I see many people bashing Oracle/Ellison, but they are not alone in this. MS does the same thing as well. The really worrying thing is that such practices are deemed to be legal. The entire principle of Free Markets is underpinned by consumers having accurate information about the goods they are purchasing. Having licensing agreements that are expressly designed to prevent the dissemination of product-information, goes against everything that Capitalism and Free-Markets stand for.
The fact that there are no government regulations against such behavior, is precisely what leads people to think that we are living in a Corporatocracy, and not a Free Market.
I agree with where you are going but I entirely disagree with your description of Free Markets and Capitalism.
free market - an economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses
There's nothing in there about consumers having accurate information. If anything, caveat emptor. Moreover, if you are a free market entrepreneur then the absolute last thing you want is fairness to your competition or fairness to your consumer. Those are costs of doing business, to be avoided if possible. Naturally, Larry is only trying to avoid them.
That's why we have regulation. That's why civilization has evolved to have government. That's why Libertaristan isn't on any maps. That's why The Fountainhead is such a misguided fantasy where entrepreneurs can do anything and it's always better and governments can do nothing and it's always worse.
Free Markets and Capitalism don't stand for anything. That's not even a criticism of them either. Civilization might stand for something although that something is a provisional something at best but then that provisional something is better than nothing.
The requirement for consumers having accurate information is a government regulation. In the United States, it's enforced by the Consumer Protection Agency. It isn't a free market requirement.
Yes, but practice has taught us that it is an important part of any functioning market.
> the absolute last thing you want is fairness to your competition or fairness to your consumer.
I completely disagree with your assertion here. I want an advantage over my competition, sure.. but I still want it to be fair. An unfair market is a fickle and unreliable one. That's not good for anyone.
Further, if my consumer walks away from the deal feeling that it was unfair then I've really done myself a disservice in the long term. It's a reason why "Goodwill and Brand Awareness" are line items in the world of corporate accounting.
> Free Markets and Capitalism don't stand for anything.
They stand for the implicit agreement that we are all created equal.
> They stand for the implicit agreement that we are all created equal.
All men are created equal is a quotation from a government document, Jefferson's phrase from the Declaration of Independence. It has nothing to do with free markets or capitalism. The colonies were royally chartered corporations and these men revolted from their owner. They kept slavery but that's another matter.
> I completely disagree with your assertion here. I want an advantage over my competition, sure.. but I still want it to be fair.
Thank you for that. I really dislike the common model of capitalism where the entrepreneur is viewed as a robot whose only goal is to maximize profit with the law being the only boundary.
In my social bubble the landlords that I know care about their renters' wellbeing even if it costs them a bit. I only know a handful of entrepreneurs personally but for all of them fairness and dignity have greater value than profit. Also the millions of small shops in cities around the world that are content just selling enough every month to make a comfortable living with no goal of maximizing anything.
Yes, huge cooperations are different than the guy selling Kebab at the corner. But still I would appreciate if people would see entrepreneurship and businesses not so statically as money-maximizers.
It's something you can do if you want to. Nobody will stop you as long as it's legal, so there will be a non-trivial amount of companies doing just that. It doesn't matter that the guy on the cornerr is trying to be fair. At some point he'll be screwed by a kebab chain which pays the minimum wage and can use the economy of scale in deliveries.
And that's even before we talk about companies that go for risk*penalty<gain situations where they can ignore the law.
the one I know too... until the definition of fairness comes from some else than them... My point is that IMHO it takes extraordinary capabilities to make money by selling someone elses's work and maintaining high moral standards when it comes to solidarity, helping others, sharing profits, etc.
Uh, no. We are not. Both nature and nurture deal unfair cards. And markets and capitism most certainly alone do not promote solidarity. That is, in any real world scenario plaid out so far.
On the contrary, completely free markets often lead to oligopolies, monopolies and cartells.
