Michael Stonebraker on database access

Michael Stonebraker, in a recent interview in ACM Queue:

If you look at how you talk to databases right now, you use ODBC and JDBC, embedded in your favorite language. Those are the worst interfaces on the planet. I mean, they are so ugly, you wouldn’t wish them on your worst enemy.

C++ and C# are really big, hard languages with all kinds of stuff in them. I’m a huge fan of little languages, such as PHP and Python.

Look at a language such as Ruby on Rails. It has been extended to have database capabilities built into the language. You don’t make a call out to SQL; you say, “for E in employee do” and language constructs and variables are used for database access. It makes for a much easier programming job.

A great interview, worth reading for his thoughts on innovation, disruptive technology, and the “elephants.”

Now, we just need to convert him to REST for data access.


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