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Journal chrisleonard's Journal: Heaven Help Us

I just saw a link to this on another site. This thread should be a poster child for why important databases need to be managed by people who know what they're talking about. It also demonstrates the clear and present danger that there are lots of people in the world who enjoy _sounding_ like they know what they are talking about, whether they do or not.

While there were some decent posts in the discussion, in general the whole thread was full of posts by people who (in spite of their exceeding confidence):
  • Do not understand the difference between encrypting database traffic on the wire and storing encrypted data in a database.
  • Do not understand that Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) can already do on-the-wire encryption.
  • Do not understand that if they want to use open standards to store encrypted data in Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM), they are already free to do so.
  • Do not know that Windows has an encrypting file system.
  • Do not know that, in general, it would be an exceedingly bad idea to use an encrypting file system to store database files.
  • Do not understand the features already in Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) (or the features absent from MySQL, for that matter).
  • Don't understand the new encryption features in SQL Server 2005.
  • Think that applications will have to care about those new SQL Server 2005 encryption features.
  • Do not know that it is an exceedingly bad idea to build indexes on encrypted data.
  • Do not understand why, in general, you would never encrypt all of the data in a database.
  • Still don't understand the implications of most of what I've written above.

I wish I had time to write a more constructive/instructive post, but I don't. I just couldn't believe the level of ignorance about All Things Database that was so pervasively displayed by so many people in this thread. Discussions like this are a big part of why I find myself reading slashdot discussions less and less frequently.

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now. Like I said, it wasn't everybody, but it sure seemed close. I doubt that many people will even read this, but I guess I was just looking for a place to vent. I feel better now.

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Heaven Help Us

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"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351