I’m pretty much a green sneaker, tree hugging conservationist. (The Nature Conservancy, Audubon, and Arbor Day get annual renewals like clockwork, I helped write and implement Scenic Road and Wetlands Preservation legislation here in Lebanon, NH in the late 1980s.) So I’m really disappointed when loss of species and habitat headlines and statistics are so oriented to shock value that my reaction is “Is there a seed of truth in this obvious attempt to mislead?” instead of concern for the subject matter. Today’s entry for my #please_read_tufte hall of shame: “…facing 50 percent drops in their numbers within seven years if the current rate of decline continues…” I’ll save you the math: that’s about 9.43 % per year.
Here is a snippet I wrote on the oracle-l list today before I remembered that I’m a blogger now. To see the whole thread in context (potentially including someone telling me I’ve got it all wrong later today or in the future) the subject was OT: sheltered little world i live in -> NODB?
Someone opined about where a DBA would start designing. That person might be right about some DBAs. Here is approximately what I wrote (only fixing some typos and grammar, I think.):
gee whiz. I think people think of me as a DBA. re: “That’s true that DBA would start designing application from database.” (sic.)
Larry Constantine has written some excellent books about information systems design. Many of my ideas are well explained in those books.
In 1990, when Ken Jacobs hosted the RDBMS campground talks at the Anaheim International Oracle User Week appreciation event, one of the topic areas was whether we (some users representing the Very Large DataBases VLDB of the Oracle world which meant anything north of about 7 GB back then) thought that the rule based optimizer (RBO) was good enough, or whether we needed a cost based optimizer (CBO) for the real applications we were running at enterprise scale to work well. “Oracle’s optimizer is like Mary Poppins. It’s practically perfect in every way. But we do have some cases where it would be helpful for the optimizer to consider the relative sizes of tables and whether a table was local or remote when the plan for joining and filtering is constructed.
Have you ever met anyone who attracted your attention because he had the right idea, but the more you got to know how he arrived at that idea, the less attracted you felt?
All our lives, we learn how important it is to be correct, to have the right answer. You gotta have the right answer to make good grades in school, to nail that interview, to be accepted by your peers and your families and your supervisors, .... But too many people think that an education is merely a sequence of milestones at which you demonstrate that you know the right answer. That view of education is unfortunate.