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Databases Programming Math

SQL and NoSQL are Two Sides of the Same Coin 259

An anonymous reader writes "NoSQL databases have become a hot topic with their promise to solve the problem of distilling valuable information and business insight from big data in a scalable and programmer-friendly way. Microsoft researchers Erik Meijer and Gavin Bierman ... present a mathematical model and standardized query language that could be used to unify SQL and NoSQL data models." Unify is not quite correct; the article shows that relational SQL and key-value NoSQL models are mathematically dual, and provides a monadic query language for what they have coined coSQL.
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SQL and NoSQL are Two Sides of the Same Coin

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  • by 0p7imu5_P2im3 ( 973979 ) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @05:51PM (#35750874) Journal
    An inverse tachyon pulse would disperse the relational quantum silica into a focused warp field, thus purging all forms of slipstream space based SQL databases from subspace.
  • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @05:56PM (#35750926) Homepage that SQL sucks as a language. It's not terribly expressive, the ordering of arguments is inconsistent, and whoever designed the way JOIN works should be in jail.

    Frankly, I'd like to see SQL die and get replaced with something more modern. We don't program in Cobol anymore, so why the hell are we still using SQL?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2011 @06:05PM (#35750980)

    so why the hell are we still using SQL?

    Why are we still using C? Why are we still using HTML? Why are we still using FORTRAN (in the scientific community)? Same reason.

    Might add that all these - C, HTML and FORTRAN - are still being updated, with new standards. So is SQL. It's really the same thing, and they all stick around for the same reasons, too.

  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @06:10PM (#35751024)

    We DO still program in COBOL.
    And we DO still use SQL.
    And we do so because it works.

    Not only does SQL work, it is the best at what it does.

    The only people who hate on SQL are the people who don't understand databases.
    Generally, these are the same people who like labels, tag clouds and ruby on rails.
    They produce a lot of high level hand waving with regards to the actual code and endless amounts of "herp derp I dunno" when asked why their shit performs slower than the 10 year old system it's supposed to replace. These are bad people.

    What really pisses me off is that everyone fucking agreed with me until Android came out, then suddenly Java was cool, the performance was considered "good", and the quality of code and coders that it tends to bring about is now the acceptable norm.

  • by garyebickford ( 222422 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (cib73rag)> on Thursday April 07, 2011 @06:12PM (#35751050)

    Actually COBOL predates SQL by about 10 years. AFAIK nobody has written a language that implements the relational query model to replace SQL. And (though I have never written anything in COBOL he says thankfully) COBOL has its place even today. I would not be surprised if there are as many lines of COBOL still running in enterprises everywhere as there are of PHP or Perl in those same enterprises.

    And COBOL even now is without question a better solution for business and application programming than C ever was or ever will be. (Of course it's arguable that there are other languages better for those tasks than COBOL as well.) C is good for device drivers, kernels and as a target for interpreted and scripting languages with compiled code generators. C is, as Kernighan, Ritchie or Thompson (I forget which) said, "a structured PDP-11 Macro-assembler". Today (putting my Nomex suit on...) IMHO application programmers should not be wasting their time coping with segfaults and compile-link cycles. Their time is worth more than the machine time that any cycle-saving difference. :)

  • Re:not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @06:25PM (#35751164) Journal

    To my mind, SQL's biggest problem over the years has been really shitty implementations (and yeah, I'm looking at you, MySQL).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2011 @06:31PM (#35751228)

    I really like NoSQL. It's a great tool to use when deciding whether I should hire a given software developer, or whether I should move on to the next candidate. All I have to do is ask the person what he thinks about NoSQL. If he gives a positive response, I send him on his way. If he points out its many flaws, I'm often tempted to hire him instantly. After all, those who dislike NoSQL the most generally know how to write good SQL queries, and they know how to use relational databases properly. They're the kind of people I want to hire, even if the position doesn't involve databases much. It just goes to show that they care about quality, that they care about knowing how to use their technology well, and that they care about doing the job properly.

  • There are a few things with SQL that could be done better, and there's still some standardization needed. I'd like to see a SQL 2012 standard or something.

    But you're entirely right. There is one place nosql makes sense, and it's gigantic data stores like facebook and google, where the quantity is overwhelming, and the quality isn't that's okay miss a few things, and you're looking for sorta-random stuff. That is why NoSQL was invented.

    No one should ever 'choose' to use NoSQL...if you're on the size of a project that needs NoSQL, I promise you you are nowhere near that will be decided between the seven project architects as they buy thirty servers to run the damn thing. That's the guys who have a legit need, or at least it's a legit option, of using NoSQL.

    It's not useful for any other system in existence.

    It's especially funny when toy projects try to use NoSQL. It's like idiots trying to run their watches off geothermal power. 'It's free power! FROM THE EARTH!'

    Dude, you're using half an amp, perhaps you should learn how to use a watch battery instead of driving 2 mile polls into the ground as you walk around. It's not like SQL is fucking rocket science. In fact, right now, NoSQL is actually more complicated to use.

  • Endless debate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alex67500 ( 1609333 ) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @06:44PM (#35751350)

    There are only 2 types of languages:
    - those people bitch about, and
    - those no one ever used

  • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @06:47PM (#35751398)
    It's not painful. It's just different than what web developers doing "select *" are used to. As a system, it works well for tiny projects, all the way to the largest databases in the world. In the world of "develop it now, deal with problems later", people just can't be bothered to learning the right way to do something.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay