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From Evan Weaver <>
Subject Re: Fixing the data model names
Date Thu, 13 Aug 2009 18:06:13 GMT
I think we understand the concepts clearly. They're not hard once you
clear away the misconceptions and mis-assumptions. Of course it's part
of the barrier, but I don't think it's the main barrier.

Maybe we should start with a list of common misconceptions, and work
bottom up to the best way to prevent them.


On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 1:55 PM, Evan Weaver<> wrote:
>> 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.
> Evan
> 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

Evan Weaver

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