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The Manga Guide to Databases

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Databases 236

stoolpigeon writes "Princess Ruruna, of the Kingdom of Kod, has a problem. Her parents, the King and Queen, have left to travel abroad. Ruruna has been left to manage the nations fruit business. Much is at stake, Kod is known as "The Country of Fruit." Ruruna is not happy though, as she is swamped by paperwork and information overload. A mysterious book, sent by her father, contains Tico the fairy. Tico, and the supernatural book are going to help Princess Ruruna solve her problems with the power of the database. This is the setting for all that takes place in The Manga Guide to Databases. If you are like me and learned things like normalization and set operations from a rather dry text book, you may be quite entertained by the contents of this book. If you would like to teach others about creating and using relational databases and you want it to be fun, this book may be exactly what you need." Read below for the rest of JR's review.I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It really does do a great job of introducing relational database management systems. All the SQL is ANSI standard. (Except for one exception, joins, which I'll discuss later.) There is no mention that I could find of any certain RDBMS product. Barring any proprietary quirks, everything in here should work on just about anything from Access to Oracle. Teamed up with PostgreSQL or MySQL, I think that one would have everything they need to teach an extremely inexpensive (materials wise anyway) class on building and using databases. I think that the manga format would make it especially attractive to younger people. By younger, I think high school age students would really enjoy it and I think even college students would find it to be fun if they weren't too stuffy. If I were teaching professionals, I might worry that they wouldn't take it seriously, but the content is solid and anyone who can lighten up can also learn from this book.

It is an introductory level book. I wouldn't hand this to an entry level dba and turn them loose on a production system. It teaches what a relational database is, about the entity/relationship model, using standard sql, as well as transactions, recover, indexing and query optimization. That's a pretty decent foundation. There is also a final chapter that is half manga and half more traditional straight text. The manga section gives some information on real world uses for databases and wraps up the story. The second section covers things like multi-tier web applications, stored procedures, triggers, partitioning and replication. It does this all rather quickly and basically just gives the reader an idea of what the terms mean. There is no information on actually implementation details. It wouldn't have made sense anyway as this would have necessitated leaving the generic approach taken in the rest of the book to discuss specific RDBMS products.

The art work is well done and the side story of Ruruna, her assistant Cain and the fairy Tico is entertaining if a bit silly. I thought that it really helped to take what is really dry subject matter and lighten it up. It also introduces examples of real world situations that are being modeled in the data. They are a bit contrived as all examples are in these situations, but they still help to reaffirm how the various pieces fit together so that databases can be helpful. Each chapter picks up with the story and is graphics heavy. This is followed with a by a review section that reverts to a more text heavy mode and then there are review questions. The answers to the questions appear immediately following the questions. I think it would have been nice to have them further removed, so that one wouldn't have any opportunity to see the answers on accident. That said, the review and quiz do a nice job of letting one gauge if they have really picked up the material. If the quiz is a struggle, it is safe to say that going back over the chapter would not be a bad idea. The questions are pretty straight forward and apply the material directly. They are not vague or wishy washy, so not knowing the answers means the reader doesn't know the material.

As I mentioned, the books sticks to standard SQL. I was happy to see this. The only change I would make is that joins are done in the old style as a part of the where clause. The book discusses various types of joins but does not give examples of anything but a normal inner join. This may help someone considering this book to get a good feel for just how far it goes. I found the information on transactions, locking, and indexing to be very good. I really didn't expect much in this regard, but I've worked with experienced, decent developers that I think would learn some things from this book especially about rolling back transactions and the limits of recovery. (Of course these are the situations where DBAs and developers are going to have some of their more interesting interaction. My bonus tip of the day is the developer that calls you in the morning about the database problem, is the one who caused it right before he went home the night before.) That said the discussion on recovery is vendor agnostic like the rest of the book and so there are not really any implementation details. The indexing section is also a bit brief and while it does a good job of explaining what an index is, I think there is too much emphasis on them increasing read speed with enough emphasis on how they may not do that at all and how they can hurt writes. These things are all mentioned, but very briefly.

