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Re: Is this bad design ?

From: Dawn M. Wolthuis <dwolt_at_tincat-group.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 11:24:52 -0600
Message-ID: <c2nj16$cm3$1@news.netins.net>


"Eric Kaun" <ekaun_at_yahoo.com> wrote in message news:vfH3c.22426$Js2.5131_at_newssvr31.news.prodigy.com...
> "Dawn M. Wolthuis" <dwolt_at_tincat-group.com> wrote in message
> news:c2m1ju$jrb$1_at_news.netins.net...
> > "ben brugman" <ben_at_niethier.nl> wrote in message
> > news:404c9b34$0$281$4d4ebb8e_at_read.news.nl.uu.net...
<snip>
> > Hand data with such relationships to any secretary in the 1950's and
they
> > will know how to "model" it and store the data for easy retrieval in
their
> > paper system. Thank goodness they were not constrained by some desire
to
> > "normalize" the data, eh?
>
> Well, uh, that's sort of why we don't use paper systems any more. That was
> as good as it could get. Even they had indexing systems which, in some
> cases, resembled aspects of relations. Unless in order to find a piece of
> paper X you'd suggest they just go hierarchically through every folder...
>

It is useful, however, to understand how a human brain organizes data. There are areas where we want the computer to improve on the brain, such as in accurate aggregations, but there are other areas where an RDBMS pales in comparison to what the brain is capable of doing. If you decide you need to search not just on last name but on substrings in the department name, as in Ben's example, the brain adapts to this change quickly while an RDBMS does not.

Just as children learn how to speak before they formally learn the rules of language, people learn how to organize data (propositions and related predicates, for example) before they formally learn how to organize it. If the formalization of the data organization is decidedly different from the organization that we learn naturally, it might be worth questioning both, right? smiles. --dawn Received on Wed Mar 10 2004 - 11:24:52 CST

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