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Documenting the Undocumented Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2012 10:45 AM


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cfradenburg (6/27/2012)
GSquared (6/27/2012)
[quote]There's a big difference between telling a user "don't try to service your TV yourself, there are parts in there that can kill you, and you don't know which ones they are", and telling professional DBAs, "we can't be bothered to tell you how that works".

You know the TV ads and such that have the warning on them, "Professional driver on closed course"? Well, we are the professional drivers. And the pro mechanic team. And many of us are highly trained engineers on the exact subject at hand.

So I don't see it as comparable to "no user servicable parts".


And I don't see us as the end user of the appliance. I see us as the repair guy who knows what they're doing but doesn't have access to every schematic of every TV.


I also don't see SQL Server as the TV. For one thing - those parts we're not supposed to see are widely exposed for everyone to find: it's not like I have to actually disassemble it to find them.

Of course I DO think we often enough get treated like TV repairmen


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Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?
Post #1322032
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2012 11:19 AM
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Exposing undocumented features and telling programmers not to use them is akin to placing fire on top of paper and telling it not to burn.

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Post #1322063
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2012 12:08 PM


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cfradenburg (6/27/2012)
GSquared (6/27/2012)
[quote]There's a big difference between telling a user "don't try to service your TV yourself, there are parts in there that can kill you, and you don't know which ones they are", and telling professional DBAs, "we can't be bothered to tell you how that works".

You know the TV ads and such that have the warning on them, "Professional driver on closed course"? Well, we are the professional drivers. And the pro mechanic team. And many of us are highly trained engineers on the exact subject at hand.

So I don't see it as comparable to "no user servicable parts".


And I don't see us as the end user of the appliance. I see us as the repair guy who knows what they're doing but doesn't have access to every schematic of every TV.


In that analogy, it's not a question of every schematic of every TV. If a TV repair shop doesn't do Sony, then they will tell customers, "We don't work on Sony TVs". We're the guys who do repair Microsoft TVs (SQL Server), and Microsoft is telling us, "you don't need to worry about that part, so we won't tell you what it does, what hazards are associated with it, how to order a replacement part if it breaks, or anything".

Do we have to live with that? Yes. We just have to assume, "Microsoft knows best. Let's just trust them. They've never messed anything up before, so no reason to assume they might ever get something wrong that we're then stuck dealing with." That seems safe to me. We all know Microsoft software never has unexpected, undesirable behavior, because of undocumented APIs/internals.


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