If I were teaching teenagers or even lower class college students, I wouldn't hesitate to build a class around this book. I think that the amount of fun and heightened interest it could bring to the table would far outweigh the need to supplement the book's few shortcomings. I like that it does not tie the reader to any database product. I would also not hesitate it to a friend who wanted to learn on their own. I think someone has much higher odds of making it through this book compared to the textbooks on relational databases that I had to work through in school. But it is just an introduction. It gives the readers the tools for basic interactions with a database, and a handle on the basic terminology of database administration. Assuming that one will get more than that could lead to trouble. All the way around this is a solid book and I wish there were more like it in the IT world.

You can purchase The Manga Guide to Databases from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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236 comments

Honest Question (5, Interesting)

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818493)

So I have an honest question. How did Manga/Anime become such a nerd thing? I have been a nerd for quite a few years now and none of my nerd friends (RL friends that is) are into Manga. However, whenever I browse online nerdy things (/. in this example) Manga seems a prevalent thing. Can people tell me how you got into it and why you like it?

Re:Honest Question (5, Funny)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818573)

Yes, how did it ever become such a nerd thing? It used to be here in Japan that it was for normal people.

Re:Honest Question (5, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818639)

Large eyes, large boobs, and flashing panties are definitely nerdy for Americans.

Re:Honest Question (5, Interesting)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818823)

Well, here in the US (and I would assume in other parts of the world as well), we have a nerd subculture whose members are called "Japanophiles." These are non-Japanese people who love all things Japanese simply for being Japanese.

Japanophiles are technically considered nerds because of their strong devotion to a subject area and antisocial stereotype. However, I'm not sure why the Japanophile subculture and Technophile subculture (what I would consider /. to overwhelmingly be) became mixed, aside for the overall classification as nerds.

Re:Honest Question (5, Insightful)

ildon (413912) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818909)

Anime nerds needed to learn to be tech savvy in order to download the newest anime/manga as they're released in Japan without having to wait for them to be imported (and without paying for them, of course).

Re:Honest Question (3, Funny)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819139)

Because RPG nerds and techie nerds are heavily mixed, and RPG nerds and Japanophiles share bookstores.

'tleast it's so here.

Re:Honest Question (3, Insightful)

Daravon (848487) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819185)

Probably because the easiest way to get your dose of Japanese culture was via computer (ten or fifteen years ago). Around that time, computers were not still widely available.

I'm not sure which came first. The love of Japan turned people into nerds so they could get their fix, or if nerds turned into Japanophiles when exposed to Japanese gamma radiation (manga, etc).

Online is still the easiest way, but you can also find anime or manga in stores or (in the case of anime) on TV. So in the younger kids, you'll see less of computer nerd/Japanophile combinations.

Re:Honest Question (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819495)

Well, here in the US (and I would assume in other parts of the world as well), we have a nerd subculture whose members are called "Japanophiles."

I think the proper term is 'Otaku'.

Re:Honest Question (2, Informative)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819737)

Well, here in the US (and I would assume in other parts of the world as well), we have a nerd subculture whose members are called "Japanophiles."

I think the proper term is 'Otaku'.

Otaku is a different sort of term. A Japanophile would be a particular type of otaku, since an otaku is someone who is thoroughly obsessed with something. AFAIK, the "something" is not limited to any particular subset, although anime, manga, videogames, and subgenres of those things are common subjects for an otaku to be obsessed with.

Re:Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818939)

You mean, in Japan it was for Japanese people. Japanese people aren't normal.

Re:Honest Question (2, Funny)

tonto1992 (922918) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818597)

it's the closest any of them will ever come to nailing cute Japanese girls

Re:Honest Question (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27819437)

I was in Japan a couple months ago. I had j-pussy thrown at me 2-3 times a day and a dozen times at night. I had to stay in a couple nights just to recuperate from all the ass I was getting. And I was making no effort whatsoever (Hey, I'm married). I'm going to bring some viagra next time I go (in June).

