advice and read
    this thread again so that you might figure out what is it we are
    actually taking about.
    The more you talk, the clearer it is how right I was.
    More straw men and red herrings. If you are a Developer, which is who
    my comments are addressed to, it is your responsiblilty to your users
    and clients to know how your application works and to be able to
    support it without allowing some third party to hold them hostage.
    If the above is true, that someone can only access any of the devices
    on your Database server via the local console, then your network *IS*
    secure (perhaps too secure, but that's beside the point), However, if
    your network is not secure, then that is not true, and your Database
    security is a dangerous false sence of security.

    This is what I'm trying to say, that network security comes first,
    because Database security can only depend on it, not being able to
    actualy protect devices, which is the burden on the OS and networking

    Once again, It must be assumed that your consternations to contend
    this point are some weird form of self-flagilation.
    What does reading text files have to do with Chip design? I can read
    text files I created on my Apple ][, and no, I do not have the orginal
    hardware (well maybe my mom does somewhere in her basement).

    Try to avoid making an ass of yourself with further pretentions.
    Which ones? That abstracting access to suspect dependencies is a good
    idea? That database security is secondary to network security? That
    one should keep archives in a format that is likely to be readable

    All these things come from experience, your attempt to question my
    experience, only show that you are unable to formalute an actual
    argument, so you try and discredit the arguer instead of the argument.
    Oh please, my argument has been presented well enough, attacking me
    just shows you can not defend your own, that is if you actually had

    If my argument was not backed up by anything it would easy enough to
    refute it without attempting to insult me, you started with the
    insulting precicely because you could not defeat my arguments.

    But please, don't take this as discourgement from continuing to try
    your silly insults, I don't mind being given the oportunity to
    embarrass you personaly as well as refute your arguments, but it is
    hard for me to understand why would chose to subject yourself to such,
    as one would think it would more pleasent for you to simple lose a
    respectfull debate, rather than lose a debate and a battle of wit at
    the same time.
    These must be voices in your head that you are hearing. Since my
    argument have been quite clear and even sumerized several times.

    Your arguments amount to the metaphysical belief that only the
    copyright holders of your favourite proporiety software know how to
    program, that the very concept of good programming is an illussion,
    and therfore the only way forward is to make yourself both tehnicaly
    and legaly dependent on them as much as possible.
    No, that's not right, that's not even wrong.

    (with applogies to Wolfgang Pauli)

    Application developers should avoid locking themselves in to external
    dependencies, either by not using products to which they have no right
    to the source code, or abstracting access when they do use such
    products. Simple.

    And having right to the source code does not mean that the program is
    'open source,' as you can purchace such a right for propretary code,
    as is common for libraries.

    Of course, when the program _is_ open source, you are guaranteed that
    "Assitance" only means that they will provide someone whose time they
    can bill you for, not that anything will be accomplished. And you
    discredit yourself by attemping the fallacy that the only way to have
    access to an applications source code is to hire some one who is doing
    exams. Many large companies, and profesional develpoers provide source
    licences and/or support open source products, including the largest
    computer company in the world, IBM.

    Quirk, May 11, 2004
  20. Sarah Tanembaum

    Quirk Guest

    What cold comfort that is. I would prefer the right to make my
    aplication work without their good graces.

    Before you consider suing them I suggest you reiview your contact with
    an actual lawyer. So you can understand exactly how painted into a
    corner you really are.

    Good luck in your legal adventures. I prefer to solve my problems by
    programming. (my users and clients seem to prefer this too)
    How can you cancel the contract when your entire application is
    dependanton there product? Can you afford to throw away your
    application too?
    What on earth are you trying to say here? Why is a postgresql
    developer any more or less interested in your contarct than one who
    pedals proprietary software?
    Why? What magic powers are possesed by the firm that holds the
    copyright? Expcet the power to prevent anyone else from touching or
    looking at their code?
    You're not seriously trying to draw me into to a discusion on
    communist history are you? If so, please go ahead, it may be
    intersting. I've been reading the Fabian writing of George Bernard
    Shaw recently myself.

    By the way, I am _not_ arguing that one must do everything
    themeselves, only that one should not get locked into being dependant
    on a single provide.

    As I'v said, I'm baffled that this is so controversial that you all
    expect me to defend my good name merely for saying it.
    It was quite a poorly demonstrated point, as they nearly did and could
    well have lost their own customer under the arrangement.
    Because there is no such requirement, you can not really force an
    unwilling vendor to do work that do not want to do. If you think you
    can, you are delusional. If you have enought legal might, you may be
    able to get a refund, usualy limited to the whatever you originaly
    paid, not compensating you for you own ivestment.

    As the old joke goes: "if this fire alarm fails, and your house burns
    down, we will refund the entire purchase price (not including the
    Were do you get this idea? You can contract many companies, large and
    small, to support your open source product, the difference being that
    you can hire another when when they fail, because you have a right to
    the source code, where as you have no recource when the provider has
    all the rights.
    Yes, developing applications costs money, it is this investment I am
    advising people to protect by not getting locked into third party
    It means everthing. It means the difference being being the master of
    your applications and contracts or being a slave to a third party
    Maybe not 'out of the hat' but with less expense and retraining that
    having to reprogram the entire application which was programmed with
    proprietary bindings everwhere instead of properly abstracted code.
    Well, for one, you would never have to change away from the open
    source products because of a dispute with the developer. But in
    anycase, my argument is not, and never was, oracle and db2 versus
    postgresql or mysql. But rather for abstraction when you do not have
    source code, or sometimes then too.
    Yes, passing the buck is unfortunalty the normal business practice,
    however good firms neither do it or put up with it. I certainly would
    not expect my clients or users to be satisfied when I told them, I'm
    sorry the application I provided for you doesn't work, but you will
    have to discuss this with Larry Ellison. Nor would I be satisfied
    giving such an excuse.

    BTW, this latest response is much better in tone than your last one, I
    hope this is a trend.


    Quirk, May 11, 2004
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