Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Article on ACS x Zope

Posted by Albert Langer on

[...]So regarding which environment provides a superior database abstraction, the
answer is "neither".  But the ACS per se flunks in this regard, something the
OpenACS folk bitch and moan about daily.[...]

I'm kinda tired of comments like this:

"OpenACS (and ACS) people know far more about RDBMs than most Zopers ever
    Zopers and other OO experts know far more about abstraction than most RDBM
experts ever will. "

There's an implication here that perhaps OpenACS folks don't know much about
the OO paradigm because we're RDBMS experts.

There was no "implication". There was a straight forward third sentence:

"I think you should get together on this one. It's HARD."

If I'm wrong about there being complementary skillsets that could benefit from working together on RDBM SQL data abstraction, then I'm wrong.

Taking offence at the suggestion is being "tiresome", not being "tired".

For starters, I'm no RDBMS expert.  Picked up "SQL for Smarties"
about 15 months ago, that's pretty much the extent of my expertise though I
must say I've gotten rather good at writing queries.  For seconds, I'm hardly
unaware of  OO principles and of the value of this paradigm for decomposing a
large set of problems.  The fact that I'm working on a toolkit which wasn't
designed using OO principles doesn't  mean that I'm ignorant of, or unskilled
in, that paradigm.

I also picked up Celko's book about that long ago, but haven't got good at writing queries.
Likewise I'm aware of the value of OO principles, but not a competent OO developer.
If I had both skill sets instead of neither, I would put forward a concrete proposal for a data abstraction layer. Perhaps you could do so?

Instead, all I have is sufficient appreciation of both to believe that there could be some value in projects whose primary orientation is towards one or the other, but which are both concerned with database driven web applications, working together on the specific problem of RDBMS SQL data abstraction, which seems to me to involve both, (plus sufficient arrogance to say so and not be worried about being proved wrong).

This broad hinting that those who don't necessarily buy the notion that the OO
paradigm is the best paradigm for web site development do so out of ignorance
is a cheap substitute for substance.

[AL] Bitching and moaning "daily" is not even a cheap substitute for improved database abstraction. Taking offence at other proposals for getting there has no substance.

Ben's document on data abstraction did not strike me as "bitching and moaning". But he indicated that actually implementing it is "far from simple". If you have a substantive proposal for implementing Ben's document, or some other alternative to bitching and moaning, please point me to it.