Re:Honest Question (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818609)

I'm sorry, did you just ask a bunch of nerds why they like comic books?

Re:Honest Question (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818703)

He asked an international but mostly american bunch of nerds why they seemed to like a japanese comic book style of drawing. Several key differences.

To the GP, since when did "nerd" move from an umbrella term covering anyone who has an unusual personal interest in something obscure/technical? Speaking as a biology nerd, I don't run into much manga.

Re:Honest Question (4, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819639)

I think it has less to do with the art style than the content. Manga/Anime tends to have more scifi themes than just about anything else (primarily due to the costs involved in doing things like mecha in other media formats) which naturally tends to appeal to nerds/geeks who are often fans of scifi. For great examples of this check out any of Ghost In The Shell, Guyver, Gunslinger Girls, Cowboy Bebop, Serial Experiments Laing (explores psychological aspects of reality), Gundam (to a greater or lesser extent, depends on which of the hundred or so versions you're talking about), Akira, Armitage III, and plenty of others that are too numerous to name.

Re:Honest Question (1)

frieko (855745) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819761)

Seriously! Manga/anime is typically thoughtful science fiction or fantasy. Wherever you have that, you have nerds fawning over it. It's no different from the nerd following of, say, Whedon or Gaiman or Tolkien. It just happens to be from another country.

Re:Honest Question (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818807)

I saw Neon Genesis and FullMetal Alchemist on Adult Swim and things went downhill from there.
I also knew a girl in my high school who watches anime with some frequency.

And it makes up for all the shitty American cartoons I was supposed to watch as a child. But didn't, because they are rarely entertaining.

Re:Honest Question (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818811)

So I have an honest question.

How did Manga/Anime become such a nerd thing? I have been a nerd for quite a few years now and none of my nerd friends (RL friends that is) are into Manga. However, whenever I browse online nerdy things (/. in this example) Manga seems a prevalent thing. Can people tell me how you got into it and why you like it?

How did playing RPGs become such a nerd thing? None of my nerd friends play RPGs, and I mostly remembered the delinquents from middle school being the group that was into it.

Re:Honest Question (3, Interesting)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818903)

I have no idea (was going to mod you insightful, btw), but I'm ready to sic the Daleks on manga/anime nerds. Some of them are wonderful people, but most just seem creepy... like they got into exported Japanese culture because they couldn't fit into their own. It has resulted in a cultural mixing of the creepiest nerds of the West with the disturbing pre-existing nerdiness of the Far East.

To solve it, I recommend a big-budget adaptation of "Dune". That'll give nerds a region to fall in love with that actually has a decent culture and a major impact on the world today!

Re:Honest Question (2, Interesting)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819163)

Hmmph, I'd like to see a group of Daleks take on a similarly sized group of Tachikoma, that would be a fun fight.

But the real question is what would the Cybermen make of someone like Major Motoko Kusanagi? Kindred spirit or hated enemy?

Tune in to the next episode of Dr. Who versus Ghost in The Shell....

Re:Honest Question (0, Troll)

Cernst77 (816740) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819573)

Lol! Nice post! Being a fan of both GITS: Stand alone complex and Dr. Who. I want to see this fight!

Re:Honest Question (3, Insightful)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818977)

Why do people like books?

Manga is just a way to tell a story, and unlike the western idea of "comics are for kids" covers pretty much everything, from material for little children to mature subjects.

Probably part of the interest comes from that Japan is culturally different, so things that have been done 50 times already still seem new to us.

Manga also often has very weird takes on familiar concepts, for instance compare the One Piece pirates with what'd you expect from the western version.

Re:Honest Question (2, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819487)

Funny, because most of the westerners I know that read/love/collect comics are in their late 20s early 30s. I think the whole "comic are for kids" thing died out years ago.
There is also a distinction between "comic books" and "graphic novels" too. Just as there are adult themed comics in Japan, I am sure there are also ones aimed at Japanese kids.

Re:Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27819021)

Robots robota.

