Re: Pizza Example

From: Dawn M. Wolthuis <>
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 11:12:28 -0500
Message-ID: <c56i22$rjs$>

"Laconic2" <> wrote in message
> Way back in 1982, when I learned my first relational database system, the
> presentation always began with
> "what are the services you expect from a DBMS". And the comparison was
> always between the new (at that time) relational product and the tried and
> true product based on CODASYL DBTG.
> Twenty years later, it's a very different world. People create databases
> casually as they used to create files, and with just as little thought.
> With a small investment, and a low level of mission criticality, a
> database just doesn't represent the same thing that it did twenty years
> And therefore axioms that I carry around, embedded so deep that I am no
> longer conscious of them, are not the same as your axioms. Just as you
> I have a slightly different take on whether "pepperoni and onions" is the
> same as "onions and pepperoni" or not, so likewise, we have a different
> take on the TCO of building a low investment database.

That's fine and we can both recognize that the other has a different set of experiences to bring to any new problem. But my struggle is also internal -- what I have seen for TCO does not synch up with what I have learned is supposed to provide the best TCO. I advocated for "real databases" before I took on leadership of a team doing PICK coding (late 80's). At first I tried to get them to think like me and then the light went on and I realized how much more productive they were than previous teams I had lead.

This is definitely not just a 1NF issue, or retaining orderings, or loose typing, or a better query language, but I haven't yet put my finger on precisely what it is. It is even possible (though improbable, I think) that what appears to me (and many others) to have provided a much better bang for the buck over the past several decades than the RDBMS's, really hasn't -- I don't have enough emperical data to show that it does. I'm still asking questions and trying to get a better handle on it.

Cheers! --dawn Received on Fri Apr 09 2004 - 18:12:28 CEST

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