Or is it supposed to be a bad joke in empirical economics, to start with a population with equal chances and see it tumbling into a winner takes all pyramid of distributions of wealth?
In a completely fair game we could choose not to do business with known unfair players. Real world does not work this way. As soon as there is capital surpluss, someone will get an upper hand in negotiations. The wealth allows the other party more negotiation tactics. Hence, anyone who can use the full leverage of their wealth will come on top. In the average case.
Money isn't the only route to power, of course. Politics and violence are an inseparable facet of the negotiation dynamics of our species, even if they don't affect every business deal. For example, by imposing dominion over supply trade unions can increase leverage of employees over employers, who then may under some situations use government sanctioned violence to increase their leverage - or vice versa. Etc.
I don't have a formal proof of this. It just seems to be the way the game is played.
This being the Real World means pure free markets are impossible and in fact dishonesty and chincanery can utterly distort markets, leading to all sorts of perverse outcomes.
Ironically, for a free market to operate well, you must have reasonable constraints on market participants.
This is incorrect. Free markets rely on enforcement of contracts, property rights, and prohibitions on force and fraud. This requires a government.
For example, stealing from your neighbor is not a free market operation. Neither is delivering someone a Ford when you sold it as a Ferrari.
> [in free markets,] price and demand are set by the market, free of any government interference
I said nothing about contract enforcement, property rights or prohibitions on force or fraud.
> pure free markets are impossible and in fact dishonesty and chincanery can utterly distort markets
My point stands. Dishonesty and chicanery are not condoned by the free market, because they're fraud and theft.
This narcissistic fantasy has passed it's prime.
The endgame of any truly free market, is the sale of the market. A market that is not for sale, is not a truly free market.
This is the antithesis of 'we are all created equal'.
"In economics, a free market is an idealized system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and consumers, in which the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_market
The requirement is for individual trades to occurs without duress or manipulation outside of the trade. Also, prohibiting information exchange by government regulation is not allowed as that interferes with the market.
Between them you have : http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.201...
1 A market that is free from government interference, prices rising and falling in accordance with supply and demand.
2 A security that is widely traded on a stock exchange, there being sufficient stock on offer for the price to be uninfluenced by availability.
3 A foreign-exchange market that is free from influence on rates by governments, rates being free to rise and fall in accordance with supply and demand.
So, I can see why that was used, but it's not definitive.
And your assertion about information asymmetry having nothing to do with free markets is actually addressed in the economic literature on perfect competition.
> The requirement for consumers having accurate information is a government regulation. In the United States, it's enforced by the Consumer Protection Agency. It isn't a free market requirement
Yet, when Oracle prohibits publishing benchmarks you can find benchmarks about MySQL, Mongodb etc on the web
You can find all the benchmarks you want here http://www.tpc.org/default.asp including Oracle.
The thing is, a skilled DBA, given two databases and told which one should be the winner, can easily construct a benchmark that seems perfectly plausible, but favours one over the other. The MongoDB guys did it very blatantly e.g. by comparing Postgres writing to disk with them writing to memory, but that's because they don't know anything about databases and lacked the skill to do it subtly, e.g. by finding pathological edge cases in query optimizers. That's what the commercial vendors are most worried about.
How do you mean? Many of them are direct competitors, they all have a vested interest in not allowing any other to game the benchmark.
I do wonder why people go out of their way to misrepresent libertarianism. This shouldn't have to be pointed out, but libertarianism != anarchism. To have any kind of working market, you need a functioning government that can protect property rights, provide for compensation if a contract is broken, etc, etc.
I heard way too often from them how "government does everything inefficently" and "everything would be better off served by private for-profit entities" or even "taxes are theft", when in reality they just want a bit smaller taxes and a bit less regulation.
Those might be extreme statements even for libertarians, but it's hard to recognize them as such when they infect almost every discussion about the topic.
I doubt many people who consider themselves libertarian would say something so absolute as "everything would be better off served by private for-profit entities" much less "taxes are theft".