Re:Honest Question (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819041)

How did Manga/Anime become such a nerd thing? I have been a nerd for quite a few years now and none of my nerd friends (RL friends that is) are into Manga.

Robotech. That is all.

Re:Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27819057)

Here's the thing when I was growing up, nerd, geek, dork, these were all pejoratives. I think it is still so, but I'm not sure. As a pejorative, nerd meant that the people calling you a nerd didn't like you, your personality or your interests.

When I was a kid, that meant computers. Most of my classmates had never seen a computer, they were more into Gilligan's Island. I thought Ultima III was cool and I didn't really like Gilligan's Island. If I expressed such feelings to my classmates, it was the equivalent of putting on a Scarlet Letter. The nail that stands up is the one that is hammered down.

If a pursuit is considered nerdish, that means that the larger society feels it is a dangerous thing and creates memetic antibodies to suppress it. You can call this the cult of cool if you like. Expressed in the film Otaku No Video (paraphrased), "People who play tennis are AOK, people who like animation are no good." This is understandable, people who like football wouldn't like it if they just showed Yu-Gi-Oh! tounaments on ESPN instead, people who like tennis don't want to find out that their doubles partners are dropping out to play D&D.

Now, I've been out of school for what seems like hundreds of years. My impression is that computers, or some parts of computer use, are now considered cool. I could be way off on that of course.

Manga may not be nerdish, or they may be nerdish for boys and acceptable for girls. I'm not sure, being an middle aged man, who doesn't get involved to much with his teenage step daughter(I know she likes Sonic games for what it's worth, just bought her one. For the DS naturally, not the one where he becomes a werewolf what were they thinking). She's more into R&B than anime or manga, though. I bought her a xxxHolic manga, her Mom told me she was reading it, which is good. She also liked those "Series of Unfortunate Events Books," but I ramble.

Just use logic (1)

Microsift (223381) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819063)

All Manga readers are nerds
x_IamSpartacus_x is a nerd
x_IamSpartacus_x reads Manga

The third statement doesn't follow from the first two.

But this is completely valid

All Manga readers are nerds
x_IamSpartacus_x reads Manga
x_IamSpartacus_x is a nerd

Re:Honest Question (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819129)

So I have an honest question. How did Manga/Anime become such a nerd thing?

It was a major nerd thing back in the 1990's but these days its a bit more mainstream. I'd have to argue that D&D has become more mainstream because of WoW.

Anyways, back in the day before streaming video on the net, most of the people who were into Anime were the same people who were into Scifi stuff as well. At college we'd have an anime club that people would fan sub and trade tapes.

And let me tell you... We were all nerds.

Now that Pokemon and Naruto are basically mainstream, anime isn't as subcultured as it once was but plenty of still have our nerd roots when it comes to it.

Re:Honest Question (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819287)

How did Manga/Anime become such a nerd thing?

I'm thinking its because only the nerds ever figured out how to use things like irc bots and torrents to download them.

Re:Honest Question (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819329)

So I have an honest question. How did Manga/Anime become such a nerd thing? I have been a nerd for quite a few years now and none of my nerd friends (RL friends that is) are into Manga. However, whenever I browse online nerdy things (/. in this example) Manga seems a prevalent thing. Can people tell me how you got into it and why you like it?

It's the nexus of nerdom. Many things are considered geeky -- Star Trek, Star Wars, scifi, gadgets, rpg's, comics, japanese media. While all may be geeky, you may not have geeked out on each and every one of them. Me, I never had the money to become a comic geek. There really weren't any other traditional geeks at my school and thus nobody playing RPG's. So I tended to be a hardcore book geek and later branched out into computers. I have an appreciation for good anime and manga but the most of it seems to follow Sturgeon's rule. And the anime nuts I have met tended to dork out on the subject so much that even I thought it was embarrassing.

To rephrase your statement, that'd be like saying "Hey, I'm a major sports guy but I never liked hockey. None of my friends were into hockey, we liked football. So why are people saying hockey is something sports guys are into?" Hockey's a sport. Maybe not your sport but nevertheless...

