Re: Do Data Models Need to built on a Mathematical Concept?

From: Marshall Spight <>
Date: Mon, 05 May 2003 01:04:53 GMT
Message-ID: <VMita.731148$3D1.404964_at_sccrnsc01>

"Neo" <> wrote in message


> It is the rdb model which requires each
> tuple to have the same degree which does not match reality. In
> reality, things need not have the same number of attributes.

Well, I'm not clear on how we decide whether a mathematical model represents reality or not. Looking out my window I see a lovely view, but I don't see any "attributes."

When people try to give me examples in programming (especially OOP) and the classes are called things Cow or Plant or whatever, (and maybe they even point to their desk plant) I stop them right there. "That plant is not a class or instance; it's a plant," I say. "Let's talk about LinkedList or RGBColor or some such."

I don't think programming really has anything interesting to say about reality. Programming is about math, and most of what's interesting in math has nothing to do with reality. True, if I have three oranges and you give me four more, I can use math to predict that I will then have seven oranges. Or I can figure out how big a door ought to be with geometry. But if that's our criteria for deciding what should go into math, well, we'd better get rid of negative numbers then. I certainly never had three oranges and had someone take away five of them. I never encountered anything that had an irrational number in it. I don't see the Axiom of Choice having any big impact on my wife's schedule tomorrow.

Marshall Received on Mon May 05 2003 - 03:04:53 CEST

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