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Re: Would be really nice if...

From: Joel Garry <>
Date: 25 Feb 2005 15:58:12 -0800
Message-ID: <>

Haximus wrote:
> Joel Garry wrote:
> > wrote:
> >
> >>Haximus wrote:
> >
> >
> >>>Please tell me which Oracle DML/DDL doesn't have a direct natural
> >>>language equivalent? It's 'natural' to mold technology to
> >
> > recognize
> >
> > "Select" - try to explain it in non-computer terms.
> That's the point - SELECT is plain English, it's self-explanatory,
> scope of it's meaning and intent applies to SQL or buying donuts..
> "would you care to SELECT a donut with your coffee sir?" Subject,
> predicate, perhaps a clause or two - SQL is indeed modeled after
> language and it's structure.

Come on, it is not self-explanatory. You don't appear able to explain it in non-computer terms. Did you ever see Datatrieve? It doesn't have "select," it has "find." And at the same time I was working with that I was working with another language that also had "find," but that meant something somewhat different. And at the same time, I was working in a couple of other languages that had different syntax to do the same thing. As others have pointed out, natural language structure is much more fluid. I would go beyond that to say, many, many people get the _wrong_ idea what a command does because they have to unlearn context.

> >>>human language interfaces, that's what makes technology easily
> >>
> >>adoptable
> >>
> >>>by the masses, that's what makes business more productive, and
> >
> > that's
> >
> > Hmmm, whatever happened to that "you'll never need programmers
> > stuff?
> >
> > Oh, and don't forget the "productivity paradox." (google for it)
> I recall that claim, oh about 1985, that programmers would become
> obsolete because computers would programs themselves....
> Didn't happen, did it? That's why productivity tools and
> are so much in demand - not because people are lazy but because there
> a always a "better way," and people naturally want to be more

You don't seem to know the concept. The paradox is, with all the investment in computerized productivity tools, productivity has not gone up. Productivity has gone up because people have to work more while others get laid off, or some work has been outsourced and doesn't get counted, or some manual labor has been replaced by machines.

> >>>what makes Oracle lots of money. You must really yearn for the
> >
> > days
> >
> >>>when the pocket-protector gang with the horn-rimmed glasses were
> >
> > the
> >
> >>>only ones who could talk to a database.
> >
> >
> > Sometimes, I do. I remember my friend's dad in the mid-60's -
> > step-cabin (cuddy-cabin boat with built Chevy big-block), Porsche
> > Chrysler T&C with the 440, house by Cliff May, gorgeous wife,
> > studio-quality stereo with the turntable mounted on the wall...
> > Geeks Were Men.
> You mean you don't have that! Get to work buddy! ;)

Well, I had the ZR1 ( ), but sold it about 6 months before I prevailed in a bogus lawsuit that had dragged on for years. Got the wife, house, fairly decent stereo, hope to get the boat before I die. I'll wait for the hubbub to die down before I go for the 7ltr C6.

> >>Presume all you like, your 'doughnut' analogy is rife with holes.
> >
> > SQL
> >
> >>does not communicate between two people, it communicates between
> >>and machine, something your 'doughnut' example doesn't cover.
> >
> >
> > Actually, most SQL these days communicates between machine and
> > - something it was not really primarily designed for.
> True, but the SQL has to originate from somewhere, computers
> don't initiate uncommanded conversations amongst themselves ... yet.
> >>"Give me one of everything except the glazed" to another human is
> >>thing, as the person on the receiving end can easily discern what
> >>available and what is not, whereas your 'select * except ...'
> >
> > business
> >
> >>has no logical counterpart; you get what you ask for, even to the
> >
> > point
> >
> >>of having an application break due to unhandled columns as
> >
> > illustrated
> >
> >>earlier by Daniel. The SQL engine removes only what you tell it in
> >>your suggested syntax; it has no method of knowing that what you
> >>wanted, and received, before is the same as what you want now,
> >>changes or not. "Hey, someone added col4 to that table, but the
> >>time I got this query I sent out col1 and col3, so that's all I'll
> >
> > send

Flashback DDL_ONLY? I'm getting a stomach ache.

> >
> >>out now." The doughnut guy, if you're a regular customer, can, and
> >>possibly will have your order ready to go as you walk in the door
> >>(depending upon just how regular a customer you are). He or she
> >>know what you want and what you don't, somethiing that cannot be
> >>about 'select * except bubba from cletus;', no matter how you try
> >>gild it.

And of course, the one time I want something different... hard parse this!

> >
> >
> > It makes a lot more sense when you layer a tool on top of SQL that
> > do such strange things, given the requirement - just doesn't make
> > trying to torture SQL into doing it natively.
> An auto-expand feature would be nice compromise in sqlplus, type in
> pattern matching expression and have it automagically expand matching

> columns, sort of similar to LIKE in functionality, or even implement
> regular expressions (overkill). JDeveloper has a nice auto-complete
> feature in it's SQL worksheet which is kind of nice, but it only
> things up a little.

I've never been able to stomach those things. I learned to type, and it is more difficult to stop my fingers from typing the whole word.


-- is bogus.
"Men Working In Trees" - Every time I see those signs, I want to add
one that says "Monkeys Working On Computers."
Received on Fri Feb 25 2005 - 17:58:12 CST

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