Friday, June 18, 2010

Stackoverflow and StackExchange

Like Tony Andrews, I am a big fan of the StackOverflow Q&A engine. I'm just not as good as him :)

If you haven't tried it, go ahead. Here are the questions tagged Oracle .

  • I like that it uses OpenId so I don't have another username/password to remember.
  • I like that code formatting is so simple. 
  • I like the simply numbered 'reputation' and the baadges you can collect.
  • I like the fact that all the questions, answers and comments are Creative Commons licensed and you can download the whole lot.
  • I like the RSS feeds based on tags.

The only drawback is that the site is aimed at programming. It has a sister site, serverfault.comwhich is more for admins. But that is mostly for system admins. There is a third site in the trilogy called superuser.com  aimed at, well, superusers. I guess that Apex websheets might end up fitting in there.

In database work there is a lot that can fall in either a developer or DBA camp. Performance tuning is the prime example. There is a limit to what can be achieve by tweaking SQL and at some point it becomes beneficial to address more fundamental issues through indexes or storage options. And some places have DBAs or 'the Oracle guy' who does everything, and at the other end of the spectrum who may have someone who's sole domain is backup/recovery with a separate 'architect' who has visions dancing in his head (maybe of data models but possibly of sugar plums).

So is there room for a similar site dedicated to Oracle or dedicated to databases in general ? One site to rule them all ?

The people behind stackoverflow are opening up stackexchange 2.0. People get to vote for potential new sites. And there are two proposals up and running, one for Oracle and one for Databases. If you are interested in either of these, follow the link and click the FOLLOW button.

Then, if you want, come up with some sample questions. You can get some ideas from other forums or what the people around you always end up asking.

Once a proposal is sufficiently defined, and has enough committed supporters, it can be launched and then its just a matter of driving questioners to it.

I should point out that OracleOverflow started up under the StackExchange 1.0 model (ie paid for, in this case by RedGate who are better know in the SQL Server field) but didn't really get the momentum. I don't believe this site meets the conditions for migration. If some of the premium members of the database community (Oak table members, ACEs, high-profile bloggers, oracle-l members etc) can voice their support for this, then it shouldn't have any problem getting off the ground.

Spread the word please.

1 comment:

leighriffel said...

Thanks for plugging my proposal Oracle Databases on Area 51. If you could add some questions that would help too.