Apparent vs. actual data integrity
Jan 25, 2009 / By Sheeri Cabral
I realized tonight exactly why MySQL’s default behavior of silent truncation bothers me.
It reminds me of people who use a ticketing system and close every ticket as soon as they are done working on the issue instead of actually asking the other party if they are satisfied, because closing more tickets make it look like they’re doing more work.
It reminds me of workers at fast food restaurants who hit the button to make the order disappear as if they have already served me my food, because then their throughput times are faster.
Similarly, with MySQL’s default behavior of silent truncation, it’s as if the database server is saying “the fewer database errors raised, the better.” As in the previous two examples, the metrics do not matter if the quality of service is poor — particularly when the quality of service is poor specifically *because* people are trying to meet the metrics instead of the actual goal — customer satisfaction.
While it’s true that the goal is fewer database errors, the idea is to have fewer errors because there are fewer problems — not because the problems are not being reported!!!
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