Re:Honest Question (1)

Neko-kun (750955) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819763)

First, because I read much faster than I watch an episode.

Second, manga/mahnwa uses the art itself to tell the story unlike its DC/Marvel counterparts that use WALL OF TEXT to describe the scene.

Third, name a genre, any genre. There's a manga for it. It's nice to sometimes read about the daily adventures of a cat instead of reading a retconned version of a story.

Re:Honest Question (1)

Vorpix (60341) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819789)

even our very own CmdrTaco ran AnimeFu.com, which seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Wow. (0, Troll)

xmason (206262) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818507)

This. Looks. Terrible.

For the love of dog, fanboys, not everything needs to be Manga-fied.

Otaku of the world, go back to your mom's basement.

Worst. SQL. Book. EVER.

Re:Wow. (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818913)

I think you're being harsh. I look forward to seeing how they relate being raped by a giant tentacle monster to enforcing referential integrity. It seems like a fairly obvious analogue to me, but to others it might provide some insight.

I'm betting this book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818543)

has all sorts of marketing for a certain database product.

Re:I'm betting this book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818671)

no it doesn't. RTFP!

Companion book... (5, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818547)

The Power Rangers guide to VI.

and for the little kids out there...

Teletubbies do SQL and PHP

Re:Companion book... (5, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818921)

The Power Rangers guide to VI.

That would actually be a great book. As regular high school teenagers, they would just be editing in insert mode. Just as if they were in pico or notepad. Suddenly, danger looms and they need more power, IT'S MODAL MORPHIN' TIME!

The kids transform into command mode, battling Rita Repulsive's giant monsters with ease as they zoom around the text at high speeds unthinkable to any normal human being. "I'm going to double-d your evil monster hide with my HJKL stick!"

Re:Companion book... (-1, Troll)

tritonman (998572) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818971)

I'm sorry, but if you need a cartoon to teach you about technical things like databases, you are pretty pathetic.

Re:Companion book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27819159)

Teletubbies do SQL and PHP

Actually PHP has been invented by Teletubbies.

Re:Companion book... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819517)

No such things yet, but I have read a nice children's book about the "ping" tool starring a duck. I thought "ping" was a rather basic thing to write an entire book around but, hey, if five year olds know more about ICMP it can't be bad!

Re:Companion book... (1)

Triela (773061) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819561)

Or the much less popular companion: The Database Guide to Manga How to understand Manga in SQL statements. I don't see how the plot would come in.

Why Stop There? (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818557)

... introducing relational database management ...

Aw, that's a shame. Where's the book with the story of young Gogol who starts in his garage trying to find a single sacred shard [wikipedia.org] to save his father, Sir Adword, so the kingdom can prosper again. It lies somewhere in the several million other shards across many distant lands. There is only one way to identify the shard. He must first discover the fastest path to a land that may or may not have it and alert all the other lands if he finds it ...

Not Right Now (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818583)

Too busy playing Katawa Shoujo.

There must be a hidden Misha route here somewhere...

Queue rehash of last Manga story (2, Funny)

CambodiaSam (1153015) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818587)

I get the feeling this discussion is going to go down the same road that the Manga guide to Statistics [slashdot.org] one did...

So, now you can run reports on the instances of tentacle penetrations based on any number of hierarchies and dimensions!

The manga guide to statistics/database (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818589)

I've bought both the database one and statistics one and I must say I agree with the review, these books does a great job of giving a novice a quick introduction to the world of databases/statistics. While not covering everything, they will build up some base for the reader to allow him to read more in-depth books that might have been to heavy to start out with.

I for one sure as hell had a hard time understanding statistics.

