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Service Pack 4 Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, December 28, 2009 7:59 AM


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James Stover (12/27/2009)
I'll go one further - I don't think it's acceptable to have service packs. It's an acknowledgement that a product is defective. Only after an unspecified number of updates (and years) will it work correctly. The worst part is that we accept and, in fact, expect it. It's irritating that MS isn't giving us SP4 this year. But it's even worse that we should even have to expect one.


So, you don't change the oil in your car? You don't brush your teeth? You don't clean the gutters on your house (or have someone do it for you)?

We live in a universe where the laws of thermodynamics apply. That means complex systems decay and require an input of energy to maintain. That means software will require updates. Until you live in a universe with different laws of physics, that's going to be true.


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Post #839419
Posted Monday, December 28, 2009 7:59 AM


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I voted for both of them. Good thought there, Steve. SP3 for 2005 took that kind of nudge to get going, better to act now on this one than wait as long.

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Post #839420
Posted Monday, December 28, 2009 9:04 AM


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Thanks for the votes. I've pinged MS, and been patient waiting for the one year anniversary of SP3 to roll by, but no responses. My guess is most of MS is on holiday this week, and that's OK. However we do need the patch to come.

Great analogy on the car. Software does require maintenance and we should expect it. What we should not expect is fundamental errors being left in the product when it's released. I don't think we get that, though SQL SS2K5 had the issue of mirroring not working in RTM and enabled in SP1.







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Post #839463
Posted Monday, December 28, 2009 10:29 AM


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James Stover (12/27/2009)
I'll go one further - I don't think it's acceptable to have service packs. It's an acknowledgement that a product is defective. Only after an unspecified number of updates (and years) will it work correctly. The worst part is that we accept and, in fact, expect it. It's irritating that MS isn't giving us SP4 this year. But it's even worse that we should even have to expect one.


Just to throw my 2 cents in, there is no way MS can test all the environments that SQL Server will be put on and to what uses it will be used. As they say, "Nothing is fool proof because fools are so ingenious." As a result, no matter how well they code, someone is going to find some situation that needs a fix.

I play online MMO games. The companies that put them out are always doing patches and improvements. Some of these things shake out during a beta test, most of them don't. One game in particular, years ago, I remember as doing patches of patches of patches before they got it to run properly (and this was after the code apparently went thorugh QA to be released to the client).

The game I currently play patches about every month or so, sometimes more, sometimes less. Not all repercussions of minor code changes are found or caught. I don't mind the patches as each one pretty much improves the overall game. Same thing applies to other software products.

Things change, it's how life is. If the company couldn't change their software to adjust to customer wants and needs, then it wouldn't be worth much in the end, now would it?


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Post #839511
Posted Monday, December 28, 2009 3:18 PM
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Besides bug fixes, service packs can contain functional and performance improvements, as well as completely new functions. I look forward to them...but I also don't have to apply them. So we have a choice, and I like that.

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Post #839618
Posted Monday, December 28, 2009 4:15 PM
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GSquared (12/28/2009)
James Stover (12/27/2009)
I'll go one further - I don't think it's acceptable to have service packs. It's an acknowledgement that a product is defective. Only after an unspecified number of updates (and years) will it work correctly. The worst part is that we accept and, in fact, expect it. It's irritating that MS isn't giving us SP4 this year. But it's even worse that we should even have to expect one.


So, you don't change the oil in your car? You don't brush your teeth? You don't clean the gutters on your house (or have someone do it for you)?

We live in a universe where the laws of thermodynamics apply. That means complex systems decay and require an input of energy to maintain. That means software will require updates. Until you live in a universe with different laws of physics, that's going to be true.


I guess what I am wanting to say is that is that the expectation of a service pack is an expectation of a defective product. As a customer, I want to buy a product and have it work. Simple as that. Your examples are maintenance items. If I take your examples and compare to an RTM product, I have oil that damages my engine, a toothbrush that rots my teeth, and gutters that cause rain to pour inside my house. Those things should work - correctly - straight out of the box without the expectation that it will eventually work correctly at some unspecified point in the future after an indefinite number of updates. In this regard, I find service packs unacceptable.



