Log Buffer #130: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Posted in: Technical Track

Welcome to the 130th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs.

Oracle Blogs

Tanel Poder began a new series on Oracle memory troubleshooting with an introduction to his heapdump analyzer script.

Richard Foote asked, is it possible to shrink a newly created index? His answer? Just.

On the Oracle DBA and Apps DBA blog, Sabdar Syed also has a question: how important is having Unix/Linux OS Knowledge for Oracle DBAs?

Tom Kyte is watching another question: what is the worse design decision that you have made? Tom’s was the EAV, or “funky data” model, and there are other confessions in the comments.

In her post Save a DB – Practice Restore Today, Chen Shapira makes note of Tom’s New Year Resolutions, particularly, “Practice restore every month”. She has on offer seven tips for the aspiring restore practicer.

SQL Server Blogs

That’s excellent advice, Chen, but where was it when JournalSpace needed it? Simon Sabin says, “Its shocking how many people don’t even do the basics of ensuring your data is protected.”

Is MDX as evil as failed backups? James Luetkehoelter has 5 Reasons why he thinks MDX is the Devil. #4: “Yet another language with its own syntactical oddities”.

Denis Gobo also treats of this problem in his post Will we need many DBAs or no DBAs at all in the future? Denis writes, “On one hand there is the ‘cloud’ which will take our precious boxes away from us and we won’t be needed to manage it anymore. On the other hand is an avalanche of technologies bundled with every release of SQL Server.”

MySQL Blogs

Giuseppe Maxia, the Data Charmer, has a Q&A on MySQL 5.1, which clears up some unanswered questions in Sheeri’s post on what’s new in 5.1.

Schlomi Noach asks, Do we need sql_mode?, beginning, “sql_mode must be one of the most [elusive] issues in setting up a MySQL database. It is also responsible for difficulties in migration, upgrading and securing of databases.” Among the comments, Brian Aker says, “sql_mode was one of the first things tossed in Drizzle. It was a horrible idea to begin with and it just kept making everything worse.”

Here’s Kaj Arno looking back at his travels in 2008, with some assistance from a database-backed application, Dopplr. Mike Kruckenberg writes about his upcoming trip to Ireland, using a database-backed application, Google Maps, for vacation planning. Oh, and here’s an item from Newsweek’s Budget Travel’s Blog on the US’s Homeland Security’s files on travelers, which you may be sure, are stored in databases. This is the business we’re in. It’s worth thinking about this stuff from time to time.

PostgreSQL Blogs

On tending the garden, Selena Deckelmann issues the following exhortation: What are you waiting for? Get your PgCon talks in now! Hey, it’s right here in Ottawa—you could drop by Pythian HQ while you’re here. Selena writes, “Ottawa was beautiful last year, and I can’t wait to go back this May!”

Josh Berkus has the second part of his series on writing maintainable queries, to which Hubert Lubaciewski and his readers add their points of view on select * from depesz;.

That’s all. Sorry, everyone, for being so late this week. Please leave your favourite blogs from this week in the comments, or send me an email if you’d like to publish an edition of Log Buffer yourself. Till next time!

Want to talk with an expert? Schedule a call with our team to get the conversation started.

About the Author

Dave Edwards is the Communications Specialist for the Pythian Group.

4 Comments. Leave new


Thanks for fixing my typo! Learned today the difference between elusive and illusive…:)




When sql_mode was decided on we were at a meeting in Germany with the SapDB team. It was Ann Harrison, Paul from Firebrird, myself, the SapDB team and a few others complaining loudly that this was a lousy idea.

There is no way to do sql_mode right, and it is built on a set of half truths about compatibilities.

It there were a set of pillars that made up the foundation of why Drizzle exists, this would be one of them.

If you are using MySQL, you should set the mode to “strict” and make sure you do it religiously on all of your databases.


Craig S. Mullins
January 9, 2009 5:37 pm

Hey, why no DB2 news?

David Edwards
January 12, 2009 2:53 pm

Hi Craig,

You caught me red-handed. I had to scramble for this one, so I made some merciless (and arbitrary) cuts from my candidate items. Mea culpa. I’ll try to make up for it this week.

What would really do justice to all the DB2 stuff out there is a DB2-hip blogger doing an edition. Let’s see here, where can one be ? . . .


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *