Why database modules are incomplete

Edward Wilson web2ed at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 10 17:19:36 CEST 2001


The way I see it, nobody is going to use a module "trial and error" in
the workplace, especially if they suspect it may be incomplete.  They
are going to use a proven module, or hack one up in their shop's
native tounge.

What would be constructive for Python would be for others to donaite
ther time to testing your work just as you donante your time writing
extensions in the first place.  This gets at the "Workgroup"
mentality/approach I have been talking about.  In other words, it's
not enough for you, working alone to produce a great Sybase extension.
 Rather, those of us who hope to use your module should be willing to
help build it, lending our time as testers.  My personal feeling is
that if ten or twenty folks would jump in and help you out, in a year
(working part-time) Python could have a diamond hardened Sybase
module.  If the same were done with Oracle, SQL Server, and DB2,
Python too could have a serious killer app in the way of db
accessibility.  Python is way cooler than PL/SQL or any other language
used for writing db apps for that matter.

For me being a developer, rarely have I noticed something amazing
produced by a man or woman working alone.  It has been my experience
that most great software is the product of a group's effort.  From
Managers/Leaders/Architects to QA and everything in between--a team is
always better than the one man band variety, especially in the
freeware space where everyone works 20 minutes a day on their pet
project.  (Sure, I know, myself included, we all have soloed some
great code.) Python has had no trouble assembling teams to improve the
langugage, the interpretor, the built-in data-structures ... etc ...
but from the looks of it, Python has hit the wall in duplicating the
same *team* focus/approach in building extension modules.


Dave Cole <djc at object-craft.com.au> wrote in message news:<m3k81h1u3d.fsf_-_ at vole.object-craft.com.au>...
> >>>>> "Paul" == Paul Boddie <paul at boddie.net> writes:
> Paul> That's not to say that one doesn't have a certain feeling of
> Paul> unease when evaluating Python modules for serious database use,
> Paul> however. It does seem like a reflection of the open source
> Paul> community at large when there are lots of seemingly incomplete
> Paul> modules covering certain narrow, fashionable areas, and few
> Paul> modules covering other areas.
> Boy, would I ever like to be able to complete my modules...
> The problem with producing free software is that you can only dedicate
> so much time to it before the consulting business goes belly-up.  It
> would make my year if someone who used one of my modules approached me
> and said that they would sponsor some development on it.
> In the absence of such a sponsor, I am limited to my spare time (such
> as it is) - the rest of my time goes into making sure that I do not
> lose my business, house, car, family, ...
> Paul> I mean no offence to any database module author when I use the
> Paul> term "incomplete"; my definition of "completeness" may differ
> Paul> from that of any given developer in this case, and presumably
> Paul> most database authors are satisfied with what they have
> Paul> written. Moreover, I wouldn't like to make any criticism of the
> Paul> reliablity of any module without having seen it first. I
> Paul> sometimes get concerned that serious commercial users are likely
> Paul> to have views on issues of functionality and reliability even
> Paul> more extreme than my own, however.
> If the module is almost good enough surely you should be entering a
> discussion with the module author to work out how it can be made good
> enough.
> In my case, I can always dedicate spare time for development, so while
> funding would be nice, it is not essential.  What is more important is
> to be able to find people who are willing to exercise the module in
> their environment and work with me to resolve problems.
> In the entire history of the Sybase module(s) I have developed, I have
> only been contacted by four people who experienced a usage problem
> with the module.  There are two possible interpretations to that:
> 1- I write awesome code which has only the most obscure bugs.
> 2- People who experience problems do not bother contacting me.
> Although it would be nice to think that option 1 is true, I suspect
> that option 2 is closer to the truth.
> Paul> However, if you are referring to a standard API for databases,
> Paul> then one already exists. Unfortunately, most modules aren't
> Paul> compliant with the most recent version of that API as far as I
> Paul> can tell.
> Time or money is the solution to this in my case.
> - Dave

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