Re: SQL programming fundamentals

From: Michael Moore <>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 13:12:43 -0700
Message-ID: <>

On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 11:54 AM, Toon Koppelaars <> wrote:

> > Michael wrote:
> > Consider two boys that were taught to fish using fishing poles.
> > One boy might explore other ways to catch fish such as using a net,
> spears, hands, dynamite etc.
> > The other will cling to his fishing pole and and study his fishing pole
> and even write books about his fishing pole and condemn anybody who does not
> use a fishing pole.
> Consider two boys who were taught how to hammer a nail into a piece of
> wood.
> One boy might explore other ways to hammer nails such as using a
> screwdriver, a pencil, his bare hands, a bag of cottons etc.
> The other will cling to his hammer and study various ways of using
> different hammers, or nails depending on the wood at hand, apply varying
> forces when hitting the nail, etc. (and yeah, maybe even write a book about
> it at some point, to show the other that driving nails into wood, really
> should be done with the help of a hammer).
> :-)
> --
> +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
> Toon Koppelaars
> RuleGen BV
> +31-615907269
> toon_at_rulegen_dot_com
> www_dot_rulegen_dot_com
> Author: "Applied Mathematics for Database Professionals"

Your example is logically different than mine. In my example, both boys are dealing with successful methods of fishing. In your example, the second boy is dealing with unsuccessful methods of driving nails.

In my experience, I've never needed to apply mathematics to database design. Mostly, I try to normalize the data when possible. When possible means that there are often other egos involved, pre-existing legacy data structures which must be accommodated. Sometimes the reason for a particular design decision is to avoid impact on existing code. The best database design is one that accomplishes the goals of the informed employer. In 30 something years, I've never had the luxury of starting with a clean slate. I've never had the luxury of unencumbered database design. It's always been a matter of design by committee. It's always been a matter of the the Best Possible Hack. Perhaps my experience is atypical, how would I know?

Michael J. Moore

Received on Fri Sep 12 2008 - 15:12:43 CDT

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