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MongoDB Madness: Is it a Hoax? Do We Care?

11.09.2011
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This week kicked off with yet another highly publicized post on 'why technology X is a piece of crap and you should never use it'  A few weeks ago it was Ted Dziuba taking a shit on node.js.  This week we have a post on pastebin called "Don't Use MongoDB" supposedly written by a former user of MongoDB.  Of course, these posts create the perfect opportunity for other detractors of 'X' technology to come out of the woodwork and hold the content up as the sole piece of evidence needed to close the book on this technology once and for all.  Therefore, the CTO of 10gen (a company thats business is based on MongoDB) quickly posted about how he's never had a customer case with the same problems as the poster:

First, I tried to find any client of ours with a track record like this and have been unsuccessful. I personally have looked at every single customer case that’s every come in (there are about 1600 of them) and cannot match this story to any of them. I am confused as to the origin here, so answers cannot be complete in some cases.  --Eliot Horowitz, CTO of 10gen


While Dziuba took full credit for his rabble rousing rant, this MongoDB malice came from an anonymous source.  I guess you could say that Dziuba's post and the post from this week weren't necessarily 'rants'—some saw them as well reasoned arguments with kernels of truth perhaps, but the frequent conclusion of these posts is that the technologies they describe are funamentally flawed and shouldn't be used... ever. 

     What do we think of these posts?  I think it's important to discuss. 

          I mean, don't you HATE it when someone disses your favorite language/platform/framework/tool?

               And don't you LOVE to hate on the other technology camps that think they're all hot shit?




On one hand, these can be great for bringing attention to valid issues with a technology and can help people understand the disadvantages of technology 'X' and the trade-offs that you make when you use it.  However, there are probably some 'bashing' posts out there that merely involve someone who is complaining about issues that could be solved if they would just RTFM. Unfortunately, the invalid complaints can be read as canon along with the valid issues in some of these posts.  It can be hard to sort out the kernel of truth if it's there.

On the other hand, a lot of these posts can be full of FUD which is prefaced by an incendiary title like "Python can't make real apps" or "Redis will kill your entire family".  I could come up with several linkbait titles right now if I wanted to, and if I had gathered some half-assed examples to back up my claims we might have another perfect storm on our hands. 

My point is, that we hate to be manipulated.  We don't like thinking in the back of our heads that this could just be something manufactured for views and not honest discourse.   

The alleged poster of the pastebin article says this was not the case with him, so we just have to believe what we want:

I honestly just intended this to benefit the community, nothing more. I'm genuinely troubled that it might cause some problems for 10gen, b/c, again, Eliot & co are nice people


At least he kissed and made up with the 10gen people.

On a final note, I'll say that the one good thing that comes out of these posts is the 'clearer heads' who usually prevail in the comments (they usually do here thankfully) and usually take the opportunity to contribute to a more productive discourse.  Here's to you guys!

 

TL;DR section

  • CTO of 10gen's full response.
  • A second link claimed that the "Don't Use MongoDB" examples for it's claims were made up.  But it's more likely that that second link was fake, not the original
  • The post where the pastebin link was first found: Failing with MongoDB
  • A Riak project developer who apologized for some old comments criticizing MongoDB.  He then talked about the opportunities he thought MongoDB had for improvement.