FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cupcake Wars at NoCOUG Spring Conference on May 15 at UCSC Extension Silicon Valley
SILICON VALLEY (APRIL 1, 2014) – In a bold experiment aimed at increasing attendance at its awesome educational conferences, the Northern California Oracle Users Group (NoCOUG) is considering changing the format of its spring conference to that of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.”
Distinguished Oracle Product Manager Bryn Llewellyn will lead the PL/SQL team, OraPub founder Craig Shallahamer will lead the DBA team, Hadoop maven Gwen Shapira will lead the Big Data team, and Database Specialists Director of Managed Services Terry Sutton will lead the RAC team. NoCOUG president Hanan Hit will stride from one room to another shouting “TEN MINUTES, BAKERS! YOU HAVE TEN MINUTES LEFT!
“NoCOUG has been serving the Oracle community for 28 years but our conferences are best known for their awesome educational content. We want our conferences to also be a place where people can come together on a social level” said NoCOUG president Hanan Hit when asked for comment.
Registration for the spring conference is now open. Click here to view the complete agenda and register.
Also in today’s news:
- Want to make easy money? “Airbrb,” based on the apartment-renting app Airbnb, lets you rent out your office desk while you hang out at the water cooler or take a bio break.
- Convert any website into emoticon characters: Google now lets you emojify the web.
See also : No! to SQL and No! to NoSQL
The inventor of the relational model, Dr. Edgar “Ted” Codd believed that the suppression of physical database design details was the chief advantage of the relational model. He made the case in the very first sentence of the very first paper on the relational model saying “Future users of large data banks must be protected from having to know how the data is organized in the machine (the internal representation).” (“A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks,” reprinted with permission in the 100th issue of the NoCOUG Journal.)
How likely is it that application developers will develop highly performant and scalable applications if they are shielded from the internal representation of data? The de-emphasis of physical database design was the biggest mistake of the relational camp and provided the opening for NoSQL and Big Data technologies to proliferate.
A case in point is that the language SQL which is universally used by application developers was not created with them in mind. As explained by the creators of SQL (originally called SEQUEL) in their 1974 paper, there is “a large class of users who, while they are not computer specialists, would be willing to learn to interact with a computer in a reasonably high-level, non-procedural query language. Examples of such users are accountants, engineers, architects, and urban planners [emphasis added]. It is for this class of users that SEQUEL is intended. For this reason, SEQUEL emphasizes simple data structures and operations [emphasis added].” (http://faculty.cs.tamu.edu/yurttas/PL/DBL/docs/sequel-1974.pdf)
If you were the manager of a bookstore, how would you stock the shelves? Would you stand at the door and fling books onto any shelf that had some free space, perhaps recording their locations in a notebook for future reference. Of course not! And would you scatter related books all over the bookstore? Of course not! Then why do we store rows of data in random fashion? The default Oracle table storage structure is the unorganized heap and it is chosen 99.9% of the time.
The de-emphasis of physical database design was an epic failure in the long run. Esther Dyson referred to the “join penalty” when she complained that “Using tables to store objects is like driving your car home and then disassembling it to put it in the garage. It can be assembled again in the morning, but one eventually asks whether this is the most efficient way to park a car.” 
It doesn’t have to be that way. Oracle Database has always provided a way to cluster rows of data from one or more tables using single-table or multi-table clusters in hashed or indexed flavors and thus to completely avoid the join penalty that Esther Dyson complained about. However, they must be the longest and best kept secret of Oracle Database—as suggested by their near-zero adoption rate—and have not been emulated by any other DBMS vendor. You can read more about them at http://iggyfernandez.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/no-to-sql-and-no-to-nosql/.
It doesn’t have to be that way. But it is.
1. Esther Dyson was the editor of a newsletter called Release 1.0. I’ve been unable to find the statement in the Release 1.0 archives at http://www.sbw.org/release1.0/ so I don’t really know the true source or author of the statement. However, the statement is popularly attributed to Esther Dyson and claimed to have been published in the Release 1.0 newsletter. I found a claim that the statement is found in the September 1988 issue but that didn’t pan out.
See also : No! to SQL and No! to NoSQL
Solve the Oracle Database murder mystery and win a free ticket for yourself and a friend to the NoCOUG conference
You may remember this children’s song from kindergarten or you can listen to this YouTube video:
“Ten green bottles hanging on the wall
Ten green bottles hanging on the wall
And if one green bottle should accidentally fall
There’ll be nine green bottles hanging on the wall.”
In this Oracle Database murder mystery, there were no green bottles left hanging on the wall after the first bottle fell. Send your solution to firstname.lastname@example.org and receive a free ticket for yourself and a friend to the NoCOUG conference on Thursday, August 15 featuring performance guru Craig Shallahamer, a full track of Oracle Database 12c presentations, and alternative technology presentations on MySQL, NoSQL, and Big Data. Click here to review the detailed agenda.
It was a beautiful spring day. Popcorn was popping on the apricot tree. What does this have to do with databases? Nothing, but I’m trying to write a novel!
As I said, it was a beautiful Wednesday morning in spring. The time was exactly 9:12:00 AM PST. A database user noticed that her favorite database was down and called her favorite DBA—let’s call him Jack—for help.
For the record, I am not related to Jack.
Young Jack jumped to it and restarted the database lickety-split. Then disaster struck! The nine other databases on that database server—a Linux box with NetApp storage—crashed like bowling pins!
An unseen hand restarted all the databases immediately but the damage was done. Jack was dragged to the DBA interrogation chamber—the DBA manager’s office—and made to sit on the hot seat.
It was a sunny day and the sun was streaming in through the plate glass windows, which explains why the seat was so hot. Besides, the air-conditioning was not working that day.
“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE,” bellowed the furious DBA manager. “I was only trying to help,” said poor Jack.
“HELP!? DO YOU CALL THAT HELPING!?” bellowed the furious DBA manager. The database alert logs were examined. The first database log showed that someone had used the command “STARTUP FORCE” at precisely 9:12:00 AM PST.
“DID YOU DO THAT!? DID YOU DO THAT!?” bellowed the furious DBA manager. “Yes, I did that,” said poor Jack, “but I was only trying to help.”
A single tear slowly streamed down young Jack’s cheek.
“HELP!? DO YOU CALL THAT HELPING!?” bellowed the furious DBA manager, unmoved by Jack’s obvious distress. The remaining database alert logs were examined. Each of them showed that someone had used the command “SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE” followed by “STARTUP” right after the first database was restarted by Jack. “DID YOU DO THAT!? DID YOU DO THAT!?” bellowed the furious DBA manager.
“I didn’t do any of that,” said poor Jack.
If you believe Jack’s protestations of innocence, figure out how and why nine databases were mysteriously stopped and restarted. Send your solution to email@example.com and receive a free ticket for yourself and your friend to the summer conference on Thursday, August 15 at Chevron in San Ramon. RSVP here.
P.S. For more than 25 years, NoCOUG has helped Oracle professionals like you continuously improve and enhance your skill sets through our conferences and Journal. Our conferences are held on the third Thursday of February (winter conference), May (spring conference), August (summer conference), and November (fall conference) and are filled with practical and cutting-edge content for application developers as well as database administrators. Please help spread the word about NoCOUG by forwarding this message to your friends and colleagues. They can join our email list at http://www.nocoug.org/.
This colleague of Dr. Edgar “Ted” Codd was featured in the latest NoCOUG Journal