>...when in reality they just want a bit smaller taxes and a bit less regulation.
Most libertarians would likely also consider this incorrect. For example, the 2 major political parties share major policies that libertarians are opposed too and would like to reform or stop. For example, both republicans and democrat parties support: the war on drugs, the increasing militarization of police, the national surveillance state, the Patriot act, registration for the draft, the TSA, etc, etc. I suspect that the average voter is opposed to at least some of these policies, so that is maybe why the those invested in the two major parties will try to stifle any discussion of these topics and why groups that oppose them are mischaracterized or attacked with straw man arguments.
And I don't think government does everything inefficiently, at least in our country (cz).
So what do libertarians represent really? Quick search for "libertarian manifesto" shows https://mises.org/library/new-liberty-libertarian-manifesto which talks about abolishing nation state and such. That is hard to reconcile with your PoV.
I think smaller government is often more responsive. The Czech Republic is closer in population to some of the US states.
>...So what do libertarians represent really? Quick search for "libertarian manifesto" shows https://mises.org/library/new-liberty-libertarian-manifesto which talks about abolishing nation state and such.
I think Rothbard is probably promoting anarcho-capitalism there. Many libertarians would probably consider themselves closer to classic liberals. For example, here is a quote from a professor at NYU:
"...I consider myself both a libertarian and a classical liberal. … So there are important differences among liberals and libertarians but I view these are differences along a spectrum. Some are principled (“Never, ever, initiate the use of force”) and some are empirical (“Many public goods can be provided privately”) and some are hard to classify (“The NSA should not collect masses of meta data”). Some people will want to take these differences and harden them into different political philosophies with different names and so forth. But I suggest that libertarians and classical liberals have too much in common for any divorce."
More practical ideas can be found in the works of groups like the Reason Foundation. As I mentioned in a different reply, at reason.org and you can probably find hundreds of pages of commentary, practical solutions, reviews, etc. The top story on the site looks like it is on the details of the current state of the air traffic control system. You can read the digital version of their magazine for free and in fact every issue they have ever published for close to 40 years. Another group is the The Institute for Justice (ij.org). IJ is a libertarian non-profit law firm that in their words:
>...Since 1991, IJ has come to the aid of individuals who want to do the simple things every American has the right to do—including own property, start and grow a business, speak freely about commerce or politics, and provide their children with a good education—but can’t because they find the government in their way.
IJ have brought 5 cases to the US Supreme Court, winning four. The case they lost was the Kelo case but there was a big enough outrage on that decision, that a number of states put in protections to their eminent domain laws.
No. A free market is when people freely exchange goods and services. The prices are determined by free negotiation. Force and fraud are proscribed.
Note that this does not require perfect information. But defrauding someone is not allowed.
> if you are a free market entrepreneur then the absolute last thing you want is fairness to your competition or fairness to your consumer.
The most successful companies, and most successful salesmen, are the ones that please their customers, because repeat business is necessary for long term success.
> It isn't a free market requirement.
Again, the free market does not allow defrauding customers.
Those would be perfect information. I don't see how this could be a reasonable requirement, and it certainly is not necessary for the free market to function.
Consider the dealer selling you a car that disintegrates a week later. I'm not a lawyer, but there's a doctrine of reasonableness and fit for purpose going on here, and you're entitled to recompense if the dealer did not disclose this to you - i.e. it's fraud.
If a grocery store sold you milk poisoned with lead, and did not disclose it, that's fraud as well as assault.
Truth in labelling laws are merely a convenience for that, so instead of things being decided case by case in civil court, having a blanket standard on how food should be labeled, and sanctions when it is fraudulently labeled, is entirely reasonable and makes for efficient operation of the free market. It is not "perfect information", which is by its nature rather absurd, and I've never seen it listed as a requirement by any free market economists.
Sort of. They do stand for something, even though we were meant to believe they’re the natural state of affairs.
