The real history of Oracle database revealed!

Tanel Poder

2009/03/14

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….