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Comment Re:For starters... (Score 1) 670

Let me clarify - money isn't be-all measurement of effort. If it was, you are probably not putting any "effort" into the friendship either because the sums of money you spend on them relative to your income are so tiny that the corresponding figure on their part would buy nothing. Sometimes a person really struggles just to have time free from their own problems and pursuits to attend your event, for example.

Comment Re:HP/MPE had a hierarchical database, too (Score 1) 166

Yet Epic uses a single node per customer for all but a handful of its customers (Kaiser), and runs all of the customer's applications off that one server. The fact that they were able to do this was a major selling point, not a "limitation".

For Kaiser, they set up logical geographic nodes and built their own sync system to update the network of nodes on demand.

Comment Re:MUMPS is nothing special (Score 1) 166

In safety-critical systems where invalid data could kill someone, using a typeless, schema-less system with nonstandard language conventions as a starting point seems irresponsible. Why not start with a normalized relational database and a language designed to encapsulate and protect data from inadvertent data-entry or programming errors?

Because performance. Yes, Epic had to put extra work in to essentially build their own version of the SQL server black box, but now they are very difficult to compete with.

Epic doesn't use the Cache SQL API. Instead, they built an API on top of objectscript that stores fields safely. They have a staggering amount of code written in objectscript, and while it's true that "nothing will stop you" from writing directly to the underlying data oddly enough that doesn't seem to be an issue because developers can learn how to follow best practices.

Comment Re:HP/MPE had a hierarchical database, too (Score 1) 166

There is nothing a hierarchical database can do that relational databases don't do better.

That's rather absolute. It seems performance is an area that hierarchical can be better, at least in certain use cases:

http://www.intersystems.com/assets/datamart_wp-ee478edf530b40311ef506615c0da74d.pdf

Conclusion
In tests simulating a data analysis application typical for a telecommunications software firm, Caché was 41% faster than Oracle when creating a data mart of mobile phone information. When the resulting data mart was queried using SQL, Caché’s response times ranged from 1.8 to 513 times faster. Clearly, Caché’s unique multidimensional data engine make it a good choice for applications that require rapid analysis of large amounts of data.

Comment Re:MUMPS was designed for a different world (Score 1) 166

As a computer scientist, I was appalled by certain features of the language, particularly the ability to change a running program by executing a variable. That's a security nightmare, since you could effectively read a string (stored as a global or input from the console) and then execute it as MUMPS code.

Do you spend a lot of time being appalled? Many languages have this capability, including SQL and the C variants.

Comment Re:MUMPS: are you kidding? (Score 2) 166

This list isn't totally accurate and seems a bit sensationalized for the "screed" as you put it.
A variant of the XECUTE command exists in most languages.
Declarations exist as there is still the concept of "stack level", but are optional. Dynamically created variables are scoped to the current stack level.
Lines ... Well, you can put a lot on one line. But you can also write the equivalent of C# curly braces and do multi-line.
Many of the others are presented with a tone of "can you BELIEVE this shit??" but really aren't negatives.

Comment Re:MUMPS is nothing special (Score 1) 166

Your understanding of the language and Epic's environment is incorrect.

For example, you can write while loops, it has a different implementation of variable scoping (things down the call stack can access anything declared by any level above but not vice versa), of course you can sort an array (in fact, it's sorted as it's built), of course you can search the hierarchy (extremely quickly, too) and of course you can create and use discrete objects.

While Epic is built on Intersystems Cache, it does not use any feature that is not part of the ANSI language standard.

Obviously, your data conversion example is foolish. Do you really think that is an intractable problem that hasn't been solved? Do you really think that vulnerability exists in Epic's system?

Comment Re:Why? (Score 3, Interesting) 166

Agreed. I worked for Epic for many years and while M was a lot to get used to, you DO get used to it. And it is amazing for certain tasks.

Epic crushed a lot of competition by marketing a "fully integrated suite". All of the applications (there could be dozens) for a customer run off a single M database. Why wasn't the competition stronger? Many reasons, but one was because most competitors were using SQL and couldn't compete on performance.

The big limitation of M is reporting. Epic solved that by running extracts to a SQL "reporting database" and hooking up off the shelf reporting tools.

Comment Re:Hilarious! (Score 1) 220

You just said a leader's success criteria is {staying a leader} and a chemist's success criteria is {creating better chemistry}.

I think you got a little carried away with your lecture. Obviously, the success criteria for a leader is advancing his power by improving the aggregate power of the group being led. Of course bad decisions that degrade the performance of the group are failures of the leader.

Just like a chemist who accomplishes nothing but retaining his job is not a successful chemist.

Comment Re:Yeah sure (Score 1) 371

What is this post? I keep seeing it posted by different people over the last few months. Same words, maybe rearranged a little bit. An appeal to emotion to justify capital punishment without a trial. Stay classy, Calavar.

We need a new moderation option - "-1 Government Propaganda"

Comment Re:22 (Score 2) 370

Another illogical phenomenon I've seen is managers flat out stating that none of their employees should earn more than they do (indeed such a scenario is ludicrous). As if middle managing is always a harder to fill role than some ace technical person with a much-sought after skill set.

And I say that as someone who recently joined management.

The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it. -- Anthony Burgess

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