# Re: Extending my question. Was: The relational model and relational algebra - why did SQL become the industry standard?

Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 16:43:45 -0500

Message-ID: <b2u9bg$50p$1_at_slb2.atl.mindspring.net>

Mikito Harakiri wrote:

>This is just a series of random definitions, well spiced with curly

*>bracketed symbols. Or is there any wonderful theory about it? Where in math
**>did you see "We have 10 unrelated alternative definitions, pick anyone you
**>like"?
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Um, everywhere? Pick up half a dozen graph theory textbooks,
and you're likely to see nearly as many definitions. Some analysis
books define irrationals in terms of Dedekind cuts, others with
limits. Riemann integrals get defined in all kinds of ways. The
function f(z) = e^z has plenty of useful definitions. Fortunately,
mathematics is well-enough founded that the many alternate definitions
of a construct are provably equivalent. I would be surprised to
hear any mathematician suggest that the existence of many equivalent
foundational definitions of a concept indicates that the concept is
useless. There is no "one way" to define a mathematical idea using
sets.

To throw away all of mathematics because there are equivalent formulations of ideas makes as much sense as to throw away numbers because Europeans, Chinese, and Arabs write them differently.

SK

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Received on Tue Feb 18 2003 - 22:43:45 CET