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dbdebunk.com Fabian Pascal


http://www.dbdebunk.com is the site in question.
Small Note: the name Fabian Pascal has nothing to do with the programming language called Pascal. Fabian Pascal is a database consultant/expert.

I may be a little bit hard on Fabian in this article. I feel Fabian is a purist/perfectionist who doesn't actually demonstrate purism or perfectionism. In other words he is a hypocrite.


"From: Fabian Pascal

I do not believe in online education; no good teacher does. It's nothing like interaction between students and teacher. As to demand, I am not so sure. As I said, people are unaware of the subject of fundamentals because they are neither taught it, nor required to know it. The reason universities certify for Oracle is because that's what employers and students demand. And there are very few good teachers of fundamentals. "

That's funny because when I go to his website he is selling papers online, of his own, which are not interactive at all. Yes, he is selling ONLINE paper articles for people to download. Paper reading material or online articles is online education. In fact paper courses are worse than online education - because with online education I can use VNC or GoToMyPc to interact with the end user. I could also use skype or a voice over IP phone.

True, online education is not as good as real, pure, "in person" education. However, the ironic issue here is that Fabian is selling online and paper education and profiting off it. Although Fabian may teach in person courses, he still sells papers which one can download or buy from the internet - so this means he does actually believe in paper/online education. But he says he does not believe in it.

Although in-person communication is better - that doesn't mean that in the real world we cannot use email to educate others. For example many bug reports for software are filed in an online system. If every bug had to be explained in person it would simply be impractical. A purist/perfectionist would ban all bug tracking systems and web forums because they are not very personal. In the real world it is a different story.

See, Fabian is a purist in theory - but in the real world he makes a living off doing non-pure things. A true purist would NEVER sell anything online - all sales must be in the real world. A true purist would NEVER teach anything by paper or online. But in the real world we make compromises. There is no perfectionism or purism in the real world.


When I started this wiki, I decided that the wiki would be best built with a database at some point. The problem was I didn't have time to implement the wiki on a database. I could always take my flat text files and move it to a database later, when I knew this wiki would become more serious. If I was a purist, the ONLY way to design this wiki would have been using a database. In the real world, I just started storing my articles with files to get going. This wiki has been running fine for 5 years, and it still would be much better if I used a database at some point.

Fabian Pascal has a similar problem with his website. He has designed his website without spending much time on it. His website is generated by Microsoft Word files apparently..

"From: Fabian Pascal

"Just FYI: I am hosted by a company which provides its own software, which is why I selected them: everything is preset and I have to just post HTML to it which I generate automatically from Word files. That makes it the easiest for me, but limits me in what I can do and what tools I can use. I myself don't want to do even any of that, but since I have to, I force myself.

This is kind of funny.. he spends so much time on relational databases, their practical and theoretical uses; he knows them so well. Yet he does not have the time to implement a simple website that is relationally database driven? He is so well educated and such a database purist.. and such a database perfectionist.. that he can't even take the time out to design a 200-500 page dbdebunk website with a database?

Do his little cute MS Word files offer integrity? Are they relational or at least organized relationally? Do they follow the Third Manifesto?

Maybe the problem with his website is that it is too small to really require a database. Guess what - in the real world, many things are too small to require the complexity of a database. But a database purist would demand that any sort of relational system use a database. And his website should be relational if he is a true purist.

Maybe Fabian's website is not too small! Maybe it really would benefit from a relational database. Maybe even small problems in our world could benefit from relations (see Rel for example on how to code with tuples every day)! Maybe Fabian just is incapable and uses word files because he lacks a proper education. Maybe he cannot afford to hire someone to build him a $200 website backend with a database.

Maybe Fabian is so mad at current databases that he cannot possibly use one, since they are not real truly relational databases. And Microsoft Word files are better. In other words, if there is an impure solution available such as tap water (Oracle), Fabian will instead drink brown poo (MS Word Files). One cannot drink tap water, because it is not pure. One must drink either brown poo, or distilled water only. i.e. if one has the choice between a Database that is not truly relational, and a Word File, then one should use Microsoft Word instead? Makes sense!

Piss Poor Dates

One other quite funny thing I noted about Fabian's dbdebunk website was the DATE format he used. On many pages of his website he uses dates like this:
  03/02
  03/04/02
See http://z505.com/images/dbdebunk/poor-date-format.png for an example of the piss poor non-database like dates being used over at http://dbdebunk.com.

Now how the hell can a database purist use such a poor form of date? When I write dates, I at least try to be sensible. I demand that the date be written as follows:

  JAN-05-2006
This date is precise .. I also sometimes will use
  Jan 05, 2006
It is not worth using something like:
  03/02
What does 03/02 mean? Does that mean March the Second of some year? Does it mean March of year 2002? Does it mean February of 2003? So again the irony here is that the purist/perfectionist Mr. Fabian Pascal is using extremely poor date formats on his website - a date format that should NEVER be used in a proper database. His excuse is that he doesn't have time to maintain his website... again a real world situation.

Many people do not have the time to implement 100 percent perfect databases, while Fabian doesn't even have the time to implement a website with proper dates!

He sells people educational articles, and he tries to educate people online through his website - but he disagrees with any education that is not "in person".

Poor Old Fabian

This man is a lunatic. He has some good tips on his website - but he lacks real world skills and real world insight. I respect him as a lunatic, because many scientists are lunatics. I think he is a Pargent lunatic .. but I respect him for what he does, even if he is contradicting his own statements with his actions.

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