Philip Greenspun asks, How long is the average Internet discussion forum posting?. The answer may surprise you web nerds out there. Philip also observes that programming in SQL is fun. I couldn’t agree more. SQL is a beautiful, powerful language. I love SQL. There’s been a trend for many years to try to push SQL into the background, either for portability or because it’s “too hard” or not a good fit with the application’s (typically object-oriented, strongly-typed) runtime. As these solutions become more workable, they tend to recapitulate various parts of SQL using new names (“collections” for queries returning multiple rows, “associations” for JOINs), or worse, they invent new, less powerful query languages. It kind of painful to watch, though given the level of investment maybe it’ll work out. I wonder if writing the kind of simple, powerful queries that underlie Similar Feeds and Subscriptions Like Mine will become a lost art.

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