Richard Bucker

mnesia sucks - give me SQL any day!

Posted at — Apr 14, 2012

I started programing SQL some 15 years ago. I do not particularly like it because it reminds me of COBOL and I most certainly do not like it either. But that was yesterday’s news.In recent weeks I have had this notion that well written code is better than well written documentation and poorly written code. That said I can see the value in the “values” presented by COBOL. Sadly, SQL is not as expressive, however, it’s syntax reads a lot better than the existing query syntax for the likes of Riak, MongoDB, Mnesia, Cassandra (although Cassandra is trying to address that).The missing link is that there are no REALĀ tools for administer these databases or applications. And at the extreme end Mnesia demands that the administrator write their own scripts to manage the database. (The so called emacs-IDE for erlang is not the answer and never will be)As a demonstration of this frustration I posted a question on StackOverflow. It’s a long and involved question but it clearly demonstrates that administering an erlang application and a mnesia database cannot be performed by a standard DBA or SYSADMIN. It requires highly paid and highly skilled programmers. It’s the sort of thing that cannot and will not scale in an enterprise.Until this changes I will not have much use for erlang. But keep this message in mind when you start your next project. If people/administrators who are paid to manage your application do not have to tools they need to detect and resolve production problems then you have not performed well for your client or employer or profession.PS: If anyone can answer my question I’d appreciate that.