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Stonebraker's research and commercial ventures the last several years have been focused on building specialized variants of existing database systems. Vertica (C-Store), VoltDB (H-Store), Streambase (Aurora), and SciDB are all specialized DBMS systems designed to overcome the one size fits all nature of things.

Further, he's been critical of NoSQL/MapReduce recently: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1721654.1721659

Regardless, there's always going to be a balance between specialized systems and platforms, but my point is that we should be willing to trust the platforms that have proven themselves, avoid reinventing the wheel (poorly), and not be too quick to throw them out in favor of the new shiny.

I agree that programmer/analyst working together is a terrific pair, but the beauty of software is that we live in a world where we can have 1 programmer write a platform on which 10 programmers build 10 systems that 1000 users use to get their jobs done and make society that much more efficient.




Oh, I trust the current stable platforms to be the current stable platforms. My beef isn't with people who use them. It's with people who don't know how to do anything else, which was a plague on our industry for at least a decade. At least the people who get burnt on the latest fad will make new and interesting mistakes.

I agree that when we can find ways to let users serve themselves, that's best for everybody. I just don't think universal pseudo-English query languages are the way to do that, because the hard part isn't learning a little syntax, it's learning what the syntax represents in terms of machine operations.

Once the programmer and the analyst have found something stable enough to automate, by all means automate it. Reports, report builders, DSLs, data dumps, specialized analytic tools: all great in the right conditions. But people have been trying to build pseudo-English PHB-friendly tools for decades with near zero uptake from that audience. I think there's a reason for that.




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