24

This query shows that a significant proportion (7% or 12.5K answers in the last 12 months alone) of answers to SQL questions on Stack Overflow referred to SQL Fiddle.

Surely this constitutes "a lot" of positive assistance to our network.

Does Stack Exchange support SQL Fiddle via cash donations and/or technical/infrastructure support?

If so, great.
If not, shouldn't it?


FYI the SQLFiddle "About" page has a link to stackoverflow very near the top, so SQLFiddle is also promoting StackExchange.

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    SQLFiddle not mentioned here: Stack Exchange Gives Back 2013. – Aziz Shaikh Jan 7 '14 at 13:41
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    Or; Stack exchange is driving significant viewership to SQLFiddle, does SQLFiddle support Stack exchange via cash donations and/or technical/infrastructure support? – Richard Tingle Jan 7 '14 at 13:43
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    I'm not sure whether SE does or not but I know Jack Douglas has helped out a lot. – ben is uǝq backwards Jan 7 '14 at 13:44
  • So you want a warning like they do with JSFiddle? – random Jan 7 '14 at 13:44
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    Why should Stack Exchange do that? If anything as Richard Tingle suggested, they owe SE. – Mansfield Jan 7 '14 at 13:44
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    That's a false argument @Richard, there's only one advert, right at the bottom of the page and it's by the sponsor... There's no obvious way that Jake makes money off it. – ben is uǝq backwards Jan 7 '14 at 13:45
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    @RichardTingle because we use SQLFiddle, not the other way around. And there's a link to stackoverflow near the top of the "About" page – Bohemian Jan 7 '14 at 13:46
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    Also; this isn't how the internet works. Just because website A has links to publicly viewable website B doesn't mean that Website A should pay anything to them. Stackexchange aren't using any corporate membership (like imgur, they're simply allowing people to post links to their site, like any other site) – Richard Tingle Jan 7 '14 at 13:52
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    @RichardTingle sqlfiddle provides a valuable service to SO (it greatly improves the quality SQL answers and questions) that requires machines, cpu, memory, disk, maintenance etc to exist and run and which costs real money to operate. All I am saying is we should probably chip in something to recognise that. – Bohemian Jan 7 '14 at 13:55
  • @Bohemian As does Oracle by holding the JavaDocs, there are thousands of links to "The docs" – Richard Tingle Jan 7 '14 at 13:57
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    @RichardTingle yes but Oracle doesn't need the money - they have plenty. SQLFiddle is a one-man band, practically self-funded hobby site. – Bohemian Jan 7 '14 at 13:59
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    @RichardTingle - SQL Fiddle is run by one guy AFAIK so not really comparable to a website hosted by a multi national company. – Martin Smith Jan 7 '14 at 13:59
51

SQL Fiddle is, as @Bohemian mentioned, a labor of love for me. I don't make any profit from the site - basically I get enough from donations and my sponsor (SQL Sentry - thanks Aaron Bertrand!) to cover my operating costs. It is a fun project that I can use to practice my development skills, and it is personally rewarding to see it used to help a lot of people. As much as I enjoy seeing traffic slowly and steadily increase over the months (over 3k per day now, mostly from SO/SE!) I am also slowly seeing my EC2 costs increase as a result. Fortunately, my costs are still covered. As far as whether or not SE should directly support the site - although I wouldn't turn it down, it's not really something I'm seeking. If anything, I'd hope to someday get enough attention to have some of the database vendors kick in some additional support, so I can expand the environments and dedicate more time to working on it. We'll see if that ever happens :)

Cheers folks! Feel free to hit me up on twitter - @sqlfiddle.

14

As mentioned in the comments, Stack Exchange Gives Back 2013 doesn't list SQL Fiddle so it's probably safe to assume no donation is being made currently.

Should there be one? Not from Stack Exchange, in my opinion. SE has not included SQL Fiddle in any of its features. The people who should be donating to SQL Fiddle are the people using it.

  • Did SQL Fiddle help you understand someone's posted question or answer? Great! Donate!

  • Did SQL Fiddle help you better express your own question or answer? Great! Donate!

In my humble opinion, this has nothing to do with SE itself.

