Legacy isn't a dirty word

Pardon the rant but the winter storm has kept me in a hotel away from home for a few days. I exchanged email this week with someone pitching a solution to a problem I don't have (MySQL failover). But by "I" I really mean the awesome operations team with whom I share an office. The pitch got off to a bad start. It is probably better to compliment the supposed expertise of the person to whom you are pitching than to suggest they are no different than COBOL hackers working on Y2K problems.

Unfortunately legacy is a bad word in my world. Going off topic, so is web scale. I hope we can change this. The suggestion that MySQL was a legacy technology was conveyed to me via email, x86, Linux and a laptop. Most of those have been around long enough to be considered legacy technology. DNA and the wheel are also legacy technology. Age isn't the issue. Relevance is determined by utility and efficiency.

Remember that utility is measured from a distance. It is easy to show that one algorithm can do one narrow operation much faster than as implemented in existing products. But an algorithm shouldn't be confused with a solution. A solution requires user eduction, documentation, skilled operations, trust, client libraries, backup, monitoring and more.