Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beware of Question Authorities « H.Tonguç Yılmaz - Oracle Blog

Beware of Question Authorities
Following suggestions are from Mr.Lewis Blog ;
  1. If it’s not dated - don’t assume it’s true*
  2. If its date is more than about 18 months old - don’t assume it’s (still) true*
  3. If there’s no version number - don’t assume it’s true*
  4. If it’s not your exact version number - don’t assume it’s (still) true
  5. For ‘technical implementation’ details, if there’s no platform mentioned - don’t assume it’s true
  6. For ‘technical implementation’ details, if the platform’s not the same as yours - don’t assume it’s true
  7. If there’s no rational justification supplied, and no repeatable test case - don’t assume it’s true.
And even when all the details are perfect and there is a repeatable test case - and even after the repeatable test case produces the same results - ask yourself this question
  • Could there be a different explanation for the same set of results - and if so, how badly could this advice damage my system, and how hard would it be to test my alternative hypothesis ?
Once you’ve got through that lot - then you might be safe trying the advice on a development system.

Mr.Kyte also mentions this problem under the ‘Question Authority.’ terminology;

There are lots of ‘experts’ out there;
  • Make them prove everything
  • Statements that should raise your eyebrows:
  •     It is my opinion…
  •     I claim…
  •     I think…
  •     I feel…

  • Everything can (and should) be proven - TKPROF goes a long way hereStatspack is great‘Runstats’ is a tool I use as well (search asktom for runstats)
  • Things change, expect that

Remember a test becomes a proof when;
  • it has a specification- the results are reproducible
  • alternative explanations have been eliminated
  • it is published- it survives peer-group review
“The Burden of Proof” presentation by Jonathan LewisDon’t take any “guru’s” word, test it and make sure you are convinced of the results..
Beware of Question Authorities « H.Tonguç Yılmaz - Oracle Blog
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