Friday, January 27, 2006

Laughing at Homeland Security

Do you laugh at the Department of Homeland Security? What about NASA? Or the US Census Bureau? Or maybe you giggle at the Associated Press.

Lee Asher, who claims to be an "expert author" says that the industry does in his article published on WebPro News.

I don't know how I missed the contents of the post at the first glance, but nonetheless, a recent post by Jay Pipes sent blood rushing through my veins when he introduced to me what I would like to term "the dumbest article on the face of the planet."

This article tells me in just a glance that it has to have been written by some incompetent writer, who surprisingly calls himself an "expert."

"MySQL is the most common database software for small websites, but is laughed at in the rest of the industry. It's fine for simple insertion and retrieval of data, but if you start trying to do anything more advanced with it, you're going to start running into problems."
No seriously folks, if there was an Oscar for the dumbest article ever written (and published) in the last hundred years, I would have nominated Lee Asher to be awarded it (and heavily campaigned for him too so I could ensure that he would win).

So basic-Lee (pun intended), he claims that professional database administrators worldwide laugh at the following companies:

Genome Sciences Center (GSC)
The Institute for Genomic Research
French Ministry of Defense
Los Alamos National Laboratory
CERN (Two PetaBytes of Data Generated Per Second)
University of California, Berkeley
University of Texas
City of New York
Department of Homeland Security
Government Open Code Collaborative (GOCC)
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL)
State of Illinois
State of Michigan
State of Minnesota
State of New York
State of Rhode Island
U.S. Census Bureau
Toyota France and Toyota South Africa
Associated Press
BBC Technology
Chicago Sun-Times
CNET Networks
The Weather Channel (
Sega Europe Ltd
Sony International (Europe)
Texas Instruments
Xerox Research Centre Europe
AT&T Wireless
British Telecommunications plc
Cable & Wireless
Cisco Systems
France Telecom
Nortel Networks
Continental Airlines
Sabre Holdings
(Source: MySQL Customers List)

Mr. Ashler, ever heard of these companies? Maybe you haven't, because you were too busy writing this article all alone in a dark room.

If you have a relative in the US, Britian or France, you are using the products and services of one of the companies above, assuming you talk with them over the phone. Heck our government is using MySQL.

Ever had your mail delivered by the UPS? Well too bad, they use MySQL too.

I mean how could WebPro News let this joke of an article be published? It would have been okay to publish this on April fool's day but when I last checked the calendar it was January. I have never seen an unsubstantiated and utterly false article on WebPro News.

Sadly, it substantially weakens the credibility of WebPro News in my eyes. What kind of "Pros" are they talking about and more importantly, what kind of "Pros" are they publishing and falsely labelling "Expert Authors"?

Well, I can imagine the kind of Pros, like Lee, who blame the software, without doing their research (as fellow bloggers have been pointing out), just because they don't have the brains to learn how to use it. Ridiculous.

Serious-Lee now did you outsource it on RentACoder for $5 or did you write it yourself? I hope you answer this question by saying:

"Oops I outsourced it and someone with no brains and no experience with MySQL wrote it. On top of that, I didn't even proofread it. My apologies to the MySQL community for making false statements about MySQL, the database software of choice where results matter."
In my five years of DBA experience with MySQL, I have never come across a project for which I have said that I needed to look for another database. I'm sure the professional DBAs of the above mentioned companies who have been using MySQL successfully for years will agree with me. Lee, your post is angering DBAs worldwide.

Even if you didn't actually have any knowledge of MySQL's workings, features and community, a little research would have opened your eyes to the truth. Heck, even NASA uses MySQL. Maybe you think the database activities performed at NASA aren't advanced enough. In which world are you living Lee?

Credibility is hard earned and you lost it before you even earned it. I wonder how many people are going to read your writing in the future and believe you. You cried "Wolf!" for no reason.

Everyone knows you should research both sides of an issue. Preparing an article by researching old documents doesn't qualify you as an expert. More like a student writer who didn't do his homework.

So Mr. Lee, let me tell you what I have done using MySQL in the past five years, before MySQL had stored procedures, views, and triggers.

1. Multiple Domain Management Software: I made a software using MySQL that manages an arbitarily large list of (talk in thousands) domain names across multiple heterogeneous servers. The system is capable of automating slave implementations of software based on a master implementation.

2. A generic database systems management and publishing system.

3. A Web 2.0 style resource sharing system for organizing information online.

4. A network of blogs deployed across multiple domains but managed by a single application with MySQL as the backend database.

5. An online news network using MySQL

6. An online shopping network using MySQL

7. A fully automated multiple E-commerce store management system with MySQL as the backend database.

8. An automated watermarking system to protect against intellectual property theft of copyrighted images, again using MySQL

The list goes on and on...

Mr. Asher, now that you know about what I alone have accomplished using MySQL, my questions to you are:

  • What have you done using MySQL?
  • On what grounds did you say what you said?
  • Do you really understand MySQL or were you just reading old specs and spewing fabricated information?
If you can't answer these questions, I would assume you are full of bologny.

In my professional opinion, shared by hundreds of thousands of other MySQL DBAs, there has never been another database like MySQL.

Putting the interests of my clients before me, I would never recommend any other database software.

I hope you can feel the flames of MySQL DBAs and MySQL lovers worldwide. Sorry, you asked for it.

Frank Mash

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Unknown said...

It looks like webpronews has removed the "expert" article from their site. The link's giving a 404 error now.

ppk said...