Re: consolidation of multiple rows

From: Jerry Stuckle <>
Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2008 20:43:26 -0500
Message-ID: <>

Alex Kuznetsov wrote:
> 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.

Maybe in your experience. I make a very good living teaching Fortune 500 employees in a formal environment.

> 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.

Unless you got your degree in the early 70's (like I did), it did exist.   But Universities are notorious in not teaching the latest theory, either.

And I do agree, normalization itself is quite easy. But typically, the more normalized the database, the poorer the performance. It takes a great DBA with an understanding of the programming requirements (among other things) to be able to balance the two successfully.

> 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.

Agreed. Neither my high school nor my college chemistry classes ever mentioned Mendeleev. It wasn't until I became more interested in history that I learned about him.

Remove the "x" from my email address
Jerry Stuckle
JDS Computer Training Corp.
Received on Sat Mar 08 2008 - 19:43:26 CST

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