Re:The manga guide to statistics/database (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819615)

I've bought both the database one and statistics one and I must say I agree with the review

You're typing that with your other hand?

life imitating art? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818621)

"A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer"

A momumental advance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818627)

finally, CS majors don't have to wait until they're back from class and safely in their parents' basement before jacking off to animes

I've read it... (2, Informative)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818647)

...and it *is* a nice intro book for anyone that is new to databases and wants a DIFFERENT way of learning the basics. The key word here is different and in this case I am not sure if that is a good thing or not. The Manga guides take concepts and present them in a cutesy anime way. I feel that the approach probably works well in Japan but I am not sure how much of a market there is for this in the USA. There are other books that teach subjects in a different way such as the 'Head First' line. I guess this is one of those cases where you dilute the market with a whole bunch of different ways to get concepts out to people and some stick better than others. This book certainly presents the ideas that you would want any database newbie to know but its a very select group.

If you are into manga/anime and are a computer person this is probably right up your alley. The writing is good and the artwork is very good. My only concern is I don't know if there is enough of a client base long term.

=Smidge=

Re:I've read it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818887)

Um. How many of the people replying skeptically to this review are guys? It's quite possible that they are not the target audience for this book. A lot of the women in the IT industry tend to be more on the business analysis side, and yet they still need an understanding of data modeling and relational concepts. If this approach helps them understand those concepts and produce better requirements that can be more easily implemented, that's a good thing. In addition, if this book and others like it get more women interested in Computer Science by diminishing the geeky aspect of the subject in their eyes and making it more female friendly, that's a good thing.

Re:I've read it... (4, Insightful)

moniker (9961) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819353)

I guess this is one of those cases where you dilute the market with a whole bunch of different ways to get concepts out to people and some stick better than others.

You nailed it. The important thing isn't how silly you might look, but whether or not the student gets the concepts.

One of my students in my intro class where I've used this book (briefly) is failing her other classes and has a learning disability, but is getting an 'A' in my class and is excited about working on extra credit (some data modeling problem solving) that she doesn't even need.

Today, in class, I talked about how the intro skills they have learned in Access scale up, and passed around Oracle books on SQL, PL/SQL, OAS Reports, and was pleasantly surprised when the students actually spent time looking through the books. (The books were Oracle only because that is my background and graduate focus.)

Manga fans creep me out (-1, Offtopic)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818697)

This book just creeps me out. You know that it's going to be read by hardcore manga nerds--the guys who have gigabytes of anime/hentai movies, use big-eyed anime avatars on messageboards, fantasize about having a Japanese girlfriend, and so on.

ÌÌÌOEÌÌfÌ̱ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818769)

ÌÌÌOEÌÌfÌ̱ÌOEÌÌââÌOEÌâÌÌ̱ÌÌ£ÌÌfÌOEâ̱ÌSÌfÌâÌOEÌ£ÌOE̱âÌÌÌSÌOEÌÌSÌÌṢ̱âÌSÌOEÌfÌÌÌÌSÌÌfÌâÌÌÌOEÌÌ̱ÌOEÌâÌOEÌÌ£ââÌÌâậ̣ÌÌf̱âÌOEÌfÌS̱ÌOEÌÌ£ÌÌÌâÌSÌÌÌÌ£ÌÌÌÌSÌo

This is a dumb book.

Antagonist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27818881)

And then the eeeVVviiLL project manager locked away his db administrator in a cubicle and condemned him to managing ecommerce and exchange servers for the rest of his life.

I Swear It's a Dupe (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818947)

Seriously, I think we see this on Slashdot at least once a year. Or at least, we definitely see a lame Manga Guide to SOMETHING once a year.

If I were teaching [...] college students (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#27818955)

If I were teaching teenagers or even lower class college students, I wouldn't hesitate to build a class around this book.

I couldn't finish the first few sentences of the summary. Your evil plans have failed due to my failure to read your evil plans. I would never subject college students of any caliber to manga no matter the subject (check that; I suppose study of Japanese might merit use of manga, with visual elements tied so closely to written elements).

Re:If I were teaching [...] college students (1)

What Is Dot (792062) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819631)

In the past, I never really paid much attention to comics and manga. I saw them as childish. It wasn't until after after I read Scott McCloud's book "Understanding Comics," that I began to take the medium seriously.

