It’s just data

Secular Simplicity

DJ Adams: Allow me to paraphrase taking the world of SQL as an example: "...but making me understand which tables are which, and the difference between SELECT and UPDATE ... isn't".

I'm old enough to remember when relational databases were controversial.  Real programmers accessed their data by knowing the actual cylinder, head, and record number at which it resided.  These days, programmers insist upon being able to access their data without knowing which cylinders are which.  What a bunch of pansies.

Question to ponder: why are there so many object relational mapping frameworks out there?  Look at how this one allows one to create, update retrieve, and delete one's data.

What is simplicity?  We all think we know what it is. 

To some, WSDL is the epitome of simplification.  I can take a URL, drag and drop it into my favorite IDE, and then everything — including command completion and type safety — just works.  I can access the remote objects as if they were local, without knowing what server they reside on or what language they were written in.

And then there are people like me, whose favorite IDE is vim.  To me, blosxom is the zen of blogging.  Databases?  We don't need no stinkin' databases.

An overcorrection too far?

Norman Walsh gives up 'wrestling his way through the arcana of WSDL'. He describes his frustrations with WSDL complexities and the difficulty of getting things done. He goes on: Now suppose the implementation of great_circle_distance was a web service. It...... [more]

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Well, zen if you're willing to ignore that the filesystem is a database. Personally, I am trying to become free from the desire to point that out.

Posted by Anil at

corollary: we all think we know what complexity is.

I like Emacs, WebDAV, and Common Lisp :)

Posted by Robert Sayre at

Me too and eight-track tapes

Sam Ruby writes... I'm old enough to remember when relational databases were controversial. Me too. Sometime talking about the computer industry in the 21st century feels like talking about the iPod vs. eight-track tapes with my kids. (Not to...

Excerpt from Making it stick. at

Well, zen if you're willing to ignore that the filesystem is a database.

From the blogging perspective, all you're really using the database for is storing metadata about your content (posts, comments, etc.).

Me, I find the filesystem a bit limited  in terms of what metadata it can store. Much easier to add a column to a MySQL table.

But that's just me ...

Posted by Jacques Distler at

Is WSDL really simple?

This is a great post. Is there really a problem here though?...

Excerpt from Tonetheman's Weblog at

Sam Ruby: Secular Simplicity


Excerpt from at

Re: database metadata, let me point that some filesystems are metadata rich (HFS and reiserfs come to mind).

Also, that the approach of blo*som toward metadata is having a(n optional) metadata which uses the convention of HTTP: key value pairs plus a blank line to delimit end of metadata.

Posted by Santiago Gala at

Speaking of vim (and having viewed your presentations on more than one occasion), what file encoding do you have Vim set up to use? Did you leave it at latin1 or set it to something else (like utf-8)? P.S. Scary warning, but I really only care if YOU see this. :)

Posted by Christian Romney at

Christian: I’ve left vim alone.  It is my intent that all my outputs (slides, web pages, feeds) actually are 7-bit safe ASCII, and use character references for all non-ASCII characters.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

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