The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, May 25, 2000

“And then a week later … ”

This is the 20th anniversary of the second eruption of Mount St. Helen's.

Captain Napalm vs. the Databases

I had written a rather long and involved rant on why I hate databases. Upon re-reading it I came across sounding whiny. Way to whiny so I'm scrapping it and doing a recap here.

I hate databases. Primarily because I just don't understand the mindset behind them. It seems that the concept of “dumping” a database (extracting the data in a format suitable to put into another database) is not a concept that the database boys have. My friend Mark looked at me funny when I even mention doing such a thing.

“Just question it,” he kept going. “Tell it what data you want.”

“All the data,” I kept saying.

“You don't want all the data,” he said.

“That's precisely what [the developer of the database package I was using] kept saying. ALL I WANTED WAS THE @#$!#$ DATA! What's so wrong with that?”

“Because you don't want or need all the data,” Mark kept saying. Our friend Kelly agreed with Mark. “You need to let go this silly notion of having to know the exact layout and contents of everything.”

Like I said, it's totally alien to me. They also kept asking me what package was used to create the database and that I could use SQL to obtain the data. I had no clue as to what library or package was used to create the database—all I was told was get the data. Why can't I just get the data?

Why is that so difficult for database weenies to comprehend?

This is one reason why I hate the damned things.

Captain Napalm vs. the Databases, II

To be fair, Mark did make several good arguments for databases, which is more than I got from a certain professor I had at college, or from fellow cow-orkers at various jobs, or even the devloper of a database package I had to extract data from.

But it just bugs me that most of this crap is taken “on faith” with no real explanation behind it. Something like Unix weenies when they smugly say “Unix is obviously better than everything out. Here's a nickel kid, buy yourself a real computer.”

Gee, thanks. Why, exactly, is Unix better? Certainly it's not just because modems are soooooooooooooo easy to install, right?

Better stop now before I start to sound whiny again.

Mark vs. the Evil Empire

My friend Mark hates Microsoft.

No, I mean more than most people in our industry.

Perhaps it would be best to have Mark tell you how much he hates Microsoft in his own words:

I am trying VERY hard not to tell them just how I really feel and that I would be happy to fly over to Redmond and fuck Bill Gates in the eyesocket.

I guess you could say he pretty much hates Microsoft.

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