Saying free markets “stand for nothing” presumes that markets are the natural state of affairs among humans and that classical economists were merely specialized anthropologists observing behaviour in the wild. That’s not accurate though - Karl Polanyi and his great old book the Great Transformation really explores this (and the causes of WW1).
The “free market” was deliberately imposed on western society in the 18th-19th century by politicians believing classical economists WERE these anthropological soothsayers rather than just crafting a social science, secular religion (“the invisible hand”), and belief system out of what once was a niche trading technique used between communities or in actual bazaars (market trade). It was better than mercantilism which was the previous prevailing theory among the powerful, but also societally unworkable. Reciprocity was the system most used through history, not free markets. It does stand for something, or at least lassez faire does: all societal power and behaviour should be organized and controlled by price and property. This is why libertarians have such a hard on for the free market, in their view, the market IS society, the market IS human behaviour, rather than one niche aspect of it. The fact we don’t have free markets is because humans tend not to want to subordinate every aspect of their life to a number (price, wealth, property). Sometimes market inefficiency is called for.
Capitalism is different from the free market theory, as classical economics implies the markets shouldn’t actually tend towards profit, it should tend towards equilibrium. One can also have capitalism without a fully free market, as most of the world has never had a fully lassez faire market for very long. And China is seeing how far one can go down this path. Capitalism really has to do with the pattern of market disequilibrium, profit making/taking, investment and re-investment of these profits to enable growth rather than a static economy of a fixed set of commodities (the unrealistic assumption of underlying classical economics). One might consistently agree with the benefits of capitalism over say, state-controlled investments, while disagreeing with completely free markets.
For that reason I think it’s a bit misleading to suggest that all businesspeople and entrepreneurs just want an unfair playing field, as the “free market” really doesn’t care. There are many perspectives out there as to the right set of constraints on the system. There never has been a “natural” set of constraints as they’ve all been human contrivances anyway. (Bitcoin fanatics railing against “fiat” also haven’t figured this one out yet). An entrepreneur might want fairer markets regulation. They might not. It’s in the eye of the beholder.
This was pendantic, sorry. I agree, Ayn Rand is a fairy tale for people that haven’t figured out that they’re not the protagonist of the world’s story, they’re just another jackass, hopefully trying to solve more problems than they cause.
However, left to our own devices, I do think that businesspeople and entrepreneurs just want an unfair playing field. I sure do. I don't like Thiel but competition is for losers captures what I'm trying to say here. We may start with Don't Be Evil but if we can be evil, we will be evil and we can be evil. That is why we have evolved to have laws and regulations and then that is why we have further evolved to regulatory capture. It is our nature.
But there are many areas where self regulation works better than government regulation. Print media is a prime example. If one newspaper accepts a bribe for promoting a product, the bribe could come to light and destroy the trust the newspaper has (an intangible asset).
To get back to the topic of databases: This is bad press for Oracle. Are they hiding some edge cases where the performance is unacceptable ? Mission critical systems should rather be built on open source databases, which have been properly scrutinized.
Since databases aren't regulated and don't cause health hazards those fake benchmarking configurations don't matter much to people.
I don't know how to get around this problem of course.
...and that is what the companies themselves do for their own products when they show benchmarks, to make them look better than they really are.
Have you ever paid attention to how GPUs are marketed, or the dirty tricks the drivers use under the hood? In spite of this, it's still pretty easy to find out which GPU at a given price point is faster.
I know it's a lot of work, but anyone whose business is dependant on database performance needs to know how the system will perform with their data and their use cases. I think they would also like to put some effort into working with the database to see how well the associated tools work. It would be nice to have synthetic benchmarks to review as a starting point and I suppose those exist for the open source engines such as Postgres, Maria and MySQL. It should be safe to assume that Oracle and MS-SQL are at least as fast and a little testing should verify that.
Strong anti-fraud and competition (anti-trust) laws are absolutely necessary to have something even crudely approximating a free market.
