[development] Data-driven database tables and updates

Khalid B kb at 2bits.com
Mon Jun 12 03:54:12 UTC 2006

> Chris Johnson wrote:
> > Just to play devil's advocate here:
> >
> > Many programmers who "know" SQL really don't know it very well.
> This is certainly true for myself and most of the other core developers. :p
> >   The number of really good database developers working on Drupal is
> > smaller than the number of good PHP developers.  While I'm against
> > bloat and yet another API to learn, one argument in favor of a Drupal
> > database API is so that the database is architected by developers who
> > really understand efficient relational database construction and
> > usage, and the SQL for accessing it is likewise good -- instead of a
> > more random quality we have now.

My turn for devil's advocate:

What you say is true. However, programmers and database modelers/architects
are two different skills. In large environments, the architect normalizes the
database first to 3NF, the denormalizes and adds indexes to enhance
performance for most common access paths.

Of course, this is what happens in large waterfall development shop, and
not in iterative development like most Open Source is.

Let us assume that is not an issue with Drupal, and that the core developers
are also efficient database architects (which is mostly true).

This leaves out contrib, which is very variable, and no database optimization
happens for the vast majority of modules.

I am not sure if anything can be done here to improve this though. There is
no silvert bullet for this one.

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