One thing I’ve noticed about Twitter and Jaiku, is a common thread in IT, Scaleability! It’s an issue that I worked on in my days with AT&T Wireless. Mobile phone vendors have been dealing with SMS and voice connection transactions for many years and the volume of such transactions have only grown over the years since I had to deal with 25+ million transactions per day. If the current growing pains of these Web 2.0 social networking systems are projected, they are both headed for failure in the form of catastrophic system overload. While I admire innovative Ideas, like these services, their infrastructure does not appear well thought out. A bit more foundation in the infrastructure, and less optimism of the performance, should have been the first design requirement.
Being a database kind of guy, I can’t help but believe that a fundamental disconnect in the understanding of transactions utilized in these systems is the root cause here. I have yet to see a significant teaching or understanding of database issues in the current crop of programmers. There seems to be belief that data analysis is not a worth while task in current programming efforts. I see this in the form of articles detailing new ‘database’ products and methods, and new ‘lightweight’ database processes, etc. Mostly the requirements for ‘new’ DBMS and ‘Lightweight’ processes, is the underestimations of the data tasks of most modern IT functions. If you don’t know your own data, you don’t know anything. Any system that is not fundamentally tied in with a database system is merely a calculator.