If either party doesn't like the terms of a proposed contract, they can just not execute that contract.
If you don't want to agree to the Oracle license then don't agree to the Oracle license. It's pretty simple.
The market will react to this. Oracle is still really popular, but open source databases are cutting into the market.
To me, that sounds like the free market in action.
What is your basis for this claim? Are you aware of a single successful lawsuit on the basis of a clause like this? If not, you can't claim that it's "deemed to be legal", since only a court can do such deeming.
Amen, brother. Many folks who criticize capitalism don't actually realize that actual bogeyman is cronyism, not the free market.
Obviously, but it's still a huge red flag, as you note yourself. Would people buy any other product if it came with a big disclaimer that you couldn't review it? I can't think of anywhere else that is done.
>And maybe it would have been if Oracle was alone in this practice, but as the article states, it’s close to the standard practice in the industry.
Well it had to have started somewhere.
It seems like their chilling effect is mostly due to people not wanting to be harassed by legal goons, rather than the concern that the backwards company would actually prevail in court.
Given that MS typically does very well on TPC I kinda wonder why they forbid publishing benchmarks. Anecdotally it's very fast as well.
Disclosure: I work for a company that uses SQL Server extensively. I quite like it, actually. Easily my favorite Microsoft product and one of my favorite commercial software products in general.
On an unrelated topic, I was taking the course while US v. Microsoft was proceeding. DeWitt kept getting called as an expert witness. At one point he noticed someone wearing a suit in the classroom. He interrupted the class and asked the guy to hand over the subpoena so that he could continue on without being distracted. It turns out that the overdressed student was just prepared for an interview that was happening after the class.
This has effectively dissuaded me from trying to perform benchmarks of Coverity and other commercial tools using LAVA , so I can attest to its chilling effect.
As a fun aside, here's an example of one of the few fully anonymous papers I know of:
Recently I came into discussion regarding why someone chose to use Oracle instead of Postgres; the argument that someone brought up was that they did not know how Postgres scaled. After pointing out that the data that will be stored will be most likely be a few hundred GB (in an exaggerated worst case scenario) and that Postgres is said to handle 100's of TB of data, they capitulated and said that customers trust Oracle (even though they never see or touch the database).
Personally I would be very interested in seeing comparisons between PG, Oracle and MSSQL as well for different data-sets/use-case scenarios. This would really help as a reference in the future when someone else is making critical decisions which might not appear to make sense.
EDIT: This sounds like a very shady clause; anyone with law insights know whether this would be enforceable in the EU?
"If our code is not the best, you MUST NOT TELL ANYONE." Yeah, that's healthy...
For those who are interested in the legal and policy aspects of this, I highly recommend a book called Boilerplate by Margaret Radin. This is just one of many examples of comically abusive and bizarre contract terms that companies impose by imaginary consent.
Without doing the research, it wouldn't surprise me if the extent to which these clauses were enforceable varied state-by-state. States tend to diverge a lot on these kinds of "unenforceable because against public policy" arguments.
FreeRTOS may not be used for any competitive or comparative purpose, including
the publication of any form of run time or compile time metric, without the
express permission of Real Time Engineers Ltd. (this is the norm within the
industry and is intended to ensure information accuracy).
I like how even they understand that it's a bullshit clause, and try to justify it.
I wonder if demanding inclusion of their feedback on benchmark into benchmark article (intro or summary) would be more fair than conditionally gagging it..
Also an invalid clause. They don't get to decide what is valid or not, that's up to the judge.
I am not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice.
It's up to the judge to decide what is valid and not. The court has the power to decide on each clause individually and the contract as a whole.
It's the normal outcome that when one minor clause is deemed invalid, only that clause is dismissed, not the whole contract.
It doesn't costs anything to write it down to clarify. That's exactly why it's written in every standard contract. There could be a different jurisdiction somewhere one day that decides to invalidate entire contracts by default for any stupid reason, I don't know of one in the western countries but I suppose it's possible.
