Hostility Directed At Prevayler Monday, December 27, 2004

Prevayler seems to be getting a lot of blog attention all of a sudden. I don't know what kicked off the spike in attention, but something seems to have done just that.

Prevayler is yet another framework for POJO persistence. What makes Prevayler unique is the fact that it takes an approach that your entire data model is in memory all of the time. Because it is always reading from RAM, performance benefits are touted as high as 9000 times faster than Oracle and 3000 times faster than MySQL (I won't go into all of the details behind those numbers, see their site for more details). One of the costs of this approach is directly related to RAM limitations. If everything is loaded into RAM all of the time then the amount of RAM is an obvious potential road block.

Some of the blogging rants I have seen go to great lengths to elaborate on the flaws of this approach. This guy rants with some hostility for several pages about Prevayler's shortcomings while this guy seems to take a more calm pragmattic look. Some of the attacks I have read are really pointed at the idea that Prevayler is a ridiculous idea that could never replace our relational databases. I don't think Prevayler is proposing that they are really a threat to Oracle or any other DB vendor. I think they are proposing a solution that makes sense for some systems but not all. I don't know if they are right or not, but I think that is what they are proposing.

I am not a Prevayler proponent and I am not taking a position to defend Prevayler. I have played around with their tool a little and it is interesting but I am really not a Prevayler evangalist. What I find interesting about the attacks on Prevayler is that a lot of them seem to be very passionate and fired up. If Prevayler was really a totally insane ridiculous idea I don't think anyone would even pay attention. Maybe this is just another manifestation of the idea of how emotionally connected Enterprises (that means people) get to their databases and even the idea that it might not be right is enough to launch the missiles.


Jeff Brown said...

After reading this post, Klaus Wuestefeld (one of the main guys behind Prevayler) sent me an email in which he quoted Gahdhi as having said the following...

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you,
then you win."

Jeff Brown said...

That of course was a quote from Gandhi, not Gahdhi... ;)

Anonymous said...

Gandhi was a humble man. read the prevayler pages, claiming they can replace enterprise persistence mechanisms with this tool is not only far from humbleness, it is ridiculous. What are those sentences of being thousands of faster etc. this is the reaction you deserve. that "guy" (pyrasun) who bashes prevayler is right, and he prooves it by a very detailed code analysis.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, perhaps you should see my second blog entry on the subject of Prevayler:

Klaus and other Prevayler advocates get a great deal of criticism because they go out of their way to trumpet their software in many venues, and they make plainly _false_ assertions.

You see, it's not that I'm attached to my enterprise database. It's more that Klaus in particular is spraying alot of false information all over the net.

Anonymous said...

It is very strange logic which claims that if something is ridiculed, it cannot be ridiculous.

Prevayler is wildly overhyped. And the problem is not that the credulous will be taken in and that they will suffer. That is merely unfortunate. The problem is that somebody will be fooled and use Prevayler on some inappropriate project which I am later asked to rescue. That's a tragedy. Hence all the attention, I think. It's a strategy of preemptive self-defense.

The database vendors aren't scared of things like Prevayler, of course, and they won't say anything about it. So if silent contempt is somehow more convincing to you, there it is.

-- Robert