  • 2
    "SE has not enforced the use of this site nor included it in any of its features." Quite the opposite, actually. – Time Traveling Bobby Jan 7 '14 at 14:21
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    @TimeTravelingBobby That question seems to be about jsfiddle, not sqlfiddle – Lamak Jan 7 '14 at 14:24
  • SE has not enforced do you mean endorsed? – Taryn Jan 7 '14 at 14:27
  • @Lamak Same thing though, stack exchange very much doesn't require external resorces, in fact it tries to prevent them being used instead of local resources (but "as well as" is fine) – Richard Tingle Jan 7 '14 at 14:28
  • @bluefeet No, I did mean enforced, but I've removed that clause as it was essentially saying the same thing as the rest of the sentence. – Duncan Jones Jan 7 '14 at 14:29
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    @Lamak: True, my bad. But I think we can apply the rules established for JSFiddle for all Fiddle variants. – Time Traveling Bobby Jan 7 '14 at 14:33
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    @TimeTravelingBobby Ok, but the rule wasn't really about the use of jsfiddle, but about answers that only had a link to that service without a body in it – Lamak Jan 7 '14 at 14:35
  • @Lamak: That is the use of jsfiddle (in the meaning of "how it is/was used on SE"). It was used instead of dumping code in the answer. Which was not good for two reasons, dumping code and putting it onto an external site. Answers need to be able to stand on their own even if you take the *fiddle link out. – Time Traveling Bobby Jan 7 '14 at 14:37
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    @TimeTravelingBobby Well, then that's a difference with the use of sqlfiddle, in every answer where I've used sqlfiddle I (and almost everyone) also post the code. We use it to show the results of that code, not to hide the code from the post – Lamak Jan 7 '14 at 14:39
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    Also it frees answers from containing a load of boiler plate CREATE TABLE ... INSERT statements that would make the key points of the answer more difficult to find (as well as the obvious benefit that anyone can test and experiment with the answer without having the specific RDBMS installed) – Martin Smith Jan 7 '14 at 14:47
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    @MartinSmith What if SQLfiddle went away some day? I personally find it very irritating when people omit boilerplate, I like a short but complete example (inexperienced users won't know how to recreate the boilerplate) – Richard Tingle Jan 7 '14 at 14:50
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    @RichardTingle - If it went away the answer would generally be there but the demo would be lost. Perhaps an SE donation would make this scenario less likely anyway! – Martin Smith Jan 7 '14 at 14:52
2

StackOverflow's help page at https://stackoverflow.com/help/how-to-ask directly links to SQLFiddle (as well as JSBin). That could be the source of some of the traffic.

-6

I can only assume sqlfiddle has a business model/objectives1 in which higher viewership is a good thing. As such it is Stack exchange that is helping them by driving viewership to them! (or more reasonably it is a mutually beneficial relationship.)

I note a "donate" button on their site and adverts; so I put it to you that by driving traffic to them we indirectly fund them.

As such I would say that stack exchange shouldn't feel obliged to fund any site just because people post links to that site on stack exchange (of course a charitable donation would always be fine, but there are a lot of charities out there).

On the other hand if you actually use those sites and find them helpful then by all means donate.


1 Objectives monitory or otherwise. If I made a product and then a huge site basically said "This is awesome, go use it", I would actually be quite happy with that because it would help me achieve my objectives, whatever they are.

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    I would hazard a guess that very few people who use this service actually donate to Jake aka SQL Fiddle. – Taryn Jan 7 '14 at 13:48
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    @bluefeet Google has shown that a very small amount of money per view * lots of views = lots of money – Richard Tingle Jan 7 '14 at 13:49
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    Reading the about page, I think it's more a labour of love than a profit making venture. – Bohemian Jan 7 '14 at 13:50
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    This answer doesn't really try to....well, answer the question asked – Lamak Jan 7 '14 at 13:52
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    @Lamak It attempts to answer the second question "If not, shouldn't it?" – Richard Tingle Jan 7 '14 at 13:53
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    Also, if you read the Stack Exchange Gives Back post, you'll see this paragraph: "It is also important to remember and support the tools and organizations that make what we do possible, so we also made the following donations", with a list of donations to tools, where sqlfiddle is not listed. So, if there are actually donations for this kind of services, I think that the question is relevant – Lamak Jan 7 '14 at 13:57
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    I don't feel that people heavily using a free service are automatically obligated to pay towards its costs, but I can't help but object to answer that effectively says "All things that are useful are presumably being done for profit, and if they're not, then it's the problem of the suckers who are doing stuff for free." It's simply wrong on both counts; not only does SQLFiddle not appear to be a profit-making venture, but if it were ever to go down, the real losers would its users on StackOverflow, not Jake Feasel. – Mark Amery Jan 7 '14 at 14:02
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    @Lamak But isn't that list exclusively tools that SE uses as part of its infrastructure? – Duncan Jones Jan 7 '14 at 14:04
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    @MarkAmery Yes, but if I loved making games (which I do) and made a free game then my objective would be for loads of people to play it. I wouldn't be going around saying that people who linked to my website had done a bad thing or owed me – Richard Tingle Jan 7 '14 at 14:05

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