It is reasonably predictable for most situations how a judge would rule, which is why contracts have common boilerplate.
In the event that one part of the contract is nullified, it's up to the court to determine if that modification will nullify the contract or not, it depends on the circumstances.
The presence of the clause cannot prevent to cancel the contract, the absence of the clause doesn't mean that the contract is cancelled if any clause is found invalid.
If you want to escape a contract, you need to go to court and make a case that the contract should be nullified.
If you want to cancel a part of a contract, you need to go to court and make a case that a part of the contract should be nullified.
They are 2 completely different things. The clause is irrelevant, it's not gonna change your future strategy.
Sure, the benchmarks can be leaked, published anonymously, etc…but the term is enough to prevent an academic from publishing it as a peer-reviewed, credible piece of research.
Oracle would probably sue them for piracy or something. If you bought it, they would probably say you violated the agreement and no longer have a valid license.
Not saying it's right, but since it's commercial software, they can probably play some tricks. It's one of among many reasons to use commerical software where possible.
Of course there's the anti-benchmarking clause, but other than that, they offer the downloads free (as in beer).
If you publish the benchmark, Oracle will sue you for obtaining the software illegitimately or sue you for not conforming to the license.
In sane countries licenses don't have magic powers. I'm allowed to publish a benchmark no matter what Oracle things.
But since the proprietary software has a "no benchmarking" clause, open source projects cannot respond to the whitepaper by performing their own benchmarking. They would need the permission of the proprietary vendor!
For example, here is an IBM blog post comparing the performance of IBM MQ and Apache ActiveMQ (https://webspherecompetition.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/ibm-mq...). I've tried to find a copy of the IBM MQ EULA to link, but cannot find one anywhere. But last time I reviewed it (several years ago) I believe it also had a "no benchmark" clause.
> IBM is notable for actually allowing benchmarks:
> Licensee may disclose the results of any benchmark test of the Program or its subcomponents to any third party provided that …
I've pointed this:
out to my employer's lawyers, who responded with "well, yes, but we'd still get sued, by Oracle, so... no."
While the consumer review protection law concerns individuals not companies (check the "form contract" definition), the license agreement seems to explicitly allow for individuals ("or as an individual"). There might be further license agreements after the download, but for that I'd agree to the terms of the license...
Unfortunately, the law that protects reviewers does not protect people who publish benchmarks in software. These DeWitt clauses should be illegal in the United States on First Amendment grounds, but the problem is that to get software at all you have to agree to the license, and the licenses often have these nasty things. I think these Clauses should be straight up illegal, but very few people have enough money to pursue this in court.
I'm not convinced that's generally true. The form contracts language  clearly talks about individuals, but at least one of the DB vendor license agreements allows for individuals. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15888236
If an individual were to decide to do such a benchmark, I don't immediately see how the DeWitt clause would be still valid. Not many people are going to risk that obviously.
> hese DeWitt clauses should be illegal in the United States on First Amendment ground
I agree that they shouldn't be allowed, I however fail to see how 1A applies. You willingly enter into a contract with a private entity. That contract has rules, and there are some consequences for breaking them.
I think the government has an important, and imo somewhat neglected, role in providing rules around valid contracts, but that's not 1A.
Edit: here https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/2mhpwp/postgre...
That doesn't really sound like they were forced to do anything.
Nothing is stopping you from running your own workload on both Oracle and Postgres within your organisation, then deciding to go with Postgres. What is forbidden by the license is issuing a press release saying "Postgres is better than Oracle and here are the numbers".
It could be worse though. Cisco pressed criminal charges against this guy for wanting to 3rd-party-service their equipment.
Happy 2017, peasants!
It not only changed my perspective of the man but also the company. One can know a lot about a company's practices from the way it was founded. Now there is nothing about Oracle which surprises me any more.
