Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Sequel, Es-Qyew-Ell, Squell

Now that Sun has purchased MySQL, there have been some internal discussions about the right pronunciation. I always said "Sequel" and "MySequel." When I was at Sybase, we called it "Sequel Server" and I hear tell that's the pronunciation Oracle uses too.

But the official pronunciation of MySQL is "My-Ess-Qyew-Ell." Ah well, I have to train my tongue out of respect for our new colleagues, even though Sybase and Oracle were there first.

This all reminds me of the time when I was at Sybase (pronounced "sea bass" in France) when I was sent onsite to a big news agency on Long Island whose client application (written in Ada of all things) kept crashing. It was a nasty timing bug that was so sensitive that print statements would make it go away. This was with fully asynchronous code where you registered call backs, and asynchronous system traps (ASTs - remember?) would call the next step when the I/O completed. Talk about fun.

After three days of head banging I was sorely tempted to tell them to just put in print statements, but I knew that wouldn't fly...

I finally found it by reading, line by line, the application code until I logically determined what the problem was, and it was fixed with a few lines of code.

Anyway, my point is, the folks at this shop called SQL "Squell". Eeeww. I always had an uncomfortable feeling when I heard it pronounced that way, like they were squashing a snail.

Then of course there is Apache Derby. And Linux. Can't we all just get along?

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