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From Evan Weaver <>
Subject Re: Fixing the data model names
Date Thu, 13 Aug 2009 17:55:59 GMT
> For the terminology to be considered a barrier to entry, I think you
> need to demonstrate obviously superior terminology.

I agree with that and am happy to accept that our proposal is not good
enough. We'll work on another.


On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 1:52 PM, Eric Evans<> wrote:
> On Wed, 2009-08-12 at 15:05 -0700, Ryan King wrote:
>> I would like to reiterate, one of our main motivations behind renaming
>> the data model is to make it easier for people to get up to speed with
>> Cassandra.
> This has been repeated several times during this thread. I hope it's not
> meant to imply that those opposed do not care about our users, or about
> making Cassandra easier to understand.
>> Evan and I both had problems understanding the data model and we've
>> seen the same struggles over and over as we try and explain the data
>> model to other engineers here at twitter. So, after developing this
>> proposal for a new naming scheme, we tested it with more engineers, to
>> see if it was, in fact, easier to explain. We didn't do a rigorous
>> study, but without a doubt it was clearer and easier to understand.
>> And these are all people who've read the BigTable and Dynamo papers,
>> most of whom have CS (bachelors' or masters') degrees and are
>> generally smart.
> Yeah, that's anecdotal. I could counter with anecdotal evidence to the
> contrary but I don't think it would be very helpful or productive.
> I honestly feel like you guys are confounding the concepts, and the
> terminology used to describe them. Granted, the right choice of
> terminology could certainly make it easier to convey how things work,
> but there is a sort of minimum overhead here. In other words, you can
> call things whatever you want, it's not going to change how they
> actually work. At least some portion of the difficulty people have in
> conceptualizing Cassandra, are in fact the concepts themselves.
> [ ... ]
>> > So having thought it through I think I would have to say I think the
>> > current names, if not perfect, are underrated.  Even if making the
>> > change were free, and it's obviously not, I would prefer the existing
>> > terminology.
>> I think, overall, the naming is a significant barrier to entry for new
>> cassandra users. This proposal will certainly be expensive, both in
>> terms of the work (which we at twitter are willing to do) and the
>> disruption. However, we're still early in Cassandra's life and this
>> may be our only chance to improve this situation.
> For the terminology to be considered a barrier to entry, I think you
> need to demonstrate obviously superior terminology.
> --
> Eric Evans

Evan Weaver

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