Of the "bad Larry Ellison" anecdotes ITT, most of which do paint him in a very bad light, this one doesn't offend me at all; more like smart marketing advice you can use.
Software version schemes are often started at 0, or other times 1, so why not any other integer? I don't expect software version numbers to mean anything except that higher is (probably) chronologically later. That said I would probably still start numbering internal/beta versions at 1 or 0 and use 2 for the first release.
It's not even in the same league of dishonesty as ubiquitous practices by blue-chip tech companies such as using trial pricing in advertisements, selling "new versions" of software with only trivial changes, selling "extended warranties" on hardware that don't cover the most common causes of breakage, or claiming customers have access to "expertise" developing intelligent zero-downtime SaaS solutions on the blockchain with the deep learning algorithms powering our global AR/VR-enabled IoT cloud.
I'm so sorry. I don't think he's literally Satan, because from what I can tell Satan has some principles.
There are reasons for companies not wanting benchmarks public i.e. unequal or fixed results. But ultimately one can no longer be an engineer if you are excluding metrics from software for business/legal reasons.
I have had to run many systems on Oracle and the developer is not their customer, it is a painful experience in Oracle enterprise. The extent of it is they have Ask Tom fill in the gaps. Luckily most of the Oracle work was moving systems from massive Oracle setups to swifter (and hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper) architecture on MSSQL, PostgreSQL and MySQL (until Oracle bought them) now MariaDB.
I like platforms that put the developer and their workflow as a top priority, not how many rounds of golf you play with the C level execs. Oracle would be the latter type of "enterprise" company.
Sorry, it’s actually “DBMS-X”
You see this all the time with Mysql and Postgresql benchmarks. Typically when I see the two compared it is by someone with a decade of experience with one of the systems, and none with the other one. They use a workload that is optimized for their usual system. They also don't have a clue how to create a high performance version for the competitor, nor do they know how to configure it.
It's also true that the testers usually don't configure all the products equivalently. It's usually not (only) incompetence, they are pushing an agenda for their product or consulting services.
"Oracle won't let you read or publish benchmarks, maybe too many of their customers would get fired if they did...?" Or variants on the "why do they need to hide?"
Haven't seen a case where going with postgres up front on pure prejudice has backfired. Maybe there are times, it would be interesting to know what and when.
Never got a complaint. However I received a nice email from one of their sales guy to thank me and say it was great to show to their clients.
In certain countries that is even illegal to publish "benchmarks" like this one. I remember that there was a law like that in Germany - not sure whether it has changed with EU.
My understanding is that in some places it's illegal for companies to publish benchmarks "proving" that their software is better than their competitors', the idea being that you're unlikely to show a fair comparison. I've not heard of it being illegal for a third party to post such a thing, though. Do you have a link? (I'm genuinely curious.)
With Oracle going all in on cloud, this mindset of Larry surely doesn't bode well?
It's not in the Azure/GCP tier, but they're investing a ton in it (seven figure offers) to pull in engineering talent from AWS/Azure/GCP. And Oracle does have
some definite ... "structural" advantages.
Unless you won the Powerball and want to live on Ramen for the rest of your life, don't do this.
Oracle has firmly established its reputation and I'm confident that someday they'll pay for it.
I'm not holding my breath though. Maybe my grandchildren will live to see Oracle bought as a Kickstarter project started by Postgres devs.
Furthermore, an anonymous benchmark (like many other anonymous product comparisons) is going to make many people suspect that it's a fraudulent result. Imagine there's an anonymous benchmark that isn't simple to replicate because of software and/or hardware costs that shows some proprietary software whipping an open source project on some dimensions or other. How many people here are going to immediately jump to the conclusion that it's the proprietary vendor planting false information?
Either way I wouldn't expect a real world benchmark to be reproducible, it's too hard to reproduce and takes too much resources.
