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choice of DB (was: Re: I'll help with db debugging)

From: Greg Stein <gstein_at_lyra.org>
Date: 2001-04-03 09:09:00 CEST

On Mon, Apr 02, 2001 at 08:42:05PM -0400, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> As Donald Knuth said "Premature optimization is the root of all evil."
> Binary formats are almost always premature optimization -- they sacrifice
> debuggability (and, hence, development time) for performance gains that
> are usually marginal. They should be used sparingly, and usually only
> as automatically-regenerated caches or fast indexes for text masters.

In this case, it isn't a premature optimization. We know that data access
will be a large issue. Second, the choice of binary vs text was independent
of our main decision point: programmer productivity. Why implement a (text)
database, when we already have a database ready and waiting for us?

I'll take DB any day if it means we can deliver a working system faster than
if we had to roll our own. I'll also take it if we can have more confidence
in our end result. If somebody asks me about DB-inspired data corruption,
I'll laugh. If we rolled our own, I'd be very concerned, for a long while.
If we rolled our own, we'd definitely need text because there'd be all kinds
of problems in it that we'd need to find.


Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/
Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:27 2006

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