Today, I am wondering why all educational books are NOT presenting their material in this manner. That being said, this "manga" guide to databases is an example of a good idea implemented poorly. Instead of creating a fluffed up story line to camouflage the fact that readers are learning, they should instead have a narrator presenting the material to the reader, much in the same way McCloud presented the history of sequential pictures as a means of communication.

The goal of all textbooks should be the communication of information in the most efficient way possible, but the idea that including as many graphics and visual elements as possible will continued to be frowned upon as long as it is regarded as "childish" or "dumbing down the material."

all hope is lost (0, Flamebait)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819001)


SELECT count(1) FROM book_collection WHERE book_type = 'DORK' AND book_summary like '%childish%';
One Row Returned.

I am seriously suspect of demographic this book is attempting to sell to. I shall put on my list of questions to potential hiree's; have you read this book?

If the answer is yes, it's an automatic no for the job.

Re:all hope is lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27819765)

If the answer is yes, it's an automatic no for the job.

It's ok, nobody's going to want to work for an asshole like you, anyway.

By the way, you shouldn't put apostrophes in plurals. The phrase you're looking for is "potential employees". I wouldn't hire you because your grammar is awful.

Just what I was waiting for (5, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819029)

If you are like me and learned things like normalization and set operations from a rather dry text book, you may be quite entertained by the contents of this book.

I'm sorry, but SQL should be taught dry, no lube and no sedative. Anything else would be blasphemous or at least disturb the natural order of things.

In all seriousness though, if you need this medium to make databases interesting for the reader, you're probably pandering to the wrong crowd. Anyone who needs to learn SQL will probably get a less childish book. Teenagers (and certainly college students) will buy this for the few laughs they get out of it, and that's about all the novelty you'll get out of it.

I personally can't wait for the "Manga guide to Systems Administration" where princess Ruruna is faced with her arch nemesis The User. I hear in chapter 3 she opens up her box to replace defective parts. In chapter 15 she learns about security and discovers evil hackers have exploited her badly configured server. 2 chapters later it happens again but then she learns about a strange magic called firewalling.

Other guides I'd love to read:

  • Manga guide to Assembly: Princess Ruruna just can't get her code to run fast enough, so she takes a journey to the magical land of Registra and learns how to tighten those loops
  • Manga guide to Network Administration: Princess Ruruna has a hard time running around the office with a USB stick until she discovers switches and routers.
  • Manga guide to BOFH: Tired of it all, Princess Ruruna starts reading The Users email. When The User complains about the lack of diskspace, she decided to delete all his data.
  • Manga guide to LISP: Princess Ruruna inherits her fathers kingdom and parenthesis. Crazy adventures ensue
  • Manga guide to Recursive Programming: By far the most artistic book of them all, princess Ruruna decides to draw herself drawing a picture of herself drawing a picture of herself drawing a picture of herself drawing a picture of herself drawing a picture of herself drawing ...

I have to ask... (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819031)

If the only way you can learn a technical subject like databases is to have it presented in a cutesy comic book format, well, should you really be going after a technical skill set?

Re:I have to ask... (2, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819427)

Why not? In this age of ADD, ADHD, and general low attention span, this might be the ONLY way for someone to learn a dry subject.

Better than the other option (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819093)

This book sounds like a way better option than the book I bought last week, "The Hentai Guide to Microsoft SQL Server."

I have to say I just dont get Manga (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819147)

The apparent attractiveness of substandard quality generally sexist drawings just doesn't do it for me, and I can't honestly see what people like about this style of comics. Its not that they are comics, because overall I like a good graphic novel etc, but the actual style of the drawings which is just plain unappealing. I don't know anyone in real life with eyeballs the size of a tennis ball, who always flashes her panties at me and has a completely pointed chin, nor why anyone would want to see that again and again. Every Manga character seems to look like every other one essentially.

Re:I have to say I just dont get Manga (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819327)

In other words, you don't like it. Well, it is a matter of personal preference and taste. I am sure every woman you know has perky DD tits with a 24in waist and 34in hips.

Or, to put it more succinctly "Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink."

