[xquery-talk] [xml-dev] Mistakes made in the design of XQuery 3.1

Ihe Onwuka ihe.onwuka at gmail.com
Fri May 29 01:34:16 PDT 2015

On Fri, May 29, 2015 at 1:55 AM, daniela florescu <dflorescu at me.com> wrote:

> How about starting tomorrow we allow random people from the street,
> without any medical qualifications, to start
> doing heart surgery at the Stanford Medical School !???
> Or we allow anybody from the street, without any architectural or
> structural mechanics qualifications to start building bridges in San
> Francisco !?
> Or tomorrow I'll show up at the San Francisco airport and tell them that
> I'm the one piloting the plane to New York !?
> ===========
> Bottom line...only in software such an aberration is tolerated.....
Because unlike in the other instances the true effect of software designed
by amateurs  lies latent and is usually neither  immediately nor outwardly

Tolerated is the wrong word. The entire industry has coalesced around
technologies and methodologies designed to enable the amateur coder to
write professional software and these are the people  that determine the
fate of your engineering solution and what tools and methods you are going
to have to work with. Look  at the recent changes in MarkLogic and you can
clearly see where they try to cater to that demographic. Or look at Apache
Spark - built in Scala - do you think their support for Scala emanates from
engineering considerations.

So then you have an environment in which it is more important to know how
to use these tools and methods than it is to have a fundamental
understanding of what it is you are doing. As an example (he says
deliberately avoiding ones close to home), look at Data Science. Industry
is such that it is more important to know how to program in R than it is to
have a basic understanding of Statistics, but the nature of the output they
produce is such that the effects of such practices will remain camouflaged
for a long time to come (or until the UK has another general election). R
in particular is one to watch, because of all the hype you have a
confluence of people who know little about Statistics and even less about

I could go on..... the reality is that today people today want to query
 semi-structured data in Javascript, Python and R and you can't look to
their management because  this is the first generation that grew up with
 managers that did not have a computer science or engineering background.

So sadly Daniela, politics and populism trump engineering and not enough
lives are at risk in what we do for that to ever change. The choice is to
come to terms with it, go back to research or find something else to do.

> Dana
> On May 28, 2015, at 10:29 PM, Ihe Onwuka <ihe.onwuka at gmail.com> wrote:
> But you are not producing solutions for other engineers.
> If you tell a developer with zero engineering qualifications their design
> is structurally flawed or that they are using the wrong tools they (or
> their boss) will turn around and tell you  that there are several ways of
> doing things and theirs is equally valid...... and that's if they are being
> polite.
> Then a couple of epochs and a failed project later they will get feted for
> writing a blog about how you shouldn't use what they used or shouldn't do
> what they did. Most probably said blog will focus on the effects of what
> they did because they probably still don't understand the cause.
> On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 5:43 PM, daniela florescu <dflorescu at me.com>
> wrote:
>> It proves that when it comes to IT you can put lipstick on a pig. If you
>> were trying to name the language today JShit would probably market test
>> better than XQuery.
>> That’s why I’m so tired of the database “science” and the database
>> “scientific” community, and I run away to 3D and Augmented reality — which
>> is at the beginning,
>> nobody makes billions (yet) and there is still some love of technology,
>> some honesty and integrity, and deep, serious enthusiasm.  There is still
>> some innocence...
>> Right now the “database market” is just lipstick on a (VERY LARGE) pig.
>> Lots of money spent on marketing scream, and unfortunately developers flock
>> like sheep
>>  towards the ones who scream the most, without any clue of “why”.
>> Yet we have no clue why a solution is better then other, no benchmarks,
>> just hacky solutions, or temporary solutions which will disappear in 5-10
>> years, etc.
>> Maybe it's because of your abhorrence of stupidity you tend not to stick
>> around long enough to witness just how stupid some people are.
>> Well, I am VERY patient when I want to.... I did stay with the XML
>> community since 1997, despite my deep dislike for processing
>> instructions... :-)
>> But I see my role as an engineer to build good engineering solutions, not
>> to increase the IQ of the general population. That’s not my job.
>> Best regards
>> Dana
>> _______________________________________________
> talk at x-query.com
> http://x-query.com/mailman/listinfo/talk
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