Declarative Data

There seems to be certain mystique surrounding declarative programming and how it applies to the real world. There are not many technologies in the average web programmer toolkit that are truly declarative.

Config files are declarative, but only in the simplest form. YAML and JSON files are essentially a static view of some state - A manual database that is read in by the ‘real’ imperative program.

CSS files are similarly declarative, but have the imperative cascading effect of overwriting previous declarations.

And it seems that there is a general consensus among frameworks that SQL is something that every programmer should be sheilded from at any cost. A single SELECT and WHERE may be easy enough, but any nested queries or more complicated logic is just too much to bear.

Is all this overhead necessary when all I want is a place to store my data?

This alone is enough to explain the rise of NoSQL in dealing with our data. If there is a simple, fast and flexible way to store data structures - which can nearly always be represented as lists or hashes - why not just do that and avoid the overhead of rigid schemas and strange query languages?