Putting Your Foot Down

I was going down the highway on my motorcycle the other day, thinking about a project I’m doing for a customer.  We just went live with it, and one of the first things I did (after transferring data from their old program to the new one) was to disable the data reload script.  I wrote the script for my convenience; it clears the tables, then loads them again from the export files I was using to provide sample data.  Obviously this would be bad, applied to the production database.

Then I found myself thinking about how often we visit the edge of disaster.  After all, here I was, going down a two-lane road on a motorcycle at 55 MPH.  Everything was going quite well… but what would happen if I put a foot down?

Well, it would hurt, that’s what.  More than likely I’d break or tear something I might need later… it’s even conceivable that I might wreck my bike and kill myself.

So sure, I could be driving a car, and putting my foot down wouldn’t be a problem.  Doesn’t mean I couldn’t kill myself just as effectively by doing something insanely stupid but very easy to do.  Like run off the road into a light pole.

At least, on the computer, I could disable the reload script.  This wouldn’t prevent me from accidentally typing “delete from important_table” in the MySQL user interface.  MySQL does have a “safe mode” where it needs a WHERE clause before it will run such a query.  But you have to remember to invoke it with the right option.

Do I have a point?  I’m not sure.  It’s just that we skate so close to various sorts of disasters all the time, and rarely think about the consequences until it’s too late.

Like the man in the uniform used to say, be careful out there.

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