Re: consolidation of multiple rows

From: Alex Kuznetsov <>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2008 17:08:40 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On Mar 8, 8:03 am, DA Morgan <> wrote:
> Jerry Stuckle wrote:
> > DA Morgan wrote:
> >> Jerry Stuckle wrote:
> >>> DA Morgan wrote:
> >>>> Jerry Stuckle wrote:
> >>>>> DA Morgan wrote:
> >>>>>>>> If you know the names Date and Codd you should know who you are
> >>>>>>>> addressing: Joe Celko.
> >>>>>>> Not a name I am familiar with.
> >>>>>> Says much about your attitude toward our profession.
> >>>>>> Enlighten yourself:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>> Not necessarily. There are a lot of top notch programmers and
> >>>>> DBA's who have never heard of Joe Celko.
> >>>> Well right now I can only name one. <g>
> >>>> Of course you are correct. There are top notch programmers that
> >>>> don't know who Chris Date is. There are top notch programmers
> >>>> that don't know who Dennis Ritchie and Ray Boyce are either no
> >>>> doubt.
> >>>> Though I suspect you could put the names of those "top notch"
> >>>> programmers on a 3x5 card.
> >>> Quite incorrect. Right off the top of my head I can probably name a
> >>> dozen I know personally who haven't heard of him. He's well known in
> >>> some circles, but definitely not all.
> >> The operative phrase here is "top notch." If they ever took even a basic
> >> class on normalization they could not have missed the name Boyce. If
> >> they learned more in C than "Hello World" they'd know who Dennis is.
> > Not necessarily. A lot of great DBA's know normalization but don't know
> > Boyce.
> I would disagree with your characterization of them as "great DBAs."
> I know that might be your impression of them. And I've no doubt they
> can install, patch, and backup and restore without crashing and burning.
> But it takes more than that to be "great."
> You don't know normalization if you don't know Boyce-Codd Normal Form.
> What you are describing is the competent self-taught ... not the
> "great."

Strange. In our trade most great people are largely self taught in the areas they are great in - the industry is new, and people are coming up with innovations all the time.
Linus Torvalds came up with lots of really cool stuff when he wasn't even a Master. Sergey Brin and Larry Page do have PhDs, and they came up themselves with what makes them great.

Returning to normalization, it is not a very complex theory. When I was getting my education, it did not exist yet, but if it did, it would be taught in my first year, and it would be an easy course. In a top notch university you have to learn a lot of more advanced math to get your Master's degree. More to the point, for me as a development lead, as well as for many DBAs, normalization is just one of many challenges, and a relatively easy one to put it mildly.

Memorizing last names has nothing to do with the ability to administer databases. Names of inventors are forgotten and or omitted all the time. This is especially true for foreign names. Consider periodic table of the chemical elements - it is being taught in American schools, but the Russian name of its inventor is rarely mentioned. Similarly, names of inventors on Normal Forms may be omitted of forgotten, especially in other countries, and that is OK just as well. Received on Sat Mar 08 2008 - 19:08:40 CST

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