On 3/21/07, James Moore <jamesthepiper / gmail.com> wrote:
> On 3/20/07, Austin Ziegler <halostatue / gmail.com> wrote:
>> Data is king. Applications are pawns.
> Data is a dead fish. Applications are knowing how to fish. There are
> minor edge cases where data is more important ("feed me now or I die
> of starvation"), but in the grand scheme of things data is
> insignificant compared to the applications that produce and transform
> it.

Thank ghu I don't have to do business with you, because I wouldn't trust
your programs to work with my most important assets. I assure you that
my data is far more important than the applications which do something
with the data. The applications increase value, but they NEVER provide
value. It's the data.

* What's the most valuable thing that Amazon has? It isn't the programs;
  those are constantly updated and occasionally replaced. It's the
  customer DATA that they've amassed.
* What's the biggest worry intelligent people have about Google? It
  isn't the programs, it's the amount of DATA that Google contains about
  people.
* What have a number of commercial firms found themselves in trouble for
  in the alst eighteen months? Losing personal DATA about their
  customers.
* What do hackers and phishers want from you? Your personal DATA. They
  don't really give a damn about your programs.

Scientists are worried about losing data from older sources, not the
programs. Data, once available, can be squished and manipulated and
dealt with in many dozens of different ways -- and often MUST be.

I can work with my pictures in iPhoto or LightRoom with no problems. The
pictures are more important than which program I use to edit them. I can
play my MP3s with any of a dozen different programs; the songs are more
important than which program I use.

I reiterate: Data is king. Applications are pawns. You can squawk all
kinds of ways to next Tuesday that this isn't true or that it's "minor
edge cases", but in reality it's just the opposite -- and ALWAYS WILL
BE. The application is more important than the data in the most rare of
cases. This is where a lot of OO-heads screw up. They think that the
application is far more important than the data. This is never true. The
application is, for the most part, a footnote to the data. Businesses
don't care *that* much when they lose an application. They care
*significantly* when they lose data.

> We use relational databases as object stores because they're cheap and
> easily available, not because they're good for the task.

No, that's why we use SQL databases. The reason that we don't use object
databases is that they're not cheap, they're not easily available, and
they're disastrous for your DATA because they completely lock you into a
single view of that data. Which matters a LOT more than any pissant
little program ever will.

Please. Try a little harder next time before you try analogies that
don't hold up to even the barest of comparisons.

-austin
-- 
Austin Ziegler * halostatue / gmail.com * http://www.halostatue.ca/
               * austin / halostatue.ca * http://www.halostatue.ca/feed/
               * austin / zieglers.ca