Re: "Perl is the duct tape of the Internet" and other musings

Sundar Narasimhan (
Sat, 11 Jul 1998 14:10:02 -0400

It is curious, though, that free databases are less common than, say,
free web servers. I think it's because most hackers think databases
are kind of boring - who'd want to spend so much time creating a
database program?
Nah. The real reason is that not many universities teach about
databases and "production computer science". You'd be surprised how
many candidates for a job at our company flunk the "what's an 'outer
join'" question or struggle to use order/group by's correctly.

Academic database researchers have a history of barking up wrong
trees. If I were at gnu I'd urge someone write a query plan
optimizer. Without the foundations all you'll have are b-tree file
space hacks.

And don't get me wrong -- when I graduated, I thought databases were
really slightly-smarter-hashtables too :).