Archive | August 22, 2005

Linux Use in SMB Servers 20% and growing!

IBM’s LinuxLine free newsletter, produced by Database Trends and Applications, reports: “Linux Use Among SMB Developers Exceeds Enterprise Use“.

The use of Linux is even stronger among developers working in small and mid-sized business than those working in larger enterprises, according to a new study by Evans Data Corp. In a survey of 500 SMB developers, the market researcher found that 19 percent have Linux running on their servers the majority of the time, compared to seven percent among enterprise developers. Twenty-seven percent of the developers in the SMB community anticipate running Linux the majority of the time next year compared to 10 percent in the enterprise arena.

The numbers are higher than I would have expected, but the real kicker is the number they don’t point out: the self-predicted 30% growth year-over-year system admins are predicting in Linux adoption!

Joel disses XP, Andrew echoes

Andrew MacNeill – AKSEL Solutions points to Joel on Software – The Project Aardvark Spec with the note “Joel explains why XP isn’t the answer to everything”

I can’t tell you how strongly I believe in Big Design Up Front, which the proponents of Extreme Programming consider anathema.

That would be fine if Joel was making a fair comparison. He’s not. He’s in the camp of detractors who view eXtreme Programming (XP) as “Code Like Hell and We’ll Figure Out What The Customer Wants Later” (CLHWFOWTCWL) which is certainly a less attractive acronym and idea. Reading through the rules and practices of XP, you’ll see that Joel was following most of the tenets of XP is his analysis and design. Good XP practitioners design up front, a sufficient design necessary to begin work and work up a series of user stories just as Joel describes, identifying the overall design and likely architecture of the work before the coding begins. This is just a cheap shot, and far below Joel’s usual outstanding efforts.

Joel’s “Big Design Up Front” is a 20-page PDF espousing some general design principles, coding and naming standards, a quick text-based mockup of the user interface and an overview flow diagram. This is the perfect starting point for an XP project, but completely misses the target of “Big.” Joel’s doing some aspects of XP, he just doesn’t know it.

Managing Hierarchical Data in MySQL

On the MySQL developer’s support site, Mike Hillyar has an article on hierarchies in relational databases. “Most users at one time or another have dealt with hierarchical data in a SQL database and no doubt learned that the management of hierarchical data is not what a relational database is intended for. The tables of a relational database are not hierarchical (like XML), but are simply a flat list. Hierarchical data has a parent-child relationship that is not naturally represented in a relational database table.”

As I pointed out last week in Chris Date’s interview, it may not be intuitively obvious that flat files linked with relations are appropriate for structures like this, but in fact this is what they were made for. Relational databases excel at storing complex structures, as long as the designer understands the structure they are trying to represent. Despite a questionable start, Mike goes on to write an interesting and insightful article.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.