# Re: Extending my question. Was: The relational model and relational

Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 14:42:02 -0500
Message-ID: <wMQ5a.220\$eY4.33071156_at_mantis.golden.net>

"--CELKO--" <71062.1056_at_compuserve.com> wrote in message news:c0d87ec0.0302221106.1493fa95_at_posting.google.com...
> >> But how do you derive the count from the weight if you have never
> weighed a known number of cans? How do you know the number of cans
> without counting any? How do you count cans--even one can--if cans
> are unidentifiable. <<
>
> I can also work with just the weight of the bag without any reference
> to an indivdual element ("I bought 20 pounds of canned cat food on
> sale!" or simply "I bought a big bag of canned cat food on sale!").

So? You have counted an indentifiable item: the bag. You have made a decision that cardinality of cans is unimportant and as such have no need to count them. Having no need to count them, you have no need to identify them. To use the important information about the cans, one must still have logical identity--in this case the identity of the bag.

You have established no need for a multiset for modelling this situation in a dbms. Given the obvious deficiencies of multisets related to logical identity and to physical independence, you have failed to reach the bar of acceptance already established by the relational model.

Yes, you need to identify one can. I would call that counting to one--as hard as that may be for you, Joe. Regardless of your little word game, you still need to identify. Unless, of course, you are going to argue that depends on what 'is' means.

> >> Yes, I recall. You argued that a sum over zero elements is
> undefined, and I argued that it is defined as zero. <<
>
> For the lurkers, my original article is archived at this url and I
> will not do a monster "cut & paste" on it.
>
> http://www.dbmsmag.com/9611d06.html

That may be an article you wrote, and it may on first glance even look relevant. However, it was not our exchange.

> >> You cited a book to defend your position and that book said in
> black and white that it is defined as zero. <<
>
> I also gave a few thousand words, some short programs and
> illustrations to support that convention.

Joe, you used a reference that said in plain language that the sum of zero elements is zero and that the product of zero elements is one to support the argument that both are undefined. It doesn't matter how many reams of illogical, incorrect, ill thought, self-important crap you wrote in a futile attempt to defend the indefensible or to obfuscate the obvious.

The arguments against your position were simple and easily understood. Except for your own self-promotion, the rest is a complete waste of effort for all of humanity. Received on Sat Feb 22 2003 - 20:42:02 CET

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