> Do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphising Larry Ellison. You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle. — Brian Cantrill (https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=33m1s)
> I actually think that it does a dis-service to not go to Nazi allegory because if I don't use Nazi allegory when referring to Oracle there's some critical understanding that I have left on the table […] in fact as I have said before I emphatically believe that if you have to explain the Nazis to someone who had never heard of World War 2 but was an Oracle customer there's a very good chance that you would explain the Nazis in Oracle allegory. — also Brian Cantrill (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79fvDDPaIoY&t=24m)
He made one of the engineers drive out to his house with a new one on a Saturday night.
Now, the fact that this story is true is telling enough, but what sort of experience did the writers have with Larry that inspired them to put in that story that paints him as a petty, tyrannical manchild?
So much hate. Just because someone has enough money to file a lawsuit and keep it alive for years doesn't mean the other side should somehow be penalized for not compromising with the fool.
 amplitude * frequency
Did it occur to anyone that that engineer might be happy to be picked as the one to drive out and do that? To some people that is the way to get noticed and stand out with the boss (or king, whatever).
> tyrannical manchild?
Like any anecdote we don't know the full story here and exact circumstances. Just the fact that juxtaposed against what people have be told about Ellison it appears that he must certainly be 'a tyrannical manchild'.
threw the remote at a wall, smashing it.
But damn, few people are that much fun to listen to when ranting.
I don't know enough to validate this perspective, but it's something for all of us to consider:
I always cringe when I see people quoting Bryan because that's exactly my experience interacting with him on mailing lists or watching him give talks.
At this point I don't have the energy to deal with people like him. I just accept him as a natural occurrence in our field. I certainly praise does who do have the energy for fighting that.
Thank you for pointing this out.
There are many cases of what I call the "brilliant jerk" in programming.
Personally, I deal very badly with confrontational behavior. And it makes me rather sad. If I can deal with people by being friendly (or at least polite) and soft-spoken, it can't be that hard, now, can it?
And there are some examples of brilliant programmers that are also nice people and very pleasant to deal with. Richard Hipp of SQLite and Fossil seems to be this kind of person. If I cannot be as brilliant as him, at least I want to be as friendly and respectful as him.
It seems that a lot of software projects have begun adopting codes of conduct. I tend to feel a little ambivalent about this phenomenon, because it attempts to codify things I think should be the natural state of people interacting. But maybe in the long run, it is necessary to be a little more formal about this.
And still, when Bryan Cantrill gets sufficiently worked up about a subject, he is very entertaining to listen to.
So overall I don't think Bryan is wrong, per se, to take the tack he does within the pool he plays in; it's just a pool for type-A personalities (in the system dev domain), and not the right place to play in if you're starting out, or are otherwise fragile. Build up your skin and chops in smaller ponds first. Stay out of them if you don't feel comfortable swimming there, because the discomfort of competition actually serves a purpose for those swimmers.
(Yes, some people can pursue and sustain excellence without the heat of competition. But not everyone is like that.)
Sounds like an argument for pluralism, not for "one size fits all".
I can't imagine how collaborators on a single codebase could self-select into different groups with different communication styles. By Conway's Law, the codebase would have to be restructured and factored into parts that the groups could work on in relative isolation. This is a big architectural obligation to incur for the sake of preserving some casual braggadocio or competitive inconsiderateness.
Really, without the metaphor, what's going on is that Larry Ellison has modified himself to hold the values that a corporation holds, in order to more efficiently drive said corporation toward optimizing on its corporate goals (i.e. increase share value, etc.) Where human values and corporate values are in conflict, Ellison has chosen to forget about his human values and, effectively, become the avatar of the corporation's interests. He's the "ideal CEO", in about the same way as Locutus of Borg is an ideal CEO.
A better analogy for this effect, for those who understand it, would be to compare Ellison to a https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Paperclip_maximizer, but that's not really that well-known a meme.
Hmm. I wonder why this augmentation is newsworthy/nontrivial/frightening. Perhaps our human frailty makes this feat truly difficult even for an average CEO?