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There's a bigger question here. I get why diego was flabbergasted by the default, and I also hear legitimate claims that the documentation should have been read. But what I want to know is: Why are MongoDB advocates in such a bad mood?

It's legit to criticize a language or a database. However, it seems to me that when MongoDB gets involved, the tone is far more aggressive and defensive. What's up with that? It's just software, bits and config files. It's not like someone called your mom a harlot.

Here's what I think. New developers, for a long time, have come into the industry and become overwhelmed with everything they need to learn. Let's take typical database servers. Writing a SELECT is easy enough, but to truly be an expert you have to learn about data writing operations, indexing, execution plans, triggers, replication, sharding, GRANTs, etc. As it's a mature technology, you start out barely an apprentice, with all these experienced professionals around you.

In recent years, software development has really been turned on its head. We're not building apps using the same stack we've used for a long time: OO + RDBMS + view layer + physical hardware. The younger the technology, the better, it seems. In theory, a 3 year developer and a 20 year developer are now pretty equal when we're talking about a technology that's been around 2-3 years. That wouldn't be true if we were dealing with say, OO design patterns. (Even when new languages come along, you still get to keep your experience in the core competencies.)

Attacks on these new technologies are perceived as an assault on this new world order, and those who have walked into being one of the "newb elite" respond emotionally to what they see as a battle for the return to the old guard. Am I totally off base here?




I think you're way off base. Even assuming your claims about experience with traditional databases (which I disagree with), we don't see the same kind of emotional tone when talking about equally new datastores like redis or couchdb.

Mongodb was very aggressively marketed; its advocates produced benchmarks comparing it directly to traditional relational databases as though the use cases were the same. I think that set the tone for future discussion in a way that's still being felt.

If you're as old as your opinions suggest you'll remember the early days of Java were very similar - Sun marketing pushed it no end, and so tempers ran high and discussions were emotionally charged in a way that never happened when talking about perl or python or TCL.


I'm not terribly old: 35. Been doing web development as a career since 1999.

More relevant, is my experience. I didn't come in when Java came out. I started (1997-1998) with some high-level dynamic web languages: ASP classic, ColdFusion (To this day, I still do CF - I'm a CF user group manager and I speak at CF conferences). Building HTML and JavaScript since 1996 (GeoCities, HotDog, and HomeSite). Nerded around with programming 1995-1997 in high school (TI Basic, Pascal, and Qbasic) In the days when I started web development, a lot of folks were still monkeying around with Perl and flatfiles. I can't really speak to early days of Java: until 2000, didn't really use it. ColdFusion 6 went from C++ to Java, at which point CF devs ran on the JVM and could target it.

From the beginning I was a consumer of RDBMSes. Started with Access and moved on to SQL Server. There wasn't a need to know the full DB, only the pieces you needed for CRUD. Perhaps for newbs that has changed, and they have to learn the full SQL administrative experience. Personally I doubt that. Do some db migrations in Rails: you don't even need to know what SQL engine you're running on. (A good thing, IMO, but still means a lesser body of knowledge)

Good point that a lot of products try so hard to be the "new sexy" that they suggest an inaccurate comparison, or at best, implement a subset of what they're trying to replace.


While I agree with the sentiment you're expressing here on some levels (people don't like it when you insult things they like, as they feel they need to defend their choice or themselves because of it), I don't think that quite applies here.

This is a case where, although the ultimate complaint of the author is the behavior of the product (which is documented, but un-intuitive in nature unless you've read up on the issue), it's the way in which he chose to frame the problem that is getting people upset.

This is a known issue, even if it seems like a completely poor design decision. The issue I think most people here are taking is that because the author did almost no research on the topic, he got himself into a problem, and is trying to blame it on Mongo.


I don't think my GP was complaining about people saying the OP was wrong, but the vitriol associated with it. This article has prompted some of the ugliest comments I've seen on HN, even worse than Apple/Google crap articles.

Telling somebody they are wrong is one thing, calling them moronic or stupid is quite another.

I think this is an evolution of the language wars wherein immature[1] developers align themselves with a technology and mix up criticisms of the technology with criticisms of themselves. This seems to be part of the need humans have to be part of a community.

1. Immature in this context has nothing to do with age. Rather, it is an attitude that shows when any developer has not experienced and internalized enough technology to realize every single technology has fundamental problems, sucks in some way, yet is still usually pretty amazing nonetheless, especially within the context of its creation.


> In theory, a 3 year developer and a 20 year developer are now pretty equal when we're talking about a technology that's been around 2-3 years.

Hopefully the 20 year dev can recognize the new thing as new and possibly immature, can identify some areas of weakness when compared to tools with a successful history.

> Attacks on these new technologies are perceived as an assault on this new world order, and those who have walked into being one of the "newb elite" respond emotionally to what they see as a battle for the return to the old guard. Am I totally off base here?

Totally agree.


The sentiment is because people:

1) Care.

2) Feel they had wool pulled over their eyes unexpectedly.

Let's talk about the wool. MongoDB was marketed initially with stupid little benchmarks (that were later removed as a policy). Those benchmarks were what people saw, showed their bosses, colleagues and decided -- "this is the one". Yes they picked a bad tool should have RTFM, I would normally say but not for MongoDB.

They marketed themselves as a "database" while at the same time shipping with durability turned off. Yes, you can write very fast if you don't acknowledge that data has hit the disk buffers. I wasn't fooled, I saw the throughput rates and thought, something is fishy. But a lot didn't.

Most of all I have no problem with this design decision given that there is a bright red flashing warning on the front page saying what the default settings are and what it could do to your data. There wasn't.

As developers (programmers whatever you want to call it), we feel that perhaps when other developers market things aimed at us, they would be somewhat more honest than say someone selling rejuvenating magnetic bracelets at 4am in the morning on TV. I think that is where the passionate discussion comes from.


Well you could just as easily say that the old guard get upset when all their hard-earned knowledge stops being relevant, so they respond emotionally as well. But arguing about nosql is just something that happens around here...


Very true and wise. As a "mid-guard" developer, it's a fight between "get off my lawn" and "pay attention, lest you become old and irrelevant". I like noSQL, but I feel that Mongo has made some sacrifices to move to the front. Given that performance, I think plenty of new devs have sold into it, and get upset easily at challenges. Maybe they'd have a different response were they committed to Riak or CouchDB.


> Why are MongoDB advocates in such a bad mood?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome




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