NoSQL isn't a movement

Today there’s been a tweet going around that says:

@programmingjoy: Help pick a better name for NoSQL Movement at NoSQL East Conference #programming

This tweet really drives me nuts. In fact, I tweeted back:

@robotdeathsquad: NoSQL isn’t a movement, and when people say stuff like that, it makes them sound like idiots and I laugh at them.

So what’s so wrong with this tweet? It’s not the “NoSQL” part of it. I’m perfectly fine calling all the key/value, document oriented, and column centric DBs “NoSQL” as a short hand. That’s perfectly fine by me. My whole problem is with the “movement” part of this. Lets look at the definition of “movement”:

A group of people with a common ideology who try together to achieve certain general goals. (via

What exactly is a “NoSQL movement”? What is the common ideology? That you hate relational dbs? Hopefully that’s not it because that makes you sound like a child. Who hates software? Certainly not professionals. A professional doesn’t arbitrarily hate something, they apply the appropriate technique at the appropriate time.

What exactly is the goal of a NoSQL movement? To rid the world of SQL? Really? Really?

If it is to work together to build some great databases that perform much better in certain situations, then why not come up with a name that means that. I’m not sure that meets the definition of a “movement”.

Just as I mentioned in my post NoSQL: If only it were that easy, having new and different databases, which have new and different uses cases is great, but they are just one technique. Another tool in the shed, if you must. Trying to hype them, and elevate them some sort of “movement” status, is juvenile at best, and certainly misplaced.

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