Log Buffer #1: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Jul 14, 2006 / By David Edwards

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Welcome to the inaugural Log Buffer, a Carnival of the Vanities for the DBA community. Since this is the first, the duty of hosting it falls to us, but we hope other bloggers in the community will take on future editions. Here are our favourite database-related blog articles.

Ten years ago on July 8th, the PostgreSQL project went live, and to mark this occasion, the PostgreSQL organization held an Anniversary Summit in Toronto, Canada. Robert Treat covers his two busy days there on his zillablog: day one, and day two.

He also offers some notes on Postgres under Ubuntu Linux LTS, and his round-up of Postgres news.

On Oracle on Windows. Mainly., Matt Penny writes that the detective work he has been doing since April confirms what many have been thinking: 9.2.0.8 is still nowhere in sight. So keep on patching.

An item on Pete Finnigan’s Oracle security weblog pointed us to this story from Eric Maurice, Oracle‘s Manager for Security in the Global Technology Business Unit. In The Security Vulnerability Disclosure Debate on The Oracle Global Product Security Blog, he compares ways of handling of security vulnerabilities in software. Disclosure or obscurity — what is the right approach?

Over at data manipulation for fun and profit, Adam Machanic refers to a Gartner Group study showing that the DBMSs experiencing the greatest growth in the last year, were SQL Server and the Open Source DBMSs. He suggests that if MySQL is to continue on this trend, it must compete with SQL Server’s usability.

Mike Kruckenberg covers a new database storage engine (code-named Falcon) for MySQL. It looks as though Falcon will offer an efficient addition to MySQL’s already varied assortment of engines, oriented toward Web-based applications. internetnews has this story on Falcon.

A blog about a blob. Or a BLOb, to be precise. We again go to Mike for a brief history of this datatype. Read it and tell us if you knew what Mike calls “the important thing” about BLOb history. Some of us here are humble enough to admit that we didn’t.

Archive Log

Here are some older items we thought worth mentioning.

We found three articles asking questions about the qualities of a good DBA. Howard Rogers of Dizwell Informatics believes that precision is an essential character trait in a DBA. He also throws in both a Shakespeare reference and a Monty Python one — in the same sentence no less. Bravo, Howard!

Doug Burns at Doug’s Oracle Blog suggests that open-mindedness matters, and that it can be hard to retain as a DBA gains experience. Does expertise necessarily involve entrenchment to some degree?

On the Oracle Newbies Blog, Lisa Dobson offers some advice to novice DBAs: don’t be lazy, and links to some her own newbie-guidance. (Along similar lines, Eric S. Raymond’s How To Ask Questions The Smart Way has become, on some technical forums, a popular alternative to “RTFM” and “STFW”.)

We can be assured that machines will never take over the world, according to William Robertson in Oracle WTF. He makes a very strong case using SQL as evidence.

Aficionados of human error will appreciate Tony Andrews exposé of what he deems, “(the) combination of ingenuity and insanity” in technical solutions devised by homo sapiens.

That’s all for now. Please leave your comments about anything we’ve covered here. We hope you come back to take part in Log Buffer. It’ll be published once a week on Fridays. If you want to edit and publish one yourself, have a look at About Log Buffer. (Already, Bill Thater of gruntdba has stepped up to claim the edition to be published on the 28th.) See you in a week!

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