I’m interrupting the series of Ruby rants (somewhat) to talk about something that is slightly related but not too much. I’ve already written about my plan of writing a system to index and manage the boxes that I manage at various customers’ places. This system is half written for me to have something neater than GIT and HTML to manage the data, and half to get up-to-date with modern Rails development.
One of the decisions I made was to try for once a NoSQL approach. I had many questions on why I did it that way and the answer was for me pretty simple actually: I didn’t want to spend time in designing the relationships first and write the code later. The nice part about using MongoDB was that I’m able to add and remove attributes when I like, and still query for them without fetching huge amount of data to process Ruby-side.
Honestly, after seeing the kind of queries that Rails concocts to get me data that is normalised, but requires multiple many-to-many relationships to be resolved, I’m quite sure that it can’t be worse with MongoDB than it is with PostgreSQL, for this kind of data.
locale-gen so the locale was broken; as it turns out, Boost throws an exception in that case, and MongoDB does not try to manage it, aborting instead.
I guess the main blame here is on the init script that does not report an execution failure: the service is noted as started, and then crashed, which is technically correct, but not what you expect the init script to tell you. I guess if I have more time I should try to get more Unix-style daemon support to
mongod so that it can be integrated better with our
start-stop-daemon rather than left with the hacky script that it’s using now.
Add to that missing support for using the syslog protocol and you can probably figure out that the thing that worries me the most about MongoDB is the usual sense of “let’s ignore every previous convention” which seems to come with NoSQL projects. Luckily at least this project feels like technically, rather than politically, driven, which means I should be able to get them to at least partially implement those features that would make it a “good citizen” in an Unix environment.
Sigh, I really wish I had a bit more time to hack at it, since I know the few rough spots I found should be easily polished with a week or so of work; unfortunately I guess that’ll have to wait. Maybe after my coming US trip I’ll be able to take a couple of weeks to dedicate to myself rather than customers.