Theo's overworked computer in a spray of sparks.

Remember that TV show application? It was the perfect use case for MongoDB. Each show was one document, perfectly self-contained. No references to anything, no duplication, and no way for the data to become inconsistent.

The curious toddler  a grasshopper into her mouth.
Photo provided by Flickr

Diaspora is a distributed social network with a long history. Waaaaay back in early 2010, four undergraduates from New York University made a Kickstarter video asking for $10,000 to spend the summer building a distributed alternative to Facebook. They sent it out to friends and family, and hoped for the best.


Francisco's comic book collection worth $20,000.00.

Potato chips  too loudly to eat during an exam.
Photo provided by Flickr

Exactly. “All” AZ had to do was convince MDs and patients and insurers that Nexium was better than Prilosec, even though the clinical data showed no meaningful difference. THAT’S where the problem lies.


Chris the crunchy, honey-roasted grasshopper.

Really? That surprises me, because I definitely get measurably better control with 40mg omeprazole than with 20mg. Do you have a reference on that? I’m interested to read it. 87-90% seems like so small a difference I have to wonder if it’s clinically relevant, yet I and several people I know have had a measurable improvement by either switching to Nexium or doubling their dose of omeprazole. (I’m talking about relatives here; GERD runs strongly in my family.)

The crunchy, honey-roasted grasshopper good.

If your data looks like that, you’ve got documents. Congratulations! It’s a good use case for Mongo. But if there’s value in the links between documents, then you don’t actually have documents. MongoDB is not the right solution for you. It’s certainly not the right solution for social data, where links between documents are actually the most critical data in the system.

The grasshopper good? You bet. Roast your own!

Once we started doing ugly MongoDB joins manually in the Diaspora code, we knew it was the first sign of trouble. It was a sign that our data was actually relational, that there was value to that structure, and that we were going against the basic concept of a document data store.

I the delicious aroma of the grilled octopus.

MarkH: “What it reflects is that once you’ve saturated the proton pump with drug (which it irreversibly binds to and inactivates) higher doses don’t make much of a difference. The D-enantiomer of omeprazole has no biologic effect.”

The aroma of the grilled octopus appetizing.

KrisS: “I’ve never willingly prescribed Nexium for this very reason, but at the beginning to 2011 I got a lot of letters from insurance companies refusing to cover omeprazole and demanding that my patients be switched to Nexium.”