"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Future of Data

Martin Fowler writes...

If applications were more aware of version control then I think we would see more interesting things being done with it. I hope that a solid, usable, open source tool will spread the usage of version control to a wider audience - after all we are no longer short of disk space.
I have to agree, and think Subversion's support for WebDAV and API could help get there. Thinking back about a year, where I speculate...
From working on systems in a half dozen domains I have come to the conclusion there are three simple patterns we should lean on for making documents and messages persistent.
  • Tuples Spaces (think Ruple Forums) for in-progress, state machine-like transactions and collaboration.
  • Versioned document trees (think Subversion's file system) for long-lived, shared, document editing.
  • Star Schema-based storage (think Sybase IQ, a simple, low-maintenance, scalable database technology) for read-only transaction history and analysis.
I deeply believe (it is my hypothesis) that these are the only patterns you need, and the implementations going forward can become far simpler and adaptable than all of today's cruft.

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.