Sunday, April 11, 2010

The benefits of walking around—both literally and virtually

The other day I was talking to a couple of people about non-relational databases. I remembered that some time ago (more than 6 months but less than a year) I had come across a non-relational database that I thought was very interesting. But I couldn't remember its name. I promised to see if I could find it and send a pointer.

In the course of our conversation one of the people I was talking to noted that there is a movement now that supports development of non-relational databases. It refers to itself as No SQL.

When I got back to my computer I did a search for "NoSQL." (Actually I first searched for "No SQL", which worked fine, but the proper search is for NoSQL.)

The first two results of that search, Wikipedia/s NoSQL page and N*SQL, both had links to Neo4J, the database system I recognized as the one I had looked at earlier. (The third, fourth, and fifth results were sites that criticize NoSQL databases and the NoSQL movement.)

I sent the links to my friends and learned something myself, namely that there is now a community of non-sql database developers and users and that it's name is NoSQL.

Had I not been walking around, that wouldn't have happened.

The Web is obviously a way to encounter this sort of accidental but useful information virtually. Simply by browsing blogs, etc. one just runs into interesting pieces of information.

Of course remembering that one had run into them is another thing. But I remembered enough about Neo4J to find it again when needed. So that sort of information is generally not completely lost.

P.S. Stew, if you're listening, Aerospace should have a blogging capability that is as easy for everyone to use and to monitor as the rest of the web does. This is one of the potential benefits.

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