IBM and The Bane of Knowledge

I’ve been working on a variety of databases/programming languages/operating systems over the years and I’ve had it with IBM.

IBM doesn’t want you to learn how to use their products. Never ever have I been so frustrated at a company for making such poor product documentation. Then it dawned on me. IBM deliberately makes their documentation/website unreasonably difficult and verbose to tout their support/service business.

I don’t mind IBM hardware very much. The laptop I’m on is a Thinkpad and it works pretty well. A lot of our servers are IBM — and we haven’t had too many issues.

IBM’s software documentation is a completely different story.

Exhibit A: DB2 DECLARE STATEMENT SYNTAX

From IBM’s site:

The DECLARE VARIABLE statement defines a CCSID for a host variable and the subtype of the variable. When it appears in an application program, the DECLARE VARIABLE statement causes the DB2® precompiler to tag a host variable with a specific CCSID. When the host variable appears in an SQL statement, the DB2 precompiler places this CCSID into the structures that it generates for the SQL statement.

That didn’t help me very much. All I want to do have a stored procedure with some local variables.

From vendors that aren’t actively trying to piss me off:

* SQL Server: DECLARE
* MySQL: DECLARE

Exhibit B: Redbook “Linux Connectivity with IBM i5/OS”

This is a 100+ page document. A while ago I wrote a blog post telling anyone who needed this how to do it in about 200 words (minus the background info I provided)

Exhibit C: IBM Director 5.2: Hardware and Software Support Guide

In order to answer the question “Will this product work with our infrastructure?” you have to sift through a 50 page PDF, and oh-so-attrocious Table 6.

Table 6 is lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng:

Long table is lonnnnng.

Who cares? As long as the job gets done…right? Wrong. Solely relying on IBM makes your IT department reliant on IBM, locked-in, and intellectually crippled. Why have pay highly skilled workers if you’re just paying them to be IBM liaisons?

IBM: There’s a better way. Start by ditching the PDFs.

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Re: Is SQL Server ‘keeping up’ with MySQL?

I came across this article in my DBA readings: Is SQL Server keeping up with MySQL?

Since I’ve got experience on both sides of the fence, I’ll chime in and try to not be biased.

When did MySQL finally add stored procedures?

Version 5.0. From my experience, they are young/buggy. For instance no variables for LIMITs or default parameter values.

How about transaction support, SSIS-like capabilities, a scheduled job management system, and a relatively easy-to-use consolidated GUI management tool?

Version 4.1. The rest of the question is a bit loaded.

MySQL as a query engine has lots of nice features and performs well. You should always use the platform that will meet your needs.

Simply put, MySQL’s administration tools don’t cut it.

“LIMIT” notwithstanding, if SQL Server’s functional specs weren’t already light years beyond MySQL with SQL Server 2005, it will certainly leave them in the dust when SQL Server 2008 hits the streets.

I don’t know about light years. Especially for the query engine.

SQL Server’s query engine is still greatly ahead of MySQL and the administrative tools are light years ahead.

When you Mess with the Bull… Second Edition

Something like four years ago I had a post on here outlining some geek ownage. I’d like to point you in the direction of another good story.

Their Kung Fu Was Not Strong is a story by my co-worker that blew my freaking mind.

Money quote:

Notice to criminals: If you’re going to steal a wireless capable device, don’t steal it from the manager of the wireless network.

Read the post for full details of the ownage.

Another White Whine

I hate it when people redesign a site and it floods my RSS reader with your old posts. I’ve already read them. Enough already.

My White Whine

If you haven’t looked at White Whine you’re missing out. Very funny “white people” or first world complaints.

My white whine:

I’m pretty upset about TheDarkTower.net’s Wiki being down. I really wanted to look around after finishing the series.

P.S., Lee… I read after he told me not to. I couldn’t help it!

WTF are IE7’s Mystery Boxes in the bottom right hand corner?

The IE team gets a lot of flack from web developers because of questionable implementation with regards to existing specifications… but this just pisses me off.

mysterybox.png

Exactly what the fuck are these boxes? This is in the bottom right hand corner of your browser if you have your status bar turned on.

Mystery Meat Navigation anyone?

Here’s a full screenshot of my browser, I’ve colored in the boxes to show you where they are.

full-colored.png

Let’s get to the bottom of this…

colored-mystery.png

From left to right:

  1. No fucking clue. Right clicking doesn’t produce a context menu, single clicking doesn’t produce anything. No Tooltip on hover.
  2. Pop Up Blocker – I got to this by a single click (left or right).
  3. Manage Add-Ons – I got to this by a double click.
  4. No fucking clue. See the first item.
  5. “This type of document does not have a security certificate” – that one took a double click too.
  6. Automatic Phishing Filter – this was a menu brought up by a single left click or right click.

Apparently Microsoft doesn’t dig Nietzsche (or MySQL does)

Replication in MySQL:

MASTER / SLAVE

Replication in SQL Server:

Publishers / Subscribers