Re:I have to say I just dont get Manga (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819617)

Ok, I have to make a point here. Manga isn't a "style." A manga is just a comic book from Japan. They all have different styles. Before you object, I'll say, yes I know what you mean by Manga-style, Rumiko Takahashi type characters, big eyes small mouth. That is a popular manga style, but considering the sheer volume of manga which are produced, it is hardly the only style.

In some manga characters are drawn in a realistic style, in others they are drawn in a different type of surrealist style. Depends on the artist. Don't imagine Manga artists never look at American comic books for inspiration, that would be a mistake. With a huge number manga artists vying for recognition in Japan, they've got to vary their styles to stand out from the crowd.

Besides which, they tend to put comic books from different traditions, that come from places like Korea in with the manga so as not to "confuse" the American audience.

The truth is, a lot of manga doesn't make it over here because it doesn't have an audience, or isn't believed to. So, the limited amount that comes over tends to be somewhat similar.

In the US comic books are a much smaller market than manga are in Japan. This is due to the efforts of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency in the 1950's. Never forget! We should burn Frederick Wertham in effigy every year as a reminder. American comics were deliberately damaged by the Federal government with malice aforethought. That's why the excellence of the early days of American comics sometimes seems elusive.

Nothing like that happened in Japan, so there is a large diversity of subject matter not found in American sequential art (yes, I know about the outliers. Heck, I subscribed to Doom Patrol during Grant Morrison's run, I buy The Goon and Astro City pretty regularly (when there is new product available). Yet, even those excellent comics I've cited are mostly capes and masks. Except The Goon really... Put it this way, you won't find a story about the trials and tribulations of a shut in, or a detailed study of a rivalry between wine connoisseurs in an American comic, generally speaking... unless it turns out that Batman and the Riddler are wine connoisseurs that is...

Batman is really cool of course, but some of his lesser known bretheren and sisteren (often it seems especially the sisteren) are often not...

Slashdotting at its Worst. (1, Insightful)

micronicos (344307) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819337)

No - not the article, which was excellent.

No - nor on the book - which is merely continuing a tradition of excellence in graphical education quite usual in Japan but sadly lacking elsewhere.

No - this is the /. contingent of commentators being 'funny' about foreign(er) ideas - because WE invented the internet and Cobb was an American and no darn .....

Well - you get the gist.

VERY disappointed, makes me wonder whether to stop /. watching - there are many other good tech sites with a lot less bias and a lot less jingoism to wade through.

Yotsuba's guide to cardboard robots (1)

Bushido Hacks (788211) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819711)

Manga seems to be a very crash-course way of expressing concepts lately, but it is certainly no substitute for reading regular books. As much as I would like to tear through a regular book as quickly as a manga book, it just doesn't see right.

While I applaud the authors efforts to bring such a complex concept down to storybook level, I don't think the Western World is ready for manga guide books just yet. On the other hand, I do like the fact that they cover not just Databases, but Physics, Calculus, Statistics, and Electricity in other book in their series. Perhaps younger readers will find these books of interest and become enamorated with learned about advanced concepts. (Think the 13-15 y.o. crowd.)

For good measure however, books on Aritmetic, Geometry, and Algebra should be a must read for all ages since there are people in College who don't know how to add without a caluclator. (To the authors, here's an idea for the plot of a future book: The protagonist must learn how to do math mentally without an electronic device!)

But why not have some fun in the process. Robots are a common theme in manga. Why not write a book on how to build them? Even the guys at Time Life who publish the This Old House series of books never touched a topic like that. On the other hand, who wanted to see Bob Vila with blue hair? :D

next week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27819751)

the hentai guide do penetration testing

Nigerian Prince Returns (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#27819757)

Her parents, the King and Queen, have left to travel abroad. Ruruna has been left to manage the nations fruit business. Much is at stake...

They lifted this from a Nigerian Prince scam. Seen variations of it a hundred times in my spam box. Finally, a way for Nigerian scammers to get legitimate funds (royalty payments).

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