James Stover, McDBA
Post #839632
Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2009 7:20 AM


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James Stover (12/28/2009)
GSquared (12/28/2009)
James Stover (12/27/2009)
I'll go one further - I don't think it's acceptable to have service packs. It's an acknowledgement that a product is defective. Only after an unspecified number of updates (and years) will it work correctly. The worst part is that we accept and, in fact, expect it. It's irritating that MS isn't giving us SP4 this year. But it's even worse that we should even have to expect one.


So, you don't change the oil in your car? You don't brush your teeth? You don't clean the gutters on your house (or have someone do it for you)?

We live in a universe where the laws of thermodynamics apply. That means complex systems decay and require an input of energy to maintain. That means software will require updates. Until you live in a universe with different laws of physics, that's going to be true.


I guess what I am wanting to say is that is that the expectation of a service pack is an expectation of a defective product. As a customer, I want to buy a product and have it work. Simple as that. Your examples are maintenance items. If I take your examples and compare to an RTM product, I have oil that damages my engine, a toothbrush that rots my teeth, and gutters that cause rain to pour inside my house. Those things should work - correctly - straight out of the box without the expectation that it will eventually work correctly at some unspecified point in the future after an indefinite number of updates. In this regard, I find service packs unacceptable.


Yeah. You're right. No car has ever had to be subject to a safety recall. Instead, the manufacturer comes to your house and, for free, fixes the problem for you.

Nothing humans do is without risk. Nothing "works perfectly right out of the box". Expecting perfection is living in a fantasy.

If what you are saying were true, we'd still be driving Model A Fords, because they'd "work - correctly - straight out of the box without the expectation that it will eventually work correctly at some unspecified point in the future after an indefinite number of updates". Your car, whatever car you have, is the end result of a huge number of very expensive updates, and they aren't done yet. It still is killing you and everything around you (toxic exhaust fumes), it still requires the timing belt to be replaced ever X-thousand miles, and the oil to be changed more often than that.

Your doctor, in order to correctly diagnose a wide variety of issues, has to put you at risk of horrible death. He'll subject you to potentially carcinogenic X-rays, CAT scans, etc. He'll cut you open and take pieces of your flesh for biopsies. He'll stick needles in you that could potentially be infected with antiobiotic-resistant, flesh-eating staph. And yet all of this is the end result of tens of thousands of years of constant updates and improvements, and is safer and more effective than any prior version of medicine. But iatrogenic disease (illness caused by medical professionals) still kills more people than computer glitches do. That means the bugs in medicine will continue to be patched, often in a monthly fashion through professional publications.

So, if you brush your teeth (exposing yourself to the potentially toxic/carcinogenic chemicals in your toothpaste and toothbrush - plus the risk of choking on the toothbrush or drowning in the toothpaste foam, which are risks that actually do kill people), if you visit a doctor, if you drive a car or just live in the same atmosphere as people who do, you are taking life-threatening risks that are subject to routine, constant "patches and updates" that improve effectiveness and safety.

I could go on indefinitely. Everything you do carries risks. Every human endeavor is subject to refinement over time and use. What makes you think computer software can be different?


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Post #839827
Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2009 8:03 AM


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GSquared (12/29/2009)
Nothing "works perfectly right out of the box".


BWAA-HAA!!! Speak for yourself!


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Post #839848
Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2009 9:53 AM


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Jeff Moden (12/29/2009)
GSquared (12/29/2009)
Nothing "works perfectly right out of the box".


BWAA-HAA!!! Speak for yourself!


I am. Trust me, I wasn't born perfect, I had to work for several weeks to achieve it!


- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
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Post #839901
Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2009 2:55 PM
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Steve Jones - Editor (12/27/2009)I'd stick with SPs. One a year seemed like too few, but I'd be happy if we could just get that one.

I also look forward to an annual service pack for current products.
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