The real history of Oracle database revealed!

Anyone who’s looked into Oracle X$ tables, knows that their names are really complicated and quite unreadable (and non-pronouncable), such X$KZSRT, X$KCPXPL, X$KQFSZ and so on.

A few years ago at some conference someone came up with a thought that the reason why Oracle has so unreadable names for its X$ tables is that the leading edge database source code was actually stolen in the 80′s from a Soviet Union intelligence agency.

And evidence started appearing. For example, here’s an X$ table which clearly references USSR (in russian) below:

SQL> select name from v$fixed_table where upper(name) like '%CCCP%';

NAME
------------------------------
X$KCCCP

The above view has been there for many years (it’s hidden behind a layer of V$THREAD view so no-one would suspect anything).

And now, more evidence has showed up that even in the latest versions (11.1.0.7) Oracle just reuses code originally written by the Soviet intelligence agency decades ago:

SQL> select name from v$latch where upper(name) like '%KGB%';

NAME
----------------------------------------------------------------
kgb latch
kgb parent

So there’s apparently some KGB latch and KGB “parent” built in into every database from 11g.
I don’t know what exactly these do, but the code locations which make use of these latches make me worry the most:

SQL> select "WHERE" from v$latch_misses where parent_name = 'kgb latch';

WHERE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
kgb_create_instance
kgb_destroy_instance
kgb_lock_instance

Scary….

Note that this year’s only Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting class takes place in the end of April/May 2014, so sign up now if you plan to attend this year!

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24 Responses to The real history of Oracle database revealed!

  1. Peter says:

    Hahaha! That just made my day!

  2. Noons says:

    The plot thickens!…

  3. Chen Shapira says:

    LOL!

    My “Seven Sins of Concurrency” presentation starts with a bit about the history of task-switching computers. I gave the start date as 1967, but when I said that in NoCoug, someone in the audience explained that in Soviet Russia they has multiprogramming computers back in the 1950s.

    I did not expect to find out that they were running Oracle :)

  4. Igor says:

    “Big Brother” inside Oracle Database – its a really cool! ;))

  5. dr.s.raghunathan says:

    just because name resemblance of regionalised words one should not come to conclusion. There are various reasons for selecting these names participation of russion member in development team,and to divert towards unknown words due to security purpose and there are many unknown business ethics to follow russion words. hence these co-incidence should not relate to the history of region different ways

  6. Jim says:

    LOL, I don’t know what’s funnier, the original blog or raghunathan’s unintentionally humorous mis-understanding. Top notch

  7. Brett Schroeder says:

    You should have withheld this post until 1st April ;-)

  8. Gints says:

    Yeahh, and I thought we escaped from them but they are back again. And from completely unexpected side ;)

  9. Tanel Poder says:

    @dr.s.raghunathan: Are you serious?!!!! :D :D :D

  10. Dion Cho says:

    Dr.s.raghunathan gave me a much bigger laugh than Tanel. Thanks for the big laugh on this gloolmy monday. :)

  11. Alberto Dell'Era says:

    There’s also X$KSUSE that I suspect being a subliminal message linked to a dear old Linux distro …

  12. Apex says:

    Tanel, I guess the russian slang word “bayan” (баян) is familiar to you:)

  13. Tanel Poder says:

    Thanks Apex for the link, I failed to find it for some reason myself. Yes, Kurt was the “someone” I mentioned who came up with the original idea.

    But since that more evidence has shown up (KGB latches), thus the post ;)

    P.S. I know only the original meaning of “bayan” but I better ask my wife, she should know!

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  15. Dan Norris says:

    Thanks for confirming that somewhere beyond all the dense knowledge you have about internals lies an excellent sense of humor! Thanks for the good geek chuckle!

  16. Wow, amazing stuff! Very entertaining.

  17. Be aware KGB don’t sleep ;)

    ROTFL good stuff

    regards,
    Marcin

  18. Winter says:

    Да, было бы смешно, если б к сожалению не было так грустно …

  19. Oracle Student says:

    If you select all names from fixed_table, there are other results that don’t translate into Russian at all. I think it’s a stretched coincidence.
    X$KCCCC
    X$KCCCF
    X$KCCCP
    X$KCCDC

  20. Pingback: Oracle X$ tables – Part 1 – Where do they get their data from? | Tanel Poder's blog: IT & Mobile for Geeks and Pros

  21. v raj says:

    Is there any KFC somewhere :)

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